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F1 aiming for Sprints at one-third of races in 2022

NEWS STORY
04/10/2021

Stefano Domenicali has revealed that the sport is hoping to run Sprint events at one-third of next year's 23 Grands Prix.

Currently under trial following its use at Silverstone and Monza, the Sprint format will be used again in Brazil before F1 bosses talk to the teams and the FIA about plans for its use moving forward.

Thus far, reception to the format has been mixed, and while a couple of team bosses have joined Ross Brawn and the media is lauding the format, drivers and fans remain unconvinced.

While both the Silverstone and Monza races proved controversial this had little to do with the Sprints, indeed the only positive thing to emerge from the qualifying and Sprint 'races' was the freedom for drivers to choose their starting tyre compounds for the Grands Prix.

However, speaking to Sky Sports, according to F! boss, Stefano Domenicali, it would appear that rubber stamping the Sprint format is a mere formality with organisers planning to host the events at a third of next year's Grands Prix.

"We said at the beginning of the year there would be three tests this year to make sure we have the right plan for the future," he said. "The vast majority of the comments we received were super positive.

"Promoters are super happy because there is something new and important on Friday and Saturday and Sunday," he added.

"We are receiving this positive feedback therefore we need to know next year we have a great plan where we will consider also the points highlighted by people who did not like this format. Generally speaking it has been an incredible success.

"I can say we will not go everywhere with the Sprint format," he continued. "It is something we want to keep for one third of the races more or less and to connect with a certain different way of giving rewards and points and to connect with specific circuits that as you know would make the difference.

"So there is a lot of food for thought. We will involve all the stakeholders: broadcasters, drivers, teams, promoters and fans. We won't forget our role is to take the right decision and to consider all the points and points of view of everyone."

Referring to the planned 23-date schedule, which sees a second American event, he said: "I can anticipate that, for sure, the calendar will be done with 23 races.

"Of course we will be very respectful towards the COVID regulations issued around the world from the different governments. But that is our aim that F1 can give this sign of hope and to go to normal things to enjoy.

"The idea is to make sure there is the right rhythm to the calendar," he continued. "There are, of course, considerations related to periods to make sure logistically the flow has to be right.

"One thing I can tell you, without discovering too many things is that next year the season will start in the middle of March and will finish in the middle of November."

Rumoured schedule for 2022

Date Race Circuit
20-Mar Bahrain Sakhir
27-Mar Saudi Arabia Jeddah
10-Apr Australia Melbourne
24-Apr China Shanghai
08-May Miami Miami
22-May Spain Barcelona
29-May Monaco Monaco
12-Jun Azerbaijan Baku
19-Jun Canada Montreal
03-Jul Great Britain Silverstone
10-Jul Austria Spielberg
17-Jul France/Emilia Romagna Paul Ricard/Imola
31-Jul Hungary Budapest
28-Aug Belgium Spa Francorchamps
04-Sep Netherlands Zandvoort
11-Sep Italy Monza
25-Sep Russia Sochi
02-Oct Singapore/Turkey Singapore/Istanbul
09-Oct Japan Suzuka
23-Oct USA Austin
30-Oct Mexico Mexico City
13-Nov Brazil Sao Paulo
20-Nov Abu Dhabi Yas Marina

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 07/10/2021 14:51

"@ Ed. As a 'contrarian' then i was just exercising my right of reply, however, all cool."

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2. Posted by Editor, 07/10/2021 14:06

"@ Kenji

I've said my piece, and in all honesty, aware of your contrary nature, I feel it not worthwhile adding anything further. ;-)"

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3. Posted by kenji, 07/10/2021 13:51

"@ Editor...That's more than 2 cents worth! Just a few relative points here. Has the GP, run on Sunday, been untouched or adversely affected? You say that I am' totally incorrect' then go on to say that the intro of the sprint is to 'hopefully change the main race' That statement is one of future supposition, not fact? The continued tenor is that what happened in the past is sacrosanct as in 'as it has always been'. So does that mean you are happy that one team dominates for what ,7/8years ? Yes, of course the old cliche of 'the cream always rises to the top 'gets a run here but prior to the intro of the cost cap it was beyond the dreams of most teams to have, as in the case of Mercedes for example, been able to employ almost 2000 people and spend upwards of half a billiion dollars annually. You can afford a lot of cream for that amount of investment. That takes nothing away from the expertise of the team members who contribute massively.

You state that now whoever wins the sprint takes pole, true, but then I guess it's how you actually look and process this event. I tend to see it as a 17 lap quali with points for the top three. The fastest car over 17 laps takes pole. Prior to the 'sprint' usually the fastest man normally wins all three segments [ Q1 Q2 and Q3] and sometimes its mixed but 99% of the time it's same old same old, over approx 8/9 laps!.So I get more enjoyment witnessing the event. I recall times when it was mooted that the pole man would get an extra point, like the fastest lap winner does today albeit a few more points.

