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Just 3 Sprints likely this season


Plans to hold as many as 6 Sprint races this season are in disarray after teams fail to agree on compensation.

F1's grand plans to hold Sprints at a third of this year's races are in turmoil after the teams failed to reach an agreement on the amount of compensation to be paid in lieu of potential crash damage.

Last month, McLaren boss, Zak Brown revealed that a number of teams - believed to include Mercedes and Red Bull - were demanding as much as $5m in compensation should their cars be damaged during the Sprint events.

In 2021, the teams were given an allowance of $450,000 each for participating in the three Sprints, and an additional $100,000 to cover potential accident damage, and while most were happy to continue with this arrangement, a couple said they weren't and the American believes that this was a means of exceeding track limits as far as the budget cap is concerned.

"Some want to take the opportunity to raise the cost cap, a few of the teams," he said. "We're adamantly opposed to raising the cost cap on anything. So we're going to need to work through that issue.

"The reality is there was very little damage last year," he added. "When this was proposed to us a year ago, they did a report on the damage that was incurred on the opening laps, and it was also in the report that showed there was very little damage. We came into this thinking there could be very little damage, and it turns out there was very little damage. And yet a couple of the teams still want to take the opportunity to raise the budget by a ridiculous number, by almost, ‘well, what if I write off a car every race?'

"From what I've seen, I saw more crashes in practice than I have in the sprint races," he added. "It might be new to some teams to actually have to manage a budget, but I think that's in the spirit of the sport, so you can certainly match the revenue to the expense and resolve that. We need to be very careful to be fiscally sustainable, that certain teams take the opportunity to try and raise that all the time. We need to resist that."

It's understood that three teams have stuck to their guns demanding an increase to the budget cap to incorporate potential crash damage and as a result, in a compromise F1's plans for six Sprints have been abandoned in favour of three.

There was talk of a Sprint over the season opening weekend, indeed it was to be held on Bahrain's outer 'oval' circuit, while other potential venues for the format included Imola, Montreal, Zandvoort, the Red Bull Ring and Interlagos, which along with Silverstone and Monza hosted Sprints last season.

Assuming the (three) Sprints do go ahead, and that is in no way a done deal for Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari may yet reject F1's compromise, it is understood there will be changes to the format including the points allocation. However, if the deal is rejected there will be no Sprints.


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1. Posted by kenji, 07/02/2022 1:26

"@ elsiebc...Thank you for your response. So for 'purity' sake it's down to a 'lower sun angle'? I learn something new each and every day. Finally, I take it that you'll either be giving the 'sprints', if it in fact they do actually happen, a wide berth or you'll watch them under sufferance/ or maybe just a sneak peek to whet your curiosity... Not long to go now......, the start can't come quick enough."

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2. Posted by elsiebc, 06/02/2022 17:21

"@kenji I'm not the first to point out that it's a longer race with a break. You qualify. You start the race. You stop the race. The next day you restart the race in the same order. It's just a long red flag during a longer race.
And all weekend changes need to be seen through both the lens of the tv viewer and the of the on site spectator. I personally miss Sunday morning practice. It was the only time that the cars were on track with a lower sun angle. (Now that happens at a few select events). Also, there is nothing that happens now until the afternoon. Not even a flyover."

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3. Posted by Defiant, 06/02/2022 3:22

"I love the idea of having an exhibition race in some format, it'd be a fun thing for the fans and the drivers, but no points included, just something for charity.
I loved the era we had of V8, V10 and V12 all on the track together, lets do that again and how about each type of engine was allowed a certain amount of weight, fuel, and fuel flow per race... that'd affect the strategy of each type. I'd allow supercharged and turbo in the mix too.
As for chassis, here's a box...make it fit in this.
Tyres, multiple manufacturers offering whatever they wanted.
Refuelling for me is the best way of bringing back flat out performances.
just my 2cents"

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4. Posted by kenji, 06/02/2022 0:24

"@ Elsiebc.....Looking at the Sprint as a part of the entire race is certainly another viewpoint...I personally look at the Sprint as an 'hors d'oeuvres' prior to the main course on Sunday, an event that further whets the appetite but it would help if you could explain why you'd rather have an FP3 instead, I'm curious. Regards your point on 'purity' I take it that you would object if the FIA announced an extension of race duration from 300km to 400km? If that's your objection why not just watch both the Sprint and the GP and enjoy what's on offer? By using the Sprint to set the grid in fact shortens the usual 'quali' time by approx. 50% but it also means that the bottom ranked teams can go the full 18/20 laps without being shuffled out. That opens up the possibility of them gaining places should any of the cars in front of them falter. "

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5. Posted by Editor, 05/02/2022 18:21

"@ elsiebc

Now you're talking...

