FIA, the official governing body of F1, introduced the Sprint race in 2021, wherein the traditional qualifying session was replaced by a 100 km sprint race which would determine the starting order of the race on Sunday. In 2021 and 2022, three sprint races took place. However, this season, the number of sprint races has been doubled to six. The first one is scheduled to take place during the upcoming Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Moreover, this season, FIA has proposed changes in the Sprint weekend format to make it a bit more exciting and thrilling for the viewers. Formula One (F1) has, time and again, brought multiple changes to the race formats to attract more audiences. However, each time it has met with criticism, citing making the sport difficult for the drivers on the grind. Hence, this time it’s no different.


F1 Commission To Hold A Meeting This Week To Decide The Fate Of New Sprint Format

© XPBimages

FIA suggested a new spring weekend format to make it more thrilling for the viewers. The proposed changes include the addition of a qualifying session for the actual race on Sunday. Earlier, there existed only one qualifying session for the sprint race, and the result of the sprint race determined the starting grid order. However, F1 governing body now wants to have two qualifying sessions, one for the Sprint and one for the main race. The idea is to take the pressure off the drivers who could go full berserk in the Sprint.

The F1 commission will hold a meeting on Tuesday and vote on the proposed changes. The commission consists of F1 president Stefano Domenicali and FIA director Nikolas Tombazis. More officials of teams’ will also join in the meeting. If the resolution is passed on Tuesday, the FIA would need the permission of FIA’s World Motor Sport Council to introduce those changes in the upcoming Azerbaijan Grand Prix. It’s worth noting that the majority of the team principals remain in favor of this new format. Hence, the commission could likely approve the resolution, citing the potential benefits for the sport in terms of increased excitement and fan engagement.

Teams Fear Severe Damage To Car Components During Baku Sprint Race

Mike Krack

While the teams voted in favor of the new Sprint race format, many are second-guessing the decision. Baku will host the first spring race of this season. Moreover, it would also be the first sprint race to take place on a street circuit. Not only that, the new format making Sprint a standalone event further produced more challenges for the teams. Recently, Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack admitted that he is feeling nervous about the sprint race in Baku.

Mike feels Sprint race will cause a lot of damage to the car, and they wouldn’t have enough windows to perform the necessary repairs. Moreover, since Baku is a street circuit, overtaking is highly risky. Hence, when drivers take a plunge into that risks, the damage odds further elevates. Despite this, the team boss believes the spectators will have a good show over the weekend.