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Stefano Domenicali reveals key details about 2022 calendar, 23 races, March-November, FIFA World Cup, sprint qualifying


The 2022 Formula 1 world championship will feature a record 23 races, have its earliest finish in more than a decade and could play host to as many as eight sprints, Stefano Domenicali has revealed.

The Formula 1 president and chief executive also said next year’s season would run from March through to the middle of November, as he disclosed key details about the schedule in an interview with Sky Sports.

The calendar of races, which Domenicali said could be unveiled as early as October 15, will have its earliest finish since 2010 to avoid a clash with the FIFA World Cup, which is set to begin on November 21 of next year.

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“I can anticipate that, for sure, the calendar will be done with 23 races,” said Domenicali, who’s thrilled with Formula 1’s success in planning a full 22-race calendar for this year.

“Of course we will be very respectful towards the COVID regulations issued around the world from the different governments. But that is our aim – that F1 can give this sign of hope and to go to normal things to enjoy.”

This year’s world championship began in Bahrain on the weekend of March 12-14 and will end in Abu Dhabi on the weekend of December 10-12.

“The idea is to make sure there is the right rhythm to the calendar,” Domenicali said of the 2022 season.

“There are of course considerations related to periods to make sure logistically the flow has to be right.

“One thing I can tell you, without discovering too many things, is that next year the season will start in the middle of March and will finish in the middle of November.”

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Formula 1 has trialed its new sprint format twice this season, on dramatic weekends in Silverstone and Monza, and a third will take place in Brazil in the 19th round.

The format sees a 100-kilometre Saturday race set the grid for Sunday’s showpiece grand prix, while first, second and third are awarded points: three, two and one respectively.

Formula 1 has broken new ground in implementing the sprint format, introducing points outside the grand prix itself.

“We said at the beginning of the year there would be three tests this year to make sure we have the right plan for the future,” Domenicali said.

“The vast majority of the comments we received were super positive. Promoters are super happy because there is something new and important on Friday and Saturday and Sunday.

“We are receiving this positive feedback. Therefore, we need to know next year we have a great plan where we will consider also the points highlighted by people who did not like this format. Generally speaking it has been an incredible success.

“I can say we will not go everywhere with the sprint (qualifying) format. It is something we want to keep for one third of the races, more or less, and to connect with a certain different way of giving rewards and points and to connect with specific circuits that as you know would make the difference.”

As this year’s world championship approaches Turkey this weekend, Domenicali suggested plans for 2022 still required significant collaboration.

“There is a lot of food for thought,” Domenicali said.

“We will involve all the stakeholders: broadcasters, drivers, teams, promoters and fans.

“We won’t forget our role is to take the right decision and to consider all the points and points of view of everyone.”

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