Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2022

Why F1’s sprint race pole position fix is merely cosmetic

2022 F1 season

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Formula 1’s sprint event format returns for a second season in this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

The first of three sprints this year will take place at Imola following off-season revisions which Liberty Media hope will win over more fans to a format change which has proved divisive.

Only one change of substance has been made. The extra Saturday races will now award more points: Eight for a win instead of three, running down to one point for eighth place instead of third.

The other alterations are merely cosmetic. These include renaming the Saturday race from ‘sprint qualifying’ to the ‘sprint session’.

This appears to be part of an attempt by F1 to downplay how the sprint events supplants the traditional qualifying session as the means of deciding the starting grid.

In the same vein, F1 has been at pains to claim one of the most frequently criticised aspects of the sprints has been addressed. Last year several drivers, as well as many fans, objected to the Saturday races being used to decide the grid for the grand prix, including pole position.

When F1 introduced sprints last year it played up the novelty of this chance, proclaiming: “For an F1 sprint series race, pole position goes to the winner of F1 sprint itself.” It failed to anticipate how unpopular it would prove: Sebastian Vettel was among those who described it as “wrong”.

F1 claims it has taken the criticism on board and changed it for this year. “The driver who sets the fastest time in qualifying – which on sprint weekends will take place on Friday – will be attributed ‘pole position’,” it announced when this year’s sprint rounds were confirmed.

However Formula 1’s rules are set by the FIA, and its regulations make it unambiguously clear that at sprint events pole position will continue to be decided by Saturday’s race, not Friday’s qualifying session. Article 41.4 (a) states:

“The grid for the race will be drawn up based on the final classification of the sprint session with the driver finishing first on pole position.”

Nonetheless F1 and the teams have been keen to push the idea that whichever driver is quickest on Friday will be regarded as the pole position winner ‘for statistical purposes’, irrespective of the fact first place and all the other places on the grid won’t be decided until the day after, per the rule book.

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In a video released by Mercedes earlier this month the team’s trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin stated: “Pole position now is awarded for the fastest driver in qualifying, not in the sprint race itself. So it doesn’t matter what happens on Saturday, if you were the fastest driver around the lap, you get that pole position and that will remain in the record books.”

Report: F1 “wrong” to call Sprint Qualifying winner the pole position holder – Vettel
Different statisticians may treat the upcoming race differently: The regulations make no reference to a statistical definition of ‘pole position’. But having one driver fastest in qualifying and a different driver on pole position is nothing new; it’s been happening since the fifties.

Why didn’t F1 make the sprint races standalone points-scoring events with no bearing on the grid? Because doing so would have run the risk of drivers intentionally retiring from them.

Using the sprint races to set the grid for Sunday’s grand prix means every driver on the grid has a reason to stay on track until the end. Take that away and suddenly the driver in last place has a stronger incentive to retire before the finish.

Ordinarily the 20th-placed driver would have virtually no chance of moving up 12 places into the points-paying positions. Therefore, as non-points scoring finishes do not count towards their championship classification (unlike in grands prix), they may as well reduce the mileage on their tightly-restricted parts by pulling out. The possibility of a succession of last-placed drivers retiring from the closing laps of a sprint race because participating in it was (literally) point-less would not fit with F1’s endless hyping of new format.

Could F1 have solved that problem by extending the points positions for sprint races far beyond the top 10 finishers? Not without knock-on effects which would have proved undesirable: The number of points awarded for grands prix would need to rise in order to ensure no Saturday finishing positions were worth more points than their Sunday equivalents.

F1 painted itself into a corner with its sprint events. Every driver needs a tangible reason to participate in them, and as F1 couldn’t award enough points for all of them, it had to be grid positions. Faced last year with the unpopularity of that change, F1 reasoned it was better to make a cosmetic change than a substantive one.

But loudly proclaiming the winner of Friday’s qualifying session as the official pole position winner will only cause confusion if someone else wins Saturday’s sprint race or grid penalties put a different driver on pole position. As was the case in all three of last year’s sprints.

There was another solution F1 could have opted for: To spare itself the headache entirely by scrapping the sprint format, which it seems few would miss. But as long as the commercial upside to sprint races is thought to outweigh the sporting complications it causes, that isn’t on the cards.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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74 comments on “Why F1’s sprint race pole position fix is merely cosmetic”

  1. They can dress it up however they like, sprint races/qualifying/sessions are pointless, detract from the overall weekend and don’t offer “more racing” (they actually reduce overall track time for F1)

    1. yeah, but it gets people watching more. I normally just catch the highlights from practice on youtube at most, but on sprint weekends, they’ve got me for qualifying on Friday, the Sprint on Saturday and the race on Sunday.

