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Formula One to hold three sprint races in 2022
- Updated: February 15, 2022
The fastest driver in qualifying will be awarded ‘pole position’ for the sake of the record books, even if they end up lower down in the sprint race.
Formula One approved a plan to hold three sprint races instead of six in 2022 at an F1 Commission meeting on February 14, the FIA said in a statement.
The move will see the sprint format used at races in Imola’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and the Austrian and Brazilian Grands Prix, the FIA said in a statement.
The sport was set to roll the format out across six events this season after having trialled it at three grands prix last year.
But the plan met opposition from Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari, who wanted an increase in the cost cap to account for the increased number of sprint events.
The plan for three sprint events was unanimously approved, the FIA said. It follows a compromise proposed by Formula One bosses, keeping the cost cap intact but scaling back the number of sprint events to three.
The Formula One Commission also agreed on a change to the points structure for the sprint races, with a maximum of eight points on offer and points awarded down to eighth place.
The sprint is a shorter 100km race that will be held on Saturdays. Placings in the sprint will decide driver positions on the starting grid for Sunday’s main race.
Qualifying is brought forward to Friday and decides the starting order for the sprint race.
However, following complaints raised last year, the fastest driver in Friday’s qualifying will be awarded ‘pole position’ for the sake of the record books, even if they end up lower down in Saturday’s sprint race. Friday’s placings in qualifying will have no bearing on actual grid positions on Sunday.
The Commission also approved changes to the sporting regulations to avoid a repeat of last season’s rain-hit Belgian Grand Prix, when the result was declared and half-points awarded after completing only the minimum number of laps behind the safety car.
Going forward, no points will be awarded unless drivers have completed at least two laps without a safety car or virtual safety car intervention, the FIA said.
Points will now be awarded on a sliding scale in the case of a shortened race depending on how much distance has been covered.
Source: The Hindu