Guenther Steiner says Formula 1’s sprint race plans have yet to be set in stone, but he expects there will be just three again.
Last year Formula 1 hosted three sprint races, Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos, with the result of the mini race used as the starting grid for the grand prix.
The new format was met with mixed reviews especially after a processional event at the Monza circuit.
Formula 1 bosses made the decision to give the sprint races another go in 2022, wanting to run as many as six.
That was met with resistance from some of the teams with the bigger teams – Mercedes and Red Bull – said to be demanding an extra $5 million allowance in the budget cap to run those races.
Formula 1 said no while the big teams also wouldn’t budge on their demands, only six of the 10 reportedly agreeing to six sprint events with F1 needing eight of the teams to say yes to increase the number.
As such Formula 1 has reportedly written to the teams to inform them that there will be a maximum of three sprint races, potentially even less.
Steiner though, says that number has yet to be set in stone.
“I don’t know exactly what is happening,” said the Haas team boss. “We are having a Formula One Commission meeting in ten days and then we will see more where we are with that one.
“I think we will have three sprint races but I don’t know that.
“So let’s see where we can get to, I certainly don’t have the answer yet.”
As for the big teams said to be holding F1 hostage, as McLaren CEO Zak Brown put it, with the demands for an increase in the cap, Steiner says he has no problem with teams lobbying for something that would give them an advantage.
“They are trying to do their job,” he said. “If you have the money, then you need a higher budget cap.
“What do you want when you have money? More money. They’re just doing their job, that doesn’t disappoint me.”
That doesn’t mean Haas are going to say yes to increasing the cap.
“We have to lobby for the other side,” the Italian added, “because some teams simply need more money, and the budget limit is not a problem.”
He is confident F1 bosses will find a way forward. “In my opinion, they will solve the problem,” he said.
Steiner expects three sprint races in 2022
Guenther Steiner expects us to see three sprint races this season.