Formula One: Record-breaking 23 races scheduled for 2022 season

By Sports Desk October 15, 2021

A record-breaking 23 races have been confirmed for the 2022 Formula One season, with Miami included for the first time.

Due to the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar next November and December, the FIA's World Motor Sport Council has approved a truncated 36-week season that will run from March 20 until November 20.

The first race will be in Bahrain, with the season drawing to a close in Abu Dhabi.

It is a programme that could present a gruelling test for teams, who have already been stretched in a 22-race 2021 season that does not conclude until December.

Further complicating matters is the presence of two triple-headers. The first takes in Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy, and the second presents a much sterner challenge, incorporating races in Russia, Singapore and Japan. 

Due to ongoing coronavirus travel restrictions, there will be no Chinese Grand Prix once again, with Imola replacing it on the schedule.

The Miami Grand Prix is a new addition altogether, meaning the United States will host two races, while Australia, Japan, Canada and Singapore are all set to return after missing the last two seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It remains to be seen if there will be a new defending champion for next year, with Max Verstappen leading Lewis Hamilton by six points heading into the final stages of 2021.

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  • Jos Verstappen: I don't think Max will ram Hamilton in final grand prix Jos Verstappen: I don't think Max will ram Hamilton in final grand prix

    Max Verstappen's father does not believe his son will resort to ramming title rival Lewis Hamilton off the road in the final race of the Formula One season in order to win the championship.

    Hamilton won an extraordinary Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday to move level on points with Max Verstappen in the F1 drivers' championship.

    Heading into the final grand prix in Abu Dhabi next Sunday, Verstappen has the edge on races won (9-8) and so will clinch his first ever title if Hamilton does not better his result.

    If neither driver finished in the points – or finished the race – that would also seal Verstappen's triumph.

    Asked by the Daily Mail whether his son is likely to sacrifice his own race to take out Hamilton, Verstappen's father and former F1 driver Jos said: "I don't think that will happen.

    "Max absolutely wants to win. He will definitely go for it. He will clearly try to beat him. He will do everything to get the win, that's for sure. It will be exciting."

    Ahead of the Saudi Arabian GP, Jos had discussed Max's relationship with Hamilton – as well as his own.

    "I never speak to Lewis," the 49-year-old told the Daily Mail. "He doesn't need to speak to me. I'm nothing to him. I respect him as a driver, but the rest... nothing.

    "Max and Lewis only speak on the podium, very little. When I see Max with other drivers, I think they get on very well. But with Lewis, nothing. Lewis is in his own world."

    Verstappen received a pair of penalties in Jeddah, the second for causing a collision with Hamilton when he braked suddenly.

    Hamilton was critical of Verstappen when asked if he thought his rival drove dangerously, saying: "I definitely feel that there were scenarios where that was the case.

    "This is not the first time that I've had to avoid a collision, that's how I felt at the moment, but you know sometimes you say things in the heat of the moment and you go back and re-watch things and then you maybe feel differently. But in the moment, that's how it felt.

    "I really just tried to recompose myself and chase down and keep fighting."

  • Verstappen slapped with further 10-second penalty for second incident in dramatic Saudi Arabian GP Verstappen slapped with further 10-second penalty for second incident in dramatic Saudi Arabian GP

    Max Verstappen received a further 10-second penalty plus two penalty points following a wild Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton levelled the Formula One title race with victory on Sunday.

    Verstappen had already been slapped with a five-second penalty for the Turn 1 incident – the Red Bull star and championship leader was deemed to have gained an unfair advantage going off track.

    The stewards imposed a further punishment after the race for a Turn 27 collision, which ultimately did not impact Verstappen's finish, having crossed the line in second behind Mercedes rival and reigning F1 champion Hamilton.

    As a result, Hamilton and Verstappen will still head into the final Grand Prix of the 2021 season, Abu Dhabi, level on 369.5 points.

    Verstappen's secondary penalty was for causing a turn 27 collision with Hamilton when he braked suddenly, causing the Briton to clip the car head, damaging his front wing.

    Hamilton was critical of Verstappen after the race, saying his driving was "over the limit" while claiming he brake-tested him in the Turn 27 incident, leading to the 10-second penalty.

