F1's CEO Stefano Domenicali has plans to revamp the racing format. The first idea he presented was the sprint race format, that debuted at Silverstone. The "usual" qualifying session was anticipated to Friday afternoon, and determined the grid for a 17-lap race held on Saturday with the winner registered as pole man and receiving three points. The final results set the starting grid for the GP on Sunday.
In a call to evaluate Liberty Media's second-quarter earnings, Domenicali said that he was extremely satisfied by the outcome of the first sprint race trial, having received "dramatically positive" feedback from both the teams and the public:
“We will continue to discuss any lessons learned from the format with the teams, but the fundamentals are strong. We believe this can be expanded in 2022.”
He added that talks on how to increase the number of races involving the new format will have to wait until after all three planned test races have happened. The next sprint qualifying will be at Monza, and he confirmed that the third one will take place at Interlagos:
"We have said that we wanted to do three tests, one has been done in Silverstone, another one will be in Monza. And the other one will be at the end of the season in Brazil."
According to Domenicali, the sprint race had a good impact not only on the racing side, but also in terms of coverage and financial revenues:
"After the first sprint event at Silverstone, the response that we have from the drivers, from the teams, the media, has been really positive, and also for the promoter. It’s great because that brought attention, interest on TV, and also partners. We have already seen the financial interest be positive."
We'll definitely see again this approach to qualifying in the upcoming season, but it won't become the new normality, and some adjustments will be made in accordance with what was suggested by the teams:
"We have a plan for the future of course. We are developing that, we are fine-tuning some of the comments that we received. If we move, as we should I believe, in that direction in the future for sure it will be not at every race."
The Italian stated that in the next season historical tracks will be celebrated with a "special format", but it's not sure whether he was talking about the revised sprint qualifying or a completely new racing plan:
“We have ideas to create a special format for certain historical grands prix, and certain special awards that we want to offer, and add to the already incredible platform.”
A new award, sponsored by sprint format endorser Crypto.com, was also announced in the call, which is supposed to be revealed before the Belgian Grand Prix.