      1. True, I think it’s their point, I don’t even watch highlights of practice cause they’re a pointless session from a spectator’s point of view.

        1. there was a radio host here in the US that my dad always listened to growing up that gave a very blunt explanation of his business. I’m old so this was pre-internet days but the likes of facebook and google, it’s more important now. What he said to his audience was the “You guys that listen to my show are not my customers. My job is not to entertain you. My customers are the advertisers that pay me to run ads during my show. My job is to deliver a group of people to them to hear the ad they are paying for. I do that by having an interesting show that you want to hear and making sure you’re curious about what’s coming up next that you don’t change the channel during commercials, You’re, the audience, are the product that i’m delivering to my real customer that i have to keep happy if i want to keep my job.”

        2. Now I don’t know what i am. I always thought I was a spectator.

      2. @lancer033 the evidence from the broadcasters and, if what the poster gt-racer says is true, from Liberty Media’s own info on viewing figures, seems to be mixed at best.

        In some cases, it might have resulted in increased viewing figures, but the picture is obscured by the fact that those events were also much more heavily promoted than usual – the combination of the novelty element and the more substantial advertising push means at least some of that initial bump seems to be more down to that.

        In some of the later races, the indication is that it wasn’t succeeding in the way that the broadcasters or Liberty Media might have hoped – the viewing figures from the broadcasters suggested that the sprint races might have acted to pull some viewers from the main race, meaning that, over both qualifying and the race, it was less successful at generating new viewers than hoped and seemed to be mainly shifting viewers from one part of the weekend to the other.

  2. For a sport that ‘loudly’ professes to be forward thinking it sure don’t like change that much. Its nowhere near perfect but nor is qually ‘fast at front slow at back’ nor is any part of f1 tbh. Its 3 20min races a year…

  3. Get rid of Single Stint races.

    They’re a joke. Just ask Gasly. Punted out of Monza through no fault of his own, steering buggered he misses the real race. Year before, no Stint race? He wins Monza.

    Then there’s the impact on the development race as we’re seeing this weekend.

    Get rid of it. Ridiculous.

    Destroying great GP weekends because they know great crowds will turn up regardless and they’re then parlaying that as a vote for Stint weekends.

    Both European Stint weekends last year just created more disgusting driving from the front runners. Silverstone, Monza, only one of them finished the real from the four opportunities between them.

    The more you have atrocious driving from a rivalry that looked more like dodgem cars at a fun fair than great drivers in F1, the worse that devolves into practically anarchy (especially when you add a very dubious race director to the mix).

    Just get rid of these Stint races and force the drivers to use all three compounds in the real race. That way, we get three race stints of harder running, less tyre conservation, and therefore the same as what Stint races are pretending to provide.

    They can follow now. Tracks are getting a bit better by design. Why not get rid of Stint races and trial DRS-free races a few times this year instead … if they must tinker around?

    1. Everyone spectator at the track appreciates them. I guess its just the armchair superfans who dont

    2. Why can’t you say sprint probably?

  4. I think we are beyond cosmetic now.
    Those are races. FIA doesnt want them to be called races. Then they called them sprint qualifying, but they should count as qualifying.
    I am ok with the fact that Liberty wants to spce things up, but trying to gaslight everybody with different names is beyond farcical, almost disrespectful – a sign that they dont really care about their audience.
    Particularly I have no problem with some alternative weekend racing a distribuition – shorter Sat races, longer Sun races – but this dance around the name and effect on Sunday is kind of tiresome.

  5. Disagree completely. As you’d said yourself this isn’t the first time the winner of qualifying doesn’t automatically get to start from first on the grid. However, it’s logical that the driver who’s fastest over a lap ges credited for what is considered a pure speed award. So F1’s solution is correct. And as for the claim that few would miss the sprint format, you contradict yourself by saying that commercially it makes sense to keep it. If most would want it scrapped then what’s the commercial purpose to keep it? But F1 surveys prove that’s not the case. Most fans would definitely not want it scrapped, at least not yet. Personally I’m on the fence still about whether it is a worthwhile addition to the weekend but it definitely deserves another chance to prove itself.

