F1 targets sprint race points overhaul for 2022

Formula 1 wants more points to be up for grabs in sprint races next year, as the championship edges closer plans to host six events in 2022.

F1 targets sprint race points overhaul for 2022

Although a final sprint qualifying trial is set to take place at this month's Brazilian Grand Prix, F1 chiefs have already seen enough to be convinced that the format is a big hit with the majority of fans to be carried forward.

While a final decision about the 2022 plans will be made in conjunction with teams and the FIA over the winter, F1 owner Liberty Media is working on its vision for what it thinks should change next year.

F1 managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn has reiterated that six events is the target for 2022, with every race promoter having expressed an interest in holding one next year.

A final decision on which races will get awarded a sprint weekend has not been made, but they are likely to be spread evenly throughout the campaign.

Despite recent suggestions of sprints becoming standalone events, potentially with reverse grids, Brawn has made it clear that there will instead only be an evolution of the sprint rules for 2022.

With uncertainty about the impact that F1's new 2022 cars will bring, he thinks it sensible that it waits to see how things pan out next year before changing the sprint system too much.

However, he says there are key tweaks that will be put to teams, including a change of points system, the awarding of pole position and the name of the sprint.

Speaking to selected media on Monday, Brawn said: "We've in principle agreed with the teams that we will look towards six events for next year. There is quite a lot to get sorted before then, and our view is that we should take some progressive steps for next year but not radical steps.

"And that's partly because we have the new car coming along, and everyone needs to settle down with the new car coming.

"We need to see the impact of the car. So we've been relatively conservative and evolutionary for 2022. But we're positive about the concept and very pleased that F1 has been brave enough to try an alternative concept at three races to see how it works."

Sparks trail from Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02 after damage on the opening lap

Sparks trail from Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02 after damage on the opening lap

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Brawn says that while F1 will not radically change the sprint format, there are some key revisions being looked at, with the most significant being the points on offer.

"There's no doubt that we're discussing with the teams how Saturday could be made a bit more challenging, a bit more engaging," he explained.

"I'm very optimistic that the new cars will help, because of their ability to race each other. And what's in discussion is how can we make the rewards for a Saturday greater, so there's much more incentive to race on a Saturday in terms of points.

"I think probably reverse grids etc, I'd be quite excited by that I must say. But I think it would be perhaps a step too far. But there's a few things which are on the table for discussion.

"The pole position on a Friday: it has clearly not been popular not having a pole position for Friday. So that's on the agenda.

"The naming of the [sprint qualifying] event, as we all call it a race: if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck…. The naming of the event is something we want to tidy up.

"And then perhaps the points distribution for a Saturday could make it more challenging and inviting for drivers to race."

While F1 only awards points for the top three sprint finishers (3-2-1) at the moment, Brawn says that the system could change for it to offer as much as a third of the current system used for races.

This could mean the race winner getting between eight and 10, with points then being offered perhaps as far down as the top 10.

"Personally we proposed something around a third of the points that you get in a race for the sprint," he said.

"That was the initial proposal, which was not taken up because the feeling was that we need to see how the sprint functions first before we allocated the points. So we think that will be the starting point for the discussion.

"It's significant enough to be worth going for and it goes far enough down that people in lower positions still want to fight for it. But it is not of a number that has over-influence on the championship.

"It will have an influence on the championship, it must have and that's what we want, but not an excessive amount."

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, and Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, and Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Brawn says he has few complaints about the way the sprint spectacle has played out so far, with events hosted so far at Silverstone and Monza.

And although the Saturday sprint event itself has not produced a great deal of entertainment, it is the wider impact that the format has on improving Friday action and the race that has left Brawn happy.

Asked by Autosport if he felt a boring Saturday was a concern considering the impact elsewhere on the weekend, Brawn said: "Personally I think it is a price worth paying if Saturday is not a sort of crash and bang event. I'm not sure it's ever going to be.

"I think the overall weekend has improved so much that we would go with that."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 eyes 'show and tell' session on car updates in 2022
Previous article

F1 eyes 'show and tell' session on car updates in 2022

Next article

Mercedes should be stronger in Mexico with "optimised" F1 engine

Mercedes should be stronger in Mexico with "optimised" F1 engine
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022