Formula 1 still has one significant hole to fill in 2022

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images) /

Formula 1 still plans to run a 23-race season in 2022, but with five races down, only 17 races remain on the calendar, bringing the total to just 22.

When the 2022 Formula 1 schedule was announced in October 2021, the ninth annual Russian Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom — and the final race scheduled to take place at the track before the planned move to Autodrom Igora Drive in St. Petersburg for 2023 — was due to be the 17th race of a record-breaking 23-race season.

But just a few weeks before the 2022 season got underway with the Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit, this race was called off as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In fact, Formula 1 no longer plans to return to Russia at all in the future.

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We are now five races into the 2022 season, the Russian Grand Prix still has not been replaced. It had been scheduled to take place on Sunday, September 25.

However, the plan is still to run 23 races this year.

Two potential options have emerged as the most likely candidates to replace the Russian Grand Prix: a race at Losail International Circuit (Qatar Grand Prix) or a second race in Singapore.

The Singapore Grand Prix is already scheduled to be contested at Marina Bay Street Circuit on Sunday, October 2, which is just one week after the vacated schedule slot. Marina Bay Street Circuit, like Albert Park Circuit prior to last month’s Australian Grand Prix, has not hosted a race since 2019, again due to COVID-19-related restrictions.

Losail International Circuit, which was added to the Formula 1 schedule for the first time last year due to the fact that other venues had to be axed due to COVID-19-related restrictions, is already set to return to the calendar in 2023, but it wasn’t on the 2022 schedule as a result of the fact that Qatar is scheduled to host the FIFA World Cup.

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Following last Sunday’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix at the brand-new Miami International Autodrome, Formula 1 is scheduled to get back in action next Sunday with the Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the 2022 season’s sixth race.