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F1 Sprint Race: What is it and how does it work?

F1 Sprint Race: What is it and how does it work?

F1 Sprint Race: What is it and how does it work?

F1 Sprint Race: What is it and how does it work?

The second of the three F1 Sprint Races scheduled for the 2022 season takes place in Austria this weekend.

The sprint remains a relatively new concept for the sport, but it is one which has been predominantly praised and is set to be expanded in the future.

The concept was introduced by F1 last year in a bid to drive up interest in a grand prix weekend, and it appeared to achieve its objective.

While Friday practice sessions have always been important for set-up purposes for teams, now each of the three days across a weekend has a session with a crucial bearing on points and the championship.

Here, we bring you all you need to know about the F1 sprint.

Schedule: When are the F1 sprints this year?

There are three F1 sprints scheduled for this year [all times local]:

Saturday April 23: Emilia Romagna Grand Prix [Imola] - 4.30pm Saturday July 9: Austrian Grand Prix [Red Bull Ring] - 4.30pm Saturday November 12: Brazilian Grand Prix [Interlagos] - 4.30pm

With Austria next up this weekend, its local time converts to 3.30pm in the UK and 10.30am on the east coast of the United States.

The weekend schedule for Austria now looks like this [all times local]:

Friday July 8: Free practice 1 [1.30pm] Friday July 8: Qualifying [5pm] Saturday July 9: Free practice 2 [12.30pm] Saturday July 9: Sprint [4.30pm] Sunday July 10: Grand Prix [3pm]

Sprint rules: How do they work?

As was the case last year, free practice one will take place on Friday but at a slightly delayed time to a regular weekend.

The session has added importance as the hour of track time is all the teams will have to lock in their set-ups for the remainder of the weekend.

A regular three-part qualifying session will then take place later on Friday, with this session deciding the grid for the sprint only.

In a change to last year, the driver that sets the fastest time in qualifying will be noted in the record books as claiming pole, even though they may not start Sunday's race from the top spot on the grid.

Saturday will see an hour of running for practice two although teams are unable to make substantial changes to the cars given they remain in parc fermé conditions.

Where qualifying would normally be positioned, a 100km sprint race will take place on Saturday afternoon, with the result setting the grid for Sunday's grand prix.

What changed for F1 sprints this year?

Last year, points were only on offer to the top three, with the sprint winner securing three points, with two for second and one for third.

This season, greater importance has been placed on the sprint, with points all the way down to eighth in a bid to encourage overtaking in the midfield.

So the winner collects eight points, down to one point for eighth position.

Will there be more sprints?

There is no confirmation as yet, but it is likely we will end up with six F1 sprints next year after a proposal was put to the Formula 1 Commission in April.

F1 and all 10 teams support the move to six sprints, while the FIA backs it “in principle”. This season it is assessing the impact on trackside operations and personnel before making an official ruling.

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