We knew it was coming, as Formula 1 has been teasing a record-breaking 23-race calendar for a while. But now that it’s here, the 2022 F1 calendar looks tough.
For next year’s F1 season, racing will kick off in Bahrain on March 20th, 2022 and will culminate in a season finale in Abu Dhabi on November 20th. During the eight months in between, racing will take place in 21 other global locations, such as Miami, Monaco, Montreal, and Mexico City. (We promise they don’t all start with M.)
The 23-race schedule includes seven double headers and two triple-header race weekends, including one that will cover 8,000 miles as it takes in Sochi, Singapore, and Suzuka. This one triple header will see the teams cover the same distance as 42 F1 Grand Prix races – which will presumably be the length of the 2040 calendar at this rate.
Let’s not focus on the negatives and potential for burnout among F1 staff though. This incredibly ambitious calendar does mean the sport is making a welcome return to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix, Melbourne for the Australian race, and Suzuka for the Japanese round of the championship.
Next season will also include a return to Imola in Italy for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and F1 will race in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia for a second time.
F1 has also confirmed that the inaugural Miami Grand Prix will run on May 8th, and the Dutch Grand Prix will return on September 4th. Despite being slated for a race in 2020, the Vietnam Grand Prix remains off the F1 calendar.
The positioning of each race on next year’s calendar does seem slightly sporadic, though. In May, F1 will travel to Italy, Miami and then Spain, and a month later will head from Azerbaijan to the UK, via Canada. Journeys like these will pile the miles onto the calendar at a time when F1 claims to have increased its focus on sustainable racing and cost reductions.
One Twitter, user @FormulaAmelia, calculated that in its current arrangement, the 2022 F1 calendar will see teams travel more than 72,000 miles over the course of the season.
Despite its flaws, it is great to see F1 finally returning to familiar circuits as the effects of the pandemic begin to lessen. However, the Chinese Grand Prix remains absent from the schedule for a third year running as a reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over.
According to Reuters, F1 said: “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.”
Hopefully, F1 can return to the Shanghai International Circuit in 2023 for what will, presumably, be another record-breaking calendar.
Next year’s F1 season is shaping up to be an interesting one as the sport prepares to welcome new circuits and new regulations. As part of the shakeup, F1 will introduce new cars, which according to reports from some drivers, don’t sound like the easiest machines to drive.