    1. Every poll I’ve seen has fans against sprint races, including one here. Even the official one was just carefully worded to say fans weren’t against it.

      1. @glynh I’ve seen otherwise. The most important poll where the fans were against it was the Motorsport poll. However, the question was about “sprint race at every grand prix”. Which was never even considered by anyone. Talk about careful wording…

    2. I think its a bit odd that the ‘pole position’ could start last in the race, finish last and still go away with an effective 6th place (8 pts).

      1. @mrfill what if someone wins pole, but crashes on the slowdown lap resulting in end of session, damaging gearbox and PU, requiring them to be replaced exceeding allowed allocations and therefore incurring grid penalties sufficient to send them to the back of the grid?

    3. @montreal95 the commercial incentive is that the tracks that host those events have to pay a higher hosting fee – with Liberty Media taking the majority of those payments – and Sky, which seems to be largely responsible for the idea, also seems to be paying an increased premium for those races, again with Liberty Media taking most of those payments for itself.

      1. @anon And why would they pay such a fee for something hated by almost everyone? Are Sky and the promoters stupid? Or maybe, just maybe, it isn’t as hated as some here seem to believe?

        1. They gladly pay the higher fees, because the extra views on the sprint race session generate additional advertisement income.

          If we want it scrapped, but watch it all anyway, we provide the views that make it stay. The only way to make it go away is for everyone who’s against sprint races to keep the TV off during the entire weekend in protest. None of the hard-core sprint-race-opposing F1 fans here is willing to do that, because they don’t want to miss anything and it only works if everyone does it. Meanwhile, some people watch an extra session now. Even if the majority of fans don’t “want” it, if there is no consequence to the viewer counts they are in the right to keep having sprint races people don’t like but watch anyway.

          It’s either that, or time somebody pops the add bubble…

  6. Derek Edwards
    18th April 2022, 12:49

    Make it a race for reserve drivers, one car per team. Run a separate championship if you have to and award points or Freddos or engine credits or whatever you like to give people an incentive to complete rather than just pootle around, but as it is at the moment it’s just a complete mess and getting messier.

    1. Yes! Great idea. Make if a race for the reserve riders (with separate mini championship) and do make the points count for the constructors championship (so that the teams won’t just opt for pay-drivers)

    2. Yes! This is the best idea so far!

    3. No one would really care tho. A 20 car race with reserve drivers desperately trying not to bin a car that is set to be driven in the real race later? And that over saturday qualifying?

  7. I’m completely against them but surely calling it a ‘sprint session’ is a terrible name. Just call it a sprint race and avoid confusion. Session sounds like practice.

    1. Agree, @glynh

      Liberty could have called it: Spritz Session. These qualy races were created to spritz up Liberty’s revenue.

      Considering how (not) popular they are, how long before they spritz up the calendar with an additional dozen spritz per season? How refreshing will that be, for Liberty shareholders?

  8. Eight points for the win this season what will it be next ten or twelve? how long before it equals the points of the Sunday race?

    1. I don’t know, but 8 sounds fair, remember sprints are 1\3 of the races, so they should give 1\3 points, not 1\8 like last year.

      1. Not sure about fair….sounds like it is valued as equally as the GP.

  9. They’re trying to so hard to push this through, when they should have just admitted a long time ago that it’s a terrible idea. All they need to do to win over the majority of fans is scrap it and pretend it never happened. Instead of just learning from their lesson, they keep on trying to squeeze the square block into the circular hole.

  10. Constantijn Blondel
    18th April 2022, 13:40

    Raise your hand if, like me, by now, you really don’t care anymore and prefer to go back to more interesting debates, such as whether to sort my socks by color or by pattern.

    Sprint races are here to stay … for now. It is what it is. Eyes forward, give it som jandal and [move on].

    1. Wy sorting? Just buyone color or just do not mind about it.

    2. Because for some of us, it spoils the weekend to have sprint races? (I for one find it takes most of the mystery out of what will happen in the rest of the race, meaning that Saturday ends up diminishing Friday and Sunday).

  11. If only we could get rid of the whole thing… But hey, moneys! I bet this Saturday race will be horribly boring.

    1. So far all races after a sprint were interesting.

    2. Ah, you said saturday, I agree then, sprints themselves were boring.

  12. Why didn’t F1 make the sprint races standalone points-scoring events with no bearing on the grid? Because doing so would have run the risk of drivers intentionally retiring from them.