I certainly reject your assertion that I was being 'disingenuous'. That was never my intention.The Grand Prix are 'untouched' as the results would confirm and yes the intention is to possibly inject an element of chance but that hasn't yet happened in the manner you project. I have not hidden the fact that I would like to see the status quo disrupted but unless I am totally misguided the same old protagonists are running away with series as they have done for many years now.To take this further I am sure that you witnessed the 'absolute' joy that was expressed by a vast number of people when Ricciardo won the Monza race on merit after a 'sprint' quali race. That alone shows you how tired people are of seeing the same faces ad infinitum on the podium. The same euphoria spread across the paddock when Norris did well. That was further concrete approval by dedicated fans of seeing others take a bit of the limelight. That should mean something to even the hardest of long time followers. Is it wrong to hope for changes that give others an opportunity to shine in the face of towering
and overpowering odds?. So long as the guidelines/rules that govern the running of Grand Prix race are not tampered with or distorted then I am prepared to support the 'sprint theory' for quite a bit longer and then make a decision as to whether or not it works.

That's my ,almost, 10 cents worth haha. Roll on Turkey."

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4. Posted by Editor, 07/10/2021 11:54

"@ sagosac

Even worse is the fact that the ones seemingly making the rules is a media company... and we all know how we can trust media companies to act for the greater good... and not themselves."

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5. Posted by sagosac, 07/10/2021 11:16

"@ Editor
"...If one team or driver is dominating it is the job of the opposition to raise their game, not the rule-makers to come up with ideas as to how to handicap them."

VERY RIGHT SO !
Whereby today with such little room for tec-development ... and tightened Parc-Fermé rules ... it is ever harder to catching up -- so that the rule makers see themselves "enforced" to play God -- what a pity
"

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6. Posted by Editor, 07/10/2021 8:55

"@ Kenji

You state that: "The simple fact that remains and rightly so is that the Grand Prix run on Sunday has remained untouched."

However this is totally incorrect.

The very reason that F1 is introducing the Sprint is to hopefully affect the Grand Prix.

Whether you call it 'spicing things up' or 'mixing things up', the driving force behind the whole concept of the Sprint is to hopefully affect the race on Sunday.

You previously argued that as it stands the fastest car starts from the front (pole) and therefore usually wins the race - but surely this is as it has always been.

Forget Mercedes domination - which is clearly your main bugbear - be it the days of Clark, Fangio, Hakkinen, Senna, Schumacher or Mansell, the fastest driver usually took pole and would often go on to convert that to a win… it was the way of things.

If one team or driver is dominating it is the job of the opposition to raise their game, not the rule-makers to come up with ideas as to how to handicap them.

Now, the man who wins the Sprint (race) on Saturday is officially credited as having won pole, which effectively turns the record books on their heads.

Despite its total lack of understanding of the sport, Liberty, courtesy of the likes of Ross Brawn, has realised that the most exciting part of the weekend - other than the final moments of qualifying - is the start of the race. Consequently, with the full support of broadcasters who are now getting two events for their buck, Liberty is giving us two starts… two chances of a headline grabbing incident or upset as opposed to one.

Sorry, but it is somewhat disingenuous to suggest that the Grand Prix is "untouched" for that is the very intention; it is a premeditated move to add an extra intentional element of chance rather than relying on natural circumstances to hopefully prevail.

Why else does Ross want reverse grids or whatever, it is with the very intention of compromising the race order - and what is really galling is that as a team boss, technical director or whatever he would have been vehemently against such a proposal.

Just my two cents you understand."

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7. Posted by kenji, 07/10/2021 0:55

"WOW...so many weird, comic and strange comments, all in the fun of things I suppose. The simple fact that remains and rightly so is that the Grand Prix run on Sunday has remained untouched. If we re to have open slather on the intro of unwanted and inappropriate events then let's look at the cringeworthy pre race ceremony of WRAO and the inclusion of 'kids' to the exclusion of the grid girls who always brightened up the day as well as giving them a well paid job, small and all as it was. Has it made any difference? I very much doubt it apart from imparting a warm inner glow to the social media look at me mob! I would be willing to lay a bet that those who sing loudest about 'switching off' do in fact watch the sprint even if they rail against the sprint race...under sufferage of course!!! Bit like the 'hair shirt' of old haha"

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8. Posted by elsiebc, 06/10/2021 18:34

"I just heard that for 2024 golf tournaments will include a six hole round on the first day of the weekend. This will raise the level of excitement by putting a greater emphasis on each and every stroke. It also will shake up the standings by favoring those in the midfield with a better short game than long game. Also, contestants will be limited to three balls per tournament. Any additional balls will come with a 2 stroke penalty. To lower the cost of clubs and caddy tips, golfers will only be allowed 12, not 14, clubs per bag for 2024 with a further decrease to 10 clubs to be phased in by 2030. DJ's will be located on one hole approximately 60% through the round because fans get bored by then.

