F1 considering assigning more points to Sprint races in 2022

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W12 at the start of the race. 12.09.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Monza
© XPB 

Formula 1 will in all likelihood add more sprint race weekends to its 2022 calendar, with more points also likely to be on offer for drivers for the Saturday event.

F1 will hold its third and final sprint race trial later this month in Brazil, after which the sport's chiefs along with the FIA will take stock of this year's three-race experiment and decide their course of action for 2022.

However, based on the positive feedback F1 has received so far from competitors, and the high demand from promoters, it's almost a given that the novel concept will return next season, with the number of sprint race events likely increasing from three to six, at venues that have yet to be selected.

"We've in principle agreed with the teams that we will look towards six events for next year," F1 chief Ross Brawn told the media on Monday.

"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."

Several modifications to the sprint race format are currently being considered, such as the points scheme which currently rewards only the first three finishers.

But Brawn insists that only small steps and incremental changes will be undertaken ahead of next year's hopefully transformative season for F1.

"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."

In the interest of the championship, the points schedule for the sprint race would be increased, but also likely extended to the top ten finishers in the event, like for a normal race.

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

"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."

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