Formula One announces major changes for the upcoming season

February 16, 2022

The Sprint format is set to feature a new points system.

The Formula One Commission has announced that there will be three F1 Sprint races across the 2022 calendar. The Sprint format will feature at Imola, Red Bull Ring and Interlagos in the upcoming season.

Additionally, it has also been announced that the Sprint format points system has been changed. The new points system will see the top eight drivers score points instead of just the top three. The new system will see the driver finishing P1 not only start on pole for the race but also score eight points; the points will go down accordingly to one point for the driver finishing P8. 

Another change made to the Sprint format is that the driver setting the fastest time in qualifying will take pole position. Earlier, the driver who won the Sprint race started on pole. The qualifying, though, will continue to set the grid for the Sprint races, while the final positions in the Sprint will set the grid for Sunday’s main race. 

The points increase means that a driver can now score a maximum of 34 points in a single race weekend if he wins the Sprint, the Grand Prix and takes the fastest lap.

The FIA released a statement, which read:

Following a review of the three Sprint events that took place in 2021 and a recognition by all that the format created positive benefits for the sport, three Sprint events were proposed for 2022, acknowledging this as a sensible number in light of the pressures already on the teams for this season with the introduction of major changes to the regulation.

The Commission unanimously approved the three Sprint events for the coming season, incorporating a number of updates to the format based on the feedback of fans, media and teams.

The Formula One Commission recently met the team bosses of all the 10 teams in London to discuss ‘structural changes’ that will make sure the controversy that erupted at last season’s finale in Abu Dhabi isn’t repeated.

In a statement released, the FIA said:

The FIA President led detailed discussions of the 2021 FIA Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Feedback from the Commission on matters raised will be incorporated into the President’s analysis and he will publicly present news of structural changes and action plan in the coming days.

The Commission also made changes to the Sporting Regulations, which will help the sport avoid circumstances such as the chaos at the Belgian Grand Prix last season. A heavily rain-soaked race that saw just two laps take place behind the Safety Car was criticised by teams and fans alike, with many dubbing it a ‘farcical race’. The race saw the top ten drivers awarded with half the general points.

The new rules will state that a minimum of two racing laps must be completed by the race leader for any points to be awarded. Additionally, if the race leader completed two laps but not more than 25% of the race distance, then the points awarded will be as follows:

1st – 6 points
2nd – 4 points
3rd – 3 points
4th – 2 points
5th – 1 point

If the race finishes where the leader completes more than 25% of the race but less than 50%, the points awarded will be as follows:

1st – 13 points
2nd – 10 points
3rd – 8 points
4th – 6 points
5th – 5 points
6th – 4 points
7th – 3 points
8th – 2 points
9th – 1 point

Lastly, if a race sees the leader complete more than 50% of the race and less than 75% of the race distance, then the points awarded will be as follows:

1st – 19 points
2nd – 14 points
3rd – 12 points
4th – 9 points
5th – 8 points
6th – 6 points
7th – 5 points
8th – 3 points
9th – 2 points
10th – 1 point

Formula One returns to action on the 20th of March when the opening race is set to be held in Bahrain.

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