McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown says the six Sprint events planned for the 2022 Formula 1 season risk not happening at all, because of “ridiculous” greed from some teams demanding more money.
F1 introduced ‘Sprint’ events last year, with three grands prix holding shorter races on the Saturday, which decided the grid for Sunday’s main event.
They were met with mixed reaction from F1 fans. Some loved the additional racing action on a weekend and the potential for more action, whilst others said it added very little to the weekend and simply ensured the faster cars started at the front.
However F1 is pushing ahead with the format, and confirmed it would double the number of Sprint events this season from three to six.
With the extra racing and potential for car damage, teams were given a small payment to offset those costs and that has been expanded to cover the greater number of races, however Brown revealed that one team in particular is pushing for a “ridiculous” amount of money before agreeing to the plans.
“A couple of teams, and one team in particular, wanted a $5m budget cap increase, which was just ridiculous,” Brown told the BBC.
“[There are] no rational facts behind it. When you challenged them, they go to what if and could and you’ve got to anticipate. You sit there and go ‘This is just nonsense.'”
Such rule changes require eight of the ten teams to agree before F1 can push ahead, but Brown says that number has yet to be reached and it risks them not happening at all this year if an agreement can’t be reached.
“Maybe there can be a compromise raised and we raise it [the budget cap] a little bit, or we skip 2022, and a couple of these teams should have to explain to the fans why there is no sprint races,” he added.
With some of the larger teams having links to smaller teams, i.e. Ferrari supplying Alfa Romeo and Haas with engines and the same with Mercedes and Aston Martin/Williams, or Red Bull owning a second team in AlphaTauri, it means coming to a unanimous or major majority agreement can be difficult if just one of the ‘big’ teams rejects the idea, as they will often pressure their customers to follow suit.