McLaren boss Zak Brown says Formula 1 could scrap sprint race format in 2022
McLaren boss Zak Brown says Formula 1 could scrap the sprint race format in 2022 due to ‘nonsense’ demands from certain teams to push for a budget cap increase to cover them
- Formula 1 hopes to increase the number of sprint races to six in 2022
- McLaren boss Zak Brown says there is a risk of none this season
- There is disagreement between teams over the sport’s budget cap
According to McLaren boss Zak Brown, Formula 1 is at risk of no sprint race events in 2022 amid an ongoing stalemate over cost cap rules.
The format was introduced last season during race weekends at Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos, and F1 bosses had hoped to go ahead with plans to host six sprint races in 2022.
But eight out of ten teams have to agree on details to secure the sprints, and some are waiting for more money to cover the racing in them.
McLaren boss Zak Brown says Formula 1 is at risk of not holding sprint races in the 2022 season
As reported by BBC SportsBrown said certain teams are trying to capitalize on the sprint races by pushing for a more than necessary increase in the budget cap, set at $140 million (£103 million) this year.
“A few teams, and one team in particular, wanted a $5 million budget cap increase, which was just ridiculous,” Brown said.
And there are no rational facts behind it. If you challenge them, they go to what ifs and coulds and you have to anticipate. You sit there and say, “This is just bullshit.”
The sprint race format was introduced at three tracks during the 2021 season, including Silverstone (pictured)
It will only take five teams to agree on the sprint events for the 2023 season to agree, and Brown said F1 should vote that first and then try to reach an agreement on this season.
He added: “Maybe we can compromise and we’ll raise it a little bit, and we’ll start in 2022 or we’ll skip 2022, and some of these teams should explain to the fans why there are no sprint races.”
As reported by Motorsport, it is believed that teams paid an extra $100,000 (£73,000) per event for each sprint in 2021.
They were also given a $450,000 (£330,000) cost cap for the three events, plus room for an additional $100,000 per car for accident damage in the event of a serious incident.
Lewis Hamilton after overtaking Lando Norris of McLaren in the sprint race ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix
This year, however, it is clear that F1 does not want to offer additional compensation for crashes.
Instead, the initial offer was an immediate payment of $500,000 (£367,000) per team for the first five events, plus an additional $150,000 (£110,000) for each event above that.
In the sprint race format, normal Saturday qualifying is moved to Friday to set up the starting grid for a shortened race, which then sets the grid for Sunday’s main event.
Lewis Hamilton produced the most memorable performance during the new format at Interlagos, where he worked his way from the back of the field to fifth place before winning the Grand Prix.
It won’t be long before teams come to a decision as the 2022 season kicks off in just over eight weeks.