It is a record 23 races that await next year’s Formula 1 circus, according to the provisional calendar approved by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) on Friday.
Several countries that, due to the pandemic, had to cancel their races in the past two years, including Canada, Australia, Singapore and Japan, are regaining their places in the line-up.
The Montreal Formula 1 World Championship is set to stop on June 19 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, just one week after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix held in the streets of Baku.
China is still taking a hit
On the other hand, China was excluded from the F1 road in 2022, for the third year in a row. This stage will be replaced by the GP of Emilia Romagna at Imola which, after losing for several years, now looks well positioned to become a regular round of the championship.
Strict quarantine measures imposed in China, where the epidemic began, have forced Formula 1 authorities to hit this destination for the third year in a row. But this, apparently, is only “postponed,” as we read in the press release.
Another notable absence is that of Germany, even if manufacturer Mercedes has been the great ambassador of the queen of motorsports for years.
Departure in Bahrain: If Australia returns, it loses its opening round spot as it was before the pandemic. Before driving to Melbourne, the Formula 1 cars will make stops in Bahrain (Sakhir) and Saudi Arabia (Jeddah).
Two triple programmes: The calendar will include two series of three races in three weeks. First when returning from summer vacation, in Belgium (August 28), the Netherlands (September 4) and Italy (September 11), then in Russia (September 25), Singapore (October 2) and Japan (October 9).
Dubbed in the United States: One of the big news in 2022 is the GP being staged in suburban Miami, Florida, in a temporary scheme near the Miami Dolphins (NFL) football stadium. You have to go back to 1984 (Detroit and Dallas) and 1983 (Detroit and Long Beach) to count two Formula 1 races in the US in the same year.
Only three days: Thursday’s traditional media tour ended in the ring. To give the teams some rest, racing weekends will officially start on Friday. Is this also the end of Circuit Gilles’ famous ‘open day’?
Villeneuve? It would be a shame. It is also the end of an era in Monaco, as the first two sessions of free practice will not be held on Thursday, but on Friday as elsewhere.
Eight days of preparation: The F1 winter testing will now be spread over eight days (not three days like this year), five in Barcelona (February 21-25) and three in Bahrain (10-12 March). This extension will allow teams to improve preparations for the season as the new regulations will completely change the appearance and especially the behavior of the cars.
Race courses: Formula 1 leaders will ramp up the show of sprint races (to replace Saturday’s qualifying session) in 2022. They will stage at least seven major races (compared to three this year), but it’s too soon to know what stations are involved.