FIA puts brakes on additional Sprint races

We often talk about the cost cap the teams must adhere to in 2022 and how difficult that is. How the teams are continually asking for the cap to be raised to accommodate economic price inflation and other factors. 

We also discussed how the originally proposed six Sprint Race in 2023 was reduced to three because the teams were adamant that six was too many special feature races to fit within their cost cap due to the cost of running cars. To be fair, I agreed with them.

What we didn’t see coming was a recent decision at an F1 Commission meeting in London where the teams were trying to approve adding six Sprint Races to next year’s calendar. In this case, it needed majority support from the teams, F1 and the regulatory body, the FIA. 

It was a bit surprising to see the report from Jonathan Noble over at Motorsport today about this meeting and how the teams and F1 were all on the same page but the motion was voted down because the FIA wanted more money. 

There are a total of 30 votes in F1 with 10 teams, ten votes for F1 and ten votes for the FIA. A simple majority of 25 votes was needed and the FIA voted no.

According to the report, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who chaired the meeting, said that they would consider adding more Sprint races if there was a financial contribution made to the FIA…in short, more money from the sport.

The FIA said: “With the first of three sprint events of the 2022 season popular with fans and stakeholders last weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Formula 1 and the teams were supportive of an extension to six sprint events for the 2023 season, running with the same format as in 2022.

“While supporting the principle of an increased number of sprint events, the FIA is still evaluating the impact of this proposal on its trackside operations and personnel, and will provide its feedback to the Commission.”

That is reported to not have gone down well with the teams and F1 and the FIA agreed to investigate what impact it would have on FIA resources to accommodate more Sprint races. 

So in short, the teams didn’t want six races this season due to the cost of running the additional three races. The FIA now has jumped on that dastardly cost cap issue by suggesting that they can’t afford to do three additional Sprint races either. 

So here we have a quagmire in that the teams want more money to race more and the FIA want more money to race more. I understand the cost of the teams but I’m not quite as convinced that it is a massive burden on the FIA to run three more Sprint races. 

There is no doubt it cost them more but in the end, they staff and personnel are already there. It would be interesting, in fairness to the FIA, to understand just how much it does cost them to cover a race weekend so fans could better understand why they are asking for more money. I’m sure it would surprise most of us. 

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MIE

If F1 wants sprint races, then they should do away with qualifying and have three heats over the weekend (FP1 and Heat 1 Friday, Heat 2 and 3 Saturday). Each driver starts one Heat in the front third, one in the middle third and one in the back third. The grid for the GP is the aggregate of the finishing positions of the heats combined. This would force teams to design cars that can work in the dirty air behind rivals, rather than the current position where they are optimised to run in clear air. That way we could do… Read more »

garysaidwhat?

layin’ in the cut, baby…
same as it ever was.

Peter

I am not, surely, the only one confused. I listened to the TV presenters stumble over the qualifying (after one practice session!), qualifying for the sprint or, no wait, was that qualifying for the race? But if someone qualified on pole but lost the sprint, were they on pole or not? And then the penalties and grid changes… lord what a mess. Either use the sprint as qualifying or not. One or the other, not both.
And the cost cap will play its hand out around the time of SPA… mark my words.

lemongrab

This wouldn’t solve any of the cost issues, but it would at least help delineate them – move sprint races to Friday, retain usual Sat/Sun format   Friday   AM – 30 minute Practice immediately followed by: 1 Lap Qualifying – order determined by finishing order of last sprint race (random draw or P1 order for first sprint quali)   PM – Sprint Race   True test of drivers – 30 minute shakedown then right into 1 high pressure lap, and then into racing on a green track.   This removes race weekend implications from the sprint race, so no… Read more »

Fabio

I think they should bring back the Sunday Warm-Up to make up for the reduced Friday FP times.