IMOLA, Italy (Reuters) – Formula One will make another push to have six sprint races on the calendar next year after teams agreed to only three this season for cost reasons, managing director Ross Brawn said on Saturday.
Saturday saw the first sprint of the year at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which is also the first round of the European season.
Brawn told reporters after world champion Max Verstappen won the race for Red Bull, taking eight points, that a meeting of the Formula One commission on Tuesday would discuss doubling the number of such races.
The previous attempt was thwarted because some teams expressed concern about the cost of crashes and wanted an increase in the budget cap.
“We would like to have six (sprint) races next year,” said Brawn.
“I am optimistic they (the teams) will all see the value in it and what we are giving the fans. What we should remember about the sprint is it gives you a great Friday as well,” added the Briton.
“You have qualifying on the Friday, we have three days of action for the fans and we cannot ignore that.”
Brawn said it was more important to agree the number of races than discuss any change to a format that some still have reservations about.
Last year’s sprint races offered points for the top three finishers only but that has now been extended to the first eight.
The Briton said that move had made the Saturday action, which decides the grid for Sunday’s grand prix, more attractive through the field.
“I think what I would like to do is at least get six races settled and then after these three races, we can see if there are format developments we want to do but I would like to just move on to six races,” he said.
“The six races need to pass on a simple majority (vote), any format changes in the future would have to pass on a super majority, so eight teams would have to agree. So I think the important thing is to get the simple thing done first.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Clare Fallon)