5 keys to understanding F1 sprint races

Formula 1 will continue with the renowned sprint races again (and not sprint qualifying, as happened in 2021) and has decided to take a further step forward. It is important that you are informed, because this weekend will be the first sprint race of the season at Imola.

Five keys to understand the sprint

1. Weekend shakeup

Do not make plans on Friday, because you would miss qualifying. That’s right, just like last year, the qualifying session will take place in the afternoon on Friday and will determine the grid order for Saturday’s sprint race. In addition, the fastest pilot will be recognized as poleman by F1 stats. This did not happen in 2021, since the winner of the sprint was assigned this success in an illogical way.

2. Length of the race

The sprint test on Saturday, as a rule, should last between 25 and 30 minutes, if there are no interruptions that delay the session. In summary: a third of the main race (100 km) is covered, so 21 laps will be covered on Saturday compared to 63 on Sunday.

3. There are no mandatory stops

In such a short race, there is freedom of choice of compounds and there is no need to stop. Hence, the pilots can squeeze their tires (this is the true essence of the ‘sprint’) or, in any case, keep them if the option selected has been the softest range. And no, it is not mandatory to stop, the strategy is simplified.

4. Distribution of points

This is the big change for the 2022 season: the top eight will score points, instead of the top three, as happened in last year’s sprint. The first classified will add 8 points, the second 7 and so on until the eighth classified, who will add 1 point. There is no extra bonus for setting the fastest lap in this event.

5. Starting grid

The grid order for Sunday’s feature race will be determined by the result of Saturday’s sprint race. Therefore, whoever makes a mistake in the sprint will be conditioned by his presence on Sunday, which continues to be the most important of the weekend.

We remember the three appointments that have the sprint format scheduled in 2022: Imola, Red Bull Ring and interlagos. Will the innovative idea of ​​Formula 1 be more convincing this year with the arrival of the new changes? Very soon we will leave doubts.

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