Formula 1 to double number of Sprint races a season from three to six from 2023 onwards after discussions with governing body FIA; Proposal was unanimously backed by teams earlier this year and was voted through by World Motor Sport Council on Tuesday
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 27/09/22 4:24pm
Formula 1 will run six Sprint events a season from 2023 onwards after the sport finally gained approval for more Saturday races.
Doubling the amount of Sprint events has long been backed by teams, but has been a source of contention between F1 and governing body FIA, who had suggested earlier this year that the sport would continue with three.
But F1 and the FIA have held positive discussions on the format, the shorter Saturday race that sets the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix, and increasing the number to six a season was rubberstamped by the World Motor Sport Council on Tuesday.
The venues for the six events will be confirmed at a later date. F1 have revealed a record 24-race calendar for 2024.
“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,” said F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali.
“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, and we all want to ensure its success in the future.”
F1 has held three Sprints a season since its debut, although had planned to run six in 2022.
Those proposals were scrapped after opposition from teams over costs, but they unanimously agreed for six Sprints in 2023 earlier this year. The FIA, however, refused to give their approval over their own financial concerns.
“The confirmation that six race weekends featuring Sprint will take place from the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship season onwards is another example of the continued growth and prosperity at the highest level of motor sport,” said FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem after the WMSC vote.
“Thanks to close collaboration with Stefano Domenicali and our colleagues at FOM, we concluded a thorough analysis on the impact of additional Sprint sessions, and have adjusted relevant parameters of our work to ensure that they continue to be regulated at the very highest level.
“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.”
More to follow.