F1 to discuss expanding sprint races to six events in 2023

2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Formula 1 will make another attempt to increase the number of sprint races to six next year, after its efforts to do so for 2022 were thwarted.

Several teams blocked F1’s planned expansion of the sprint race trial from three races to six this year on cost grounds. However speaking after yesterday’s sprint race, the first of 2022, F1 motorsport director Ross Brawn said he intends to push for even more next year.

“On Tuesday we want to discuss increasing it to six,” he said.

He believes team principals “can see the success” of the format following its introduction in 2021. “I think we didn’t know quite where we were last year with the old cars. But I think they can see the way this is feeding into the new cars and the philosophy of the new cars.

“I’m optimistic they’ll all see the value in it and what we’ve given the fans. I think the thing you should always remember about the sprint is it gives you a great Friday as well. If we have qualifying on a Friday we have three days of action for the fans and you can’t ignore that.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Imola, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Emilia-Romagna sprint race in pictures
Brawn hopes to rubber-stamp an increase in the number of sprint races swiftly using a simple majority of F1 Commission members (25 out of 30 votes) instead of a super-majority (28 votes) which would make it easier for teams to block the move.

“What I’d like to do is at least get six races settled and then after these three races we can see if there’s some format developments we want to do,” said Brawn. “But I’d like to just move on to six races, get that bedded in and settled, and then if there’s any format changes that we feel are worthwhile then we can consider those.

“The six races needs to pass on a simple majority, any format changes in the future will have to pass on a super-majority, so eight teams have to agree [in addition to 20 FIA and FOM representatives]. So I think the important thing is to get the simple thing done first. Then there may be scope in the future for evolving it even further.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

42 comments on “F1 to discuss expanding sprint races to six events in 2023”

  1. Might as well make every race into a sprint then, that seems to be the end goal anyway.

    1. @hadws Brawn was claiming last year that “every venue wants a sprint race” when trying to sell the idea of switching to six sprint races per season late last year, and was claiming that it is a wonderful deal for the promoters to back their calls for more sprint races.

      He has also confirmed that they are taking the attitude of “Off the back of six you can then decide if you want to increase the number”, and has publicly floated the idea of possibly switching every race weekend to the sprint race format – so yes, the idea of having sprint races at every venue is an option that Liberty Media are definitely considering.

      It’d certainly be very profitable for Liberty Media to go down that route – most of the additional fee that the circuits have to pay for holding a sprint race goes to Liberty Media, so there’s a far stronger incentive for Liberty Media to push for more sprint races than for the teams.

      1. I dare them to have a sprint in Monaco.

        1. They could. They just had one at the 2nd worse race track they could do it at here in Imola.

          1. Well, but at imola overtaking is hard, just like hungary, at monaco you might not see a single overtake.

          2. So there’s a high risk to get an identical sprint and race.

    2. That’s the 2024 goal

    3. I bet in the future there will be One FP with top 10 drivers to get points, Qualifying, Sprint, Super Qualifying for the main race, Main race.

  2. RocketTankski
    24th April 2022, 8:48

    More racing action? Surely noone supports this idea.
    They should have a Legal Battle event instead, where we get to watch them argue with lawyers over obscure regulations.

  3. Interesting qualifying left cars out of position but the sprint removed that. As someone said in another thread, it would have been interesting to see what KMag and Alonso could have across a race distance from 4th and 5th but now they are 8th and 9th.

  4. In all fairness we all knew Liberty would eventually ruin the sport element and make it a money circus. I am surprised they pace themselves.

    1. F1’s sporting element was ruined long before Liberty took over.

  5. I think they are looking at lengthening the ‘sprint’ race as well next year? They could double the number of races in a season and that’s what I believe is the end goal. A Saturday and a Sunday race of equal length and points.
    So much for the budget cap.

    1. I don’t think they’ll ever have two equal races on a weekend in F1, @johnrkh.
      That would be counter-productive for everyone.

      But I certainly think they’ll be using sprint events more often. And I hope they do.
      The GP on Sundays remains unchanged every single time, but there’s also more entertainment on other days. Everyone wins – except those who dislike change.

  6. Wait, did anyone believe they were going to stop going down this road just because the whole idea is ludicrous and no one wants it?

    :D :D :D

  7. The man’s a fool. He really should know better. Sorry but this is just ridiculous. There’s very little appetite for more sprint races. It’s all about money.

    On a slightly different subject, could they actually try a race without DRS at all? Just to see what happens? At an appropriate circuit of course. It would be interesting to see how the cars really perform without it.

    1. They did try (half) a race without DRS a couple of years ago at Abu Dhabi.
      It was about the same as with it, except with less overtaking.

      1. Bottas recovered really well that race though, from last to 4th in big part without drs, can’t remember if there were other notable no-drs overtakes.

    2. The man? You think this is all Brawn’s doing? Tsk tsk, he’s just the patsy.

  8. Based on other comments, it feels like I’m going against the grain but… I actually quite enjoyed the sprint race yesterday! I think it makes more sense with the new cars as you can follow and pass more easily. There was plenty of action and entertainment and i do like that pit stops are removed as a strategy – everything happens on track! To be fair, the wet set grid probably made the race more interesting than it otherwise could have been so I may change my mind.

    I am wondering though if it could be a race in its own right rather than to set grid position for main race. It can really wreck someone’s weekend if say Leclerc got a DNF and starts from the back, that could decide the championship. Traditional qualifying rarely can punish as hard.

    Also, we do need to try a race without DRS at some stage this year. Some of the passes are completed half way down the straight, it’s a bit of a joke. Some tracks it likely will be necessary but I’m already convinced not all tracks need DRS. I guess they’ll collect data this year and give some tracks shortened zones next year.

