Formula One will stage six sprint races in 2023, double the number of the format that has proved a popular addition to grand prix weekends in the past two seasons. Which circuits will host the 100 kilometre dash held on the Saturday have yet to be determined, F1 said on Tuesday. Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos hosted sprints when they first appeared on the calendar last year, with Imola and Austria’s Red Bull Ring circuit followed by Interlagos again chosen this term. “Sprint sessions provide an exciting dynamic to the race weekend format and have proven to be popular over the past two seasons,” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of the FIA, the sport’s governing body.
“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,” he added.
F1 chief Stefano Domenicali was equally enthusiastic at the increase in number of a format which he said “adds a new dimension to Formula 1”.
At sprint weekends, qualifying is switched to Friday, with the finishing order of Saturday’s race shaping the grid for the grand prix 24 hours later.
This season the sprint’s points system were strengthed, with the top three home gaining eight, seven and six points respectively down to one point for eighth place.
“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,” noted Domenicali.
“The feedback from the fans, teams, promoters, and partners has been very positive,” he added.
At Imola’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in April world champion and runaway series leader Max Verstappen hit the points jackpot for the weekend, emerging with a maximum 34 points after winning the sprint, the grand prix and setting the fastest lap.
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