Formula 1 is trying to break the deadlock over its sprint event format plan by offering teams a compromise arrangement for 2022.
The sprint event format was added to last year’s rules but has not yet been formally incorporated into the 2022 regulations. F1 therefore needs the support of teams to amend the rules in order hold any sprint events this year.
Its hopes of holding six sprints have been dashed by three teams which have pressed for an increase in the budget cap in order to cover a potential rise in costs from damage incurred during the extra races. McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown last month claimed those pushing for an increase in the cost were “effectively holding the sport hostage”.
All 10 teams face the additional challenge of preparing cars to a radically overhauled set of technical regulations for the 2022 season. RaceFans understands F1 therefore is willing to reduce the number of sprint events this year from the originally proposed six to just three once againas a compromise solution.
Sprint events were originally due to take place at Bahrain, Imola, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Red Bull Ring, Zandvoort and Interlagos this year.
The series is also considering alterations to the format in order to address concerns which arose following its introduction last year. These include increasing the number of points awarded and identifying the pole position winner as the driver who set the quickest time in a regular qualifying session.
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61 comments on “F1 proposes three sprint races instead of six in 2022”
Red Andy (@red-andy)
3rd February 2022, 11:57
Moving in the right direction. A further reduction of three would be ideal.
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
3rd February 2022, 12:01
@red-andy Yep, my sentiments entirely.
I did the keeping-an-open-mind thing last year, wasn’t impressed, don’t want the distraction from what will hopefully be a cracking season with the new cars.
3rd February 2022, 13:24
I thought they wanted to change the format a little because of the feedback.
3rd February 2022, 18:12
Same here @keithcollantine and @red-andy; I do think that I might agree with Brown’s feeling that it’s wrong in principle that they couldn’t agree on a way to do the six races they previously seemed to have agreed on, but I personally won’t miss them at all.
In fact, on the reminder that Bahrain will have one too, I am annoyed already that my intent to ignore F1 until shortly before the race on the sprint weekends hits the snag that the downgraded ‘quali’ on Friday is also the first time these cars will run in anger, meaning I’d probably have to watch it (yeah I guess @keithcollantine doesn’t have the luxury of the choice, for his readers, I suppose I’ll call it a showing of solidarity ;-)
3rd February 2022, 15:02
Hehe (you’re right)
Le Jimster (@lejimster82)
3rd February 2022, 16:10
Ha! Yes, keep reducing by 3 until we get the correct amount (zero, zilch, nada)
3rd February 2022, 20:38
2 sprint races in 2023, 1 in 2024, none in 2025!
3rd February 2022, 12:16
I imagine these guys from F1 as politicians, leading a government. That would soon become a new N. Korean utopia, based on how much they value popular opinion and how much they prefer forcing their decisions once they make a decision (which they do alone). We even had polls where people voted against (and I’m sure they used bot votes too, because who wouldn’t today?), but they still claimed to have “overwhelming support”. That’s how it’s done, in Belarus…
3rd February 2022, 12:46
Good news – I’m sure money will talk but it would be great if Bahrain can be one of the 3 dropped. It’s so disappointing that for the first race with the new cars, they are going to mess around with the weekend, shorten practice and put qualifying on a Friday.
3rd February 2022, 12:51
Money did talk @petebaldwin.
Three teams want more of it.
And as for Bahrain – the less we (and the teams) know about the cars early in the season, the better it is for the rest of the year.
3rd February 2022, 18:50
But if we go into Bahrain as a sprint weekend they are going to be going into the first race of the season with far more race relevant data than normal having had a race the day prior.
As a normal weekend we would be going into Sunday with a lot of unknowns about how these new cars will race. As a sprint weekend we’d be going into Sunday having seen a race the day before.
That is (for me at least) going to take a lot of the excitement & anticipation away from that opening GP.
3rd February 2022, 20:49
Meh, for me it makes no difference on this matter, the sprint race in that case becomes the pace revealing one instead of the race, a day earlier, a day later is the same imo.
4th February 2022, 4:30
I don’t have a problem with them having a sprint race at the beginning of the season, @stefmeister.
Competitive track time is always more interesting and worthwhile for (the vast majority of) viewers than practice time is.
And so far the sprints have lead to more exciting races the following day anyway. I’m keen(ish) to see if that pattern continues.
I don’t see why you’d let an extra small race – that you don’t even have to watch – spoil what you do want to watch.
F1 frog (@f1frog)
3rd February 2022, 20:30
It’s money talks from both sides. Hopefully it will be a case of two wrongs making a right and the sprint races will be cancelled, although it would only be for a year.
4th February 2022, 11:34
The upside is that a Bahrain sprint race can’t allow teams to mostly undo a penalty. I though that it was very unfair how that was possible at sprint races.
3rd February 2022, 12:50
Typical greedy big few teams. It’s always the big ones, or 1 big one and their slaves. Sorry, customers…
Brown’s comment is about right. The teams have too much power to stop things in F1 for the wrong reasons.
3rd February 2022, 13:13
I’m pretty sure that F1 have much more power to make changes than before, not so long ago I think you needed unanimous approval for anything except safety.
The issue here is the lateness of the change request, I think if a change is mooted within a certain number of months before the season starts then unanimous approval is needed. The further out you are then the fewer teams need to agree.
F1 just needs to have a longer term strategy and plan all the changes far enough in advance to lower the hurdles during the approval process.
3rd February 2022, 13:43
They’ve had the entire winter break @chimaera2003.
Seriously – F1 teams with a $140m budget (plus exclusions – so still astronomical) are childishly bickering about the potential of a small amount of possible damage sustained while in competition. Track time that was already allocated anyway – just for a different purpose.
Think about that for a moment. Car racing teams demanding that crash damage be reimbursed, when they themselves are responsible for it. Actually – not reimbursed… Paid out regardless of crash damage.
It’s a terrible joke to me – and just another reason why I can’t take F1 seriously.
F1’s political power should not be in the participants hands. Consult them and work with them, sure, but don’t give them the keys. It’s like letting politicians decide how much they deserve to be paid – they’ll always want a better deal for themselves, no matter how wrong it is and how much it drags everyone else down with them.
This should have been sorted long before Christmas. They could have done it before they even left Abu Dhabi. Or arrived there, for that matter.
3rd February 2022, 17:45
S I’m not sure who is holding out for this extra money, but I don’t consider it childish bickering nor greedy. I think if you were in charge of a team you might do the same thing…you know…at least ask. If you don’t ask, you certainly will not get. And as we saw for RBR at Silverstone, the bill can come to 1 mill. and cost a pu from their pool for the season, so I’m not sure why you insist this is just about small amounts of possible damage. Sorted out long before Christmas? Well the season practically went till Christmas, so I don’t blame them there. Anywho…this just to say I’m not sure why you are jumping to these conclusions. I’m sure the teams will either get some extra money, and there’s plenty of that in F1 to be had, or they won’t, and life will go on. If they’ve caused 3 less Sprint Races this season it seems most will be thrilled by that.
4th February 2022, 4:47
Personally, I wouldn’t ask, @robbie. My acceptance of all the conditions and risks associated with racing is covered by my decision to enter the series. If I run a race team, I’m there first and foremost to race and secondly to get my car on TV and sell advertising space. More people will watch a competitive session than a non-competitive practice session.
If the teams are that worried about the (so far, small chance of) damage, they are in the wrong business.
What they want is to reinstate some of the reduction in the budget cap, so that they can spend that money of car development.
I don’t think it takes a detective to figure out who the three teams are.
There is indeed plenty of money in F1 – but they’ve also agreed to run the entire season under an existing budget cap.
And if most (?) people are thrilled at less racing, maybe they should just turn their TV’s off and do something else on weekends.
4th February 2022, 11:40
Even without crashes or such, the engine and other parts still sustains damage just by running it. Those parts are limited and teams get penalties for exceeding the parts count.
4th February 2022, 16:01
S You might not ask, but I don’t blame those who are for doing so. What’s the worst that can happen? They’re told no and they move on. The caps and the Sprint Races, including the proposal for 6 this season, is all pretty new. I think you are overblowing this by equating their asking to being in the wrong business. I think it is pure speculation on your part that they want an addition to the cap so they can spend that on car development. Surely if F1 sees some merit to what they are asking, and they suspect all the teams want to do with this money is spend it on car development, a separate bit of money could be set aside in reserve for teams that might need it from Sprint Race damage, rather than just be doled out to the teams at the start of the season, needed or not. I think something could be done here quite easily and it needn’t be that complicated, nor do I think the 3 teams that are asking think F1 is so naive that they could get away with taking said money and using it on something other than to cover Sprint Race damage.
