2022 F1 Calendar to Remain at 22 Races

Formula 1 has announced that the 2022 calendar will remain at 22 races. The cancelled Russian Grand Prix – scheduled to take place in September – will not be replaced.

Formula 1 was set to embark on a record-breaking 23 race calendar in 2022. However, the season was cut to 22 races following the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix. The Sochi event was called off in February following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Not only was this year’s Russian Grand Prix cancelled, the contract with the promoter was also terminated, meaning that F1 will not return to Russia.

It has now been confirmed that the Russian Grand Prix will not be replaced on this year’s schedule. That leaves a three week gap between the Italian Grand Prix on September 11 and the Singapore Grand Prix on October 2. It is the longest gap between races this season, barring the summer break.

No suitable replacement venue

Following the announcement that the sport would not race in Russia, Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said there would be “no problem at all” in finding a replacement. A number of potential options were mooted for the free race slot on September 25.

First, speculation suggested that the Turkish Grand Prix would be run for a third consecutive year at Istanbul Park, while Hockenheim was also believed to be interested in reviving the German Grand Prix. However, due to the event being at the start of a triple header of races – with following races in Singapore and Japan – it was not feasible for a European venue to fill the slot.

Qatar Grand Prix considered

Interest then turned to Losail International Circuit and Qatar. The Qatar Grand Prix holds a 10-year contract to appear on the F1 calendar, but there is to be no race in the country this year due to preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The World Cup will take place in Qatar towards the end of the year.

Nevertheless, due to its location, Qatar was deemed a suitable replacement for the Russian race. Negotiations for F1 to race in Qatar in 2022 broke down over concerns about the track’s readiness to host a race this year and potential heat issues. Last year’s Qatar Grand Prix took place in the cooler month of December. Temperatures are around 15°C higher in September.

No second race in Singapore

Finally, plans for a second race at Marina Bay Street Circuit – host of the Singapore Grand Prix – were explored. There was interest in holding the race at dusk, to differentiate it from the night race for which Singapore has become famed. 

Shutting down the city streets for two consecutive weekends was always going to be a difficult task and this is believed to be the main reason why plans for an additional Singapore race fell through.

Record-breaking 2023 calendar?

The announcement means that the 2022 calendar will remain at 22 races, tying with 2021 as the season to have hosted the most races. Next year, both China and Qatar are expected to re-join the calendar and a new race will be held in Las Vegas

We could yet see a record-breaking 23 Grands Prix next season. However, there are four current circuits yet to sign a contract to host F1 next year. The 2023 Formula 1 calendar is expected to be revealed after the summer break.

Do you think the Russian Grand Prix should have been replaced? Or are you happy to see the 2022 calendar remain at 22 races? Leave a comment below!

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