THE “sprint qualifying” races that were trialled in 2021 make a return — but only in three Grands Prix, rather than the six as was anticipated.
They will run at the Emilia Romagna, Austrian and Sao Paulo GPs.
The sprint qualifying races could suit the speed of Red BullCredit: Getty
There have also been changes to safety car rules following the confusion in Abu Dhabi last yearCredit: AFP
Points in those sprints will now be awarded to the top eight finishers instead of the top three previously — the winner will earn themselves eight points with the driver finishing eighth getting just one.
Unlike the previous season, the driver who sets the fastest time in qualifying will get the accolade of pole position for “statistical purposes”.
But the winner of the sprint will still start the grand prix from the first-place grid spot.
Also, there are tweaks to the rules with regard to shortened races following the farce of double points at the rain-hit Belgium GP.
Races must last a minimum of two laps under green-flag conditions before any points are awarded.
There has also been a significant change to safety car rules following the fiasco at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that cost Lewis Hamilton the world title.
The FIA have announced that ALL – instead of what used to be ANY – lapped cars must un-lap themselves before a restart.
There has also been a change in the man overseeing safety rules after Michael Masi was sacked.
Niels Wittich, former DTM race director, and Eduardo Freitas, WEC race director, will now act alternatively as F1’s race director.
Herbie Blash will assist as the permanent senior advisor, returning to F1 five seasons after stepping down as deputy race director.
There will also be a new addition of a Virtual Race Control Room.
And in another major development teams will no longer be able to communicate with the race director – a blow to Red Bull and Mercedes chiefs Christian Horner and Toto Wolff.