5th February 2022, 8:47
That’s not what the teams are demanding though, @robbie.
They want the money regardless. And when they have money, what do you think they’d do with it?
Even if it was a case of sending the repair bill to the FIA for reimbursement, how much exactly does it cost for those parts in materials, labour and production time? $100? $1,000? $100,000? It’s not like any part of an F1 car has a standard retail or wholesale $$$ value – everything’s a prototype.
Do you honestly think the teams wouldn’t exploit this? New parts here, new parts there, this one’s got a tiny scratch so replace that too… This one looks perfectly OK and takes no structural force, but we’ll give it an x-ray and an ultrasound, so add that to the bill… This one’s got dust on it and needs to be cleaned, so an extra 10 minutes of labour for that….
5th February 2022, 15:57
S No I hear what you are saying, but I just think that ‘demanding’ is one thing, and getting is another. I don’t think this has to be anything other than a negotiation. I have read that the teams are Mercedes, RBR, and Ferrari, and that one of them is even asking for an extra 5 million added to the budget cap. I have also read that FIA is not going to go for that. If they did agree to that then all that would mean is that the top teams that can reach the cap easily would have an extra 5 mill to play with and the teams that can’t even reach the cap would be left out. I also don’t think sending them a repair bill would work either.
What I would do if I was F1/FIA and I wanted the 6 Sprint Races badly enough is to offer all teams an extra 2 or 3 mill at the start of the season for damage and/or added wear and tear on the equipment and personnel, and in order to rid themselves of any need to police it any more than the caps already are just let the teams add the 2 or 3 mill to their budgets and do with it what they wish. If they incur some Sprint damage throughout the season, then that has been compensated for ahead of time. If teams have spent that money on car development instead, that’s on them as they had the option to hold that in reserve specifically for Sprint damage.
Sure, increasing the caps would not cost F1 anything as that extra room to spend would be coming from the teams’ resources, whereas my suggestion of giving them an extra few mill would cost F1, but then it would be fair for all teams and they get whatever value they see in the Sprints out of it too, presumably in bigger audience, bigger buzz, added sponsorship, happier race promoters.
3rd February 2022, 12:55
Here’s another radical suggestion: now hear me out, what about zero sprint races?
3rd February 2022, 13:06
Strange that FOM is pushing for 6 “Brawn Sprints” when Brawn promised reforms which have not been mentioned or announced. If the reforms makes them standalone from qualifying/race I would be happy and they can do what they want. Otherwise, I they should reduce the “Brawn Sprints” from 6 to 3 to 0.
3rd February 2022, 13:16
The issue I have always had is that the sprint races have a material impact on the full race. I agree that the spirit races should be completely standalone and I maybe would go as far as having it as top 10 reverse grid (from main qualifying) and have it as a separate half-points championship.
3rd February 2022, 13:16
Come on FOM, we can go lower than that.
3rd February 2022, 13:23
Fewer the better. Zero would be my ideal number. Or maybe just one, for the season finale.
3rd February 2022, 16:54
You meant after the season finale, didn’t you?
Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
3rd February 2022, 13:49
If we have to put up with sprint races, I really like the idea posed here a while back about using Bahrain outer ring again.
Sprint tracks for sprint races – would at least throw some variance in the mix.
Tracks like Bahrain, Paul Ricard, Silverstone, Abu Dhabi, and Azerbaijan are capable of running shorter layouts for sprints.
3rd February 2022, 13:51
Not sure if you noticed – and admittedly a sample size of 3 isn’t particularly accurate – but those three sprint events last year had three of the highest race scores of the season.
Not the sprint score – the actual race score.
It seems that that material impact was to the positive – not the negative @chimaera2003.
3rd February 2022, 14:12
So the races were rated because Hamilton and Verstappen had
b) a battle
not because they had sprints.
Go have a word with yourself.
3rd February 2022, 15:05
You sure about that, is that just what you want to believe?
Why did the most intense battles of the season occur at those three particular events?
They each had a small version of a GP just the day before on the same track… That’s a lot of useful information for teams to put to good use… Plenty of performance and strategy details in there to exploit.
If you are ignoring that element…. Go have a word with yourself.
F1 frog (@f1frog)
3rd February 2022, 16:54
Here is the full explanation for why I am against sprint races: https://f1frogblog.wordpress.com/2022/01/03/sprint-races/
I don’t think the fact that the Grands Prix after the sprint races were exciting is a reason to keep the sprint races, for reasons I explain in factor 3.
