Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is calling on Formula One to make a final decision on the format of the new F1 Sprint races for the 2022 season as it appears that both Red Bull and Mercedes seek budget increases from FIA.
Sprint races were trialled last year in Formula One over three F1 grand prix weekends before an official introduction to the calendar in 2022. It has been agreed that there will be six Sprint races in 2022, but so far no one knows which circuits these Sprint races will be held at, or if they will even be introduced.
Indeed, several teams (including Red Bull and Mercedes) are seeking a budget increase of around $5 million to cover the extra costs that these Sprint races could incur in the event of an accident. But other teams, such as McLaren, do not want to see this budget increase and want to stick to the cost cap imposed by the FIA for the 2022 season, which has been set at $140 million for the season.
With just under two months to go before the start of the 2022 season, Christian Horner wants F1 to make up its mind now so that all teams know what to expect this year:
“I’m a real purist, I think qualifying and racing are the fundamental aspects of a grand prix,” Horner told Wionews.
“But I think the sprint race format was interesting last year, although I think the format wasn’t perfect and if you don’t try something you don’t know [you can’t know].
“I think there are things that could be done to make it more exciting, to make it more interesting. But it’s getting late now and we’ll have to make a decision very soon.”
The Sprint race format was introduced in F1 to allow the regular established order to be reshuffled during a grand prix weekend. The format consists of a qualifying session on Friday, the result of which determines the grid for Saturday’s Sprint race (30 minutes max), while the result of this Sprint race determines the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
During this Sprint race, only the first three drivers score points (3, 2 and 1 points respectively).