Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2021

F1’s sprint race winners to score eight points in 2022

2022 F1 season

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Formula 1’s sprint races have become more valuable for 2022, with eight points now available for a win instead of three.

The top eight finishers will score points in the revised format which was agreed by the FIA’s F1 Commission in London today. The sport’s governing body confirmed that the commission has unanimously agreed to add three sprint races onto the calendar for the upcoming season.

The first sprint race will be held at Imola during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend on Saturday 23rd April, the fourth round of the championship. The two other sprint races will take place during the Austrian Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring on Saturday 9th July, with the final sprint of the year again being held at Interlagos for the Brazilian Grand Prix during the penultimate race weekend of the season.

The 100km races have officially been renamed from ‘sprint qualifying’ to simply ‘sprint’. The driver who is quickest at the end of the traditional three-stage timed qualifying session on Friday afternoon will be officially recognised as the driver to claim ‘pole position’ during the weekend. However the Saturday sprint race will continue to determine the starting order for Sunday’s grand prix.

The winner of the sprint will receive eight points, the second place driver earns seven and each subsequent position down to eighth paying one point less than the position above it.

Although some of the 10 F1 teams lobbied for an increase to the F1 budget cap for 2022 to accommodate sprint races being included on the calendar, the FIA have confirmed that there will be no increase on the maximum cost cap with the addition of the three sprint rounds.

The 2022 F1 season will begin at the Bahrain International Circuit for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday 20th March.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 61 comments on “F1’s sprint race winners to score eight points in 2022”

    1. I hate this so much.

      1. @hahostolze do you even need to look down this thread to guess which particular poster is going to be singing the praises of Liberty Media for introducing this change though?

        1. Whoever they are, they ought to understand that this is an FIA change, not a Liberty change.

    2. Positives: At least it’s “only” 3 and not 6, and we don’t have a sprint on the first weekend at Bahrain I guess?

      Negatives: Literally everything else.

      1. Another positive is that one is in Imola so probably nothing will happen and it shouldn’t affect the main race too much, although I hate that eight points are now being given to the winner.

        1. Actually this isn’t a positive, because the driver on pole effectively gets a free eight points just for getting the start correct and not making a mistake.

        2. Can you imagine when this is rolled out to all tracks. Suddenly pole in Monaco is the most important points paying Quali of the year. Imagine the excitement of watching cars follow each other around a tight circuit in a ‘sprint’ probably not going that quickly because they don’t want an off to spoil their Sunday race but there is no point in trying to overtake in Monaco in a sprint. A bad quali in Monaco would really sting.

          It’s going to be ‘great’

    3. At least we don’t have the fairly unedifying spectacle of the first racing action of the season being a sprint race.

      Still only a point between each position though, which is unlikely to incentivise overtaking very much.

    4. So the official ‘pole position’ goes to the quickest driver during Friday but for the race on Sunday, the result of the ‘sprint’ will still determine the grid, right? In other words, the driver holding the official ‘pole position’ may not start from pole position on Sunday; does that make sense?!

      1. You’re right I think. “Pole Position” should always belong to the guy who starts on the first grid slot on Sunday…

      2. Think of it more like a single extended race that takes place over 2 days, with a red flag after an hour on the Saturday and a restart on the Sunday.
        “Pole Position” is for the start of the race on Saturday.

    5. What a mess. Cobbled together on the eve of the F1 season as cars are being unveiled. I’m not even outright hostile to an extra sprint race, but this is such a mess.

    6. Still 3 too many.

      I’m glad they are not opening the season with one in Bahrain & I like that the fastest qualifier will go down as the pole winner but I still hate everything else about it.

      I hate the revised weekend format for the sprint weekends & how it ruins the flow the weekend & affects the feel of the other sessions.
      I hate how qualifying isn’t really qualifying with it not determining the grid for the GP.
      I hate how the proper qualifying session is on a Friday which makes it harder to watch live.
      I hate how qualifying not deciding the grid for the GP makes it lack some of the tension & makes it feel less meaningful than on a normal weekend.
      I hate how the sprint takes away from the GP by giving us a build-up, race start & opening stint of a GP the day before which makes the actual GP build-up/start feel exciting & takes away a lot of the unknowns we usually go into the GP with which in turn makes the opening stint of the GP less interesting.

