On Thursday the world’s premier electric open-wheel racing series announced its 16-round season schedule for 2022. Season 8 will travel to Saudi Arabia, Mexico, China, Italy, Monaco, Germany, the U.S., and the U.K., as it has before. New on the calendar for next season, however, are single-event rounds in Cape Town, South Africa and Vancouver, Canada. In addition there will be a double-header on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
While there is a single TBC round in the middle of the season, and the Chinese round’s city hasn’t been announced yet, the new season looks extremely exciting. Not only will this calendar extend the season by one round, it also consists of fewer double-headers, down from seven this season to just four next year. This means a lot more travel, a lot more tracks to learn, and a bunch of brand new fans! All good things for the rapidly growing series.
This calendar drops the controversial Valencia ePrix, which saw many cars run out of juice before the flag this year, and demotes Mexico, Italy, and Germany rounds from double-headers to single events. Monaco has been semi-permanently added to the Formula E schedule, as it has moved from a bi-annual event to an annual trip to the municipality. Excellent!
While Formula E still uses the split-year nomenclature, calling this the 2021-22 season, none of it will take place during 2021. Thanks to Coronavirus delays, the 2019-20 season was pushed back, which caused delays to the 2020-21 season, and will push into a much condensed season 8. By kicking off season 8 in late January and ending it in mid-August, the racing will come hard and fast, while leaving plenty of room for season 9 to start in late 2022 to return FE to its typical spot in the off-season of every other series.
South Africa hasn’t held a major FIA single-seater championship round since the season-opening 1993 South African Grand Prix at Kyalami, which saw Alain Prost win from pole over Ayrton Senna.
Vancouver will join the series for the first time in early July after a currently unknown race in June. Seoul will be the new season-ending venue with a double-header incorporating the city’s Olympic village.
This looks promising for Formula E’s continued post-pandemic growth. If the world can actually get a handle on this virus and keep vaccine rollouts moving ahead at full steam, we can all get back to racing next year!