Formula 1 reveals its 2022 calendar, the United States Grand Prix has a record-breaking attendance and could the South African Grand Prix return to the schedule? Here’s a roundup of all the latest Formula 1 calendar news.
2022 F1 calendar revealed
In October, Formula 1 revealed its schedule for 2022, with a calendar which will feature a record-breaking 23 races. The season begins with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20 and ends in Abu Dhabi on November 20. It will feature the highly anticipated first running of the Miami Grand Prix in May, while Australia, Canada, Singapore and Japan are all expected to return following a two-year absence.
China will not feature on the 2022 F1 calendar, and the sport will instead visit Imola for a third successive year. There will be two sets of triple header weekends, while Thursday practice will be discontinued at the Monaco Grand Prix. The principality’s famous race instead falls in line with other Grand Prix events and becomes a 3-day weekend.
Record breaking United States Grand Prix attendance
Formula 1’s popularity in the United States has been boosted in recent years – and the effect was seen in tickets sales for the 2021 United States Grand Prix. A record-breaking 400,000 fans were in attendance over the race weekend at Circuit of The Americas. 36,000 travellers passed through Austin Bergstrom International Airport on the Monday after the race – a new one-day record for the airport.
COTA’s contract to host the United States Grand Prix ends this year, but circuit chairman Bobby Epstein is “highly confident” of a new deal to secure the future of the Texas event. The race appears on the recently revealed 2022 calendar “subject to contract”.
Now, Formula 1 has its sights set on a third race in the United States. Stefano Domenicali allegedly met with representatives from Nevada over the COTA race weekend to discuss the prospect of a Grand Prix in Las Vegas. F1 previously raced in Las Vegas in 1981 and 1982. The Caesar’s Palace Grand Prix was held on the parking lot of the famous hotel.
Could the Australian Grand Prix move to Sydney?
In October, Sydney’s 7 News claimed that the Australian Grand Prix could move to the streets of Sydney. They suggested that talks were underway to bring a street circuit akin to the Monaco track to Sydney’s harbour area.
Meanwhile, current Australian Grand Prix boss Andrew Westacott says that the event is “not going anywhere”. Albert Park last hosted the event in 2019, with the Australian Grand Prix cancelled in the last two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Westacott also says the circuit will be in talks with F1 about bringing Sprint Qualifying to the Melbourne race next year. The 2022 Australian Grand Prix is set to be the first run on a revised layout of the Albert Park circuit. Next year’s race takes place on April 10 – later in the year than recent Australian races. It is expected that, due to earlier sunset times, the race will take place earlier in the day.
Could the South African Grand Prix return?
Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton is keen to see the South African Grand Prix return to the Formula 1 calendar. A Formula 1 Fan Festival was scheduled to take place in Sandton in March 2020, but the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. F1 last raced in South Africa in 1993 at the Kyalami circuit. Earlier this year, Stefano Domenicali confirmed that the sport plans to return to the African continent in 2023.
Other news in brief:
- Tickets for the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix are now on sale. F1’s first visit to Losail International Circuit takes place on November 19-21.
- Pre-sale tickets for the 2022 Miami Grand Prix sold out in just 40 minutes. The inaugural Miami Grand Prix will take place on May 6-8 next year.
- Formula 1 and QuintEvents have extended their partnership and will continue to offer fan experiences and hospitality packages as part of a multi-year deal.
- Lewis Capaldi and Khalid are the first acts confirmed to perform over the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Two more headline acts are yet to be announced.
- Akio Toyoda, president of the Toyota Motor Corporation says that the Japanese Grand Prix should not have been cancelled in 2021. It’s a viewpoint with which Honda’s Managing Director Masashi Yamamoto agrees.
- “If someone doesn’t like it then he should go” – that’s the opinion of AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost, when asked about the demands of an ever-expanding F1 calendar.
- With just over a month to go until the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, work is continuing on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. A recent video shared on F1.com documents the progress on the track so far.
- Imola will be on the 2022 Formula 1 calendar – and could remain on the schedule for the foreseeable future. The regional administration of the Emilia Romagna region claims to have agreed a four year deal for the track to continue hosting the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.