      But above all else I hate how this stupid format makes 3 weekends more valuable than the rest due to them awarding more points.

      If these silly sprints were completely separated from everything else, Not just in terms of not deciding the grid for the GP but also not awarding points for the overall championship i’d completely ignore them. But the fact they are connected to the GP & championship means I have to pay attention to them because they could be a critical factor in not just the GP but also the championship & that really frustrates me.

      1. @stefmeister

        You forgot that the sprint also completely changes the impact of pre-race penalties.

    7. I still believe there is a “happy medium” in introducing the Sprint Race and that would look something like Friday Practice, Friday Sprint, Saturday Practice, Saturday Qualifying (to determine the grid for the race) and lastly Sunday Grand Prix. This format at least doesn’t diminish the value the Qualifying. It would also make more sense to not place the cars into Parc Ferme at the start of the Sprint Race to allow teams the option of swapping power units to use a higher mileage unit during practice and Sprint while reserving newer power units for qualifying and grand prix. Perhaps something else to consider would be to make DRS a “sprint feature” where any team can use DRS at any point (regardless of the 1 second detection point rule) and eliminate DRS during the grand prix.

      1. How would you set the grid for the sprint, out of interest?

        1. Reverse-championship standing, some folks were pushing for this in the past.

          1. Reverse grids aren’t going to happen as the idea simply doesn’t have the support.

            1. Depends how you look at it: some don’t “support” Sprint Races either yet here they are in their second season; DRS doesn’t seem to have the support either, budget caps were/are still debated. Nothing would surprise me in F1, remember Bernie’s Elimination Qualifying format circa 2016?

            2. It may in this context.

    8. The increase to eight points is a very poor development of an already awful idea. So now the Imola GP is worth 34 points, but the Bahrain GP is worth 26. And three sprint wins are worth as much as a GP win, thus devaluing the Grand Prix.
      The sprint race could only be a positive in F1 if it was part of a separate championship and had absolutely no effect on the real championship whatsoever (except prize money).

      1. +1 on the comments. Seems that FOM are doubling down on their mistakes. Can’t wait until the WCC or WDC is crowned with a sprint win on a Saturday. No doubt this will be an “unforeseeable consequence” for FOM.

        I would like to see a stand alone sprint event. It could be an opportunity the try new things and attract a new audience much like cricket did with the one day game and the subsequent 20/20.

      2. @f1frog I take it if you had your way you would get rid of the fastest lap point as well. That is 23 extra points, so nearly a race worth as well. Of course sometimes nobody gets a point for fastest lap, so that I suppose makes some races worth more or less than others as well.

        The thing about ‘devaluing’ the Grand Prix is (imho at least) that it is just a sound bite and in reality the teams and drivers are always going to be just as keen on maximizing their points tally over a weekend be it for 34 total, or 26. To the drivers and teams every race is crucial to the Championship fight, and their behaviour will not change on the 20 out of 23 weekends that offer 8 less.

    9. And all those that threw out the welcome mat for Liberty Media ……………..

      This is how it was always going to go.

      1. Meanwhile, Liberty has rescued F1 from extinction via budget caps, fairer money distribution, and cars that will be able to race closely. Yeah I’m not bothered by 3 out of 23 races having an extra race to them. Wouldn’t be bothered if it was 6 either. I’m just grateful we have F1 and it’s about to embark on a much better chapter.

        1. @robbie

          Liberty has rescued F1 from extinction

          F1 was hardly anywhere near extinction before Liberty turned up. It had flaws sure but it would have been fine & quite a few of the things such as cost caps & changes to the distribution were been discussed already.

          And the cost cap been discussed before was in a lot of ways better as they were talking about allowing more design freedoms which would have been far more preferable to what we have ended up with imo.