And what could be beter than the return of something akin to the BMW Procar series of 79/80... something we've been suggesting for some time.

Now, that would really entertain and answer a few questions."

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6. Posted by elsiebc, 05/02/2022 17:40

"If you want more racing action over the weekend, put the drivers in identically prepared vehicles for an exhibition race. Ford Festivas, Formula V's, Cup Cars (pick your Cup), etc. Sponsor money, Mr. Liberty. Sponsor money! The drivers would have a blast! And you could use gimmicks to decide the starting grid because it's all for fun. I saw one dirt track micro midget race where the drivers pulled the starting numbers out of a hat and had to assign that number to another driver. Gee, if LH pulled "20" who do you think he'd give that number to, Mr Netflix?!? Maybe get charities in on it. Fans could vote driver positions and have to make a donation added to the pot to vote. Then Lewis fans could support his cause and demonstrate their appreciation for those pre-race admonishments of ourselves while completely overlooking who he hired to be his #1 personnel."

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7. Posted by elsiebc, 05/02/2022 17:39

"I agree with Defiant.

If you want sprint racing bring back the option for refueling. Schumacher making four stops to win the French GP was truly sprinting, pushing the entire time. How about allowing refueling and bringing a wider range of tires with no use requirement? Maybe someone decides on more durable tires and a full tank no-stopper while another decides on the softest tires and a light car. If nothing else it would take the engineers time to work out the quickest way to run at each particular track. Would running a smaller fuel cell and tighter bodywork give what advantage? It should keep the slide rules busy for a couple seasons.

@kenji The Sprint format takes a 300K race and makes it a 400K race with an overnight break. That is my objection. That is what dilutes the purity of the format. And to not watch means you are missing 1/4 of the race."

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8. Posted by kenji, 05/02/2022 2:02

"@ Defiant...Thanks for the response and IMO no comment is irrelevant. How does the 'sprint' dilute the 'purity'? of the format ? The GP the following day has, IMO, not lost anything at all. It is still the main event. Maybe the grid is somewhat mixed up, hopefully, and that can't be bad! Regarding refuelling...well that's not such a bad idea but if I was to change the format I'd choose the following... no mandated tyre changes, just supply two compounds with each one only capable of doing two thirds of a race distance and these tyres supplied by multiple manus. I would definitely look at how manus integrated into the team network via B teams. There should legally enforceable rules to prevent race fixing covering both driver and PU team supply. With the cost cap now in place then I think that your suggestion regards greater freedom in the design process is a good idea and it would be a welcome change to see cars chasing the same goal from a rich and varied realm of possibility. Finally, the PU. Well I've always admired the magnificent feat of engineering that's been accomplished but I would prefer to see an equally powerful PU that is greatly simplified thus becoming far more economical and freeing up funds for other car development. The fact that the MGU H is being eliminated from the future PU's is encouraging to hear. The ICE has many years of development left and the day that F1 goes 100% E is most likely the day I go F1 free as well. Lightweight V8/10 twin turbos with Kers and hydrogen enriched renewable fuels would suit me fine....but I very much doubt that that will ever happen."

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9. Posted by Defiant, 04/02/2022 17:14

"@kenji, I'm happy to elaborate on my irrelevant opinion.

I haven't been a fan of the sprint races at all. I feel that it dilutes the purity of the format.
F1 cars struggle to overtake and although DRS has changed things a little, the pitstop/tyre/fuel management has become the most common form of passing, shorter races doesn't play well in this scenario. (I'd rather change the scenario).
I know that this isn't always correct as Lewis proved last year, but it't not the usual.

I think it's putting lipstick on a pig in an effort to just do "something". I'd like less tinkering and more thinking.

on a slightly off topic tangent but going back to the scenario...

If it's true sprint we want, how about bringing back re-fuelling?

I wish that we would see a more open form of competition, mid race re-fuelling, multiple tyre manufacturer's, multiple engine formats, different chassis design etc. The tighter the rules in the design area the worse things seem to get."