    I still don’t agree with this argument. Do we see drivers regularly retiring from proper races when they are running in 17th , 18th, 19th position even knowing it will not improve their championship position? Did Williams or Haas do that at all in the past few years? Seems like a non-issue to me. If one or two cars from leading teams who are out of position choose to drop out of the sprint then so be it.

    I still think the sprint event should be completely decoupled from the main event. Awarding both points and grid positions just further lessens the impact qualifying. If they want to award points for top 8 in the sprint then ok, but have qualifying set the grid for the grand prix and use another method to set the sprint grid. Then qualifying, the ‘pole winner’ and the race retain their original nature while still providing a sprint event for more competitive running, eyeballs on screens and revenue for F1.

    1. @keithedin

      Do we see drivers regularly retiring from proper races when they are running in 17th , 18th, 19th position even knowing it will not improve their championship position?

      No, because:

      ..non-points scoring finishes do not count towards their championship classification (unlike in grands prix)

      1. @nmgn

        Do we see drivers regularly retiring from proper races when they are running in 17th , 18th, 19th position even knowing it will not improve their championship position?

        I realise that, hence my full quote above. We didn’t see them retiring even when they were far away from improving their previous best finish. And it wasn’t because they expected their constructor’s championship position to go down to a 17/18/19th place tiebreaker.

    2. Spirit points go to manufacture championship.
      Race points driver only.
      Or, bin it! But saying that I m fed up (was) watching two guys only battle it out.
      For me, F1 should be one make and this would sort out who is really the best. Have I just sorted the question?
      Sprint; every driver must compete in the ‘one make’ identical cars.

    3. @keithedin We see drivers retiring from low positions if they think it will significantly improve their chances next race. So drivers who typically race outside the top 12 or so are only likely to retire from the race if the alternative is a DNF (which drivers routinely do anyway), but those who stand the possibility of scoring many points in a regular race will DNF if they can save enough wear on engines and gearboxes that it could increase their points haul in a subsequent race.

  13. Unpopular opinion here but after that Hamilton charge in the Brazil sprint I can see the appeal.

    I do agree that it’s a bit of a farce with the naming of it all. If I attended a race I’d be quite happy for it to be a Sprit race weekend, feels like there’s more worthwhile action to watch. It’s nice seeing cars go round in practice but is it really that thrilling? Also the reduction of practice sessions means more chance of some upsets as drivers might not be able to hone their car to quite the same level so the race(s) are potentially a bit more interesting.

    1. Especially on this case, this shows that is an occasional appeal.
      It relied on the fastest car/driver to get a penalty on the previous day, then having the chance, on a proper track, to go thru the field.
      It gets terribly close to Bernie’s sprinklers.

      1. Lewis benefitted greatly from the Brazil sprint last year. I’m sure his fans weren’t complaining about the sprint format that weekend as it gained him plenty of points.
        I am staying open minded this year to see how it works with these new cars. Time will tell.

  14. The storm in the teacup has kicked off again, I see.

  15. Apart from a couple of mega drives from Alonso and Hamilton, last year’s sprints weren’t all that. For me it dilutes the status of the Grand Prix race and is a pure money grab and isn’t about the fans who the majority aren’t interested in.
    Also on a aesthetic level. The graphics for the sprint were huge and gaudy and it came across as tacky to me.

  16. F1 races have always been this magical and mythical sunday event, with several days of built up hype culminating in lights out on sunday.
    To me, sprint races dilute this. Like any luxury item F1 will lose its magic if it is too readily available or feels artificial.
    Its a free world, but I personally skip those saturdays entirely as non-events.

  17. Word salad rubbish by goblins and fancy boys.

  18. I was in favor of giving spring races a shot and seeing what the results on a race weekend were before I made up my mind on them. Now that I have seen them, I am firmly against them. They are manufactured drama that takes away from the prime event of the weekend and creates endless confusion even for those who are participating in them. F1 is attempting to create more excitement throughout the weekend but it just seems like they don’t understand their own product and their solutions to small problems only serve to create cascading larger problems that impact their “DNA”. For all the talk of F1 being the home of the brightest people in motorsport, it doesn’t seem like those in F1 management can see more than one move ahead of them when they should be seeing 4 or 5 moves ahead of them, at least.

    1. @g-funk – They know how to build cars that go fast and often skirt rules. They are not great at marketing or rules development.

