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Sprint Race negotiations to be finalised by Imola

Stefano Domenicali has revealed how he's aiming for the negotiations to be "wrapped up" by Imola.

4d ago
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Stefano Domenicali, the now CEO of Formula One replacing Chase Carey, has revealed he is personally aiming for the negotiations around the proposed sprint race (Sprint Qualifying) qualification format to be "wrapped up" by the weekend of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Friday at the historic Imola circuit is now only 10 days away as of Tuesday 6th April, therefore Domenicali will have to finalise this format change he so desperately wants, and persuade a significant majority of the 10 teams to agree to it within a very slim time frame.

However the explicit confidence Domenicali implies with his statement meant we can be pretty sure the majority of the legwork has already been completed - for instance the location of the venues trialling the format was already revealed earlier in the year. With perhaps just the finer details to be worked over in the ensuing days.

The ramifications for parc ferme regulations will need to be considered for the time between the beginning of the Qualifying session on Friday, and the start of the Sunday Grand Prix. Along with the weekend tyre allocation, with a possible increase in tyres needed to be supplied by Pirelli (just as the need to be environmentally friendly is at the forefront), and possible changes to the allowed usage of DRS around other competitors.

The Saturday Qualifying Races would award a smaller amount of points than the Grand Prix as an incentive for teams and drivers to fight for position and take the race more seriously, from a technical and human stand point. But championship points are thought to only likely be awarded to the top three finishers, with three points for the winner, two for second and one for third - still a relatively small incentive when you consider the current Grand Prix points structure.

Ofcourse Imola was not one of the venues originally heralded to have it's usual practice and qualifying format sacrificed in 2021 as a late entry onto the original calendar, but Silverstone got its preliminary confirmation only a few weeks ago. Therefore it's expected that the trial runs will be held at circuits well known to F1, with as much circuit data as possible from previous seasons visits - potentially ruling out Saudi Arabia and The Netherlands.

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