Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Formula One’s attempts to increase the number of sprint races from three to six has hit a roadblock after the sport’s governing body, the FIA, refused to support the current plan.
The F1 commission, which consists of Formula One management, the FIA and the ten teams, held a meeting in London on Tuesday to discuss the proposal. And while F1 and the teams supported an increase in the number of sprint races next year, the FIA has not backed the plan just yet.
In a statement issued after the meeting, the FIA said: “With the first of three sprint events of the 2022 season popular with fans and stakeholders last weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Formula 1 and the teams were supportive of an extension to six sprint events for the 2023 season, running with the same format as in 2022.
“While supporting the principle of an increased number of sprint events, the FIA is still evaluating the impact of this proposal on its trackside operations and personnel, and will provide its feedback to the Commission.”
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Reports have claimed the FIA told F1 they would support the proposal if they received a financial contribution. After the first sprint race of the season took place in Imola earlier this month, F1’s managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn outlined their plans to hold more next season.
“We want to discuss increasing it to six for next year,” Brawn said. “I think [the teams] can see the success.
“I think we didn’t know quite where we were with the old cars last year but I think they can see the way this year is feeding into the new cars and the philosophy so I’m optimistic they’ll see the value in it.
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“What you should always remember about the Sprint is it gives you a great Friday as well, we have qualifying on the Friday so we have three days of action for the fans and we can’t ignore that.”
Max Verstappen won the sprint race in Imola, overtaking Charles Leclerc late in the race to secure pole position. The defending champion went on to win the race, claiming his first victory of the season.
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