McLaren boss Zak Brown says F1 could SCRAP sprint-race format in 2022

McLaren boss Zak Brown says Formula One could SCRAP sprint-race format in 2022 over ‘nonsense’ demands by certain teams to push for an increase to the budget cap to cover them

  • Formula One is hoping to push the number of sprint races up to six in 2022
  • McLaren boss Zak Brown says there’s a risk there might be none this season
  • There is a disagreement among teams in relation to the sport’s budget cap 

Formula One risks not having any sprint-race events in 2022 amid an ongoing stalemate over cost cap rules, according to McLaren boss Zak Brown.

The format was introduced last season during race weekends at Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos, and F1 bosses had hoped to push on with plans to hold six sprint races in 2022.

But eight out of 10 teams need to agree on details to secure the sprints, and some are holding out for more money to cover racing in them.

McLaren boss Zak Brown says that Formula One risks not having any sprint races in the 2022 season

As reported by BBC Sport, Brown said certain teams are trying to take advantage of the sprint races by pushing for a larger than necessary increase in the budget cap, which is set at $140m (£103m) this year.

‘A couple of teams, and one team in particular, wanted a $5m (£3.6m) budget cap increase, which was just ridiculous,’ Brown said.

‘And no rational facts behind it. When you challenged them, they go to what if and could and you’ve got to anticipate. You sit there and go ‘This is just nonsense.’

The sprint-race format was introduced at three tracks during the 2021 season including Silverstone (pictured)

To agree to the sprint events for the 2023 season requires only five teams to agree, and Brown said F1 should vote that through first and then try to agree on this season.

He added: ‘Maybe there can be a compromise raised and we raise it a little bit, and we start in 2022 or we skip 2022, and a couple of these teams should have to explain to the fans why there is no sprint races.’

As reported by Autosport, it’s believed teams were paid an extra $100,000 (£73,000) per event for each sprint in 2021. 

They were also given a cost cap allowance of $450,000 (£330,000) for the three events, plus scope for an extra $100,000 per car for accident damage in the event of a serious incident.

Lewis Hamilton after overtaking McLaren’s Lando Norris at the sprint race ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix

However this year, it’s understood that F1 does not want to offer any extra allowance for crashes. 

Instead, its initial offer was a straight $500,000 (£367,000) payment per team for the first five events, plus an extra $150,000 (£110,000) for each event above that.  

The sprint-race format sees normal Saturday qualifying move to Friday to set up the grid for a shortened race which then decides the grid for Sunday’s main event.

Lewis Hamilton produced the most memorable performance during the new format at Interlagos, where he clawed his way from the back of the field to fifth, before taking victory in the Grand Prix. 

There is not long for teams to come to a decision with the 2022 season getting underway in just over eight weeks. 




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