Azerbaijan Grand Prix organisers have expressed a desire to bring Formula 1's Sprint format to next year's event at the Baku City Circuit. The revised format - which shifts qualifying to Friday and slots in a 100-kilometre race on Saturday - made its debut in 2021, with Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos the chosen venues. It has remained in place in 2022, with Imola, the Red Bull Ring and Interlagos as hosts, while talks are ongoing to double the number of Sprints from three to six for 2023. F1 and teams have backed the proposal, but the FIA are yet to give it the green light as they "evaluate the impact on trackside operations and personnel".
Baku boss keen on F1's Sprint format
As those discussions rumble on, Baku City Circuit boss Arif Rahimov declared his interest in hosting a Sprint, arguing that it offers "a lot more action" for the fans. "In general, I'm personally a proponent of tweaking things around sometimes, just to bring some of the interest back," Rahimov told media, including RacingNews365.com . "Basically, the appeal with a Sprint race - not just for Baku but for any promoter - is definitely that it looks like it will bring more fans on a Saturday. "When you say that [you] have two races, for people who don't know the difference between a Sprint race and an actual race, it will definitely increase the attendance on a Saturday. "It will also give them more value for money; they think they are buying their ticket for two races, [and] they actually are buying their ticket for two races. "I would be glad to have the Sprint race here in Baku next year. I hope we are one of those six races that will get it."
Talks planned with F1 at this year's race
Rahimov added that he had already planned Sprint-related talks with F1 chiefs at this year's Grand Prix, which will take place from 10-12 June. "That was in my agenda for this year's race," he confirmed. "With how busy F1 is right now, I think the best time to get their attentioninto the novelties is when they're here actually racing. "I was going to try to propose that we have one of those Sprint races fornext year. "I really like the idea. I think it's good to mix things around a little bitthroughout the year. Things get boring and people get too used to the sameformat and lose their interest. "When these sort of changes come in, I think it's good for the sport."