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10. Posted by kenji, 04/02/2022 13:39

"@ Editor...Yes, we should move on but it's been fun so far. Spirited debate is very healthy. To address the first issue. Look at post 15..' scrap the lot', post 12...' Ditch them', post11...'just ban the sprints'. Whatever you call it, 'ditching/banning/ scrapping' it's all one and the same to me.That's fair enough, i just don't see the justification of those attitudes when faced with a dreary FP3 as an alternative. As you rightly say, no one has to justify anything to anyone but in the good spirit of discussion surely a query is not a call for a life sentence.

As for your list of possible gimmicks, i would be equally aghast if they were proposed. What you are implying is that 'sprints' are the thin end of the wedge! If so then I would not want to see those gimmicks introduced as they are actually 'race integrated'. ATM the 'sprints' are really a minor issue, there to be enjoyed for what they are, just a bit more fun. IMO. "

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11. Posted by Editor, 04/02/2022 11:06

"I've done a search, I've done two searches, but I cannot find where I, or anyone else, called for the Sprints to be "banned".

To be absolutely clear, I, personally, am in favour of as much action over a race weekend as possible, but the Sprint concept was ill thought out and the motivation for it was not about fans or 'fans' but money.

In a post in another thread the other day someone referred to me and my 'dislike' of Arsenal. Fact is, even as someone who grew up watching Tottenham and was a season ticket holder I no longer have any interest in football. I don't look at the results, far less pay out to watch on Sky. I have absolutely zero interest in football and that includes Tottenham Hotspur... indeed, consider me one of the few that didn't weatch one single minute of last year's England v Germany match in the Euros.

Perhaps that's because I am that much older now, though age hasn't dented my interest in cats, the Velvet Underground, (most) redheads etc...

No, what caused me to lose all interest in football and Tottenham was the way in which the game was changing, indeed what it has become.

And to be honest, I now see the same warning signs with F1.

That said, if others enjoy the Sprints, Drive to Survive and all the rest of it, that's great, good luck to them. However, in the same way that I would not expect them to justify why they feel the way they do, I do not feel I need to justify the way I feel.

As for Liberty "broadening the entertainment" and getting "more fans through the turnstiles", how far do we go down that particular route. Do away with the traditional Grand Prix in favour of several sprints. How about reverse grids, handicaps, joker events or drivers swapping teams for particular races... how far do we go down that particular road.

As for getting fans "more fans through the turnstiles", as we have seen with some of the newer events the 'if you build it, they will come' mantra doesn't always succeed, then again, Liberty doesn't need the turnstile money, only the hosting fee.

Personally I'm drawing a line under this, I've said my piece and would never wish to be seen as contrary. But to be absolutely clear, I don't want Sprints "banned"."

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12. Posted by kenji, 04/02/2022 10:50

"@ Editor...taking your point re Liberty..they are broadening the weekends entertainment for most fans by way of more actual 'racing'. That being the case surely if the result is more fans through the turnstiles then they have achieved a double whammy by giving people what they want to see and at the same time growing their company revenues, the basic tenet of business in a capitalist society."

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13. Posted by kenji, 04/02/2022 10:41

"Some very interesting POV being put here. The posters here who would simply ban the sprints outright have not elucidated clearly just why they would take that course of action. To simply ban the sprints would be to totally disrupt the enjoyment of the majority [57% ] of the fans and for what purpose? I'm always open to any other opinion as it supports the concept of freedom of speech. I would still like to know what it is that offends the senses of those who would ban sprints. To me the sprints are a welcome supplement to the GP racing. Sprints certainly don't affect the massive excitement of the 'main event' least to me they don't. They just add to the overall weekend of fun.

@ Editor...Your comment re 'Korean movies' ...would love to know what it is that makes you fond of them ? "

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14. Posted by Editor, 04/02/2022 10:29

"The Oxford dictionary defines vehement as: "showing very strong feelings, especially anger."

To be clear, as an Anti-Sprinter I reserve my strong feelings and anger for the more important things in life.

Fact is, F1 (Liberty) isn't doing it for the fans - or to anger the 'fans' - but for the money. Nothing more, nothing less."

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15. Posted by @R1Racing71, 04/02/2022 10:21

"I too am somewhat of a pro sprinter and I really can't see why people are so vehemently oppose to it.
It's opened up I whole new dynamic to the weekend and making the Friday session more of an event. Shifting the qualifying to tea time is also an added bonus, and for me it's a win - win all round.
The Saturday now is a more than a pole position shootout, and last year it did have a significant effect on the WDC -
For me - the best thing is to have the best of both - select the races where it's appropriate to sprint and go from there.
What can I say - I just like watching racing cars I guess, as well as real ale, red heads....

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