Guenther Steiner shares his view on the ongoing discussions about the sprint events in 2022 F1 season and investigations from FIA for Abu Dhabi.
Sprint races entered the F1 world in 2021. Three of them took place at Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos. There was and is a love hate relationship with them in many quarters, with questions raised about its necessity, especially from fans for whom it was tailor made.
The 2022 calendar was reported to have sprint races doubled from three to six with Sakhir, Imola, Montreal, Red Bull Ring, Zandvoort and Interlagos. However, these events have not been fully finalised and they may change or reduce back to three as per recent talks.
There is still a tremendous amount up for discussion, not least the issue around financial implications, tyre allocation and sprint race points allocation. Haas F1 chief Steiner noted that the discussions are still ongoing regarding the fate of sprint races in 2022.
The core point of increasing the budget under cost cap is what is causing the differences with the big teams pushing for more and the midfield outfits wanting to retain the current value. Further talks are to be held in the F1 Commission meet later this month.
Along with the sprint races, another big topic of discussion is the FIA handling of Abu Dhabi aftermath and what happens there. While the initial set of talks did take place last month, more of the results will be shared later this month to teams before it goes public.
Post the car livery reveal, Steiner spoke to media including FormulaRapida.net about both the topics and shared his opinion:
Sprint races –
Steiner: “I don’t know exactly what is happening, they are having F1 commission meeting in ten days let’s say, and then we will see more where we are with that one. I think we will have three sprint races, but that’s what I think, I don’t know that at least, so let’s see where we can get to there but I don’t have the answer yet.”
Disappointment with big teams rallying for budget increase –
Steiner: “I wouldn’t say it’s disappointing because they’re trying to do the job they can do, if you have got money the thing you need is a bigger budget cap, so I think what they’re doing is their job. I think we have got a governance in place that will deal with it. What we have to do is lobby on the other side so that it doesn’t happen.
“I think they tried to use their power to move something that will help them to perform, which is to be able to spend more money but some teams just need more money where the budget cap is not the problem, it’s actually cash that’s the problem. I think the majority of people have got that problem so there is a governance in place that will sort the problem out in my opinion.”
His recommendation to FIA on Abu Dhabi topic –
Steiner: “I would say I didn’t give a lot of recommendations to President Mohammed, but we talked about it and had private talks. I wouldn’t want to go there, but I know they are diligently working to make it better for whoever is the race director. It’s a very difficult job but I’m not here to protect Michael [Masi] or anything.
“It is very difficult, the sport has come on so much that some of the things have stayed behind. I’m sure they’ll come up with some ideas when we are presented them and then we’ll see what they’re doing, but I didn’t give them any recommendations of what to do. We talked about the issues a little bit and we all know them, so I think the FIA’s working diligently to a better future.”
Thoughts on how FIA is handling its business –
Steiner: “I have enough on my plate with my company to be honest and I wouldn’t like to go to the FIA to tell them what they should be doing, because I know they’re doing things but I don’t know the details and contracts and stuff like this. I’m not trying to avoid the question I just don’t know their structure in there completely.
“We all know Michael Masi as the race director but I don’t know what is underlying and how to make it better but I’m pretty busy with what I’m doing at Haas F1 so I’m not getting involved and I’ve got full confidence in the FIA that they will fix it because everybody speaks about it, you guys ask questions, but these should be questions more to the FIA than me.”
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