F1: FIA announces sprint races, delays F1 restructuring plans

Following the completion of its investigation into the handling of the safety car restart at last year’s world championship decider in Abu Dhabi, newly-elected FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem unveiled its findings at a meeting of the F1 Commission in London.

But rather than taking the moment to propose the changes that the FIA will make, the governing body has elected to wait a little longer before confirming what it wants to do.

A statement from the FIA said that ben Sulayem wanted to incorporate feedback from the teams at the F1 Commission into the FIA’s action plan, to ensure that any changes it did make were as robust as possible.

They also confirmed three Sprint Qualifying Races for 2022

FIA Press Statement

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Analysis

The FIA President led detailed discussions of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Feedback from the Commission on matters raised will be incorporated into the President’s analysis and he will publicly present news of structural changes and action plan in the coming days.


Following a review of the three Sprint events that took place in 2021 and a recognition by all that the format created positive benefits for the sport, three Sprint events were proposed for 2022, acknowledging this as a sensible number in light of the pressures already on the teams for this season with the introduction of major changes to the regulations. The Commission unanimously approved the three Sprint events for the coming season, incorporating a number of updates to the format based on the feedback of fans, media and teams. The Sprint events will be:

  • Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
  • Austrian Grand Prix
  • Brazilian Grand Prix

The format changes will include:

  • Change of official session name from Sprint Qualifying to Sprint
  • Awarding World Championship points for the top eight as follows:
    • 1st – 8 points
    • 2nd – 7 points
    • 3rd – 6 points
    • 4th – 5 points
    • 5th – 4 points
    • 6th – 3 points
    • 7th – 2 points
    • 8th – 1 point
  • Awarding Pole Position for the Grand Prix to the fastest driver in Qualifying on Friday

Cost Cap Adjustments for Sprint events will remain unchanged from 2021.

Treatment of short races

Following the weather-affected 2021 FIA Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, the Commission approved proposed updates to the Sporting Regulations as follows:

  • No points will be awarded unless a minimum of two laps have been completed by the leader without a Safety Car and/or Virtual Safety Car intervention.
  • If the leader has completed more than two laps but less than 25% of the scheduled race distance, the top five finishers will be awarded points as follows:
    • 1st – 6 points
    • 2nd – 4 points
    • 3rd – 3 points
    • 4th – 2 points
    • 5th – 1 point
  • If the leader has completed 25% but less than 50% 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 point
    • 6th – 4 points
    • 7th – 3 points
    • 8th – 2 points
    • 9th – 1 point
  • If the leader has completed 50% but less than 75% 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 point
    • 6th – 6 points
    • 7th – 5 points
    • 8th – 3 points
    • 9th – 2 points
    • 10th – 1 point

Note that all regulatory changes are subject to approval by the World Motor Sport Council.