In the meantime, it seems that the sport has been pushing forward with the sprint races - or "sprint qualifying" as Liberty Media wants it to be called - and is getting close to finalising the modifications to the regulations and the financial terms that will be offered to the teams. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/ ... 021-season
There are signs that the teams will be given an extra $500,000 in prize money for those sprint races, with the budget cap also raised by $500,000, to pay for the additional expenses of those races. It is indicated that, if the car is damaged in those sprint races, the teams can then apply to Liberty Media for additional payments to pay for the repairs - there are also reports that the teams will be allowed to request a free gearbox and/or power unit change if they are heavily damaged during the sprint races, which perhaps could be a little more contentious.
There are still some issues with tyre allocations and DRS usage that are yet to be resolved - there are suggestions that DRS usage will now be permitted within 2 seconds of the car in front, rather than 1 second, to boost the amount of overtaking, although the revisions to the tyre allocation are not yet known.
There are some interesting anecdotal comments from an individual on the Racefans site who is connected with FOM about what Liberty Media will consider a successful trial - I think it is worth quoting here:
There were questions on here some weeks ago regarding what the definition of success/failure would be that would see the idea continue forward or be dropped.
I’ve been told the definition of success will be TV ratings & trackside spectator engagement. The actual impact on the track action will be a secondary consideration with the affect been moved to Friday will have on the ratings/attendance for the usual qualifying session been seen as even less important.
If there is a bump in TV ratings and/or Saturday attendance then it will be a format that will become a more permanent feature going forward with the idea been to gradually phase the format in for use at every round within the next few seasons.
I gather they intend to have a totally new weekend format in place for 2025 & that even if the 3 race trial this year is deemed to have not worked they will likely trial tweaks to the sprint race format in 2022/23/24 until they have something that they believe will work for use from 2025.