The 2022 F1 sprint races will be worth way more points | Top Gear
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Thursday 5th October
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The 2022 F1 sprint races will be worth way more points

Three sprints have been confirmed for 2022, with Imola, the Red Bull Ring and Interlagos making the grade

Published: 14 Feb 2022

Some rather large changes to F1’s sprint races have been announced ahead of the 2022 season, with the first being the official name – it’s out with ‘Sprint Qualifying’ and in with simply ‘Sprint’. Much better.

Once again there will be three sprint races during the season, but in 2022 they will be held at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring and the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos. 

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They’ll each be worth more points too, with first place on the Saturday receiving eight points, second place getting seven points and so on until the last point scorer in eighth place who’ll be given a single championship point. That means the maximum points haul for a sprint race weekend stands at 34 points, if a driver were to win both races and pick up the fastest lap on a Sunday. Last year points in the sprint were only handed out to the top three.

For stats purposes, the ‘pole position’ for the Grand Prix weekend will now be awarded to whoever goes fastest in the qualifying session on Friday, as opposed to the winner of the sprint race like last season. The result of the sprint will still decide the grid for Sunday’s GP, though, Got it?

All of these changes were agreed at a meeting of the F1 Commission – its first gathering in 2022 and the first ever attended by newly-elected FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem. The events of last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix were discussed and the FIA has said: “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.” 

That’ll be something to look out for. 

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The meeting also helped form some new guidelines on weather-affected races after the debacle at Spa last season. Forgotten all about that after the controversial season finale, hadn’t you?

In 2022, no points will be awarded unless a minimum of two laps are completed without a safety car. For races where less than 25 per cent of the scheduled distance is covered, first place will get six points and fifth place will get one point. If the distance covered is between 25 and 50 per cent it’ll be 13 points for first and one point for ninth place, and if it’s between 50 and 75 per cent it’ll be 19 points for the leader and one point for tenth. 

So, what do we think of the updates, F1 fans?

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