Sprint race debate: 'Very significant split at the highest level of F1'

27-04-2022 12:01
F1 News
Sprint race debate: 'Very significant split at the highest level of F1'

At the most recent FIA Formula 1 commission meeting, many topics were up for discussion including sprint races in F1. According to Craig Slater, the debate has caused a significant split at the highest level of F1 as the sport looks to double the number of sprint races to six for 2023. 

Sprint races

In 2021, sprint races in Formula 1 was tested for the very first time. The grid formation was determined by the result of the Saturday sprint race, and the same will be taking place across the 2022 season at three different venues. The first took place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend a few days ago, and it will happen again in Austria and Brazil later in the season. 

The F1 teams have all voted to back a proposal from the commercial rights holder to increase the number of sprint weekends to six, despite some drivers disagreeing including Max Verstappen. But according to Sky Sports journalist Craig Slater, it has caused a big split of opinions. 

"What we've had at this Formula One Commission meeting is a very significant split at the very highest level of Formula One. Formula One, the sport's commercial rights holder, was in favour of that - there was unanimity among the 10 teams in favour of that as well - but it has not happened because the FIA cannot support it at this point," Slater reported on Sky Sports. 

Achieving the purpose 

Liberty Media and Formula 1 introduced sprint races to try and attract a younger audience, and give fans at each circuit more meaningful running spread across three days. Following data recorded over the three events last season, the F1 teams are confident this has worked as anticipated. Slater says there is hope that it will generate more revenue with an independent sponsorship. 

The FIA isn't currently aligning itself with the opinion of F1 commercial rights holders and suggests they need to 'evaluate the impact' on various different operations. Though Slater reports there are "unjustifiable financial requests behind the FIA's decision to block the vote. The word 'greed' was actually used to me," Slater told Sky Sports news. 

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