Sprint Races have now become an integral part of Formula 1, and we will continue to see them in the coming seasons. In the 2024 calendar, the presence of six race weekends with the sprint format is expected to be confirmed, but discussions are underway to further enhance the spectacle. One idea that Formula 1 is discussing is to award a special prize to the driver who achieves a “Grand Slam,” meaning they secure Pole Position and win both the Sprint Race and the “traditional” race.
The idea was presented by former Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali, currently the chief executive officer of Formula 1, during an interview with Autosport. These were Stefano Domenicali’s comments:
“There will be six more Sprints, and I think we will announce them in September in Belgium when the Formula 1 Commission meets. There is a proposal that I would like to make in line with the concept of the ‘Grand Slam.’ I would like the driver who achieves both poles and wins both races to be rewarded with something extra that represents the sporting achievement.” – the former Ferrari boss pointed out.
Naturally, this is still a proposal in its early stages. The Commission will certainly discuss it with the teams before focusing on what the additional prize could be. The “Grand Slam” prize for F1 Sprint Races could possibly be a special trophy or even extra points in the standings, although the latter option seems less likely.
There will undoubtedly be other topics of discussion regarding the format of the weekends with Sprint Races. Firstly, the closed park rule and the distribution of tires will be discussed. Ideas will also be put forward to improve the “flow” of the sprint weekend, as currently, Saturday is a completely separate day. One hypothesis proposed by some Team Principals would be to move the Sprint Race qualifying to Friday, run the Sprint on Saturday morning, and leave Saturday afternoon for qualifying the main race.
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Certainly, care should be taken not to change the schedules and formats too much to avoid confusing the fans, but Stefano Domenicali doesn’t seem concerned about this aspect: “We have analyzed this point, and I believe the risk is more related to loyal spectators who have their habits rather than new fans. They are more open to change. However, there are no major changes to the format. We want to stabilize the number of sprint weekends at six and respect the habits of our longtime fans.” – the former Ferrari team principal concluded.