PS: The idea of turning on the sprinklers at some point in the round has been tabled but may be revisited in the future.
"

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9. Posted by elsiebc, 06/10/2021 18:12

"So they are sooo obsessed with safety that they change the rolling starts after a safety car period to standing starts. Then they add 35% more standing starts to a season.
They are sooo concerned with the cost of competing in F1 that they mandate overly complex engines... er, power units, and then add 30% more racing laps per weekend."

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10. Posted by sagosac, 06/10/2021 13:45

"(that's why they have to ask the fans on a weekly basis, how they want the sport ... that alone tells it all)"

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11. Posted by sagosac, 06/10/2021 13:32

"we urgently should invent some sort of public acknowledgement for sports marketers / officials, because otherwise they will keep on concentrating on

- profit growth (no matter how big growth already is)
- fumbling with all assets at their hands: colours, kits, branding, tournaments, leagues, modi, regulations, mascots etc.
- even LOGOs & VENUEs are not safe from their genius anymore !

=> Instead of renovating and expanding the venues where a club / sport grew big, wrote history, they opt for bulldozing these, in turn for new big blocks of steel & concrete which can never have such a unique appeal than the old ones, and can never display a heritage & pathos like the old ones;
hence DESTROYING WORLD CULTURE.

These people did not understand anything about sports marketing.
Still we should award something (medals ?) to detain them from fumbling with all assets they could possibly try (just to showing the world that they have the power to fumble ... without any sound idea).
What a pity
"

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12. Posted by sagosac, 06/10/2021 13:12

"It just does not make any sense.
Qualy vs. Race are 2 extremes and extremes are good for entertainment, as for sports (as for R&D).
Sprint is a mixture, neither BAM-flatout, neither wise-managing resources.
It is just something new, for the sake of adding something new.
(a "Mitbringsel" from Domenicali)

I am not surprised that sports/marketers, like sports officials, are desperately trying to leave a mark, to find / produce Kudos for their own work.

I am idignant that every sport on this planet is being given over to people who have no scruple to destroy decade- / century-long brand heritage, working systems, good sports (conc. F1: formerly good sports).

If you want to address problems a sport has, it is not the last conclusion of wisdom to address all other levers, bar the ones concerned.

Do people, fans with normal life calamities, are they EAGER for learning all their sports / events again and again ? Does it need to keep them on their hind legs ? Do they enjoy to explain their peers / kids complicated, changing sporting rules over and over again ? over simple, stable ones ?
Is football & tennis & golf not a good example ?
How do you enjoy your sparetime more ? By learning or by watching ?
Utter NONSENSE, without any URGE ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"

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13. Posted by kenji, 06/10/2021 3:41

"@ Endre....Yes, a few beers would be an excellent balm for a healthy and friendly debate. My point is simply this, a slightly different variation of quali that has the possibility of upsetting the status quo is being introduced. It's no biggie really. The teams expressed their opinion that despite having less time for set up they were able to race competitively, that proves that fact. What does happen though is that it introduces another level of, let's say 'jeopardy'...the chance of an upset. That surely has to be good for the final event...no? As for the evidence that nobody likes it, well I certainly haven't seen any evidence other than a minimum number of posters giving vent! Some even go as far as calling the F1 management lunatics for daring to try something different. At the end of the day Endre, if you choose to walk away from watching and commenting on F1 that is your solo right,however I fear that that decision IMO is rather silly and rather classic rhetoric. Avoid all the lead up and simply watch the race, as most times it will vary little from you've been seeing [ and presumably enjoying ] for years..so why the beef? Enjoy Turkey, I know that I will. As for next year, well if these guys are the best in the world then they will adapt whether there is a sprint quali or not. I will finish up with the words of the great JJ Cale...'some like his and some like that, and some don't know where it's at'. Deep and meaningful...."

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14. Posted by Endre, 05/10/2021 14:32

"@Editor thank you, I am honored.

@kenji this could turn into a very long discussion, better done over a beer somewhere rather than in a forum. Lack of setup is pretty obvious. The less time you have on track the more is done over computer simulations and the more equalized things will be. Right now you don't really see it because there is plenty of data on current cars and tracks which can be used, but come next year and new tracks, it will be completely different. I wish they would trial sprint race in Qatar this year, it would be interesting to see what kind of setups people can come up with on a new track.

As to evidence on how much people and drivers don't like it, pretty simple also. Just read driver comments providing opinions with suggestions on how little it does and needs for improvements. That is their filtered way of saying it sucks. With regards to fans, look through social media, look at comments here ...

"

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15. Posted by TokyoAussie, 05/10/2021 4:21

"Not at all in favour, but fully expected."

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