3rd February 2022, 18:24
Solid blogpost that @f1frog, though I am possibly biased because I think you captured all of my issues with the sprint.
4th February 2022, 5:42
Yeah, a lot of subjectivity there @f1frog.
The feelings of devaluation are yours – but not everyone feels the same way. I don’t think having another, separate race in the same cars on the same track on the same weekend has a huge detrimental effect on the other race, nor the ‘feeling’ of the whole event. It works great for F2, and could be fine for F1. Both races are different from each other, and so each has it’s own attraction an interest points.
Race starts are usually the most exciting part of F1, so why wouldn’t we want two of them. They are also usually the most challenging time for the driver, contain the most jeopardy, risk and potential for gain/loss, and the part where they can use their skills and racecraft to their fullest extent.
It’s after that that things tend to settle down and go stale.
There are a multitude of reasons why many other series run multiple races on a weekend – and it’s got nothing to do with them being inferior to F1. Because they aren’t.
You have every right to be against them if you wish – but others accept them and some even want them.
4th February 2022, 16:04
S While I am not 100% sold on Sprint Races, I sure lean towards what you are saying here and have from the start.
3rd February 2022, 14:07
So three Sprints rather than higher-than-originally planned budget cap upper limit, i.e., last year’s figure.
Good, albeit entirely abandoning Sprints for this year is still an option. We’ll see.
bull mello (@bullmello)
3rd February 2022, 15:50
3rd February 2022, 15:53
They fewer, the better.
3rd February 2022, 15:53
3rd February 2022, 16:29
I hope they just drop this idea, it didn’t work, nor added anything, just devalued the Qualifying. 0 sprint races please.
3rd February 2022, 16:59
I’m going to say something odd here: I would rather have 6 sprints than 3 sprints.
Obviously, like almost everyone, I’d much rather have no sprints at all, but if we absolutely must have the format, I’d rather have a few more on a semi-regular basis rather than 3 with big gaps between them. 6 would possibly make them feel a little bit more normal (even if that’s not the best thing), while having 3 just makes them stick out even more.
3rd February 2022, 17:56
I was hoping for an increase to 10 sprint races, but hey ho, you can’t always get what you want. Sprint races a way better than 3 pratice sessions nobody cares about.
3rd February 2022, 20:59
This is a good point, a lot of people are comparing sprints to the races, it’s obvious races are better, they’re 3x longer, so more chance stuff happens, but you should compare sprints to practice, practice are so pointless (as a viewer, since you can’t exactly read much into the lap times) that I never ever watched one, sprint races are better than practice sessions.
3rd February 2022, 22:40
@pmccarthy_is_a_legend @esploratore1 I don’t agree at all that practice sessions are pointless or boring.
I enjoy watching the practice sessions because of the fact that lap times are less relevant & because of the more laid back atmosphere of the Friday sessions because that gives you the opportunity to be able to just watch the cars, Switch around between the various available OnBoard feeds & analyse/compare what everyone is doing & how each car is performing. It’s also when FOM give us more of the analysis/comparison graphics, The more data based stuff (Braking points, speed at the apex etc…) been things I really enjoy to see.
When you get to qualifying & the race you need to be paying closer attention to the lap times, positions, strategy etc… so don’t really have time to do any of that.
One of the biggest things I didn’t like about the 3 sprints last year was how the format change made Friday feel so rushed with the single practice session been so manic that there was no time to take any of it in or do any of the things I usually love doing during the Friday sessions. And then how the Saturday session been run under parc-ferme made it just about long runs which just made it feel less meaningful or interesting while that is on a normal weekend usually the most interesting of the 3 practice sessions given how the focus of it tends to be on qualifying so we get more low fuel runs.
I just really enjoy & get far more out of a normal weekend than I do a sprint format weekend.
Roger Ayles (@roger-ayles)
3rd February 2022, 22:50
@pmccarthy_is_a_legend @esploratore1 Just adding something to @stefmeister comment.
As somebody who attends races I think the Friday practice sessions are by far the best sessions of the weekend as they give you the time/opportunity to walk the track & watch from different places which add’s so much value to attending the circuit.
When you are watching qualifying or the race you want to stay in your seat & watch the screens to follow the action. But in practice when you don’t really need to follow the action too closely you can walk about & just appreciate & take in how the cars perform in different places which gives you a far greater thrill & appreciation for how amazing these cars are.
