There had earlier been reports that the FIA and Formula 1 were considering increasing the number of sprint races in a year, but they seemed to go nowhere for a while, and it appeared that Stefano Domenicali, the biggest proponent of this proposal, was outvoted and could not go through with it.
But it’s come true after all, and in 2023, we will have six sprint races on the calendar. Sprint races have often been accused of being dull, with not many overtakes for the lead or a lot of excitement, but perhaps that is a feature of the gap between the teams itself than anything particularly wrong with the format.
In his statement on Formula 1’s official website, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “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.” but well, not every fan is happy with the proposal.
Fans are not pleased with F1 increasing the number of sprint races
Stefano Domenicali further added: “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.”
FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem also chipped in: “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.”
But, of course, as almost always is the case, F1 fans are rather divided on the prospect. And the people that do not want this to happen are certainly very vocal about it, and most reactions are rather negative.
Some fans do like the proposal, but they are very much in the minority. Moreover, this means there are basically 30 (6 being 1/3 race distance) races on the calendar, and teams will demand concessions.
But the opinions of fans are unlikely to affect what Formula 1 intends to do, and it’s likely that the pleas will fall on deaf ears. It has not yet been announced what circuits will hold the sprint races, nor any potential changes to the format have been announced. We shall find out in due course.