    1. To be fair, the wet set grid probably made the race more interesting than it otherwise could have been so I may change my mind.

      Every GP (even without sprints) also has this same variable, wouldn’t you agree @antznz?

    2. Fair post I’d say but I keep thinking what exactly is it that made you like it. And the main reason would be the wet quali. Therefore we saw some action. But now we’ve had the interesting sprint we might have a more boring race because the element of wet quali. So if all interesting sprint races have the downside of a more boring feature race, then I’d like to see them gone. But that’s just not going to happen. They’ll keep pushing it. And when they finally get an interesting one they’ll try to use the sentiment to push for more. It’s all very obvious. .. and depressing to me :-/

      1. So if all interesting sprint races have the downside of a more boring feature race, then I’d like to see them gone.

        The three events we’ve seen so far with sprints have featured quite good GP’s – by F1 standards.

        Regardless, F1 is hit and miss at the best of times. Some very interesting qualifying sessions at non-sprint events have regularly resulted in remarkably boring races, just as some very boring and predictable qualifying sessions have lead to rather interesting races.
        It only takes one little thing in the race to make it a cracker, and that could happen with or without a sprint.

        1. Indeed true, a SC for example often made a race more interesting than otherwise in recent times.

  9. I hope they do have more.
    Further than that, I hope that they also use different length sprints – perhaps even on the same weekend.
    FP2 on Saturday morning would be better used as a short sprint, followed by a longer one in the afternoon.

    More racing – less boring, monotonous data mining.

  10. The sprint races are grafted onto a normal weekend like an ear grafted onto a foot: a complete Frankensteinian mess.

    Short races only work at certain venues as we saw yesterday.: racing at the front but DRS trains behind on a circuit where overtaking is difficult.

    Yet Brawn has a mania to increase the number of these weekends for the cash it brings Liberty not for the enjoyment of the fans who pay in the end. The fans will watch when they can (but who can tie up three afternoons a weekend every time there is a GP?) and grow increasingly frustrated if the mess is extended to more venues making F1 a more expensive F2 without the clarity of process.

    The difference between Masi and Brawn is paper thin. The important consideration is the ‘show’ which to be more precise is money, in this case selling more airtime to broadcasters and demanding more fees from promoters once there are two races each weekend (and 30 weekends a year?).

    Liberty need to make a profit and that is fine, but pushing the cash cow too far can lead to it drying up. It wouldn’t be the first time a company fell into that error.

    1. Why not make the sprint race interesting by not using DRS?
      It would instantly raise interest, and differantiate from the GP (unfortunately, I don’t see F1 getting rid of DRS during the GP anytime soon), and I for one would look forward to the sprint race for that reason alone.

      1. Why not make the sprint race interesting by not using DRS?

        Because it would actually make it less interesting…?

        and I for one would look forward to the sprint race for that reason alone.

        And when it was over, you’d look forward to the return of DRS, because these cars still rely heavily on it.

        1. You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion, as am I.
          My opinion, formed by experience, is that I much more appreciate a long battle on equal footing, applying pressure to your opponent, trying to force a mistake, like Senna vs Mansell, os Alonso vs Schumacher, than an overpowering, unstoppable, and finnaly uninterestingly easy push of a button “overtake”.

    2. Short races only work at certain venues

      F1 only works at certain venues – and even then only in a limited capacity.

      The important consideration is the ‘show’ which to be more precise is money, in this case selling more airtime to broadcasters and demanding more fees from promoters

      You still talking about Liberty? Sounds a lot like Bernie too.
      Actually, sounds a lot like everything else in life these days.

    3. Anyone who thinks this is Brawn’s brainchild and pet project is already off the mark. I don’t like sprint races either, but Brawn is just the mouthpiece.

  11. I’ll say it again if they want a Saturday race then create a new championship with equal formula cars and allow current and past drivers to compete. That would be far more exciting than the current disjointed mess.

    1. That’s a great idea, creates a legends league with equal machinery, but set it so the driver’s should be out of F1 for X years. Since it appears that a lot of retired drivers still turn up to a lot of races, they could easily persuade them into a race, I know I’d turn up to see old legends throw around the same car.

  12. I found it amusing in the sky commentary that David Croft was saying “21 laps is too short, it just needs to be longer”. I can’t help but agree. About 3 times longer would be good… oh wait!

    1. But you’d never support 2 GP’s on one weekend, would you?

      1. Actually, double-header weekends would be a nice idea; Friday practice and the both Saturday & Sunday having a qualifying session, hour or 2 break and then a full race distance. Not at every weekend, but maybe 1-3 events a year. Indycar did something similar at Detroit I think

  13. 6 seems to be a magic number that was agreed upon before with sponsors, triggering extra $$$

  14. Brawn: people want sprints.
    People: no, we dont.
    Brawn: Oh, I get it: people want more sprints.
    People: Ok, then, bye.
    Brawn: Where did the peoples went? we gave what they wanted.
    Before 2025 we will have a 500-600km F1 race with a title sponsor just like Nascar.

    1. More people are watching sprints than practice sessions…

      1. I think this is a point some people are forgetting: the sprint replaces an useless practice session, it certainly gives 1 more competitive session to any given weekend, then it’s ofc arguable that they’re too short, don’t have much action and spoil the race pace before it even starts, or ruin exceptional qualifying efforts by some drivers and allow underperformers to recover before the race starts.

  15. There it goes… It was obvious. Even commentators try to push it into their commentary that sprints are the saviour!

Comments are closed.