Brawn 'optimistic' F1 teams will agree to SIX Sprint races for 2023

Ross Brawn is ‘optimistic’ F1 teams will agree to doubling the number of Sprint races to SIX for the 2023 season… with a crucial vote on the shortened race format to take place at next week’s Commission

  • Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn has talked up having more sprint races
  • Teams will discuss the issue next week, with Brawn keen to see six across 2023 
  • The first sprint of the 2022 F1 season took place at Imola on Saturday afternoon
  • READ: Max Verstappen wins the Sprint race… as Lewis Hamilton fails to impress 

Formula One teams will vote on doubling the number of Sprint races for 2023 next week, with managing director Ross Brawn ‘optimistic’ on securing six for next season.

The shortened format – one third-distance of a normal race – was introduced for the first time at Silverstone last July in a bid to shake-up a race weekend.

While there was hope of doubling the number of Sprints from three to six in 2022, Brawn now has growing belief it can be voted over the line on Tuesday when teams meet for the F1 Commission.  

Ross Brawn is growing increasingly confident F1’s teams will agree an increase to six Sprints

Max Verstappen won the sprint in Imola with a penultimate-lap pass on Charles Leclerc (right)

‘On Tuesday we want to discuss increasing it to six, so we’d like to have six races next year,’ said Brawn.

‘I think [the teams] can see the success and I think we didn’t know quite where we were last year with the old cars, but I think they can see the way this is feeding into the new cars, and the philosophy of the new cars.

‘So I’m optimistic that they’ll all see the value in it and what we’re giving the fans. 

‘I think the thing you should always remember about the sprint is it gives you a great Friday as well. We have qualifying on Friday, three days of action for the fans, so we can’t ignore that.’

He added: ‘We’re very pleased with the sprint race, great entertainment, lots of racing going on, plenty of overtaking.

Verstappen holds up his first-place medal after winning the Sprint race on Saturday in Imola

‘We’ve demonstrated the cars can follow. You may say it was DRS, but you can’t use the DRS unless you get on the back of the car. So I think overall, it was a great success.’

Red Bull’s defending world champion Max Verstappen won Saturday’s Sprint race in Imola with a dramatic penultimate-lap pass – while Lewis Hamilton suffered another ignominious day by finishing a lowly 14th.

The result means 24-year-old Charles Leclerc, who ended up second after being overtaken by the Dutchman late on, leads the standings by 40 points going into Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. 

Hamilton is 51 points adrift of the Monegasque, a horror story after just three-and-a-half rounds of the season.

Last year’s sprint races offered points for the top three finishers only but that has now been extended to the first eight.

Brawn said that move had made the Saturday action, which decides the grid for Sunday’s grand prix, more attractive through the field.

 The Sprint format, a third of a normal race, was introduced at Silverstone for the British GP

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