        2. @roger-ayles We know the likes of Williams was on the brink, and it has been said that more than a few other lesser teams were too. Would Haas still be in F1 without the caps and the better money distribution? That’s no guarantee. The introduction of the expensive and complex hybrid pus changed the financial goal posts for all but the ‘have’ teams. It does not sound at all like it ‘would have been fine’ but that sure is an easy thing to type though.

          The cost caps being discussed before? Sure, they had been talked about for at least a couple of decades, and were never going to be put together in a working form under BE who had gone for the CVC money grab and given all the power to the top 4 teams…you know…the foxes in charge of the hen house. The rich foxes who would far prefer unlimited spending and design freedoms, even if it meant 6 teams on the grid. But actually in reality the teams agreed to the caps and how they would be implemented, the fairer money distribution, and these types of cars, exactly because they knew that’s what was needed at this juncture in order to sustain F1 and it’s 10 teams, and potentially grow that to more teams than 10. Even the top teams see the importance of having a fuller grid than an emptier one.

        3. @robbie

          Meanwhile, Liberty has rescued F1 from extinction

          No, they didn’t. They didn’t “save” Williams it’s just a name now, see how long it lasts. Haas is parts bin car, not a manufacturer. It’s there to make up the numbers, so is Alpha Tauri and Alfa Romeo. They will never ever be allowed to win a WCC.
          Being there just to fill the grid is a ridiculous reason to have them around. Now you may come back with something like “would you like to see only five teams racing?”. Of course, my answer would be no, I would like to see five more independent teams on the grid. But the current direction of Liberty is blocking that.

          1. @johnrkh I disagree. I never claimed they (F1) saved Williams. But Williams was brought to the brink where they needed to sell it in order for it to survive. As to your suggestion that Liberty is ‘blocking’ more teams? How so? Now you may come back with something like the 200mill entry fee, but that is something not every team would have to pay, and with an F1 that is far more affordable in which to play, that has a much fairer money distribution, and that has cars that can actually race closely, new entrants will have a much greater believe that they will firstly get their entry fee back in marketing impact and literally in prize money in fairly short order, as well as actually stand a chance of building themselves up towards being a top level team. The next pu formula will also be less expensive and more plug-and-play which BE had gone away from with the hybrid pu era in it’s beginning form.

            1. @robbie

              I never claimed they (F1) saved Williams.

              Well you did actually along with Haas.

              new entrants will have a much greater believe that they will firstly get their entry fee back in marketing impact and literally in prize money in fairly short order, as well as actually stand a chance of building themselves up towards being a top level team.

              What new entrants would they be?

              The next pu formula will also be less expensive and more plug-and-play

              Yes you have said before you are in favour of the spec (“world”) engine as Totd called it.

            2. @johnrkh Perhaps do as you have told me before…read. As you should know, Williams was done and therefore sold their team as they could not hang on any longer.

              What new entrants? Audi/Porsche sounds like a good bet for starters.

              World engine=Spec engine? Like the current one isn’t? Is that your latest thing to complain about now? The engines aren’t free to be innovated until they spend themselves into oblivion? Hey at least you have another 5 years to rag that one out before they insult us with said new pu:)

            3. @robbie

              Williams was done and therefore sold their team as they could not hang on any longer.

              Exactly so how is that saving Williams?
              A person drops rare bottle of wine into the ocean
              robbie hey no worries I saved it, here’s the label and a cheap knock off bottle you can put it on:))

              Audi/Porsche sounds like a good bet for starters.

              So now you are certain VW will be entering their own works team into F1. You have flipped flopped about this previously, can you tell me when?

              World engine=Spec engine? Like the current one isn’t?

              Well no it isn’t robbie

              The engines aren’t free to be innovated until they spend themselves into oblivion?

              Totally different thing robbie.

              Hey at least you have another 5 years to rag that one out before they insult us with said new pu:)

              Talk about the next five years Redbull didn’t stay in the engine manufacturing business for long :)

            4. @johnrkh Getting back to my original point to roger, no, everything was not fine in F1, and for example the budget caps didn’t come in time to save the Williams family from retaining the team. Pre-budget-caps, Williams ended up having to sell the team. Haas has been known to be considering whether or not to stay.

