Formula 1Sport

Formula 1 sprint races: 2022 compromise proposed in attempt to break impasse

Formula 1 has put forward a compromise proposal in an attempt to break the impasse over sprint qualifying races for this season.

F1 had agreed in principle with the teams to double the number of sprint events to six in 2022, but a stand-off developed over the financial terms.

F1 has now proposed to hold only three sprint weekends on similar commercial terms to last year’s inaugural events.

The new plan will go ahead only if eight of the 10 teams approve it.

The ‘sprint’ format was a new approach to an F1 weekend that was trialled at the British, Italian and Sao Paulo Grands Prix last year. It introduced a short race on Saturdays in place of qualifying, which set the grid for the main event on Sunday.

F1 has shown the teams data that proves the sprint events increased both audience figures and income.

Last year, a financial deal was agreed to provide the teams with a small payment to offset the costs of more racing.

But some of the big teams have been seeking to take advantage of that by demanding an increase in the budget cap, which is set at $140m (£103m) this year.

McLaren Racing chief executive Zak Brown said last month that one of the top three teams – Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari – had asked for a $5m increase in return for agreeing to six sprint events.

F1 has refused to accept the need for an increase in the budget cap.

It argues that it would risk undermining the aim of the new regulations introduced this year, which seek to close up the field and make the racing more competitive.

F1 president Stefano Domenicali has proposed a compromise offer that reduces the number of sprints to three.

Last December, F1 made an offer that valued each sprint event at a payment of an extra $100,000 per team. It is said to be still working through the numbers on its latest proposal.

There has been no firm decision on where the three sprint events will happen, if an agreement can be reached.

Fry promoted by Alpine

Alpine have promoted Pat Fry to chief technical officer from his previous role as chassis technical director, as part of an ongoing reshuffle that saw executive director Marcin Bukowski leave the outfit last month.

Engineering director Matt Harman has been given additional overall responsibility for car performance and technical department management.

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