F1 Commission to vote on sprint race plans, points could be awarded

f1 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, Sunday – LAT Images

Plans to hold sprint races during the 2021 Formula 1 season will be put to a vote on Thursday at a meeting of the F1 Commission, according to RaceFans.

New F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali set out the idea last week, with the initial plan to host a shorter sprint race on Saturday at three rounds this season as a trial, before deciding on whether they should be introduced more widely in 2022.

The results of qualifying, which would take place on Friday, determine the grid for the sprint race and the results of the sprint race would set the grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday.

The final details of the plans will also be discussed at the meeting on Thursday, including whether points should be awarded and if so, how many and for which finishers.

RaceFans state that the Canadian, Italian and Brazilian Grands Prix have been highlighted as potential rounds for the new format to be trialled in 2021, although that is subject to potential change to the calendar.

There is hope that the idea could increase interest in the sport and the level of excitement each race weekend generates, although plans for reverse grid races have now been dropped.

Speaking to the media last week, Domenicali said: “Reverse grid is over, that is something I can tell you. It’s important to think of new ideas to be more attractive or interesting, but no need to lose the traditional approach to racing.

“What we learned when we were changing the qualifying every two days was something that burnt our fingers, we need to avoid that, and therefore now I think that the [current] format is quite stable.

“What we’re looking at is what could be the approach to a so-called Saturday sprint race.

“We’re thinking of testing this already this year. There are ongoing discussions with teams in the right forum, and I think maybe this could be the only one thing that could be interesting.”

Updated. First appeared on February 9.