    "I definitely feel that there were scenarios where that was the case," Hamilton told reporters when asked if he thought Verstappen drove dangerously.

    "This is not the first time that I've had to avoid a collision, that's how I felt at the moment, but you know sometimes you say things in the heat of the moment and you go back and re-watch things and then you maybe feel differently but in the moment that's how it felt. But I really just tried to recompose myself and chase down and keep fighting."

    The incident was the latest flashpoint between the two title rivals, but Verstappen indicated he felt he was harshly penalised.

    "I find it interesting that I am the one who gets the penalty when both of us ran outside of the white lines," Verstappen told reporters after the Turn 1 incident. "In Brazil it was fine and now suddenly I get a penalty for it.

    "You could clearly see both didn’t make the corner, but it's fine. I mean I also don’t really spend too much time on it. We have to move forward.

    "We're equal on points on now and I think that's really exciting, of course, for the whole championship and Formula 1 in general but I said it earlier on my in-lap, I think lately we're talking more about white lines and penalties than actually proper Formula 1 racing and that's, I think, a little bit of a shame."

    The stewards report on the Turn 27 incident said: "In deciding to penalise the driver of car 33 [Verstappen], the key point for the Stewards was that the driver of car 33 then braked suddenly [69 bar' and significantly, resulting in 2.4g deceleration.

    "Whilst accepting that the driver of car 44 [Hamilton] could have overtaken car 33 when that car first slowed, we understand why he [and the driver of car 33] did not wish to be the first to cross the DRS [line]. However, the sudden braking by the driver of car 33 was determined by the stewards to be erratic and hence the predominant cause of the collision and hence the standard penalty of 10 seconds for this type of incident, is imposed."

  • Hamilton labels Verstappen driving 'over the limit' after Saudi Arabia drama Hamilton labels Verstappen driving 'over the limit' after Saudi Arabia drama

    Lewis Hamilton described Max Verstappen's driving conduct  as "over the limit" after landing a drama-filled victory at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to pull level in the title race.

    Hamilton and Verstappen will head to the final race of a remarkable Formula One season tied on 369.5 points, the Briton prevailing in Jeddah on Sunday after a race dominated by their intense rivalry and a string of controversies.

    Having started on pole, Hamilton lost the lead after diving into the pits on lap 10 following Mick Schumacher's crash that brought out the safety car, with a subsequent red flag allowing Verstappen to change tyres without using a pit stop.

    The Mercedes driver looked to have got ahead on the restart, only for Verstappen to illegally maintain the lead by going beyond track limits, with several crashes behind the pair forcing another red flag. Esteban Ocon was on pole for the second restart, but Verstappen – after Red Bull agreed to cede position to Mercedes – surged down the inside of both Ocon and Hamilton to take the lead again.

    Yet a series of virtual safety cars kept Hamilton in touch with Verstappen and the Dutchman went beyond track limits again on lap 37 to remain in the lead on turn one.

    Red Bull instructed Verstappen to give the place back but, as he slowed to do so, Hamilton crashed into the back of him, accusing his rival of "brake-testing" him.

    Verstappen's second effort at letting Hamilton past, which he did successfully before using the DRS zone to immediately take the place back, was deemed unsatisfactory.

    The third time proved the charm and a five-second time penalty and tyre degradation ended Verstappen's hopes, setting up a thrilling finale next Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

    The battling drivers were set to go before the stewards in the meantime, and speaking to reporters after the race, Hamilton said: "For me, I really had to try and just keep my cool, which was really difficult to do.

    "I've raced a lot of drivers through my life, I've come across a lot of different characters, there are few that are over the limit, rules don't apply. I just tried to keep my car on the track, do it the right way."

    On the collision, Hamilton said: "He obviously brake-tested to try to get the DRS into the last corner. I thought that I lost my wing.

    "He's over the limit. I've avoided collision on so many occasions with the guy. I didn't get the information [that Verstappen was conceding position] so I didn't really understand what was going on, it was very confusing.

    "The message started coming through as he hit the brakes so hard. It will be interesting to see what happens [with the stewards]."

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