Although the recently release starts times for this year’s grand prix sessions did not hint at a single sprint race, Andreas Seidl believes there will be “three” this year.
Last year Formula 1 debut sprint races, running the new format at the British, Italian and Brazilian GPs.
It was met with mixed reviews as while Silverstone and Interlagos delivered, Lewis Hamilton igniting the latter as he raced from the back of the grid to fifth place, Monza was nothing but a procession.
Formula 1 bosses are keen to continue with the sprint events this season, wanting to double the number to six.
That, however, has been blocked by the teams with three of the ten reportedly saying no unless they are given a hefty allowance in the budget cap.
According to reports in the Italian media, Mercedes and Red Bull are demanding $5 million allowance for the six events with F1 bosses only agreeing a flat $500,000 for five events, and an extra $150,000 for any additional races.
The stand-off is one of the many topics, along with the Abu Dhabi finale, that will be discussed in Monday’s F1 Commission meeting involving the teams, the FIA and F1 bosses.
“We will have further talks in the FOM Commission on Monday and then hopefully we will finally know what the plans for this year look like,” said McLaren team boss Seidl.
“I guess that at the moment it is more towards three sprint races.”
The German also ruled out a sprint event early in the season saying “there will be no sprint race in one of the first races”.
McLaren, however, have no issue with them, even increasing the number to six.
“It doesn’t give us any additional headaches,” Seidl said. “It’s not difficult to adapt to it.”
McLaren CEO Zak Brown has previously lambasted F1’s top teams for blocking six sprint races.
“Some teams still look for excuses to raise the cost cap and win World Championships with chequebooks,” he wrote in a pre-season column on McLaren’s website.
“The ongoing lobbying by certain teams to increase the cost cap for sprint race damage is a continuing example.
“The Saturday sprint race initiative by Formula 1 has added new viewers and raised the profile of the sport to expand its global fanbase.
“However, these teams continue to demand a raise to the cost cap by an inordinate amount of money, despite the clear evidence that little damage was incurred during these races last year, in a thinly veiled attempt to protect from their competitive advantage being eroded.”
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