FIA approves three more sprint sessions in Formula One from 2023

Formula One F1 - 70th Anniversary Grand Prix - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - August 9, 2020 Cars on the grid before the warm up lap Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon/File Photo

Sept 27 (Reuters) - Six Formula One grands prix from the 2023 season onwards will have sprint sessions after the governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), on Tuesday approved an increase from three events this year.

Sprint sessions have become highly popular with fans since it was introduced last year with qualifying taking place on Fridays and Saturday's short sprint race deciding the grid for Sunday's main race as well as awarding additional points.

The 2022 season has had sprint sessions at the Emilia Romagna and Austrian Grands Prix, with the Sao Paulo Grand Prix set to host the final one. The FIA added next year's additions will be confirmed in due course.

"The Sprint provides action across three days with the drivers all fighting for something right from the start on Friday through to the main event on Sunday - adding more drama and excitement to the weekend," F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said.

"The feedback from the fans, teams, promoters, and partners has been very positive and the format is adding a new dimension to Formula 1, and we all want to ensure its success in the future."

Earlier this year, Formula One teams had agreed to double the number of sprint events to six in 2023 at a meeting in April before it was sent for approval by the FIA, who sought to evaluate the proposal. read more

The teams had agreed to only three this season for cost reasons and the FIA had stalled on approving the proposal for doubling Sprints to six as the governing body wanted a financial contribution from Formula One.

However, the FIA said there were no changes to the commercial agreements between them and Formula One Management (FOM) with respect to Sprint sessions.

"...we concluded a thorough analysis on the impact of additional Sprint sessions, and have adjusted relevant parameters of our work to ensure that they continue to be regulated at the very highest level," FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said.

Azerbaijan's promoter had said they want its Grand Prix in Baku to be one of six proposed Sprint weekends next season. read more

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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