Qatar is confirmed on the 2021 calendar, Monaco switches to a 3-day format next year and Sprint Qualifying is expected at more races in 2022. Here’s a round-up of all the latest Formula 1 calendar news!
Qatar GP joins calendar; 10 year deal from 2023
Formula 1 will race in Qatar for the first time in November, with the inaugural race at Losail International Circuit taking place on November 21. The Qatar Grand Prix had long been expected to join the calendar in the vacant slot on the schedule. The race will take place at night and will form a triple header of races, with the Mexico Cityand Brazilian Grands Prix taking place on the prior two weekends.
Furthermore, the Qatar Grand Prix will be a permanent fixture on the F1 calendar from 2023. The event will join the schedule on a 10-year deal. The venue for the race has not yet been revealed. The race could be run again at Losail International Circuit, or it may move to a new, purpose-built track.
Domenicali suggests Sprint Qualifying return in 2022
The 2022 Formula 1 calendar has not yet been revealed, but F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has revealed a number of details on next year’s schedule in an interview with Sky Sports F1. He says that the 2022 calendar will feature a record 23 races, with around a third of those races featuring Sprint Qualifying events
Domenicali is hopeful that F1 can return to hosting events with full capacity crowds in 2022. He revealed that the calendar will begin in mid-March and will end in mid-November – which likely means that the 2022 schedule will feature a number of triple header race weekends. The calendar is set to be formally announced at the World Motor Sport Council meeting in mid October.
Monaco Grand Prix will be 3-day event in 2022
One confirmed date for the 2022 season is the Monaco Grand Prix, which will be held on May 29. In a break from a long standing tradition, next year’s Monaco Grand Prix will take place over only three days.
Traditionally, F1 practice has been held on Thursday in Monaco with a rest day on Friday – but that changes in 2022. The Monaco Grand Prix will fall in line with the other races, with the opening day of F1 practice on Friday. There will still be action from support categories on Thursday, however. Tickets for the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix are now available.
Disappointing Italian Grand Prix attendance
The 2021 Italian Grand Prix went ahead with 50% of its usual spectator capacity. In an attempt to cut their losses, Monza bosses increased ticket prices for 2021 – in some cases, ticket prices doubled compared to 2019. The result was a far from impressive turnout for the event.
Of a maximum 25,000 tickets per day, only 10,000 fans attended on the Friday, with 16,000 in attendance for Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying and Sunday’s Grand Prix. Angelo Sticchi Damiani, President of the Italian Automobile Club, blamed the low ticket sales on the tickets being available only one month before the event. According to Sticchi Damiani, 30% of tickets were bought by Dutch fans. The event allegedly posted a €15 million loss in 2021.
Abu Dhabi concert headliners announced
Lewis Capaldi and Khalid have been announced as the first headline acts over the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend. Khalid will perform on Thursday evening, while Lewis Capaldi takes to the stage after qualifying on Saturday night.
The popular post race concert series, which take place at Etihad Park, will be held on all four nights of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend. Two more headline names are yet to be announced for the event. The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will bring the Formula 1 season to a close on December 9-12.
Other news in brief:
- Tickets for the 2022 British Grand Prix are now on sale. The event has a provisional date of July 1-3.
- Imola and Circuit Paul Ricard are allegedly jostling for a July slot on the 2022 F1 calendar, with only one venue likely to make it onto the final schedule.
- The date for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix has been confirmed. The first race around the Hard Rock Stadium will take place on May 6-8, 2022.
- W Series has dropped its planned race over the Mexico City Grand Prix weekend. The all-female series will instead end its second season with a double header of races at the United States Grand Prix.
- Formula 2 and Formula 3 will revert to a two-race per weekend format in 2022. This year’s schedule for the feeder series has proved unpopular, with large gaps between rounds and three races per weekend. The two series will race at the same Grand Prix weekends once again in 2022.
- Following the rain-hit Belgian Grand Prix, Formula 1 is exploring the idea of introducing more flexible race start times in case of poor weather conditions.
- McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl has called on Formula 1 to ditch triple header weekends and to not extend the calendar in order to ease the strain on team personnel.
- Saudi Arabia will host its first F1 race in less than two months. To celebrate, the world’s largest Lego F1 car – made from over half a million bricks – is on display in Jeddah’s Red Sea Mall. Construction work on the track is still ongoing. Video footage circulating on Twitter shows the track is far from being ready to race on.
- The chances of attending an F1 race and being arrested after being mistaken for a mafia boss are quite slim, but that’s exactly what happened to one fan at the Dutch Grand Prix in September.