Formula 1 Sprint Races Are Here To Stay In 2022

Formula One / 6 Comments

The FIA's F1 Commission has decided on several details of F1's future.

Formula 1 is arguably one of the most exciting motorsports in the world. Teams spend millions of dollars on research and development, all in the name of shaving precious milliseconds off lap times and going quicker. While many may not see the point of this, brands such as Mercedes-AMG use what they've learned and apply that technology to road-going cars, such as the upcoming GT63 S E Performance, an 831 horsepower super sedan which will join the current GT43 and 53 models.

Introduced last year, the Formula 1 Sprint format will make a return for 2022, with three events scheduled for the coming season. Following a review of the exciting races, along with feedback from fans and teams, the FIA has elected to hold the events at the Emilia Romagna (Italy), Austrian, and Brazilian Grands Prix.

Changes to the format include the name. Formerly known as "Sprint Qualifying," the session will now be known as "Sprint", with points now awarded in a different fashion, too.

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Previously, just the top three drivers received points. In 2022, points will be awarded to the top eight, with eight points to first, seven to second, and so on.

In the 2021 season, the winning driver of the Sprint gained pole position. However, on Sprint weekends, qualifying will now take place on Friday and will determine who gains the cherished pole position for the main race. The rest of the grid will be decided by the Sprint.

The treatment of shortened races has also been reviewed, following the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, where bad weather forced the race to come to an end after just three laps, two of which were conducted behind a safety car. The FIA has noted that no points will be awarded unless a minimum of two laps have been completed by the leader, without a safety car or virtual safety car intervention.

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As such, if the race leader has completed more than two laps but less than 25% of the planned race distance, the top five will be awarded: 1st (6 points), 2nd (4 points), 3rd (3 points), 4th (2 points), and 5th (1 point).

If, however, the leader has completed 25% of the race but less than 50%, points will be awarded to nine drivers: 1st (13 points), 2nd (10 points), 3rd (8 points), 4th (6 points), 5th (5 points), 6th (4 points), 7th (3 points), 8th (2 points), and 9th (1 point).

Should the leader complete more than 50% but less than 75% of the race distance, points will be awarded to ten drivers: 1st (19 points), 2nd (14 points), 3rd (12 points), 4th (9 points), 5th (8 points), 6th (6 points), 7th (5 points), 8th (3 points), 9th (2 points), and 10th (1 point).

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The FIA has noted that all the changes are, of course, subject to approval by the World Motor Sport Council.

The aforementioned changes and several other points were discussed when the F1 Commission gathered in London earlier this week. In attendance was the newly-elected FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

In the coming days, the FIA has said they will present an action plan and structural changes in the next few days, regarding the investigation into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year. While rumors have circulated that Michael Masi could be fired from his post as Race Director, it seems likely a restructuring will happen and he will remain active in a safety role.

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