F1 team bosses are confident that the sport hosting six Sprint races per season is only just a “matter of time” and with further discussions, all concerned parties would be in “alignment” over the matter.
Welcoming the FIA’s decision to conduct further analysis of the impact of more Sprint races, Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi felt that it was important to ensure that the FIA, FOM and teams are all on the same page about the matter. Speaking at the FIA press conference ahead of the Miami GP, he said:
“It’s good that all the governing bodies are making sure they’re fully aligned – because once you get there, you cannot really pull back. So, I think it’s nice that we are working properly, we will have a bit of a debate and a bit of homework until we get to an alignment, and we just go for it. So it’s just a matter of time, I guess.”
Earlier this month, the FIA provisionally approved FOM’s plans to schedule six Sprint races per season from 2023 onwards, following unanimous support from the teams at the F1 Commission meeting.
However, given that the addition of a Sprint race to a Grand Prix weekend requires more resources compared to a regular weekend, the FIA wanted to thoroughly investigate the impact more Sprint races would have. While some have labeled this as a “greedy move” on part of the FIA, others believe it is necessary.
Supporting Rossi’s view on the FIA’s decision, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said:
“I think that scrutiny needs to be given on the decisions we take. And I’m sure that between Stefano and Mohammed, we’re going to come to a resolution. For Mohammed it was important to hear the FIA’s members’ opinion, and he wasn’t against it, just that he needed more time for that decision.”
Zak Brown thinks Sprint races are vital to F1’s growth
McLaren team boss Zak Brown says Sprint races play an important role in helping F1 grow by creating fan awareness and increasing engagement. Given the tremendous success that the format has enjoyed since its debut last season, Brown felt it was important that the sport responds to what the fans want.
Speaking ahead of the Miami GP, he said:
“We tried to get six Sprint races off last year, which obviously didn’t happen for this year. I think all the teams voted in favour of the six Sprint races, now that we’ve seen the data, which tells us it does create more fan awareness, and that’s what I think is most important in growing the sport, is how do our fans respond when we try new activities.”
Sprint races have been well received by fans and teams alike and have generally delivered exciting on-track action. Since their debut last season, the format has remained much the same except for small tweaks.