HomeSportsFormula 1F1: Experimental sprint races may be axed for 2022 season

F1: Experimental sprint races may be axed for 2022 season

Formula 1 fans will be disappointed to find out that there may be no sprint races in the upcoming 2022 season. McLaren team principal Zak Brown has revealed that the teams have not reached an agreement with F1 management about the financial terms for this season’s sprint race plans.

Both new and long-term F1 fans were delighted to witness an extra day of action during the race weekends at the British, Italian and Brazilian Grands Prix last season. Qualifying was held on Friday, and in its place on Saturday, a 30-minute sprint race was used to determine the final starting grid for the main race on Sunday.

It proved to be exciting for fans, who were treated to an extra day of F1 action and intense wheel-to-wheel battles. The plan was to double the number of sprint races this coming season to six, but Brown revealed that not all teams have agreed to the terms offered by F1.

Although the expansion of the sprint races was agreed in principle, some teams are supposedly asking for more money due to the added expense that may be incurred from an extra day of racing. As seen last season, some teams had to deal with massive financial blows due to major shunts by their drivers. An extra race is therefore a risk that may result in car damage and extra expenses.

Eight out of 10 teams have to agree to the proposal to stage three additional sprints, but after seeing the audience impact and sponsorship revenue generated last season, Brown revealed that some “big teams” are pushing for a better financial deal compared to the previous one.

“A couple of teams, and one team in particular, wanted a $5m budget cap increase, which was just ridiculous,” Brown said, as quoted by the BBC.

He also said that the demand was not based on “rational facts” and only on “what ifs” and damages that are anticipated. He called the situation “nonsense.”

With many of the teams on the grid affiliated with each other, it is possible for any big team to manipulate decisions by forcing their “sister teams” to vote in the direction they want. Brown says that some teams can exploit this power over their affiliates to effectively hold F1 hostage.

“Maybe there can be a compromise raised and we raise it a little bit, and we start in 2022 or we skip 2022, and a couple of these teams should have to explain to the fans why there is no sprint races,” he added, without naming which teams are holding back from the agreement.


Out of my way: Lewis Hamilton powers his Mercedes from the back of the grid to fifth in the sprint race AFP / CARL DE SOUZA
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