Third of F1 race weekends next season could have Sprint event, says sport’s boss

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Max Verstappen leads Lewis Hamilton ahead of winning the Sprint race at Silverstone  (AFP via Getty Images)
Max Verstappen leads Lewis Hamilton ahead of winning the Sprint race at Silverstone (AFP via Getty Images)

Formula One will have a record 23 races next year and a third of them could include the Sprint format that is being trialled this season, the sport's boss Stefano Domenicali said on Monday.

The format has already been used at Silverstone and Monza this year, and will also be seen at Brazil's Interlagos next month, and features qualifying on Friday for a Saturday 100km race that then decides the starting grid for Sunday. Points are awarded for the top three drivers, in a 3-2-1 system.

Domenicali told Sky Sports the 2022 season would run from mid-March to mid-November, likely to be the earliest finish in a decade, with the calendar due to be published on October 15.

"We said at the beginning of the year there would be three tests this year to make sure we have the right plan for the future,” said Formula One’s chief executive of the Sprint format. “The vast majority of the comments we received were super positive.

"Promoters are super happy because there is something new and important on Friday and Saturday and Sunday...generally speaking it has been an incredible success.

"It is something we want to keep for a third of the races, more or less, and to connect with a certain different way of giving rewards and points and to connect with specific circuits.”

Asked whether that could mean seven or eight Sprints, he said it was a possibility.

This year is set to feature 22 rounds, still a record, and ends in Abu Dhabi on December 12. There will be new races in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with Miami coming in from 2022 and Qatar dropping off before starting a 10-year deal in 2023.

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