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F1 Calendar News: December 2021 Round-Up

As several circuits extend their contracts to remain on the F1 calendar, more rumours of the sport hosting a London Grand Prix have emerged. Here’s a round-up of all the latest Formula 1 calendar news!

Latest London Grand Prix rumours emerge

In November, the Daily Mail reported that Formula 1 has its sights set on racing in London. They report that funding has been secured to build a new circuit in the East End of London at the Royal Docks, close to where Formula E’s London E-Prix is held. Formula 1 last took to the streets of London ahead of the British Grand Prix in 2017 as part of a fan festival event.

They suggest that the race could join the calendar before 2025 and that the event has the full backing of London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Plans are said to be at an “advanced stage”, though rumours of a race in the UK capital are common and have not yet resulted in an actual race taking place. It is believed that a potential London Grand Prix would not affect the British Grand Prix’s position on the calendar, which would continue to take place at Silverstone.

Chinese Grand Prix deal extended to 2025

Formula 1 will have its first Chinese driver in 2022, with Guanyu Zhou joining the grid at Alfa Romeo. Zhou will not have the opportunity to race at home next year, as the ongoing pandemic means that the Chinese Grand Prix will not be part of the record-breaking 2022 calendar.

The good news, however, is that the Chinese Grand Prix is now set to remain on the calendar until 2025. Shanghai International Circuit, which first hosted the Chinese Grand Prix in 2004, will remain as host of the event that is scheduled to return in 2023. The venue last appeared on the schedule in 2019, when it hosted F1’s 1000th World Championship race.

Barcelona deal extended to 2026

The Spanish Grand Prix has signed a new contract to remain on the calendar until 2026. Despite the recent successes of Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso, there has been doubt over the long-term future of the Catalunya race in recent years.

Race organisers agreed a one-year contract extension for the 2021 race earlier this year. The race went ahead with only 1,000 fans in attendance due to coronavirus restrictions. Work is underway to improve trackside facilities ahead of the 2022 race. The track also aims to become “a model and world benchmark of sustainability”.

Tickets for the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix are now available.

Abu Dhabi to remain on the calendar until 2030

Ahead of the historic title decider at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Formula 1 has announced the extension of the event’s contract. Now the traditional final race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has signed a new contract to stay on the F1 calendar until at least 2030.

The Yas Marina Circuit has undergone changes ahead of the 2021 season finale. The track has been reprofiled in an attempt to create more exciting races. 

More tickets for 2022 races on sale

It’s not just Spanish Grand Prix tickets which have gone on sale in the past month. Tickets for the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix are now available. Demand for tickets for next year’s Zandvoort race was so high that a draw will take place to decide who will receive them. 400,000 people have applied for tickets. Dutch Grand Prix director Jan Lammers says that the interest in the sport in the Netherlands is “hard to really realize, but it is fantastic”.

After delivering an exciting race in 2021, tickets for the 2022 French Grand Prix are available, with Circuit Paul Ricard set to host the final race of its current contract. There are no guarantees that the French Grand Prix will remain on the calendar beyond next year.

Meanwhile, tickets for the season-opening 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix are also now on sale. Next year’s Bahrain Grand Prix will be the first opportunity to see F1’s new generation of cars in competitive action. Discounts on tickets apply until December 31, 2021.

Mexican Grand Prix attendance grows

Formula 1 enjoyed a memorable weekend in Mexico City in November, where home favourite Sergio Perez recorded the first podium for a Mexican driver. Perez’s move to the competitive Red Bull team was likely one of the main factors in a surge in ticket sales for the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix.

F1 reported a weekend attendance of 372,000. That’s up almost 30,000 on the 2019 figure. It has also been reported that only 5% of ticket holders for the cancelled 2020 race requested a refund, with the other 95% rolling their tickets forward to 2021.

Other calendar news in brief:

  • The schedule for the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix has been revealed. In a break from tradition, there will be no Formula 1 practice on Thursday in the principality. Instead, the race will fall in line with other races on the calendar where practice begins on Friday. There will still be on-track action from support series on Thursday, however.
  • The 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix was a sell-out event, with over 170,000 tickets sold. It was the biggest event in Brazil since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Australian Grand Prix tickets went on sale in November and all grandstand tickets were sold very quickly during the pre-sale. Due to high demand for tickets, extra grandstands have been added. The 2022 Melbourne race will be the first on a revised layout of the Albert Park circuit.
  • The inaugural Miami Grand Prix, set to take place in May, is expected to be a sell-out event. F1 reports that 275,000 fans pre-registered to purchase tickets for the race.
  • According to Spanish politician Juan Marin, the Jerez circuit is “first reserve” if any planned 2022 races fall off the calendar. Spaniard Fernando Alonso is keen on having two races in his home country once again, just as there were between 2008 and 2012.
  • There were transportation delays during F1’s latest triple header. Between the Mexico City and Sao Paulo Grands Prix some teams’ freight – including their cars – were stuck in Miami. Such delays are rare and the affected teams were given additional time to prepare their cars for scrutineering. Learn more about the logistics of Formula 1 here.

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