F1 money dispute could scupper 2022 sprint race plans

Grand Prix racing’s chiefs are hoping to push on with plans to hold six sprint races this year, following the success of the experiments at Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos in 2021.

However, the green light has not yet been given because teams have yet to agree with F1’s commercial rights holder on a funding package for the races.

It is understood teams were paid an extra $100,000 per event for each sprint in 2021. They were also given a cost cap allowance of $450,000 for the three events, plus scope for an extra $100,000 per car for accident damage in the event of a serious incident.

For this year, it is understood that F1 does not want to offer any extra allowance for crashes. Instead, its initial offer was a straight $500,000 payment per team for the first five events, plus an extra $150,000 for each event above that. This effectively meant an extra $2.65 million for each team for the six races in 2022.

It is understood that this offer has not gone down well with the bigger teams who are at the limit of the cost cap and are worried it is not enough. They fear that the addition of extra sprint costs could force them to compromise in what they can devote to pure performance improvements in the event of crashes.

According to Brown, one unidentified team wants the cost cap limit raised by $5 million dollars instead of what is on offer.

However, the smaller squads believe that calls for the cost cap to go up by such a margin are simply a cover for the bigger squads to spend more on making their cars go quicker rather, than being necessary for the sprint races.

The ongoing failure to find a middle ground is a problem for F1 because, with just a few weeks to go ahead of the first F1 race of the season, the dispute over the money risks derailing the sprint race plans entirely.

Gasly crashed out of the Monza sprint after contact with Hamilton. Certain teams are concerned that more sprints need to be covered by an increased cost cap, though McLaren boss Brown disagrees with this

Gasly crashed out of the Monza sprint after contact with Hamilton. Certain teams are concerned that more sprints need to be covered by an increased cost cap, though McLaren boss Brown disagrees with this

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

F1’s current governance structure means that, for the rules to change in the current year, then it needs a ‘super majority’ of 28 votes from the 30 representatives in the F1 Commission.

While the 10 votes each from F1 and FIA are guaranteed, getting eight teams to back the idea could be a problem with it understood that Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari are the most concerned about the situation – and could force the hand of customer teams to support their stance.

Brown, whose team is happy with the current financial package on offer, is worried that there is a danger of a couple of outfits pulling rank and scuppering the sprint idea completely.

Asked how F1 can get out of the impasse over money, Brown said: “We might not, which would be the unfortunate thing.”

Brown was far from happy with the push being made by bigger spending outfits to try to push up the cost cap limit.

“We all have the same challenge,” he said.

“If you do happen to have more incidents, that’s the same problem we all have. And to me that’s part of the sport. It is dealing with challenges: not I just want to solve it by getting my chequebook out.”

He added: “One team in particular wanted a $5 million budget cap increase, which was just ridiculous, and had no rational facts behind it.

“Then, when you challenge those facts, they go, ‘but you need to anticipate things just in case’. So you just sit there and you go: ‘That is just nonsense.’”

Brown says politicking could mean sprints don't happen at all in 2022

Brown says politicking could mean sprints don’t happen at all in 2022

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

With the battlelines drawn, Brown believes the best approach may well be to ditch plans for sprints in 2022 and instead focus on getting approval for 2023 – where only six teams would need to support the plans because only an overall majority is needed for long term rule changes.

“I’d like us not to run into a situation where we’re voting for 2022, where we have to get back to eight votes, because we passed a milestone date,” he said.

“I think we should go ahead and lock in now 2023, with no budget cap raise at all, if you want to be hard about it.

“Then maybe either there can be a compromise made and we can raise it a little bit so we can go ahead and start with 2022, or we skip 2022. And then I think a couple of these teams should have to explain to the fans why there’s no sprint races.”



Red Bull and Aston Martin end dispute over aero guru Fallows

Aston Martin announced last year that it had signed Fallows from his role as Red Bull’s head of aerodynamics to be its new technical director.

However, the matter went legal with Red Bull insisting that it would hold Fallows to the terms of his contract which ran until 2023.

Speaking at the time, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said that the team had little interest in letting Fallows go early.

“Our situation with Dan is really clear. He’s working on the [2021] car, he is working on next year’s car,” he said in July.

“He’s still got a significant amount of time. He only signed the contract at the end of last year, so there’s a significant period of time before mid-2023 comes up.

“We’ll obviously keep him busy during the rest of his contract.”

With Red Bull not wishing to make life easy, the matter went to court as both Fallows and Aston Martin pushed for an early contract release.

However, both teams announced on Tuesday that they had reached a settlement that will allow Fallows to move teams this year. The terms of the agreement were not made public.

Fallows collected the constructors' trophy for Red Bull following Verstappen's Malaysia 2017 victory

Fallows collected the constructors’ trophy for Red Bull following Verstappen’s Malaysia 2017 victory

Photo by: Motorsport Images

The deal means that Fallows will be allowed to join Aston Martin on 2 April this year, to help the team progress with its new car.

In a short statement, Martin Whitmarsh, Group Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin Performance Technologies, welcomed the deal.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Red Bull which releases Dan early from his contract and are looking forward to him joining the team,” he said.

Horner said: “We would like to thank Dan for his many years of excellent service and wish him well for the future.”

Fallows himself added: “I’ve enjoyed many happy years at Red Bull Racing and am proud of what we achieved. I am looking forward to next season and a new challenge.”

Aston Martin had been keen to get Fallows on board as soon as possible, as it bids to move up the grid after a disappointing 2021 campaign where it finished seventh in the constructors’ championship.



F1 head of marketing Norman leaves role

Norman was one of the first key executive hires after Liberty Media officially acquired F1 in January 2017.

Her appointment in the top marketing role was announced in June that year and started in August, reporting Sean Bratches, the then managing director of commercial operations.

Prior to joining F1 Norman had worked at Honda Motor Europe, where she was communications manager, and Virgin Media, where she was head of advertising and was responsible for sponsorship.

F1’s commercial and marketing department has undergone several changes since Liberty took over, with Bratches stepping down at the start of 2020, and head of digital and licensing Frank Arthofer leaving in January 2021. No replacement for Norman has been named thus far.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali paid tribute to Norman’s contribution to the progress that the organisation has made in recent years.

“During the past five seasons, under Ellie’s leadership of the marketing team, we have rebranded F1 and modernised its approach to fan engagement, which has led to strong growth in our fanbase across the world,” he said.

“During that time F1 has become a global brand on social media, in digital content and partnership collaborations, has built a robust direct-to-consumer acquisition business though F1 TV subscriptions and premium hospitality lead generation, and created a fan database and customer relationship management programme, to provide a single customer view and focus on the ‘value of a fan.’

“I want to thank Ellie for everything she had done and wish her all the best as she begins the next exciting chapter in her career.”

Norman, who thanked Domenicali and his predecessor Chase Carey for their support, has yet to confirm what her future plans are.

“I have completed what I set out to do at F1, and it’s time for my next challenge,” she said.

“It’s been an honour and great privilege to have been part of the leadership team transforming this world class, unique sport into the modern sports and entertainment company it is today.

“I’ve relished the challenge of building the team and the business from the ground up.”



Why Pirelli’s emergency F1 fixed supply rule looks set to stay

Since the start of 2016, in a bid to add variability to each grand prix, teams were able to choose how aggressive they wanted to be with their tyre selection for grand prix events.

While they were limited as to the total number of tyre sets they had available, teams were able to vary the spread of compounds within that – either opting for softer or harder rubber depending on their strategy choices for each individual track.

But, as part of the emergency cost-saving measures introduced in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, that free choice was stopped and instead Pirelli handed out the same compound selection to each team.

That rule stayed the same last year and will also now carry over in to 2022, when Pirelli will introduce its new 18-inch tyres for the first time.

While the possibility of opening up the compound choices remains something Pirelli is happy to consider in the future, it seems that teams are actually not especially eager for it to happen.

Speaking at a Pirelli pre-season launch in Monaco on Tuesday, the Italian tyre manufacturer’s head of F1 and car racing Mario Isola explained why he thinks the days of free choice may be over.

“We had to find this solution for the pandemic to be quicker in reaction,” explained Isola about the current fixed supply stance.

“But then the teams came back to us saying, actually the system is quite good. We want to keep it for the future. So it was not our decision at the end to continue with this fixed allocation.”

Isola explained that the teams felt much more comfortable being told what tyres were being picked for them, than having to devote resources to working out the best option themselves.

Pirelli tyre on the car George Russell, Mercedes W10 Mule

Pirelli tyre on the car George Russell, Mercedes W10 Mule

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“They told us that if they have a fixed allocation, and it is the same for everybody, so there is no advantage for one or the other, they can start planning on this fixed allocation instead of spending time and resources and people to think about one set more of medium, or one set less of soft. They have that allocation [fixed now], and they have to work around this.

“So in 2020, they said we want to continue for 2021. In 2021, with the new product for 2022, nobody was confident in deciding on the compounds and breakdown and so they want to continue [for now].

“I don’t know if in 2023 they want to change but for the moment, this is the answer.”

Pirelli’s new 18-inch tyres will get their first proper run on 2022 F1 cars at the first pre-season test at Barcelona in Spain next month.

Isola was confident already, however, that the new rubber should allow drivers to push harder than they were able to on the previous generation of tyres.

Reflecting on what was learned from the post-season Abu Dhabi test, Isola said: “There is less overheating. Drivers had the possibility to push more, and that was important in Abu Dhabi, because in Abu Dhabi, we had also some traffic.

“That is something we cannot simulate during our tyre development tests, where we have only one car that is running on track, or two cars maximum.

“This improvement in reducing the overheating, this improvement with degradation, it means less degradation.”



Ferrari could tweak its F1 2022 colours after launch

The Maranello outfit is set to launch its new F1 challenger with an online event on 17 February, the week before the first pre-season test begins at Barcelona in Spain.

Its new car, which has yet to be given an official designation, is set to feature some radical concepts as well as an upgraded power unit.

The plan is for the launch to take place a few days before the car is flown to Barcelona, ahead of a scheduled shakedown test at the Spanish track on 22 February, the day before official testing begins.

It has emerged, however, that Ferrari may not run it its definitive 2022 livery until the second pre-season test that is scheduled to begin in Bahrain on 10 March.

F1 is currently finalising its promotional plans for the two pre-season tests, with it likely that only the second test will be televised.

Amid suggestions that the first Barcelona test could take place without live television cameras or public in attendance, there is an idea for a big push to take place prior to the second test.

That could include teams revealing their definitive liveries only for the second test, which would help spice up interest for that week.

According to speculation, Ferrari may opt to reveal its 2022 F1 car at the launch and for it to run at the Barcelona test in a bright red colour, very similar to what the team had on last year’s SF21 car.

Ferrari could run a darker livery similar to the one it used for the 2020 Tuscan GP at Mugello

Ferrari could run a darker livery similar to the one it used for the 2020 Tuscan GP at Mugello

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Then, from the second Barcelona test, Ferrari will adjust its colours to go more matte dark, which could perhaps be in deference to the 75th anniversary celebrations of the company.

The choice of colours that Ferrari ran at Mugello in 2020, on the occasion of its 1000th GP, proved to be a big hit and could provide some inspiration for the team’s 2022 plans.

PLUS: What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

Ferrari is racing with an unchanged driver line-up of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr this year, as it bids to build on its third place finish in the 2021 constructors’ world championship.



McLaren expects ‘extremely high’ rate of F1 development in 2022

After a one-year delay F1 is finally introducing its much-anticipated new technical regulations in 2022, drastically overhauling the aerodynamics in a bid to improve overtaking.

As F1 hopes a reduction of dirty air and a more prescriptive ruleset will make the racing closer, some observers fear that the nature of a new regulations cycle will actually drive teams further apart for the first couple of seasons.

McLaren tech chief Key acknowledges there will be a huge development curve in 2022 as teams get to grips with the new package. He says it might take up to a year for teams to truly get closer to each other as he doesn’t rule out certain outfits having found “real game changers” on their cars.

“I think the development rates will be likely extremely high,” Key said when asked by Autosport on whether he is expecting teams to converge quickly on performance.

“I think with the nature of these regs it’s probably going to equal out a bit quicker than what we have now, simply because there are so many different ways of doing things on our car, there’s always a different and new solution and new avenue to pursue.

“I think it will be a bit quicker with ’22 to begin with something that is a little bit closer, not necessarily in ’22, maybe by ’23 to be fair.

“But I think we’ve still got a lot to learn. Everyone’s got a lot to learn with ’22 cars. We’ve got to correlate them on track, we’ve got to see what everyone has done.

“There could be some real game changers out there when you see other peoples’ cars. We’ve got to see how you perform against others and work out the strengths and weaknesses against our competitors. We’re all in the same boat in that respect.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M Mule

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M Mule

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“I think that will cause a lot of jumps in development and ideas as we progress in the first half of the season. And later in the year, that will coalesce into parts on the car.

“In terms of ’23, I suspect things will become more similar, because certain trends will have been identified by teams by then. Whether that means cars will look similar, it’s too early to say, but I think teams will certainly have a better idea of how to approach their ’23 cars than their ’22 cars.”

While the new regulations are more prescriptive than the previous ruleset, giving teams less freedom to exploit, Key reckons teams will still get to be innovative during the development of the new cars, although finding clever gains has proven to be a “more subtle and complicated” process.

“Technically we’ve got less tools to play with, but typically that breeds a lot of ideas you’d never even have entertained with the current cars,” he explained.

“Even though it’s less efficient in many ways, you tend to look at areas where you can gain a little bit more performance, because you’ve got otherwise less tools and more restrictions to play with on the aerodynamic side, and even the suspension side as well, the internal suspension is also very simplified compared to what we’re used to.

“You actually get quite innovative at times like these. It happened in 2009 when aerodynamicists were wandering around the office saying it’s not the same anymore, and then they all kind of realised there’s a whole load of things you can do, it’s just a bit more subtle and complicated. It’s that sort of situation with ’22.

“I suspect we’ll see some differences, some ideas of different cars. It will be interesting to see what people have done.”



IndyCar ace O’Ward critical of “ridiculous” F1 super licence rules

O’Ward, who scored his first two IndyCar victories in 2021 and finished third in the championship with Arrow McLaren SP, was awarded his first F1 test with McLaren in last month’s Abu Dhabi rookie test.

The Mexican raved about his experience and has long expressed his enthusiasm for F1, having had a brief spell as a Red Bull junior in 2019 combining IndyCar appearances with Formula 2 and Super Formula. 

Speaking to assembled media, including Autosport, O’Ward explained that not having the necessary points to make him a prospective F1 driver was a point of frustration.

Autosport 2021 Top 50: #19 Pato O’Ward

Drivers wishing to race in F1 must gain 40 points across three seasons in other championships, encouraging them to rise through the FIA’s single-seater ladder to gain experience and accrue the required total.

IndyCar champions can earn 40 points, while runners-up get 30 and third place win 20 points. Finishing fourth or lower earns the same number of super license points as the corresponding positions in the FIA Formula 3 championship.

“To me it’s ridiculous that someone that’s been fourth and third in the IndyCar championship can’t get 40 points in the super license, I think many drivers agree with me,” O’Ward said.

“From what I understand, fourth would give you 10 points, third gives you 20, so I’m assuming I’m at 30 points of the super license.

“I haven’t really stressed on that side because as much as I say, ‘Oh, maybe you can get a few points here, points there,’ at the end of the day you have to leave it to the people that want to give it to you.

“If they don’t want to give it to you, then sorry, bud, you’ve got to have another year and get 10 more points, I guess.”

Patricio O'Ward, McLaren MCL35M

Patricio O’Ward, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Asked if F1 was an end goal, O’Ward replied: “For sure, yeah. I mean, my dream to be a racecar driver started with that, so I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t.”

However, O’Ward stressed that his “one focus” currently is to win the IndyCar title and score the first championship title and Indianapolis 500 victory for the squad that began life as Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

“Who knows if F1 will be an option or won’t be an option,” he added.

“Obviously if [F1] comes about, I will 100% take it and every single driver in my position would do it because it’s Formula 1. That’s what I grew up watching and that’s what I grew up dreaming of. That same dream that you have as a kid will never go away.

“Right now, like I said, I have a challenge here, and I want people to enjoy me in IndyCar.

“I want them to know what IndyCar has to offer, I want them to enjoy me in IndyCar, the racing. There’s so many cool things about it.

“I will tell you whenever I go to Formula 1 if I ever going to Formula 1, but for now enjoy me in IndyCar.”



Everything we know about the 2022 Formula 1 season: drivers, cars, tracks & more

Once the 2021 Formula 1 season draws to a close, attention will immediately turn to preparations for 2022’s all-new rules.

F1 will receive one of its biggest technical overhauls for next season, with a seismic shift in the aerodynamic regulations, which should act as a soft reset for all of the teams in the championship.

The new regulations have been paired with a number of changes to the driver line-ups following a busy transfer market, with one rookie and one returnee making their way onto 2022’s grid.

There’s further changes afoot too, with a brand-new race on next year’s calendar and the expected return of some old favourites that were cut from the schedule amid the COVID-affected timetables in 2020 and 2021.

Here’s everything we know about 2022’s F1 season so far.

Formula 1 2022 driver line-up


Driver 1 

Driver 2 


Lewis Hamilton 

George Russell 

Red Bull 

Max Verstappen 

Sergio Perez 


Charles Leclerc 

Carlos Sainz 


Lando Norris 

Daniel Ricciardo 


Fernando Alonso 

Esteban Ocon 

Alpha Tauri 

Pierre Gasly 

Yuki Tsunoda 


Nicholas Latifi 

Alex Albon 

Aston Martin 

Sebastian Vettel 

Lance Stroll 

Alfa Romeo 

Valtteri Bottas 

Guanyu Zhou 


Mick Schumacher 

Nikita Mazepin 

There have been a number of high-profile changes to next season’s driver line-up, as Mercedes has changed its drivers for the first time since Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement from F1 at the end of 2016.

Lewis Hamilton remains at the team, but will be partnered with George Russell for 2022 as Mercedes saw fit to promote the British driver from Williams after an impressive three years with the Grove squad.

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas will hence leave the team, moving to Alfa Romeo in place of countryman Kimi Raikkonen – who retires from F1 20 years after making his debut with the team under its previous Sauber guise.

Raikkonen’s team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi will also depart and moves to the Dragon Penske Autosport team in Formula E to partner Sergio Sette Camara.

Guanyu Zhou steps up from Formula 2 to replace Giovinazzi to become the first Chinese driver to make his full grand prix debut. He will race with the number 24.

In Russell’s place at Williams, former Red Bull driver Alexander Albon moves to the squad after a year on the sidelines, linking up with former DAMS F2 team-mate Nicholas Latifi.

Elsewhere on the grid, the line-ups remain the same, with Sergio Perez earning a contract extension with Red Bull to continue to partner Max Verstappen.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr continue at Ferrari, as Lando Norris signed a long-term contract extension to remain at McLaren with Daniel Ricciardo.

Fernando Alonso triggered an option in his contract to remain with Alpine, as the team also extended Esteban Ocon’s stay at the team. Oscar Piastri will join as the team’s official reserve following his successful maiden F2 campaign.

Pierre Gasly remains at AlphaTauri alongside Yuki Tsunoda, who admitted he was surprised to be retained by the team, as Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll continue at Aston Martin for a second season together.

Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin remain at Haas following the team’s point-less season in 2021.

2022 Formula 1 car launch dates

The cars of Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, and Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21

The cars of Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, and Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Aston Martin is the only team to have announced the launch date of their 2022 car, however with pre-season testing starting on 23-25 February they’ll need to be launched before that. As a rough guide, in 2021 McLaren was the first team to unveil its new car on 15 February with AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo following suit on the 19 and 22 February respectively.

Ferrari was the last team to launch its 2021 car, and did so just two days before pre-season testing started (launching on 10 March before testing on the 12th).

2022 car launch dates:

  • Mercedes: TBC
  • Red Bull: TBC
  • Ferrari: TBC
  • McLaren: TBC
  • Alpine: TBC
  • Aston Martin: 10th February 2022
  • Williams: TBC
  • Alfa Romeo: TBC
  • Haas: TBC

2022 Formula 1 car – stats, design and speed

The largest difference to the 2022 F1 aerodynamics package is the return to a ground-effect formula. Ground-effect underbody tunnels have not been permitted in Formula 1 since 1982, but the calls for their reintroduction have become rather loud in recent years.

F1 has sought to reduce the current reliance on wings for downforce, which have been blamed for the “dirty air” that has made close-quarters racing difficult in modern times, which meant the idea of a return to ground effects was more attractive to the rulemakers.

By creating a very pronounced entry at the front of the floor, the air moves through two Venturi tunnels. As the air flows under the car, it’s squeezed through the point closest to the ground, developing an extreme low-pressure area, creating a large amount of suction underneath. This means the floor is relied on more for downforce, and reduces the wake produced by various bodywork components.

Ronnie Peterson, Lotus 78

Ronnie Peterson, Lotus 78

Photo by: David Phipps

Unlike the old-school ground effects, the car won’t have sliding skirts, and instead has a range of fins underneath to minimise any disturbance. To make sure each team uses the floor as it should, a standard tea-tray will be developed to attach to the front of the floor.

The tyres will change, as F1 moves to an 18-inch rim for 2022.

There’s a lot of change to the amount of bodywork for the next era of F1 cars. In 2022, the massively complex bargeboards will be completely removed. In their place comes a new breed of “wheel bodywork”, which intends to minimise the effects of the wake produced by the wheels as they rotate. Wheel covers return, and the front wheels now have a deflector over the top to assist with this.

For the time being, DRS remains, but this can be revisited if the new cars produce the desired on-track product.

Numbers look good so far, and F1 and the FIA have noticed that, when one car length behind another competitor, the following car now has around 86% of its usual downforce, compared to the 55% it currently experiences.

To help limit the R&D costs, gearboxes will be frozen from 2022 to the end of 2025. In that time, there can only be one upgrade to the gearbox specification.

Suspension regulations now only permit springs and dampers, meaning that using solely torsion bars will no longer be allowed. The heave springs, or inerters, will also be banned to simplify the suspension systems. Suspension uprights must now be solely included within the wheel assembly, meaning no external mounting points may be permitted.

The 2022 Formula 1 car launch event on the Silverstone grid. Front wing detail

The 2022 Formula 1 car launch event on the Silverstone grid. Front wing detail

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The front wing has been redefined, and can now be made up of a maximum of four elements overall. Most crucially, the endplates now look very different, and are produced with a smooth blend from the front wing elements to a single-piece endplate, upturned like an aeroplane’s wing. The nose also attaches directly to the wing, much like it used to before the middle of the 1990s.

The rear wing has been redesigned too, and can almost be described as endplate-less. Instead, it loops around into a beam-wing mounting, aiming to slash the strength of the vortices produced at the rear of the car – which is blamed for cars being unable to follow each other.

Drivers expect the 2022 cars to be more “on edge” as a result, while the offset between 2021 and 2022 laptimes is anticipated to be smaller than initially expected.

2022 Formula 1 calendar


Grand Prix 


20 March 



27 March 

Saudi Arabia 


10 April 


Albert Park 

24 April 

Emilia Romagna 


8 May 


Miami Gardens 

22 May 



29 May 



12 June 



19 June 



3 July 



10 July 


Red Bull Ring 

24 July 


Paul Ricard 

31 July 



28 August 



4 September 



11 September 



25 September 



2 October 


Marina Bay 

9 October 



23 October 

United States 

Circuit of the Americas 

30 October 

Mexico City 

Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez 

13 November 

Sao Paulo 


20 November 

Abu Dhabi 

Yas Marina 

Formula 1 will host its largest-ever calendar in 2022, with 23 races scheduled for next year.

The first-ever Miami Grand Prix will take place at the start of May, on a 3.36-mile street circuit around the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

There are also provisional returns for the Australian, Canadian, Singapore and Japanese grands prix, following their cancellation from the previous two seasons owing to the effects of COVID-related travel restrictions.

Although Albert Park returns to the calendar, the Bahrain Grand Prix will take the Melbourne circuit’s usual slot as the first race of the season, with a week’s gap to the second round on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit before Australia’s return.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG W10, leads Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15, and the rest of the field at the start

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG W10, leads Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15, and the rest of the field at the start

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Imola hosts the first European race of the season, retaining the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix title, before the first race in Miami – one of two contests in the USA.

The European season will then begin, pausing for races in Azerbaijan and Canada, before the final set of flyaways begin in September, starting in Russia prior to the first events in Singapore and Japan since 2019.

The season will close out in Abu Dhabi at the end of November, following F1’s desire to compress the calendar into a shorter timeframe.

China was not listed on the 2022 calendar despite holding a contract to do so, while Qatar will skip 2022 ahead of its hosting of the FIFA World Cup in the winter.

When is pre-season testing?

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Pre-season testing is expected to take place at two venues, with the first three days being run at the Barcelona circuit from the 23-25 February, with Bahrain hosting the second block of running from the 11-13 March ahead of the grand prix. This will be the first opportunity to see the 2022 cars in action, although teams will naturally keep their cards close to their chest.

2022 Formula 1 rule changes

In addition to the technical regulations, F1 is introducing a number of changes to the windtunnel and CFD testing structure that cuts the amount of testing allowed depending on a team’s championship placing in 2021.

The base figures supplied allow a team within one aerodynamic testing period (ATP, of which there are six in a season) 320 windtunnel runs, 80 hours of wind-on time (defined as when the air moves more than 15m/s), with teams allowed to spend a total of 400 hours within the windtunnel.

The percentage values apply depending on where each team finishes. Finishing first in the constructors’ standings rewards a team a multiplier of 70%, meaning a team’s time in the windtunnel is handicapped, and finishing 10th comes with a 115% multiplier, meaning they get more time available. CFD terms work on the same basis.

There are also more sprint races expected for the 2022 season, with F1 planning to expand to six races from the three in 2021. Bahrain, Imola, Montreal, Red Bull Ring, Zandvoort and Interlagos are expected to be the nominated venues.

Furthermore, the cost cap is expected to drop in 2022 to $140m for the year, down from the $145m allowed in 2021.

The 2022 Formula 1 car launch event on the Silverstone grid. Rear three-quarter detail

The 2022 Formula 1 car launch event on the Silverstone grid. Rear three-quarter detail

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images



Mercedes reveals launch date of 2022 F1 car

The German manufacturer, which won last year’s constructors’ world championship, posted on social media that its W13 will be revealed on 18 February.

This is the day after rival Ferrari plans to launch its car, and comes shortly before the first pre-season F1 test in Barcelona kicks off on 23 February.

The Mercedes event will be hosted digitally and take place at Silverstone, ahead of a shakedown and systems check of the new car later in the day.