              You have invented that I have ‘flipped flopped’ on VW. All I have ever done is go with whatever articles have said about VW’s potential involvement over the years. The latest we heard on this site within the last few months is that their participation, likely from 2026 onward, was looking like it might well happen this time and all that remains is an official announcement.

              Your stuff about engines is just meh…”Yes you have said before you are in favour of the spec (“world”) engine as Totd called it.” I don’t recall saying much either way on the new engines and it is what it is. They are apparently going to be less complex, less expensive, and more plug and play. What’s not to like? But your reference to a World engine and seemingly equating that to a spec engine is just a whatever moment for me. Perhaps you have information on strict development regs surrounding the pu for 2026 onward? Do share and then maybe I will understand where this “spec (“world”) engine as Totd called it” comment you’ve made comes from. As far as I can tell teams are on board, not to mention outsiders the likes of VW, with the next generation pu, whatever exactly that will look like and however much freedom the teams will have to innovate it.

            5. @robbied90

              All I have ever done is go with whatever articles have said about VW’s potential involvement over the years.

              Yes but you keep backing the wrong one’s robbie :)

              The latest we heard on this site within the last few months is that their participation, likely from 2026 onward, likely from 2026 onward, was looking like it might well happen this time and all that remains is an official announcement.

              That’s a very long bow to draw. Entering F1 as a PU supplier is a big enough step (Redbull, McLaren)? Coming in with a new team in such uncertain times in the Motor industry…I don’t think so.
              Not to mention the costs they are about to incur in building new EV vehicle manufacturing facilities while maintaining their existing ICE vehicle manufacturing facilities, a trade-off I believe with the unions to maintain jobs in the short to medium term.
              It’s not impossible and it would be terrific if it were to happen, but we’ll see.

              As for the new PU regulations coming in2026, I think it’s fair to look at the new much stricter chassis and aero regs starting this year to gauge the strong probability that the PU regs will be much stricter as well.

              As far as I can tell teams are on board, not to mention outsiders the likes of VW, with the next generation pu, whatever exactly that will look like and however much freedom the teams will have to innovate it.

              Well, we don’t know which manufacturers will be participating after 2026 do we robbie.

    10. Red Bull Ring & Interlagos are decently racing-friendly on paper, but Imola not as much, so I wish Montreal, Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, or COTA instead.
      I guess the intention is spreading out the three Sprints, albeit Spa is decently far away from both Red Bull Ring & Interlagos.
      Well, at least a fairer points distribution, coincidently, one I had suggested before alongside top-5 & 6 alternatives.

    11. [Grange Hill Kids] Just say NO!!

    12. If it has to be a thing, why does it have to have anything to do with qualifying? Make it some separate session with the grid determined by FP1 times or something and leave qualy and the Grand prix as it is.

    13. If every Sprint could be as exciting as Brazil 2021 that would be great. One can hope more points will help the drivers mix it up more and hopefully the 2022 car specs help with the show. Maybe the Sprint will work. I have my doubts.

      1. If every sprint could be as exciting as Brazil 2021 it would decisively show why the format is a dud, @blueruck. There is nothing exciting about one driver in the fastest car recovering from the back of the field, especially when most of his opponents are not trying to defend against him. It was the best sprint event of the season, but that isn’t saying much.

      2. @blueruck What was that exciting about Brazil’s gimmick race?

        It was the driver in the fastest car easily highway pass DRS-ing his way by most of the field with a majority of them not even trying to defend.

        It was completely forgettable from a racing standpoint. No battles, No real overtaking, No exciting moments. A perfect demonstration of all the negatives of DRS & the awful quantity over quality mindset.

      3. @roger-ayles @red-andy
        The one thing I dislike about the Internet, a person can say I enjoyed x and people line up to tell them why they were wrong and how could they be so stupid to enjoy something that was so awful.

        Of the 3 sprints, I enjoyed Brazil the most. If you didn’t, keep it to yourself.