I think the only people that want to see less practice are those that don’t watch them & don’t attend race weekends so therefore don’t get just how valuable practice sessions truly are for fans & just how much you can get out of them.
If you don’t enjoy them then fine just don’t watch them. But don’t take them away from the fans who do!!!!!
4th February 2022, 5:52
I’d recommend that you get your eyes off the screen and out of the numbers, and watch and enjoy the actual race cars and the racing, @stefmeister.
Leave the number crunching for work. Car racing weekends are play time.
It’s more fun when you don’t know what will happen next.
Some, perhaps, @roger-ayles. Definitely not all.
Many (most?) want car racing to be about car racing. That’s what we are paying for, and making huge sacrifices to attend venues to see. I’m fully confident that you know why Friday attendance is the lowest of the lot – and it isn’t just because it’s a work day.
Same applies to sprints, right?
4th February 2022, 12:21
I do. I wasn’t saying that during qualifying/races I am not watching the track action or just crunching numbers.
My point was that you need to pay closer attention to those things compared to practice because you need to be on top on who’s at risk of been eliminated from the qualifying segments, Who’s in with a shot at pole, What the sector times are, How strategy is playing out, If somebody pitting is likely to undercut etc…
And as I say I tend to use the practice sessions to just watch/enjoy the cars because they are more laid back & because lap times & stuff don’t matter as much. Thats why I enjoy watching the practice sessions so much.
5th February 2022, 8:57
Yeah, I used to do that too @stefmeister, until I realised that it’s better when you don’t.
The element of surprise is massively underrated.
3rd February 2022, 18:10
I don’t understand the indecision. We have had chance to see how the sprint races work, and chance to tweak them accordingly. From a sporting integrity point of view we should have sprint races at every round of the world championship… or none. This current state of affairs with teams vetoing even the possibility of only six rounds seems farcical.
Personally I liked the sprint races, the more on track racing, the better. My only issue was with labelling them ‘sprint qualifying’, as it ruins 70 plus years of statistics and heritage.
3rd February 2022, 21:00
You could maybe give 10, 9, 8 points etc. to the first 10 places in the sprint and make the race start based on the actual quali order, so that the sprint race becomes a separate race. How to set the grid for it though? No idea what’s best.
3rd February 2022, 18:15
Congratulations Liberty Media, Ross Brawn and FIA. You’ve presided over the biggest technical changes we’ve seen in decades and somehow managed to ensure the very first qualifying wont decide who is on pole for the Grand Prix, and the first race is not a Grand Prix.
You need to give your heads a very big wobble.
Roger Ayles (@roger-ayles)
3rd February 2022, 18:27
Would still be 3 too many.
They should scrap these gimmick races entirely as they add nothing to the sport other than devalue the GP by shifting the opening stint of it to the day before which saps away much of the excitement & anticipation away from the start as well as removing the unknowns that are usually part of that opening stint.
They are an abomination on par with things like double points & elimination qualifying….. Although at least with elimination qualifying it was held on Saturday so that most people still had the ability to watch the real qualifying session live which many are unable to do with this awful format bumping it to Fridays.
There is simply zero positive about this Liberty gimmick format & I think it’s clear that a vast majority of the real fans of F1 (Those Ross Brawn seems to think are not normal because he like Liberty obviously has zero respect for us) cannot stand the awful gimmick format which has zero reason to exist & should be abolished & never repeated!
#LibertyOut! #NoToSprints #NoToGimmicks! #RossBrawnIsASellout! #I’veLostAllRespectForRossBrawn! #StopTheAmericanisationOfF1 #F1IsASportBeforeAShow #NoToFakeArtificialDramaShow! #F1AintNascar!
3rd February 2022, 18:39
I agree with that @roger-ayles.
And as I’ve said before i just dislike how the sprints alter the flow/feel of the weekend as well as how the format changes each of the other sessions.
The format for me simply fell flat & i was far less into those 3 weekends as a result.
3rd February 2022, 18:32
I’d much rather there be none.
bull mello (@bullmello)
3rd February 2022, 22:13
So true @stefmeister
4th February 2022, 15:47
4th February 2022, 5:58
This doesn’t make up for shutting the public out from the first testing sessions.
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
4th February 2022, 6:10
Imola was going to be a sprint??? That would worked…
Isn’t it one of those places were it’s very hard to overtake? Why a sprint there?
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