October 15, (THEWILL) – The Formula One calendar for 2022 has been released, and it features a record-breaking 23 Grands Prix in just eight months.
The Chinese Grand Prix was forced to cancel its event for the third year in a row after a draught calendar was released four weeks ago due to strict restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic.
It means that the Emilia Romagna GP in Imola will fill the April 24 slot once more, assuring the French GP of a spot on July 24. Imola and Paul Ricard had been vying for the mid-July slot prior to China’s now-confirmed withdrawal.
There are two triple-headers, the first of which is a repeat of the Belgian, Dutch, and Italian three-race burst that occurred after the summer break, and the second of which is the most difficult, as Singapore and Japan return after Russia.
Races in Australia and Canada, as well as Singapore and Japan, which had been absent for the previous two seasons, make a comeback.
Following a curtain-raising Middle East double-header in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Australia has been moved from its traditional season-opening slot to the third event of the year on April 10. This is to give the country some leeway because it has some of the world’s strictest COVID-19 restrictions.
The 23 races will be held over 36 weeks, culminating on November 20 in Abu Dhabi. Because the World Cup begins on November 21 in Qatar, F1 has decided not to extend the calendar into early- to mid-December next year.
A statement from F1 read: “The pandemic has continued to present challenges to the 2021 season, but the entire sport has shown its ability to react and adapt to the challenges as they have arisen.
“While we hope the virus recedes further in the coming months, for everyone around the world, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and work closely with the promoters and national authorities.
“Due to ongoing pandemic conditions, China will not be included on the 2022 calendar. China will be restored to the calendar as soon as conditions allow.”
Meanwhile, discussions about which Grands Prix will feature sprint events next season are still ongoing. So far this year, F1 has tested the one-third distance race at two events – Silverstone and Monza – to mixed reviews, with a third set to take place in Brazil.
F1 would like to run the sprint at six or seven Grands Prix in 2022, but given the additional cost, teams are debating whether the budget cap should stay at the $145 million introduced this year or drop to $140 million as planned.
The official 2022 F1 calendar:
March 20 – Bahrain
March 27 – Saudi Arabia
April 10 – Australia
April 24 – Emilia Romagna [Imola]
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 – Netherlands
September 11 – Italy [Monza]
September 25 – Russia
October 2 – Singapore
October 9 – Japan
October 23 – United States [Austin]
October 30 – Mexico
November 13 – Brazil
November 20 – Abu Dhabi