  19. I’m absolutely fine with non-Sprint weekends, and I’m fine to see a few Sprints thrown into the mix. I do appreciate them wanting a more enthralling Friday than two practice sessions provide. I also appreciate that most including the drivers have a strong opinion that pole position belongs to the winner of a solo time trial type of format. So to me I am fine with them officially awarding pole for the record books to the winner of the Friday time trial session that is the traditional qualifying method. I am also fine with them racing it out in a Sprint on Saturday in order to set the grid for Sunday’s race once in a while. Would I want a full season of it? No I wouldn’t and they have never talked about doing that anyway.

  20. Sprint races are one of the worst things that’s been introduced into F1 in recent years, sooner they’re gone the better.

  21. Sprint races in F1 don’t work, for the multitude of reasons listed above. If you want something the fans would love, have 1 driver from each team and the team principal in 20 identical low-cost, low speed, club cars compete in a sprint race on Saturday. Now that would be fun to watch.

    1. This is exactly what I’ve wanted and asked for here multiple times. Could do Porsche Cup cars, some street cars, or even a bunch of Chevrolet Lacetti like on old Top Gear.

      But my guess is that teams don’t want their driver in a car from a different manufacturer, and a lot of drivers might be worried about being in a spec car. Not all drivers would be, but I bet we’d see some reputation hits.

      Anyway, I’d love to see it.

  22. As F1 has banned all kinds of extra testing. Those who are driving 15-20 could use that as a testing ground. Of course if something happens then an extra pit stop would cost them places at the grid but I think teams can they every chance to get their new cars on track. As they can’t test like in the olden days.

    1. …Teams will use…

  23. Imagine suggesting a five a side kick about before a world cup match, a game of ping pong before a Wimbledon match, a game of crazy golf before a Golf tournament? Utterly ridiculous and none of those sports would have even contemplated such gimmicks.

    Also it was used as an effort to force drivers to overtake under rules that were difficult. That’s not a problem this year so it’s no longer needed.

    If the FIA want more races on more days then simply setup a different championship with equal cars and invite drivers (current and past) to compete.

    1. Except that those sports are not F1. F1 takes place over three days and on a Sprint weekend there is something more enthralling going on on all three days instead of just two.

      1. Coventry Climax
        19th April 2022, 0:42

        That is nonsense. During the weekend there was and is ONE race. The order for that race is determined by qualifying. (Which was, buy the way, introduced for safety reasons, that although the FIA says they go before everything else, go overboard without any problems with reverse grids). Qualifying was, initially, not at all meant to be watched by the mainstream fans, let alone be broadcast. All other sessions are there for the drivers and teams only, to practice and set their cars up. Over time, the die-hard fans started to visit c.q. watch the practice sessions, just like they do in many other sports. But are the training sessions in basketball, tennis, soccer and whatnot broadcast? Do these sportsunions try to sell it as special, separate events, and use them to generate more money? No they don’t and they keep their focus where it should be: On the main event. It’s called a Grand Prix for a reason.
        It’s that Grand Prix that is the real and only enthralling session, the rest is just a bonus for fans.
        Any broadcaster that’s allowed to do summaries, do them of sunday’s events, and nothing else.
        Sprint weekends are the commercial, fake name for Not so Grand Multiple Prix weekends.

      2. @robbie – There are ways to make things interesting and exciting that don’t impact the championships. Ideas that have been offered here and on prior articles.

    2. It’s worse than that though. Imagine having to play a set with your match cloths on and with your match racquets, before playing a match with that same gear the next day.

      Cars are running extra miles on parts that have significant penalties for failures or swaps. It’s really nuts.

  24. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Everybody knows that one. However, the engineer’s credo is, “If it ain’t broke, improve it anyway.” The problem here is some engineer (probably with the initials RB) who should have stayed in the garage, the factory, or the FIA technical labs, got hold of the weekend format. Meanwhile, the 2022 teams who have been slow going forward, or even backward with their development (e.g. Haas, Aston Martin, and according to them, Mclaren) are losing precious track and testing time and are unlikely to be impressed with this so-called improvement. Neither or course, would be their fans. The sprint race may have been fine as an experiment while the real deal – the new cars built under the new technical regulations – remained in the future. But the future is now, the experiment has been run, and whatever one’s opinion on the results (and mine is they were dismal), its temporary purpose served. Time to move on.

  25. I’m looking forward to this and all the other sprints. I recognise the objections and appreciate that it’s anathema to other long-standing followers of F1, and of course these little details are fuel to the fire, but I really don’t care myself. Bring it on.

