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Pandemic could force more F1 calendar changes


The upcoming 2022 season is set to be the longest season in F1 history, with a record-breaking 23 races planned to take place between March and November. 

COVID-19 has caused significant disruption to F1’s plans over the past two years, with the world championship forced to run a revised 17-round calendar in 2020, while its 22-race 2021 schedule also featured several changes. 

F1 is set to return to Australia, Canada, Singapore and Japan after a two-year absence, though officials remain wary about the potential impact of the return of tighter COVID-19 restrictions worldwide and the emergence of new variants. 

When asked which regions F1 is targeting for future races during an interview with Sport 1, Domenicali said: “The USA is important to us and we are working hard to make Miami a success in 2022. 

“The other region that we must not underestimate is the Far East, especially with Guanyu Zhou, who now drives for Alfa Romeo. Interest from China is growing, which is why the region will also become our focus. 

“A comeback in Africa – whether in the north or south – would be great. 

“However, how quickly this works will also depend on the situation around Covid. We must not continue to underestimate the corona pandemic. In 2022, we may also have to adjust the calendar again.”

Europe remains ‘very important’ for F1 

F1 recently agreed lucrative long-term deals for Saudi Arabia and Qatar to become permanent fixtures on the calendar as the sport continues to increase its presence in the Middle East. 

Despite F1’s push to explore new markets, Domenicali stressed that retaining a European base with traditional grands prix is “very important”. 

He also expressed disappointment at the continued absence of a German Grand Prix. 

“We must ensure that the traditional Grand Prix retain their place,” he said. “And believe me: I am disappointed and also sad that we do not currently have a German Grand Prix. 

“Unfortunately, I don’t see any real interest from Germany to become part of the Formula 1 calendar again. That’s a pity and actually hard to believe. I hope that this will change again in the future. 

“We have so many requests from all over the world. We could easily drive on 30 different racetracks. And it is regrettable to see that no one from Germany rings.” 

“The Germans are passionate motorsport fans, the atmosphere at the Nürburgring and in Hockenheim has always been fantastic,” he added. 

“In view of this interest, I believe that the right answer is not given at the moment. This is also why I would like to seek dialogue with the promoters, but also other interested parties in Germany at the beginning of 2022. 

“It is to be an open discussion to explore how Formula 1 can return to Germany. And I will play an active role in this.” 



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