Formula 1 to hold three Sprint events in 2022 – with more points on offer
The F1 Commission has approved plans to run the F1 Sprint format at three Grand Prix weekends – at Imola, the Red Bull Ring and Interlagos – in 2022.
F1 Sprint was introduced last year and involved a 100km dash with each lasting around 25-30 minutes. The result determined the grid for the weekend’s main event – the Grand Prix on Sunday.
Following talks with all the key stakeholders, including governing body the FIA and all the teams, an agreement has been reached to hold events at the Emilia Romagna, Austrian and Sao Paulo Grands Prix.
The points system has been tweaked, with the top eight drivers scoring points; previously it was just the top three finishers who received points. It’s now more lucrative: the driver who finishes P1 will receive eight points, down to one point for the driver in P8.
It has also been decided that the driver who sets the fastest time in qualifying – which on Sprint weekends will take place on Friday – will be attributed ‘pole position’. Last year, it was the driver who won the Sprint who earned that accolade.
Qualifying will continue to determine the grid for Saturday’s F1 Sprint, with the result of the Sprint forming the line-up for the start of Sunday’s Grand Prix.
“Following a review of the three Sprint events that took place in 2021 and a recognition by all that the format created positive benefits for the sport, three Sprint events were proposed for 2022, acknowledging this as a sensible number in light of the pressures already on the teams for this season with the introduction of major changes to the regulations," an FIA statement said.
“The Commission unanimously approved the three Sprint events for the coming season, incorporating a number of updates to the format based on the feedback of fans, media and teams.”
The proposed changes are subject to ratification by the World Motor Sport Council.
Meanwhile, the FIA said they will present “news of structural changes and action plan in the coming days” regarding the investigation, led by newly-elected FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, into the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Ben Sulayem led the discussion on the topic at Monday’s meeting of the F1 Commission and intends to incorporate feedback from the attendees into his analysis before presenting the final findings.