After the first Saturday Sprint of the year in Imola, F1 has proposed a plan to double the number of sprint events the next season. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen went ahead of Charles Leclerc to win the Imola Sprint. But, there were mixed reviews from the drivers and fans. Still, F1 is planning on increasing the number of sprints to six. Luckily, the racing teams have shown their unanimous support during Tuesday’s F1 Commission meeting.

However, the FIA issued a statement that the governing body was evaluating the impacts of the sprint proposal on their trackside operations and personnel. Moreover, inside sources have suggested that the FIA has demanded more money in return for their support of the proposal. Meanwhile, F1’s managing director, Ross Brawn, is the frontman backing the proposal. There was another attempt to increase the number of sprints for this season. The format was introduced with three races in 2021. However, the racing teams demanded an increased cap budget to cover the costs of the races. Hence, the F1 officials decided to compromise on three sprints at Imola, Austria, and Brazil. 

Saturday Sprint Imola

The previous committee vote was at the last minute, and hence, the proposal needed a supermajority of 28/30 to pass, including eight from the teams. Unfortunately, the proposal could not pass due to financial concerns. However, Ross Brawn thinks that the racing teams can see the success, and the unanimous vote from the committee has proved it.

F1 Managing Director Optimistic About The Proposal

Ross Brawn revealed that last year teams were not quite sure where they were with their old cars. However, Brawn feels that the racing teams can see how the sprints feed into the new cars and their philosophy. Further, the managing director explained that the sprint provides the fans and the teams a great Friday, where the drivers qualify for Saturday’s sprint. He added that the fans get three days of constant action, and F1 cannot ignore the fact. Formula One is keen on increasing the number of sprint events as it believes that the action on Friday and Saturday before the Grand Prix has generated a substantial amount of income and interest.

Ross Brawn

FIA Clarifies Their Demand For More Money

The F1 and the racing teams were surprised by FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem’s take on the proposal. The FIA is paid $40m ($30.7m) per year from F1 to manage the races, along with a million dollars extra for every race event. In addition, the FIA also benefits from the income of promoters. However, an FIA spokesperson clarified the governing body’s demand. The representative suggested that the request was not completely money-related. The FIA speaker stated that they need to be properly resourced to do their jobs adequately. 

He suggested that the sprint events increase a lot of workload on the staff. The FIA would probably need to hire more operational staff for aspects like scrutineering, tire return, and parc ferme. Moreover, the FIA said that it would provide feedback to the FIA commission during a subsequent meeting. The F1 commission is a body of senior figures, including F1, the FIA, and the team principals. Moreover, the commission is the final decision-making body ahead of the FIA. Thus, it seems like the fans will get to see more actions on Saturdays to increase the thrill next year.

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