Big sprint format change teased for 2024 that F1 fans will ‘appreciate’

Henry Valantine
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali took the helm of the sport from the start of the 2021 season.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali confirmed changes to the sprint format are set to come in the 2024 season, though remained tight-lipped about the exact details.

The format has largely split opinion among fans since its introduction in 2021, though a fan survey this season has suggested to the sport that reviews are more positive than negative for the shortened Saturday races.

Sprints were increased from three to six rounds in 2023, and Domenicali confirmed the planned changes will aim to consider fans who have not been on board with the format so far.

F1 boss ‘cannot spoil anything’ over proposed sprint changes

The F1 Commission met in Abu Dhabi to speak about multiple changes for the 2024 season, with sprints on the agenda – and the idea of format tweaks such as a reverse grid element and timing changes to allow for parc fermé tweaks are rumoured to have been discussed.

The F1 chief executive believes the proportion of fans against the sprint format as a whole is “getting smaller”, but teased further changes to the format to try and appease as many people as possible.

“We will do something, I cannot spoil anything that we are discussing, but I think that what we’re going to do is to consider all the lessons learned from this year,” Domenicali told Sky Sports F1.

“I think that what you will see is something that you will appreciate, and what is great is that the survey that we did all around the world that the fans love this format, and we have the duty to fine tune the things that will consider also people and fans that are not really in love with that format, that will change because they’re getting smaller.”

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F1 came in for criticism at the Las Vegas Grand Prix when the weekend got off to a false start, after Carlos Sainz dislodged a manhole cover by driving over it in FP1 and the lengthy delay to FP2 caused fans to be moved out of the grandstands before the session took place.

The race itself was an entertaining one, and the sport’s CEO believes Formula 1 was taken to “another level” as a result of arriving in Las Vegas.

“I think that the timings, we were discussing with the community the reason is very simple for that time,” Domenicali explained.

“It was because the city, first year of experience and the first time that we were in a city in Vegas, only F1 was able to do it.

“We don’t have to forget that, and with that we took F1 to another level I would say.

“I was worried about the traffic. We have discussed it to dissipate everything, we will do it. I loved what has happened, I loved what we did as a sport.

“The race was great. The Sphere, I called ‘U2 Turn’ because Bono and U2 were performing a lot there.

“We took that area and we transformed that in an incredible experience for all the fans in the United States of America, so that’s where we are growing.”

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