The new sprint format for Formula 1 Grand Prix weekends is destined to grow, as Liberty Media likes it, seeing it as a great opportunity to sell more shows and tickets to fans.
Introduced in 2021 with 3 sprint races a year, the format changed slightly in 2022, and today the F1 have 6 Sprint races scheduled for 2023 (Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Qatar, USA, Brazil), which premiered in the streets of Baku.
During the last Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the sprint format was slightly revised to offer a Saturday day entirely dedicated to the Sprint.
From the new qualifying session to define the grid called sprint shoutoot to the Saturday afternoon race, the format being tested should logically continue for 2023 and beyond.
“The main idea is to have as much action as possible from Friday to Sunday,” F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said.
“The first test of the new Sprint format has been very encouraging, with very positive feedback from our partners, promoters and teams.” Domenicali added.
Domenicali added that there could still be some evolutions for the format of 2024, although admitting that the fans of the first hour or the purists (the oldest) were less enthusiastic than the new fans of the discipline.
However, Domenicali insisted that the Sprint format will not be used on all the Grands Prix of the season, but that the plan was to extend it to around a third of the calendar.
“It’s an experimental phase. Some things work well, some don’t!” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said.
While Red Bull boss Christian Horner, he agreed the F1 at leas six sprint races this season.
“I think we have to let things play out. Let’s do the 6 races this year, and then we think about it at the end of the year.” Horner said.