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F1 reveal 2022 sprint race plans after being faced with overwhelming demand

F1 reveal 2022 sprint race plans after being faced with overwhelming demand

F1 reveal 2022 sprint race plans after being faced with overwhelming demand

F1 reveal 2022 sprint race plans after being faced with overwhelming demand

F1 has revealed to overwhelming demand from promoters to stage a sprint event in 2022 following its trial this year.

Ross Brawn has claimed that "100 per cent" of all promoters have enquired whether they can host a sprint, believing there are no downsides to the additional on-track action over the course of a three-day weekend.

F1 has this season trialled the one-third distance races at Silverstone and Monza to mixed reviews from the teams and drivers as the initial buzz of the event ahead of the British Grand Prix wore off given the pedestrian nature of the race at Monza.

A third sprint is due to take place before the Brazilian Grand Prix and whether that is a success or not, F1 will continue with its plans to stage the sprint at six of its record-breaking 23-races in 2022.

At present, second practice on Friday is replaced by a qualifying session that sets the grid for Saturday's sprint. In turn, the result of the race sets the grid for the grand prix.

No definitive plans on the format for next year will be determined until after the race in Brazil, other than there will be three days of competitive action.

“In principle, we've agreed with the teams that we will look towards six events for next year," said Brawn. “Every promoter wants to have a sprint. One hundred per cent they all want it, and you can understand why.

“There’s no downside for a promoter in that they have the addition of Friday, so Friday now becomes a proper day [with racing]."

Conceding there are "a number of factors" F1 has "to take into consideration", Brawn added: "One is, how do we spread these events throughout the year?

“It’s probably not something we’d love to have at the first race, probably not something we want at the last race."

With F1's new-for-2022 cars in mind, Brawn added: "[Secondly] The type of circuits. Once we see how these cars are working and developing, what type of circuits do we want? it would be nice to have a variety. And how do we judge that?

"And how do we judge whether we want promoters to be able to enhance their Fridays and get more crowds in, or do we want promoters to be able to reward the crowds they have?

“If you look at Austin [for the USGP], they had a fantastic crowd on Friday, and that was great to see.

“Should we be supporting those places where they can get those crowds in on Friday and therefore we really make the most of it? It’s a very open discussion."

Although there were recent suggestions F1 could run sprint races at seven or eight grands prix next year, it has been determined that with the new cars in mind, it is better to be more conservative at this stage and then review at the end of the year.

“Our view is we should take some progressive steps for next year but not radical steps," said Brawn.

"That’s partly because we have a new car coming along and everyone needs to settle down. We need to see the impact of the car.

"So we're being relative conservative and evolutionary for '22 but we’re positive about the concept and very pleased F1 has been brave enough to take on trying an alternative concept in three races to see how it will work.

"I think it's a good demonstration of how we should perhaps consider things in the future.”

One of the key areas of concern is the current reward for drivers, whereby only the top three score points, has resulted in a drop-off in action during the sprint.

Looking ahead to next season, Brawn said: "We're discussing with the teams how Saturdays can be made a bit more challenging, a bit more engaging.

"I'm very optimistic the new cars will help because of their ability to race each other, and what's in discussion is how we can make the rewards for a Saturday greater, so there's much more incentive to race on a Saturday in terms of points."

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