When are they and what has changed for 2022?

F1 will host its first sprint race of 2022 during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, after the format was introduced in the 2021 season with three rounds at Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos.

Following a review of the sprint race, changes were made covering a variety of themes to improve the format for both fans and teams as F1 continues to experiment with the new format.

Here’s an explanation of the current F1 sprint race format and what’s new for 2022.

What is a sprint race?

A sprint race is essentially a shortened version of a normal race that takes place over a shorter distance. They are used in many other series, but perhaps most notable for Formula 1 is their inclusion in the Formula 2 race weekend. In F2, the sprint race is 120km and the main race is 170km, although they are usually no less exciting.

F1 has introduced sprint racing to increase the excitement of the entire race weekend and give fans a competitive session on each of the three days of track action (with qualifying moved to Friday afternoon) and it’s hoped to make it a better experience overall . F1 has long attempted to make changes to the traditional race weekend format and while other options such as reverse grid races were considered, they were ultimately unpopular compared to sprint races.

Each sprint race is run over 100km (under the normal race distance of 305km) and lasts around 25-30 minutes. The starting order for the sprint race will be decided in a traditional qualifying session on Friday afternoon.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1st place, with his winner’s medal after sprint qualifying

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

What will change for 2022?

Following F1’s review and analysis of the sprint format at three events last year, a number of tweaks have been made for this season following feedback from fans and teams.

Venues

Imola, the Red Bull Ring and Interlagos will host the three sprint races in 2022 after Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos hosted the inaugural trio last year.

F1 had set a target of hosting six F1 sprint race weekends in 2022, with the other three at Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands GPs, but that plan was dropped amid a compromise over the amount of compensation for accidental damage that might be incurred teams appearing in the sprint races.

Points

The points offered in each F1 sprint race have increased compared to last year. The winner now earns eight points instead of three, with points extending up to eighth place where previously only the top three had accumulated points. The points apply to both the F1 Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.

Points are awarded as follows: 1st 8 points, 2nd 7 points, 3rd 6 points, 4th 5 points, 5th 4 points, 6th 3 points, 7th 2 points, 8th 1 point.

Like last year, the order of placement in the F1 sprint race will decide the starting grid for the Grand Prix, with all starting penalties assessed after the sprint.

Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42

Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Alfa Romeo

pole position

This year, the driver who sets the fastest time in Q3 of Friday night’s qualifying gets pole position status for the Grand Prix, regardless of his final position in Saturday’s sprint race.

This means that the driver who wins the sprint race will not necessarily be credited with pole position for the Grand Prix, even if he starts Sunday’s race from first place.

For example, if Friday’s top qualifier finished the sprint race in second place and the rider who qualified second won the sprint race, Friday’s top qualifier would still be credited with pole position even though he finished second Place behind the sprint race in the Grand Prix started the winner in first place.

team cost

A major sticking point for the 2022 sprint races was the cost cap, with a compromise agreed to increase teams’ budgets and reduce the number of sprint races for this season from six to three.

Under F1 regulations, each team is allowed to spend $150,000 more per sprint race, with an additional $100,000 allowed if one of the team’s cars retires from the sprint. An additional cost cap adjustment may be made to cover accidental damage if it results in the retirement of a team’s car.

Sprint name

Saturday afternoon’s event has officially had its name changed from Sprint Qualifiers to Sprint.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

What is the format of the sprint race weekend?

The format of the sprint race weekend remains unchanged, with a 60-minute practice session before qualifying on Friday and a second 60-minute practice session before the sprint race on Saturday. The Sunday Grand Prix also remains unchanged.

The format of the sprint race weekend:

Friday early afternoon – 60-minute Free Practice 1
Friday late afternoon – Q1, Q2, Q3 sessions to order the starting grid for the sprint race
Saturday morning – 60 minute free practice session 2
Saturday Afternoon – 100km Sprint Qualifier
Sunday Afternoon – Full Grand Prix

A regular F1 Grand Prix weekend format:

Friday early afternoon – 60-minute Free Practice 1
Friday late afternoon – 60-minute Free Practice 2
Saturday morning – 60 minute free practice session 3
Saturday afternoon – Q1, Q2, Q3 sessions to order the starting grid for the Grand Prix
Sunday Afternoon – Full Grand Prix

When will the sprint races take place in 2022?

There will be three F1 sprint races in the 2022 season, the same number as last year. As a result, this year Imola, the Red Bull Ring and Interlagos will host the F1 sprint races. Last year the sprint races were held at Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos.

Venue

grand prize

When

Imola

Emilia Romagna GP

23approx April 2022

Red Bull ring

Austrian GP

9th July 2022

interlayers

Sao Paulo GP

12th November 2022

Viardos Sports