F1 announces three sprint races in Imola, Austria and Sao Paulo

(Motorsports news) F1 introduced the sprint format last year and involved a 100km dash with each race lasting around 25-30 minutes as the position achieved in the sprint would determine their position in the grid for the main race, along with that the winners of the sprint get 3 points, second get 2 points and third receive 1 point. This year after talks with all the key stakeholders, including governing body the FIA and all the teams, an agreement has been reached to hold events at the Emilia Romagna, Austrian and Sao Paulo Grands Prix.

This year the sprint races will have a change in format as the points system has been tweaked, with the top eight drivers scoring points. Now the sprint becomes even more important as the driver who finishes P1 will receive eight points, down to one point for the driver in P8. Along with the change in the scoring system it has also been decided that the driver who sets the fastest time in qualifying, on Friday will be awarded the ‘pole position’. Compared to last year, when the driver who won the Sprint earned the official pole position. Qualifying will now determine the grid for the Sprint races as the result of the Sprint will help form the line-up for the start of Sunday’s Grand Prix.

The venue chosen for the three sprints are one of the most historic venues in the F1 calendar and has seen few of the best races over the years. The decision to host the sprint race in these tracks is because all three tracks are one of the fastest races in the F1 racing calendar and it will provide the fans with more overtakes and drama. Last year the sprint races had mixed reviews as F1 fanatics were still skeptical with the whole format but the Brazilian grand prix showed the world how exciting the sprint races can be. This year FIA and F1 were planning to host six sprint races but the plan met opposition from Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari, who wanted an increase in the budget cap for the increased number of sprint events. Finally the plan for three sprint events was approved by the FIA. 

“Following a review of the three Sprint events that took place in 2021 and a recognition by all that the format created positive benefits for the sport, three Sprint events were proposed for 2022, acknowledging this as a sensible number in light of the pressures already on the teams for this season with the introduction of major changes to the regulations, the Commission unanimously approved the three Sprint events for the coming season, incorporating a number of updates to the format based on the feedback of fans, media and teams”. an FIA statement said

Also read: Formula 1: McLaren unveil 2022 car called MCL36

Meanwhile, the FIA also said they will present “news of structural changes and action plan in the coming days, regarding the investigation, led by newly-elected FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, into the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix”.


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