F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali has confirmed plans for the 2022 season to climax in mid-November to avoid a clash with FIFA World Cup.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Domenicali has revealed brief details of calendar plans for next season, as he stated that “I can anticipate that, for sure, the calendar will be done with 23 races,” which would make it the longest-ever F1 season.
Coronavirus pandemic however continues to linger large across the calendar with Domenicali aware of the unpredictability that still lies ahead, saying: “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.”
Teasing details of the calendar, the ex Ferrari Team Principal added that finding the right flow amidst various geographical and climate logistics is important, as he added: “The idea is to make sure there is the right rhythm to the calendar.
“There are of course considerations related to periods to make sure logistically the flow has to be right.”
Domenicali went on to tease the start and end dates for the season which is set to avoid a clash with 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, saying: “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.”
2022 FIFA World Cup is due to start on Monday 21 November which means that the F1 season finale is likely to fall on weekend of either 11-13 or 18-20 November 2022.
It has also been confirmed that F1 will retain Sprint Qualifying which made its debut at Silverstone this year as part of three trial runs, with Monza having hosted the second trial whilst the third trial run is set to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, next month.
Despite widespread criticism from ex F1 drivers and fans alike, Domenicali claimed that promoters were happy with the increased jeopardy across the weekend, adding: “The vast majority of the comments we received were super positive.”
Domenicali also spoke about considering the negative feedback yet audaciously described the Qualifying Sprints as “an incredible success.”
One positive though is that the Qualifying Sprint won’t be utilised at every race with plans to run it at just seven or eight races throughout the season.
Explaining the reason behind the limited usage of Qualifying Sprint race format, Domenicali said: “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.”
Domenicali iterated that stakeholders, teams, broadcasters, race promoters and fans will also be involved in determining the future format of the Qualifying Sprints, simply to ensure that F1 can “take the right direction” moving forward whilst considering viewpoints of everyone within the sport.