Formula 1 considering stand-alone Sprint events for 2023

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Formula 1 is reportedly mulling a weekend format change for 2023, with Sprint races possibly becoming stand-alone events that will no longer set the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix.

Last year's positive feedback over F1's three-race Sprint trial led to the concept being extended into 2022, again at three venues, and to points being attributed to the top eight finishers instead of the top three.

Next year, F1 will expand the format to six rounds of the 2023 F1 world championship.

This season, F1's Sprint weekend's format remained unchanged, with qualifying held on Friday afternoon and the classification of the 30-minute race held on Saturday still serving as the basis for the grid on Sunday.

However, a feeling among many drivers is that Saturday's Sprint offers limited interest because competitors are reluctant to take risks for fear of compromising their position on Sunday's grid.

Holding Sprint races as stand-alone events next year would likely give drivers more freedom and help boost the spectacle on the track.

Therefore, a potential format currently being discussed by Formula 1 with teams for 2023 would see Friday's qualifying set the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix.

Haas boss Guenther Steiner has suggested that Saturday's FP2, which serves little purpose on Sprint weekends, could be replaced by a qualifying session that would determine the grid for the afternoon's Sprint race.

Speaking in Sao Paulo on Thursday, Red Bull's Max Verstappen reiterated his view that F1's current Sprint format isn't conducive to producing an exciting mad dash race on Saturday afternoon.

"I’m just not a big fan of it because I feel like we don’t really race," said Verstappen.

"There are a few [championship] points that you get but you also know that you can’t really risk it because the main race is where you really get the points.

"You don’t do a pit stop so you just put on the tyre which will last the distance."

“Max has a good point," added Haas' Kevin Magnussen. "The risk that you want to take in sprint is less because it decides the position for Sunday.

"So I think maybe a good tweak could be to separate that, so you can go for it."

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