While Formula 1 experiments with the Sprint Race format with one more to go in Brazil, the sport’s chief Stefano Domenicali says the concept was an incredible success and promises many more for next season.
Sprint Races were introduced for the first time at the British Grand Prix, again at the Italian Grand Prix which left most F1 fans, drivers, team bosses and pundits underwhelmed but, apparently, not according to F1 who have their own polling service to tap into.
Although it has to be mentioned, results of a Poll, canvassing visitors about F1 Sprint Races, which ran a couple of weeks ago on F1 Fan Voice, appearsnot to have been made public yet…
Nonetheless, as planned for this season, a third Sprint Race weekend will take place at the Brazilian Grand Prix scheduled for 5-7 November.
In the wake of Qatar being added to the F1 calendar for the next decade, Domenicali revealed to Sky Sports: “We said at the beginning of the year there would be three tests this year to make sure we have the right plan for the future.
“The vast majority of the comments we received were super positive. Promoters are super happy because there is something new and important on Friday and Saturday and Sunday.
“We are receiving this positive feedback therefore we need to know next year we have a great plan where we will consider also the points highlighted by people who did not like this format. Generally speaking, it has been an incredible success.
“I can say we will not go everywhere with the Sprint qualy format. It is something we want to keep for one-third of the races more or less and to connect with a certain different way of giving rewards and points and to connect with specific circuits that as you know would make the difference.
“So there is a lot of food for thought. We will involve all the stakeholders: broadcasters, drivers, teams, promoters and fans. We won’t forget our role is to take the right decision and to consider all the points and points of view of everyone.”
As for the 2022 F1 calendar, amid an uncertain COVID-19 landscape, Domenicali continued: “I can anticipate that, for sure, the calendar will be done with 23 races.
“Of course we will be very respectful towards the Covid regulations issued around the world from the different governments. But that is our aim that F1 can give this sign of hope and to go to normal things to enjoy.”
“The idea is to make sure there is the right rhythm to the calendar. There are of course considerations related to periods to make sure logistically the flow has to be right.
“One thing I can tell you, without discovering too many things is that next year the season will start in the middle of March and will finish in the middle of November,” added Domenicali. This would avoid a clash with the football World Cup in Qatar slated for December 2022.