The controversial decision that Formula 1 made for 2023: how it will affect the teams

Formula 1 will have six Sprint races in 2023 (REUTERS / Massimo Pinca) (MASSIMO PINCA /)

This weekend the Formula 1 will enter the final stretch of the season with the return after three years of the Singapore Grand Prix, but official news of what will be the next exercise has already been known. In sports, it was confirmed that the Sprint races on Saturdays will be doubled, a decision that although it was announced by the category and the International Automobile Federation (FIA), brings with it an issue that no one has yet addressed: budgets.

With no designated stages, there will be six events that will have this extra competition, after the World Motor Sport Council approve this measure announced by the category this Tuesday. It should be remembered that the extension of the Sprint races is a third of those that are held on Sundays.

The FIA ​​World Motor Sport Council has today approved an increase in the number of events with Sprint sessions in the FIA ​​Formula One World Championship from three to six from the 2023 season onwards. release.

“First introduced in 2021, Sprint sessions have been a popular update to F1’s weekend format across a selection of carefully chosen events, providing fans with an insight into the qualifying session that takes place on Friday, and a sprint on Saturday to set the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix,” he added.

In Imola, the first Sprint competition of this year was held (REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane / Pool)
The first Sprint competition of this year was held in Imola (REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane / Pool) (GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE /)

“With the regulatory framework already established to allow additional Sprint sessions, the confirmation of the specific events in which they will take place in due time”, concluded the Máxima, who has just announced an unprecedented calendar of 24 events for the 2023 season.

The CEO of Formula One Management, the company that owns the commercial rights to F1, Stefano Domenicaliin the same press release, assured that “taking advantage of the success of the new format introduced for the first time in 2021″.

In his opinion, “the Sprint offers three-day action, with the drivers fighting for something from the start on Friday to the main test event on Sunday, adding more drama and excitement to the weekend”.

“Feedback from fans, teams, promoters and partners has been very positive and the format is adding a new dimension to F1, and we all want to ensure its future success.”

Spielberg's Red Bull Ring Autodrome, in Austria, had the second Saturday race (REUTERS / Leonhard Foeger)
The Spielberg Red Bull Ring Autodrome, in Austria, had the second Saturday race (REUTERS / Leonhard Foeger) (LEONHARD FOEGER /)

While the president of the FIA, Mohammed Ben Sulayemsaid of the decision: “The confirmation that six Sprint race weekends will take place from the 2023 F1 World Championship season is another example of the continued growth and prosperity at the highest level of the sport of racing. engine”.

“Thanks to the close collaboration with Stefano Domenicali and our colleagues from 2 FOM, we have concluded a comprehensive analysis on the impact of the additional Sprint sessions and have adjusted relevant parameters of our work to ensure that they continue to be regulated at the highest level. Sprint races bring an exciting dynamic to the weekend race format and have proven popular over the last two seasons, I am sure this positive trend will continue.”

Although Domenicali and Ben Sulayem indicate that they had the endorsement of the teams, it is striking because adding activity contrasts with the objective of reducing costs. It should be remembered that since last year FOM and the FIA ​​decided to apply a budget limit that was $145 million per team, without considering the salary of the pilots or the chief engineers. This figure was reduced to $140 million by 2022and it was planned to be downloaded in other 5 million dollars in 2023. But due to Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine and increased logistics costs (most of the cargo planes are from Russian companies), an increase in the budget limit was determined in July by 3.1%. That is, instead of being $135 millionwill be from 144 million dollars the ceiling. All in a complicated economic context, more so for the small teams, which are still having a hard time recovering from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The six Sprint races will mean that the teams must boost their resources. It will also be necessary to see if the drivers will risk as they did in the three races with the 2021 and 2022 format. Possible damage to the cars, having doubled that number of competitions, may lead to a boring train on Saturdays in which everyone will know that the main course -always- will be on Sunday.

This is what the Marina Bay street circuit looks like in Singapore, which will have its night race again (REUTERS / Edgar Su)
This is what the Marina Bay street circuit looks like in Singapore, which will have its night race again (REUTERS / Edgar Su) (EDGAR SU /)

Another key point that he did not report is the issue of score. In 2022 the winner of the Sprint test takes 8 points and the winner of Sunday’s race pockets 25 units. If the score remains the same, will it motivate the pilots to a passing maneuver? For this competition to be even more valued, it should give more points to the winner of Saturdays, beyond the competitive spirit that the runners have.

For the 2022 season, three weekends of this type were approved, of which only the one in Brazil remains, which will repeat that variant as in 2021. The previous ones were in Imola (home of the Emilia Romagna GP) and in the Red Bull Ring ( Austria). In both the current world champion won, Max Verstappen (Redbull). In the first he was able to repeat on Sunday, but in the second the victory went to charles leclerc (Ferrari).

Absent due to the complications derived from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marina Bay street circuit will once again have the great circus in a new edition of the Singapore Grand Prix that will take place this weekend. Then there will be five dates left.

Verstappen leads the Drivers’ Championship with 335 points against 219 of Leclerc. The Dutchman can get the two-time championship in the next race that will be in Japan, a week later, in another of the returns that the Máxima calendar will have.


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