2022 Belgian Grand Prix
The Formula 1 Committee met ahead of the first practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. One of the topics was sprint races in 2023. Most of the mini-six-car Grand Prix circuits were repaired on Saturday.
Formula 1 expands the width factor. Starting next season, the number of sprint weekends will be doubled: from three to six. This has been known for a long time. Only the six mini-race venues on Saturday are gone. Shortly before the end of the Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi, they are now sure.
The weekend in São Paulo a week ago made it clear to the series creators for the last time where the trip should go. Commercial interests yes, but the sport should also benefit from additional races over a third of the GP distance. There is no point in holding the Mini Grand Prix on Saturdays at circuits where overtaking is an art. Like in Imola this season.
The extra entry fee that the organizer has to put on the table is of little use if the stress factor drops pretty much by the wayside. This is why Formula 1 management is specifically looking for high-speed racetracks with long straights that drivers are encouraged to go over.
First race of 2023 in Baku
Like Interlagos for example. There, 37 overtaking maneuvers were counted in 24 laps in this year’s race. This is one of the reasons why Brazil has been awarded the contract again and will host a sprint for the third time in 2023. As part of the Formula 1 committee, series boss Stefano Domenicali also presented the team bosses with other racetracks that are planned to race next year.
Paco is the first to do so. The Azerbaijan GP is scheduled in 2023 as the fifth race of the weekend. Other sprint races take place in Austria (Spielberg), Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps), Qatar (Lucile) and the United States (Austin). However, changes are not excluded. It is said that not all contracts have been finalized yet. It seems especially with Qatar.
Second qualifying for the race?
One of the considerations discussed in Formula 1 management is driving a second qualification. In other words: the result of the first qualification determines the starting order for the sprint race. The second qualification determines the starting grid for the Grand Prix. This can ensure that drivers are willing to take more risks in independent sprint racing.
Here one interacts with a point of criticism from Max Verstappen. World champion argument: When the sprint determines the order for Sunday’s race, the driver would rather back off than risk a better position. The proposal is on the table and will be discussed further. In order to push it through 2023, everyone involved must agree.
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