  26. Never understood where this pole debate came from. Pole has never been awarded to the fastest driver from qualifying. It has always been awarded to the driver starting the race in 1st. there have been many examples in the normal gp weekend format where the fastest driver from Saturday never got awarded pole because they never started from first. Schumacher Monaco 2012, Hamilton Spain 2012, there are more recent examples I cannot recall. In both cases neither were officially credited with pole because they didn’t start first. Imo the rule should stay as such and I’ve no idea why it was up for debate last year.

    1. Now it’s gonna be so confusing asking ‘whose on pole?’ after Saturday sprint has finished because the question is asking whose starting from 1st but the pole winner might not be whose starting from 1st. F1 shouldn’t have given in to pressure on this one

    2. I think part of the reason we have this debate is that over time, qualifying has become more of a thing. We’ve started to think of pole position as something that can be “won”, rather than simply the name for the first spot on the grid. Originally, of course, F1 didn’t have separate qualifying sessions at all and just set the grid by practice times. If “pole position” is a prize to be had in Saturday’s session, then it makes sense to me to ensure that it is won by the fastest driver in that session and that grid penalties (which are a recent invention anyway) don’t interfere with them. That’s the way it’s been in IndyCar as long as I can recall, where pole position is worth a point — if you “win” pole, you get the point, even if you take a grid penalty and don’t start on pole.

      There are also commercial considerations. If pole position is a prize to be won, then it is also a prize that can be sponsored. And I were Pirelli, as sponsor of the Pirelli Pole Position Award, I would want the fastest driver to get the award, to avoid awkward moments like Hamilton telling Bottas, “You can have the tyre” last year in Turkey.

      1. I see where you’re coming from but then the naming no longer makes any sense. Pole is a term carried over from horse racing and if you Google any definition of it it always refers to the first spot on the grid regardless if referring to horse racing or motorsports. I agree it has little relevance with motorsports in any case due to lack of poles on the starting grid but when we come to Sundays race having had qualifying etc, who is the pole sitter? Who is starting on pole? If we’re honouring the horse racing definition then it’s the guy in 1st place, regardless of who won the pole on Friday.

        Also not sure if this was clarified, but are they changing this for the entire season or just the sprint events? Because surely if they change it for just the sprint events then they should do fir all non sprint events too. Its only fair that way. If leclerc has a gearbox penalty etc on a normal weekend then by the new rules he should still get the pole Stat right?

        1. Assuming leclerc was fastest in qualifying of course!!


          Edit button please!!

        2. In a nutshell what I’m saying now I’ve had a chance to consolidate my thoughts is: pole position is not just something that can be won. It’s a physical space on the grid. F1, don’t change that please

  27. Never been a fan of the sprint but if it has to continue my idea would be to stick with the sprint qualifying title and reward both elements.

    Increase points to the top 5 as well as awarding them the first 5 odd grid spots. The remaining even spots in the top 10 go to those who set the 5 fastest laps provided on tyres started sprint and without DRS.

    Start the sprint in 8th and do you go with 6th & 7th in the chase for a point or hold back for a crack at starting 2nd Sunday. No doubt those further back will give it a crack and would no doubt throw up some much needed variation on the grid as a result.

  28. You don’t like this silly sprint nonsense then do what im doing & don’t engage with it.

    I’ll be skipping all the Friday/Saturday and tuning it 5 minutes before the start of the actual race for all of these silly sprints.

  29. It is now easier to understand the most complicated engineering aspects of an F1 car than it is to figure out how qualifying works at a GP that has a sprint race.

  30. Dale Wickenheiser
    21st April 2022, 16:28

    My main problem with the sprint race is that potential for car damage that could impact the Sunday race. Practices and qualifying are potential accident opportunities, but there’s less chance of one car taking out another. Usually it’s self-inflicted.
    For me, the fixes to making the grand prix more interesting are –
    require use of all 3 tires
    award points 20 – 0 all the way down the grid
    allow drs to be used whenever the driver wants to

  31. Why not combine qualification and the sprint race? Have all 20 cars on the track and at the end of 20 minutes [all cars have to be on the track running, barring an accident, failure, etc.], the last 5 cars in the running order are pitted. After another 10 minutes, the last 5 cars in the running order are pitted and the remaining 10 race full out and the “winner” gets the sprint points and poll.

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