China misses out on record 23-race F1 calendar in 2022
Paris (AFP) –
China was dropped from the Formula One calendar for a third successive year on Friday as a record 23-race schedule for 2022 was released.
"Due to ongoing pandemic conditions, China will not be included on the 2022 calendar. China will be restored to the calendar as soon as conditions allow," said a statement from governing body, the FIA.
The Chinese GP at Shanghai will be replaced by the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola on April 24.
The 2022 season will start in Bahrain on March 20 and finish back in the Gulf at Abu Dhabi on November 20.
Next year's schedule also continues a steady growth in the number of events as international sport emerges from the pandemic.
In 2020, there were 17 F1 races, which rose to 22 for this year's world championship.
Next season, Australia, Canada, Singapore and Japan are all set to return after being axed in 2020 and 2021 because of Covid-19 and subsequent health restrictions.
A new race in Miami has also been confirmed for May 8 as the United States hosts two events with Austin pencilled in on October 23.
"We are excited to announce the 2022 calendar as we prepare to enter a new era for the sport with brand new regulations and cars for next year that are designed to create closer racing," said Stefano Domenicali, the president of F1.
"This season has been incredible so far with great battles on the track, large audiences tuning in and fans returning to the races after the impact of the pandemic.
"We look forward to welcoming more fans back next season and hope 2022 feels more normal than the life we have all experienced in the past two years."
The 2022 season will finish three weeks earlier than the 2021 edition to avoid a clash with the football World Cup in Qatar which kicks off the day after the Abu Dhabi F1 finale.
There will be two triple-headers and seven back-to-back races next year, a tightly-packed schedule which could lead to criticism from teams over stress levels for staff.
It also remains to be seen whether or not the experiment with qualifying sprint races, introduced this year, returns in 2022.
A decision will be made after the third and final sprint race at the Brazilian GP from November 12 to 14, said the F1 Commission.
The 2022 season will also see the introduction of new cars with redesigned aerodynamics to allow drivers the chance to follow and overtake with greater ease in a sport criticised for its often processional nature.
2022 Formula One calendar
March 20: Bahrain, Sakhir
March 27: Saudi Arabia, Jeddah
April 10: Australia, Melbourne
April 24: Emilia Romagna, Imola*
May 8: Miami, Miami**
May 22: Spain, Barcelona*
May 29: Monaco, Monaco
June 12: Azerbaijan, Baku
June 19: Canada, Montreal
July 3: Great Britain, Silverstone
July 10: Austria, Spielberg
July 24: France, Le Castellet
July 31: Hungary, Budapest
August 28: Belgium, Spa-Francorchamps
September 4: Netherlands, Zandvoort
September 11: Italy, Monza
September 25: Russia, Sochi
October 2: Singapore, Singapore*
October 9: Japan, Suzuka
October 23: United States, Austin*
October 30: Mexico, Mexico City
November 13: Brazil, Sao Paulo
November 20: Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina
* subject to contract
** subject to FIA circuit approval
© 2021 AFP