Formula 1 Correspondent
5:11 PM 15th October 2021
Formula 1 Reveals Its 2022 Calendar
Formula 1 has just officially revealed details of its intended 2022 calendar, which is set to include a record-breaking 23 Grands Prix during a shorter season than normal despite the increased number of races. After pre-season testing in Barcelona from February 23-25 and then Bahrain from March 11-13 the teams will remain at the latter venue for the opening Grand Prix a week later and the finale will as usual be in Abu Dhabi, if in November rather than December. This will be the earliest finish to an F1 season since 2011 and will help avoid a clash with the football World Cup set to be staged in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.
This year’s fight for the Drivers’ title is proving to be an absolutely unpredictable thriller and next season the all-new cars will be introduced, designed to comply with regulations intended to help promote closer racing and more overtaking.
Bahrain will again host the Formula 1 season opener next year
There will be seven doubleheaders where Grands Prix take place on consecutive weekends, starting with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and concluding with Brazil and Abu Dhabi eight months later. For reasons of logistics and staff fatigue the teams do not like tripleheaders, but there will nevertheless be two in the second half of next season. As this year, straight after the summer break we will see back-to-back races at Belgium’s Spa Francorchamps, Zandvoort in the Netherlands and Italy’s Imola, but their relatively close proximity to each other means that this isn’t too much of a problem. However, the subsequent Russia-Singapore-Japan sequence on consecutive weekends will be a little more challenging.
The 2022 Formula 1 Calendar
March 20 Bahrain
March 27 Saudi Arabia
April 10 Australia
April 24 Emilia Romagna
May 8 Miami
May 22 Spain
May 29 Monaco
June 12 Azerbaijan
June 19 Canada
July 3 Britain
July 10 Austria
July 24 France
July 31 Hungary
August 28 Belgium
September 4 The Netherlands
September 11 Italy
September 25 Russia
October 2 Singapore
October 9 Japan
October 23 USA
October 30 Mexico
November 13 Brazil
November 20 Abu Dhabi
F1 enjoys visiting Melbourne in Australia, despite the distance, and Albert Park is due to host the third race of the season. However, its fate hinges on the stance of the Australian authorities in relation to overseas visitors being allowed in and under what circumstances and there is a risk that the event may again be cancelled, with the country perhaps even having its contract to host an annual Grand Prix negated altogether too.
China will again be missing from next year’s calendar due to a combination of the country’s pandemic related travel restriction policies and also the Winter Olympics, which are still set to take place in Beijing from February 4-20. This is all rather ironic when there may well be a first ever Chinese driver in F1 next year, the financially well backed current F2 racer Guanyu Zhou. This will happen if Alfa Romeo opt to run him alongside the incoming Valtteri Bottas rather than the 20 year old Australian Oscar Piastri, who is currently leading the F2 championship in his rookie year. The loss of the Shanghai race means that Italy’s Imola will again be used for a third year running.
The repeated absence of a Chinese Grand Prix means that Italy’s Imola circuit will again feature in 2022
Miami in Florida will make its long awaited debut in early May, as Formula 1’s owners very much hope to increase American interest in the sport with a second US race alongside the existing one in Texas. Later that month Monaco, long known as the jewel in Formula 1’s crown despite the often processional nature of races there due to its tight street circuit nature, will shrink from a four day to a typical three day Friday to Sunday format. This will provide an additional 24 hours to assist the relocation of everything after the preceding weekend’s Spanish round at Barcelona.
Following the return of the Formula 1 circus from Canada’s popular race in Montreal in mid June, July will feature plenty of work for the small army of F1 truck drivers as the contents of the paddock will need transporting to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix before then being taken to Austria, southern France and Hungary in quick succession. The British event has been brought forward to the beginning of July to avoid clashing with the following weekend’s tennis finals at Wimbledon following the recent success of Emma Radukanu.
Discussions have been held between Formula 1, the FIA governing body and the teams about the possibility of increasing this year’s three race weekends including Saturday sprint races to six in 2022, with additional costs and the impact on the annual budget cap featuring heavily. Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari have been arguing for a retention of this year’s $145m budget cap next season to help cover the extra expenditure incurred by the proposed additional races, whilst other teams are keen for the cap to still be reduced to $140m for 2022 as already planned, leaving the way ahead still to be resolved.
In early May Miami will join the F1 calendar for the first time at a new track around the Hard Rock Stadium campus
This year’s fight for the Drivers’ title is proving to be an absolutely unpredictable thriller and next season the all-new cars will be introduced, designed to comply with regulations intended to help promote closer racing and more overtaking. So, let’s hope we can look forward to plenty more action come Bahrain next March, although first we still have the small matter of discovering who will become this year’s world champion, Sir Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen.