Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Pre-season testing extended to eight days in latest F1 calendar plans

2022 F1 season

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The 2022 Formula 1 season will open with eight days of testing, almost three times as much as this year, if the World Motor Sport Council approves the series’ latest calendar plans.

F1 intends to open its 2022 championship with a five-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain on February 21st-25th. This will give teams their first opportunity to run their new cars, built to drastically revised technical regulations, in an official test session.

A further, three-day test is planned to take place at the Bahrain International Circuit on March 10th-12th.

Both tests will require amendments to F1’s 2022 sporting regulations. The five-day Catalunya test exceeds the three-day maximum set down in the rules, while the Bahrain test is scheduled to conclude eight days before the opening race of the season at the same track, less than the 10-day minimum currently required.

A total of eight days of testing will give teams considerably more pre-season running than they had this year, when testing was cut to just three days. However with the 2022 F1 calendar already expected to feature a record 23 races, it may increase concerns over the demands staff are being subjected to.

As previously reported, the Imola circuit in Italy is expected to replace China’s Shanghai International Circuit as the venue of the fourth round of the championship. The Chinese event is in doubt due to continuing concerns over the pandemic in the country, but its organisers are thought to have a final chance to salvage their race, which was last held in 2019.

Although recent championships have concluded in December, the 2022 season is set to end on November 20th, one day before the FIFA football World Cup begins. The tournament is being held in Qatar, which will not hold an F1 race next year following its debut event this season, but is due to return to the championship in 2023.

The WMSC will vote on F1’s calendar plans in its meeting on Friday.

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Expected 2022 F1 calendar

DateCountryCircuit
20 MarchBahrainBahrain International Circuit
27 MarchSaudi ArabiaJeddah Corniche Circuit
10 AprilAustraliaAlbert Park
24 AprilChina/ItalyShanghai International Circuit/Imola
8 MayUSAMiami International Autodrome
22 MaySpainCircuit de Catalunya
29 MayMonacoMonaco
12 JuneAzerbaijanBaku City Circuit
19 JuneCanadaCircuit Gilles Villeneuve
3 JulyBritainSilverstone
10 JulyAustriaRed Bull Ring
24 JulyFrancePaul Ricard
31 JulyHungaryHungaroring
28 AugustBelgiumSpa-Francorchamps
4 SeptemberNetherlandsZandvoort
11 SeptemberItalyMonza
25 SeptemberRussiaSochi Autodrom
2 OctoberSingaporeSingapore
9 OctoberJapanSuzuka
23 OctoberUSACircuit of the Americas
30 OctoberMexicoAutodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
13 NovemberBrazilInterlagos
20 NovemberAbu DhabiYas Marina

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “Pre-season testing extended to eight days in latest F1 calendar plans”

  1. I expected 4-4, i.e., four days on both circuits rather than 5-3.
    I think Baku & Montreal are the wrong way round. Dates correct, though.
    Essentially, the only difference from last month’s article is Circuit Paul Ricard seven days later, while the final April Sunday is the same, only a different track. Not that I really expected any changes, especially post-summer break.

    1. Time travelling confirmed?

      1. @qeki, I’m not sure what you mean. Baku-Montreal?

        1. @jerejj it’s just the dates in the wrong order. They’ve got the 19th before the 12th.

          1. @jerejj Yeah. I was talking about that Baku-Montreal dates

    2. Yes that line was wrong in the original table, it’s now been sorted, thanks.

  2. This will be the most exciting pre season test I can remember. Lucky us who have F1TV.

    Reply moderated
  3. Finally some sense is prevailing, next season is a crucial year to test more so teams can get the most out their concept and ready to race with less failures making it better racing to watch.

  4. I know testing sessions don’t really generate much TV revenue, but I’ll certainly be watching – I can’t wait to see the new cars on track.

    Longer test sessions are sensible, especially given the drastic changes to regulations.

  5. Please, please Imola …

  6. Anything less than eight days of testing would’ve been a nightmare with these new regs.
    Testing is not only important for the engineers, but for the drivers as well. The drivers already said it feels completely different in the simulator compared to the current cars, so they will need quite some time to get used to the new areodynamics.

    5+3 days seems a little weird though. Maybe the teams thought one extra day at Barcelona is more valuable than it is at Bahrain.
    Now I’m tempted to go visit Barcelona again :) Hopefully there won’t be any snow unlike the last time xD

  7. Why could they not pair up Miami and Montreal?

    1. @Mark Boudreau
      IKR, this should be a no-brainer. Either both before Spain-Monaco or after, in which case Spain-Monaco earlier.

    2. I mean, with carbon neutrality looming and all…you know?

      1. @jaymenon10 Indeed. Scheduling them separately without an apparent reason (like Montreal, COTA-Mexico for climatic reasons) contradicts the carbon neutrality target.

  8. Well it could be worst, the FIA might have also slewed testing according to how sucessful the teams were.
    They kind of do this already with the new rule limiting development expenditure according to how successful teams are.

  9. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    13th October 2021, 17:31

    While I welcome the move to increase testing given the regulation changes, I dislike the amendment of regulations. Why have rules if they can be amended left and right to your liking? The max no. of races allowed in a season was 21 before it was amended to 25…lots of other examples.

  10. Replace Jeddah with Portimao and make sure Imola or an Imola/Mugello rotation is on the calendar forever.

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