Formula 1 has finalized its 2022 calendar after electing not to replace the canceled Russian Grand Prix.
Russia’s round, originally scheduled for September 25 at Sochi Autodrom, was swiftly canceled in February following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Formula 1 also took the decision to annul its long-term contract with the promoter of the Russian Grand Prix, abandoning the plan to hold a race at Igora Drive from 2023.
Championship organizers sought potential replacement rounds for Russia. Qatar—which will return on a 10-year deal in 2023—and a second event in Singapore a week in advance of its existing Grand Prix were both considered but ultimately dismissed. It is understood that a combination of costs, logistics and commercial implications were behind the decision. Unlike in the early stages of the pandemic, Formula 1 is no longer countenancing cut-price deals for promoters while inflation and increased freight costs have been added to logistical considerations.
Options in Europe were not pursued from the outset for logistical reasons, with the vacant September 25 date the first in a tripleheader that includes Asian rounds Singapore and Japan.
It means that Formula 1’s 2022 season will feature 22 Grands Prix, with a gap in the schedule between Italy (September 11) and Singapore (October 2).
The decision not to replace Russia is likely to come as some relief for teams due to the already congested nature of the 2022 calendar. A tripleheader that was originally planned to be Russia (then TBC)/Singapore/Japan becomes a more manageable Singapore/Japan doubleheader.
Next year’s calendar is expected to feature as many as 24 events, with the return of Qatar and debut of Las Vegas. China is also due to be present for the first time since 2019 if pandemic-related conditions allow.
Uncertainty remains over the future of Grands Prix in France, Belgium and Monaco.