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today is May 26, 2022

In the round-up: Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says changes should be considered to the sprint qualifying format if it is to be used more widely during the 2022 F1 season.

In brief

Wolff: “fine line” to be balanced with sprint qualifying points

Speaking in response to a question from RaceFans, Wolff said he understood why Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali wanted to pursue more sprint events.

“Stefano will know best from a commercial standpoint, I think he’s an expert,” said Wolff. “He has sat where I sit and now he’s on the other side and all the logic speaks for, from a commercial standpoint, more sprint races because you just generate another interesting session. One on Friday, one Saturday and one on Sunday. So I think I get that.”

However, Wolff said the points format for the extra Saturday races – which currently pay three, two and one for the drivers who finish first, second and third respectively – needs to be reviewed.

“If we were to do more then maybe the format overall needs to be tweaked. How many points are attributed, is it really three, two, one or should it go back to 10th place, without undervaluing the grand prix? So that’s a fine line, you need to need to balance.”

While Wolff previously said the number of sprint qualifying races should be capped at four, speaking last weekend he admitted the commercial argument for more was persuasive. “If Stefano says it creates just much more audiences and therefore, ability to monetise and create some special races, then I guess we need to follow his call.

“Then it’s about the old traditionalist in me that wants to have a grand prix on a Sunday at two or three o’clock. We just need to accept that maybe it needs the format tweak and have sprint races. So if it’s not four and not eight, maybe we will come out with six [events].”

As RaceFans reported yesterday, the F1 Commission has agreed a proposal to hold six sprint qualifying races next year. The FIA World Motor Sport Council will decide whether to approve the plan on Friday.

  • Six sprint qualifying races and testing changes agreed by F1 Commission for 2022

Hamilton “would have got to the end of the race” on starting intermediate tyres

Lewis Hamilton would have reached the end of Turkish Grand Prix on his original starting tyres, Mercedes technical director James Allison has said, though his lap times would have been drastically compromised.

“Would we still have had inflated tyres that would be capable of going around the track? Yes, in all likelihood, we would have got to the end of the race on one set of tyres, able to circulate without difficulty,” explained Allison in a video published by the team.

“Other cars did that. Ocon did that for example. And our car typically runs its rubber better than many of our competitors. So, yes, we would have got to the end of the race.”

Deteriorating lap times, however, persuaded the team against trying a non-stop strategy. “The question is, how quick would we have been? And the evidence there is pretty clear: We would have been very slow,” Allison said.

“The tyre was using its rubber throughout the entire race and towards the end as the track approached dry but never quite got there, than that wear accelerated. And Lewis’s lap times were starting to get worse lap by lap by lap and while he would have made it to the end of the race, the pace would have been quite dismal by the time he got there.”

Williams commits to become carbon-positive by 2030

Williams has announced it will not only offset and reduce its carbon emissions but become net carbon positive by 2030.

Carbon positivity means actively removing more CO2 from the atmosphere than is released as a consequence of Williams’ operations, at its factory, trackside and in logistics terms.