Formula 1's first Sprint of the season will be held at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with some differences compared to last year's trio of events.
Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos were the chosen venues for 2021's trials, which saw qualifying moved to Friday evening, followed by a 100-kilometre Sprint race on Saturday – the result of which determined the starting grid for the Grand Prix itself.
Given the success of the events, F1 bosses initially wanted to double the number of Sprint races for 2022, including the season opener in Bahrain, but these plans hit a stumbling block due to a stand-off with some of the teams.
These teams were understood to be seeking an allowance alongside F1's budget cap, in light of the increased costs and risks of taking part in the additional proposed races over the course of the season.
Eventually, a compromise was reached, and stakeholders agreed that three more Sprint races would be held this season, capturing the upcoming event at Imola, the Austrian Grand Prix and the Brazilian Grand Prix.
A new points system and a pole position clarification
While the overall number of Sprint events remains the same, there are several changes of note for the 2022 sequence.
To start with, a modified points-scoring system has been outlined to add greater importance to the Sprint races. Whereas points were only awarded to the top three finishers in 2021, this will extend to the top eight.
The winner of the Sprint will receive eight points, and second place will receive seven, with this continuing in descending order down to one point for finishing eighth – meaning plenty more prizes will be up for grabs.
Meanwhile, after complaints from several drivers, there will be an adjustment to how pole position is applied on Sprint weekends – and added to the record books.
Previously, pole position went to the winner of the Sprint, but this will now be awarded to the driver who sets the fastest time in Q3 during Friday's qualifying session.
However, the driver who wins the Sprint will still start Sunday's main Grand Prix in first.
2022 F1 Emilia Romagna GP schedule
|Date||Event||Time (BST)||Time (local)|
|Friday 22 April||Practice 1||12:30-13:30||13:30-14:30|
|Friday 22 April||Qualifying||16:00-17:00||17:00-18:00|
|Saturday 23 April||Practice 2||11:30-12:30||12:30-13:30|
|Saturday 23 April||Sprint||15:30-16:30||16:30-17:30|
|Sunday 24 April||Race||14:00||15:00|
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