Formula 1: FIA doubles number of sprint races for 2023 season
London: Formula 1 has announced that six Sprint races a season will be taking place from 2023 onwards after the proposal gained approval of top authorities of the sport.
The announcement was made on Tuesday. The number of sprint races per season will now double from three to six.
The Sprint is a shortened race for Saturdays that debuted last year and returned for 2022 as well. It is a mini version of what one can see on Sundays on Grand Prix races. Drivers race for 100 km, the third of the usual race distance in Grand Prix for grid slots for Grand Prix and points for their championship hopes.
The 20 drivers start in order they qualified on Friday and their finishing positions 100 km later become the positions they line up in for the start of Sunday’s Grand Prix event.
This year, it was seen in Imola and Austria. Both were won by Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing, earning him maximum eight points. It will return at Brazillian GP during the penultimate race of the ongoing season.
Though the move always found the support of racing teams, it remained a source of contention between F1 and governing body International Automobile Federation (FIA).
But F1 and FIA managed to hold positive discussions on this format, the shorter Saturday race setting up the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix. It was approved by World Motor Sport Council on Tuesday.
The venue for these six sprint races will be confirmed later. F1 has already released a 24-race calendar for next season for the 2023 season.
“I am pleased that we can confirm six Sprints will be part of the Championship from 2023 onwards, building on the success of the new format introduced for the first time in 2021,” said F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali in a statement as per Sky Sports.
“The Sprint provides action across three days with the drivers all fighting for something right from the start on Friday through to the main event on Sunday – adding more drama and excitement to the weekend.”
“The feedback from the fans, teams, promoters, and partners has been very positive and the format is adding a new dimension to Formula 1, and we all want to ensure its success in the future,” he concluded.
If F1 returns to the Chinese Grand Prix, it will be the fourth leg of a record 24-race season in 2023.
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