Domenicali hopes for imminent agreement on sprint races


F1 boss, Stefano Domenicali says he is hoping to have the teams agreement on sprint qualifying by next weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.

"We are finalizing the final details and the goal is to have it wrapped up by Imola," he told Rai Radio 1. "What we would like to try is to have a more intense weekend where we have an hour of practice and qualifying on Friday that would decide the grid for the sprint race, which would then decide the grid for the race on Sunday.

"This would generate more interest which is something that was asked by organizers and TV rights holders."

It had been hoped to reach agreement in Bahrain, but while the teams are willing to give the sprint races a go, there is concern at the limited amount of money F1 is willing to put on the table for the added 'wear and tear' that the additional events would mean.

"We're keen to try to support the Commercial Rights Holder in having a look at it," said Christian Horner in Bahrain. "Is the format right? I mean, it could just be a static Saturday race that creates a static Sunday race - but it's another start, there's more jeopardy, etcetera, etcetera.

"I think we have to give it a go," he added. "We're interested to look at it - but what we can't ignore is that, to run and operate these cars is extremely expensive and we need to find a solution how to combat that, in particular in a season where the budget cap is having a significant impact on how we operate."

"It definitely needs to be addressed," agreed Zak Brown, "that sprint racing/sprint qualifying will cost more money and can cost significant more money if there's accident damage.

"I think there are some different proposals on the table. We just need to make sure that we address that specific issue and that it doesn't create... we don't put a rule in place that creates an opportunity that starts expanding the budget cap that we've all agreed to."

If agreement is reached next weekend, the sprint race concept would be introduced in time for th4e British Grand Prix weekend and would be repeated in Italy and Brazil.

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Published: 07/04/2021
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