Second qualifying session would improve F1’s sprint race weekends

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In the round-up: Haas team principal Guenther Steiner proposes a new schedule for F1’s sprint race weekends.

In brief

Steiner suggests revising sprint race weekends

Following Formula 1’s decision to increase the number of sprint races next year from three to six, Steiner proposed a change to how the weekends are structured. At present Friday’s qualifying session sets the grid for Saturday’s sprint race, which in turns decides the starting order for the grand prix.

“What I’d like even more is having qualifying for the sprint on Friday and qualifying for the main race on Saturday morning, as the free practice currently isn’t very meaningful for anyone,” said Steiner. “Then on Saturday afternoon you have the sprint, followed by the main event on Sunday.”

Steiner believes the new format, which has been used six times since it was introduced last year, is an improvement on the whole.

“This year in Austria we scored points in both the sprint and in the main race so for sure, I liked that,” said the Haas team principal.

“It’s a race like any other but it’s shorter and with eight drivers rather than 10 scoring points. I’m in favour of more sprints as it makes the overall race weekend interesting by having qualifying on Friday.”

McLaren moves Formula E team to Bicester

McLaren’s Formula E team won’t run from its Technology Centre

McLaren’s new Formula E squad will not be based out of the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking alongside the rest of the brand’s operations, but instead from a unit at the Bicester Heritage site.

The former RAF base has become the base of several motorsport companies in recent years, utilising small buildings and hangars that have been operational since World War Two.

McLaren will race in FE for the first time next year, as the series introduces its new, ‘Gen3’ car design.

“It’s an exciting time for the team and the sport,” said Ian James, the managing director of McLaren’s FE team.

“We are embarking on a new chapter, as part of the McLaren Racing family. Basing ourselves at the unique location of Bicester Heritage, we have the advantage of being surrounded by people who are as passionate about motorsport as we are.”

Mark Blundell protege to race in British F4

Kanato Le, a protege of former McLaren Formula 1 driver Mark Blundell, will race for Hitech GP in British Formula 4 next year.

The Japanese teenager spent 2022 racing in the Ginetta Junior championship, where Lando Norris started his car racing career, and won two races. In karting he won the 2021 IAME Euro Series and came second in the IAME Winter Cup for X30 Junior karts.

Recently he has tested with multiple teams in F4, before deciding on signing with Hitech for a campaign that will begin on the support bill of this month’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and then incorporate the British and United Arab Emirates F4 series in 2023.

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