The World Motor Sport Council has given the green light for double the number of Sprint events to take place in the upcoming seasons.
First introduced last year, the idea behind the Sprints were to give exciting sessions to fans on each day of the race weekend turning the traditional practice-only day on Friday into something more impactful to the race event with qualifying replacing FP2. Saturday then would have the Sprint instead of qualifying, with the result of that shorter, 100km, race setting the grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday.
“I am pleased that we can confirm six Sprints will be part of the Championship from 2023 onwards,” said F1 CEO and President, Stefano Domenicali, “building on the success of the new format introduced for the first time in 2021.”
“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.”
In its first year Sprint events were trialled at the British, Italian and Brazilian Grands Prix while this current season has already seen two of the three selected events take place, at the Emilia Romagna and Austrian races, with the final one to once again be held in Brazil, which this year will be the penultimate round of the championship.
“The confirmation,” FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said, “that six race weekends featuring Sprint will take place from the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship season onwards is another example of the continued growth and prosperity at the highest level of motor sport.
“Thanks to close collaboration with Stefano Domenicali and our colleagues at FOM, we concluded a thorough analysis on the impact of additional Sprint sessions, and have adjusted relevant parameters of our work to ensure that they continue to be regulated at the very highest level.
“Sprint sessions provide an exciting dynamic to the race weekend format and have proven to be popular over the past two seasons – I am sure that this positive trend will continue and am pleased that the World Motor Sport Council has today given its approval for them to go ahead.”