Formula One will have three qualifying sprint races in 2022 with points now given out to the top eight rather than just the top three, it was confirmed at Monday’s F1 Commission.
The revised weekend format with qualifying on a Friday evening, a sprint race on Saturday and the main race on Sunday, will take place at April’s Emilia Romagna GP, July’s Austrian GP and November’s Brazilian GP.
The winner of the sprint race at each of those events will score eight points, rather than three like last year, with the points scaling down to eighth position, which will score one point.
F1 has also confirmed the record books will now note the driver who claimed pole position as the driver who finishes the traditional qualifying session on Friday in first place, rather than the winner of the sprint race.
F1 said it had made changes “based on feedback of fans, media and teams”.
The F1 Commission saw bosses of all 10 teams meet in London, with the future of FIA race director Michael Masi and the investigation into his handling of the title-deciding final laps of the Abu Dhabi GP on the top of the agenda. FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said he will present the governing body’s response to the events of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after promising “structural changes” and an “action plan” in a statement on Monday.
The F1 Commission has also moved to tweak the Sporting Regulations to avoid a repeat of the farcical Belgian Grand Prix last year. The race at Spa was declared a race despite drivers completing just two laps behind the safety car due to heavy rain, with the top ten awarded half the usual number of championship points for each position.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown was one of the most vocal critics of that decision, saying the fans at Spa-Francorchamps deserved a refund and that it should not have counted as a real race as no racing laps were completed.
F1 has tweaked its rules to say a minimum of two racing laps must be completed by the leader of the race for any points to be awarded.
It has also clarified what will happen with championship points in future if races are forced into an early finish.
If a race finishes when the leader has completed more than two laps but less than 25 percent of the scheduled race distance, then points are awarded as follows: 1st (6 points), 2nd (4 points), 3rd (3 points), 4th (2 points), 5th (1 point).
If a race finishes when the leader has completed more than 25 percent but less than 50 percent of the scheduled race distance, points will be awarded 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).
If a race finishes when a driver has completed more than 50 percent but less than 75 percent of the scheduled race distance, points will be awarded 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).