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Teams to vote on Saturday sprint race proposal

NEWS STORY
10/02/2021

The F1 Commission, which comprises the ten teams, manufacturers, F1, the FIA and suppliers like Pirelli will vote on Thursday as to whether race weekends will feature a sprint race on Saturdays.

Last week, Stefano Domenicali, while insisting that reverse grids would not happen admitted that the sport is still keen to try sprint races in a bid to 'spice-up' race weekends.

"What we're looking at is what could be the approach of the so-called sprint race on a Saturday," he said in a video conference. "We are thinking if this could be tested already this year," he admitted. "There are discussions going on with the teams in the right forum, and I think that maybe this could be the only one thing that could be interesting."

It's understood that the sprint race, the grid order for which would be decided in free practice, would run for about 100 km - around a third of the traditional race distance - and take place on Saturday afternoon, the finishing order deciding the grid order for the following day's Grand Prix.

However, to further 'spice-up' the action, and no doubt in a bid to prevent tactical gamesmanship, championship points would be awarded.

The first 8 drivers would all score, with the points thought to be around half those normally awarded for a full race.

Ironically, the BBC claims that if approved by the commission, the sprint race would feature at just three rounds this year, those in Canada, Brazil and Monza. However, as it currently stands, due to the ongoing uncertainty over the pandemic, not least the increasing restrictions on travel, at least two of those events look highly unlikely to take place.

When F1 bosses suggested the idea last year, along with reverse grids, Mercedes was against the proposal, however it is understood the German team is now willing to accept the concept of a sprint race.

Furthermore it's understood that to allay teams fears concerning costs in terms of the additional mileage incurred over the weekend and the increased possibility of damage, F1 bosses are willing to increase team payments for those particular weekends by around £55k ($75k).

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by jcr, 12/02/2021 0:08

"@Kenji.
There is still only one Manufacturer that has mastered the Hybrid Technology.
We can talk all the tech you want, but at the end of the day,
Mercs facilities and expertise will still come out on top-
I would love to be wrong, but I doubt it !!
"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 11/02/2021 23:21

"@ JCR...you must keep up. Very big changes to '21 car. Reduced downforce resulting from big floor changes, brake ducts altered, rear diffuser rakes shortened and a cost cap. New book , new page. Engine freeze only begins in '22, Mercedes will still have free ride."

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3. Posted by jcr, 11/02/2021 12:11

"@ Kenji.
2020 finished. 21 New book, New page ?? Dont think so.
New regs posponed till 2022. So 21 same again,
Now it appears we may have an engine freeze till 2026
So dominant Merc engine will probably just continue on its merry way."

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4. Posted by kenji, 11/02/2021 11:40

"@ Sexy Lady Racer....Mercedes have controlled the stage for too long as no other team has been able to consistently spend half a billion dollars each and every season with close to 2000 employees!! To suggest that just because certain things occurred in the past that they need to taken into account as germane to the future is just wrong. F1 racing history finished in 2020 and we are looking at the future. New book, new page.... plus driver's salaries should be included in the cap. To accept that a driver can earn 40million plus English pounds per season is obscene even to this dyed in the wool, right leaning, capitalist."

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5. Posted by jcr, 11/02/2021 11:38

"They spend years trying to get a cost cap in place, then organise an extra race to spend the money ??
Free practice becomes quali, so no more testing /developement during season ??
Spice up the grid, Maybe Williams will win Sprint Race (No Disrespect to Williams)
Just a recipe for Same Ol. Same Ol !!

If they really want to spice up the weekend for fans and tv viewers ?
Why not go back to the old programme format, that included local support races .
At the British GP We usually had British F3, British Touring Cars, and probably a few Historics,
This gave the paying public value for money, instead of sitting around for hours, watching silly track parades, or people posing-
Make it worthwhile for the fans, for a change."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by SexyLadyRacer, 11/02/2021 7:48

"The hope is that in the long term the new rules and regulations on cutting costs, aeros, downforce and other measures will make the performances of all the teams converge so the racing is much closer!
The actual people to blame for the current divergence in performances is really the other teams and not Mercedes! This situation was always the case in F1 and even worse in the past, but people just have really short memories!

As a temporary fix just to spice up the action for a few race weekends this season, I wouldn't mind if they experimented with a Sprint Race on the Saturday and see how it goes! I really don't think it will change the outcome of either world championships!

Actually I wouldn't mind F1 adding the sprint race to the current qualifying format as part of qualifying! Maybe the sprint race to replace Q1 and Q2, and then add other qualifying components, such as a long drag race and other fun stuff like in Top Gear! "

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7. Posted by kenji, 11/02/2021 1:00

"Whilst I like to keep an open mind I find that the desire to shake things up a very mixed bag. What annoys me most I guess is that quali is simply a shortened version of the usual race result. Same old same old. Yes, sometimes there are exceptions but in the main it is as I have said. The biggest mystery is just how the backmarkers maintain their motivation? Race after race for entire seasons they are always last or thereabouts. The common comment is, build a better car, but how can they when faced by virtual leviathons in competition that run under a common set of R & R. Changing the quali format i think is a way of possibly giving those team a leg up....but it is a very long shot!"

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8. Posted by The edge, 10/02/2021 19:00

"I’m whole heartedly against this but I’m still surprised only 20% are in favour in the vote. I thought it would be around 50/50. It gives me a lot of faith in my fellow F1 fans

I’m just trying to imagine the response from football fans when someone buys the promotion rights and says...

Hey, isn’t football boring, I watched for 90 minutes the other day and no one scored a goal... why don’t we have penalty kicks at the end of each half so it’s a it more exciting"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

9. Posted by Superbird70, 10/02/2021 14:13

"So instead of making the racing more competitive this happens? Bring back Bernie and the water tankers for artificial rain."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

10. Posted by Roli, 10/02/2021 13:51

"Just another gimmick to "spice up" the racing. How about changing the cars so the drivers count for more than the actual cars? How about starting all the cars in reverse? that would sure as hell spice it up!
Good old saying, IF IT WORKS, DONT CHANGE IT"

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11. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 10/02/2021 13:10

"How about just points for qualifying? Would allow the smaller teams to set up a car just for qualifying and shake up the starting grid.

How about optional refueling during the race? "

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12. Posted by Max Noble, 10/02/2021 12:48

"Hopscotch... roulette... smith and Wesson at ten paces... three people two parachutes... I know! Rock Paper Scissors!

So many exciting things to make life random! Frog in a liquidiser... blindfolds and cattle prods...
So many options so few championship races...
"

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13. Posted by The edge, 10/02/2021 9:55

"This would make a great topic for a new vote"

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14. Posted by JamesD, 10/02/2021 9:26

"God, please no !! Qualifying works and the opportunity to see the car on low fuel at it's quickest and on the edge.

Qualifying works as it is - please do not change it ! Let's have some patience and see how the 2022 regulations pan out in 2022 and 2023 in the races before tinkering / tampering."

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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