As well as the car being built for the new 2022 rules, the W13 is also widely expected to see Mercedes return to the silver colour scheme that it has run throughout much of its F1 history.

While Mercedes looks set to be one of the last teams to launch, it stole a march on its rivals by firing up the new W13 at its Brackley factory before Christmas.

The team is hoping that the new car will allow it to continue a run of strong form it has enjoyed in F1 throughout the turbo hybrid era.

It has won every constructors’ championship since 2014, but lost out in the drivers’ battle to Red Bull rival Max Verstappen last year following a controversial finish to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The team is set to field an all-British line-up of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with Valtteri Bottas having moved to Alfa Romeo for this season.

PLUS: How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

However, the unease about the FIA’s handling of the Abu Dhabi GP that opened the door for Verstappen to snatch the drivers’ crown, has prompted some doubt about whether or not Hamilton will continue.

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner shakes hands with second placed Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner shakes hands with second placed Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Photo by: Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

The seven-time champion has said nothing in public since race day in Abu Dhabi, with both his team boss Toto Wolff and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem admitting that that he was disillusioned with what happened.

However, with the FIA vowing to make changes to the rules in a bid to prevent a repeat of what happened in Abu Dhabi, it is expected that Hamilton will return in his bid to grab an eighth title.

Mercedes is the fourth team to confirm its launch date, with Aston Martin, McLaren and Ferrari having also revealed their plans so far.

2022 F1 car launch dates

Team Date
Aston Martin 10 February
McLaren 11 February
Ferrari 17 February
Mercedes 18 February



Prost: Alpine F1 departure due to being sidelined by CEO Rossi

Autosport exclusively revealed on Monday that the Frenchman had left his non-executive director and advisory role with the French car manufacturer as part of a management overhaul being undertaken this winter.

After taking to social media to express his disappointment at the way news of his departure had been made public, Prost opened up to French newspaper L’Equipe and discussed the reasons for his exit.

Prost said that he had felt increasingly isolated throughout 2021 following the arrival of Rossi, and that had left him unhappy about his position within the team.

“The 2021 season was very disturbing to me as I felt that those who had been here for a long time had to go,” he explained.

“I accept change, as you don’t have to always do F1 the same way. You can do it differently, and that’s what was done throughout last year. But for me, it has become too complicated.

“I wasn’t involved in decision making any more, I sometimes disagreed – completely – but I had to keep conveying the official word.

“Even as a member of the board, I found out about some decisions at the last minute. I may not be listened to, but I should at least be informed in time. It’s a matter of respect. Relationships have become more and more complicated, I could feel a lot of jealousy.”

Prost said that Rossi, who is working on a new management structure, had made it clear to him that he no longer wanted an advisor.

“Laurent Rossi wants to be alone, not to be annoyed by anyone,” added Prost. “He actually told me himself that he no longer needed an advisor.

Alain Prost, Alpine F1 Team

Alain Prost, Alpine F1 Team

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

“It was in Qatar, but he still offered me a contract in Abu Dhabi, which I refused. I still must say that I believed – and still do – in this ambitious project which has incredibly boosted motivation in the group.

“However, there is now a real drive to sideline a lot of people. Laurent Rossi wants all the spotlight. What I’m interested in is the challenge of being in a team, being listened to and involved in some decisions.

“I was very much in the background on purpose, but I discreetly had some influence despite all the disagreements I kept to myself.”

Prost’s comments to L’Equipe come after he made some pointed remarks on Instagram about the way Alpine had handled news emerging about his departure.

“I am very disappointed how this [news] has been announced today!” he wrote. “It was agreed that we would announce together with @alpinef1team! No respect sorry!

“I have refused the offer made to me in Abu Dhabi for the 2022 season because of a personal relationship and I was right! To the Enstone and Viry team I will miss you”

Prost’s exit from Alpine comes amid Rossi restructuring the team in a bid to help it move further up the grid.

The team announced earlier this month that executive director Marcin Budkowski had left with immediate effect, and it is expected that former Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer will step in as new team principal.