        1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
          15th February 2022, 0:53

          @blueruck phrasing is important. Saying Brazil spring was exciting as opposed to you found it exciting is different.

          The 2 other posters were correct in being allowed to raise objections. Otherwise you are disputing you’re own point.

    14. It is here… ah :(
      Maybe some low midfield team goes all banzai kawabunga for points in those sprints. If no chance to get it in grand prix.
      Mr Saturday… :)

    15. Once the money is sorted we’ll see as many “sprint races” as they can fit in and an increase in the points awarded. Further diminishing the Grand Prix and as I have said the possibility of shortening the Sunday race is real.

      1. If you extend laps in the sprint upward, and shorten the main race downward so they both have the same amount of laps, then you can have a double grand prix weekend. Then we can keep watching the old records get broken.

    16. Few notes.

      Liberty again pushed some sort of reverse grid sprint but it was rejected by everyone else with it also been noted that it doesn’t have fan support.

      Ross Brawn & others were instead pushing for the sprint to be completely separate from the rest of the weekend. However it was pointed out that under that scenario anyone not scoring points would have no reason to race & we would likely see cars further down retiring to save the engine if it was obvious they had no chance of scoring points.
      It was then suggested that everyone be awarded a point, The winner getting 20 & last getting 1. However it was felt that held too big a risk of affecting the championship.

      The idea was also put forward to have the sprint on Friday so that qualifying could lead into the GP but it was felt doing that would give those who are against the sprint a bigger incentive to skip it while having it on Saturday & decide the grid gives them a greater need to watch it.

      It seems that what we have ended up with is actually something none of those who voted for it actually like & that it got voted through essentially because Liberty have let it be known that they want a race to be held on Saturday no matter what.

      1. Many thanks for the insight. F1 may have new owners but the process of change is as chaotic as usual.

        1. The process of change is worse than it’s ever been – now instead of a single leader making a decision and telling everyone the way it’s going to be, they have a semi-democracy where ultimately nobody will be satisfied and everyone will complain that they didn’t get what they wanted. And so it will all go round and round again and again.

          1. S personally I am glad it is more of a democracy in F1, and as to nobody being satisfied and everyone complaining…some say that is the sign of a good compromise…and as I say I’m glad the teams get a say and get to shoot some things that Liberty wants down too.

    17. They’re just gonna shove this down everyone’s throats and thats it. This is EXACTLY what happens when you give them an inch. A few years later they’ve taken a mile.

    18. Step in the right direction, there needs to be more incentive than a mere point for overtaking someone during sprint races! This will also give points for the first 8, so it’s fairer towards non-top teams.

      1. Well, I mean, it’s only 1 point if you overtake a person, but before you could only go for max 3 points, now 8 starts to be a more decent amount and more balanced with the race: sprints last 1\3 of a race, so they should give 1\3 points, not 1\8.

    19. I love this so much. Hopefully by next season, we’ll have a sprint at every race weekend.

    20. Because what the world needs in these challenging climate times is more fuel burned so Liberty can push logos round the screen for longer at each weekend. The extra points is just to try and give them more importance so people feel they have to watch the charade. The very principal of the sprint races is appalling and the sooner the sport gets rid of them the better.

    21. Terrible idea. If we are going to have points for the sprint they should come from the main race, so 8 points for a sprint win but only 17 for a main win.

      More generally, I can accept sprints on alternative layouts, otherwise the next time I want sprints suggested is if we go back to around 16 races. The calendar is already too long as it is.

    22. I’m not completely against “new” things. And I’m not too worried about the confusion aspect of who is really on pole or whatever. I think it’s a waste of time because we learned that, without the dynamics of tire wear and fuel burn, the cars basically line up in order of raw pace and stay there.

      What is new is that you have another standing start, which can cause cars to go out of position, which we have also added for restarts. Since the starts are the true source of excitement, maybe FIA should look into a single elimination drag race tournament for each Friday. (Then FIA can do a 5 minute long montage of each race showing each driving making about 20 apparent gear changes like a Fast and Furious film.)

    23. F1’s $print race winners to score eight points in 2022

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