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FIA confirms race start times for revised 2022 grand prix weekend schedule

2022 F1 season

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The FIA have confirmed the session start times for all 23 scheduled rounds of the 2022 Formula 1 world championship season.

The longest planned season in Formula 1 history will begin under the lights at the Bahrain International Circuit for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday 20th March and finish in twilight in Abu Dhabi once again on November 20th.

As with previous seasons, almost all European rounds will see lights out at 3pm local time. The inaugural Miami Grand Prix on May 8th will start at 7.30pm GMT – 8.30pm UK time – meaning it will finish around 10pm for British viewers and 11pm for most European nations.

With the Australian Grand Prix returning to the calendar after a two year absence due to the impact of the Covid pandemic, the race at the heavily-modified Albert Park circuit will start at 3pm local time – an hour earlier than in 2019 – equating to a 6am start for the UK and 7am for the majority of European viewers.

Formula 1 will adopt a revised race weekend schedule for 2022, with no official media engagements for drivers on Thursdays. On Fridays, practice sessions have been moved until later in the day, with first practice moved up from a typical local start time of 11.30am last season to around 2pm in 2022. Second practice will also begin around two hours later in the afternoon at around 5pm, with Saturday qualifying sessions rescheduled an hour later to 4pm local time for European rounds.

The schedule released by the FIA does not include any sprint races, as the sprint race format has yet to be formally adopted into the sporting regulations for the 2022 season. Amending the sporting regulations requires the consent of all teams, and McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown recently disclosed that some teams are lobbying Formula 1 for an increase of the sport’s budget cap for this season before approving any sprint races to be included into the already record breaking calendar for 2022.

Get all the 2022 F1 race weekend session details plus test and launch dates on your mobile device using the RaceFans F1 Calendar

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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25 comments on “FIA confirms race start times for revised 2022 grand prix weekend schedule”

  1. Miami 2.30pm (EST) is odd because of the 30. I don’t remember that happening in a while. You wouldn’t think it would throw anyone out of sync, but could be entertaining if it did.

    2pm and 5pm is also surprising as that’s now only 2 hours between sessions, so have a big one in FP1, and you might also miss FP2. In my opinion this puts more stress on the teams with a more condensed schedule.

    1. The cynic in me thinks the bottom of the hour start is so that they can shoehorn in some lame televised pandering to American audiences, much like the cringeworthy stuff they did (or maybe even still do) in Austin.

      1. @Anon A. Mouse 30 past versus on the hour makes zero difference in that regard & even if that were the case, COTA, Mexico, & Canada would also share 30-past start times, or possibly all events, but at least all North American ones.
        SA GP started at 20:30, BTW.

    2. @eurobrun Saudi Arabian GP, & admittedly, I didn’t see a point with this exception for exception’s sake, nor do I with this (at least initial) Miami GP timing.
      I wish people were 100% consistent with things & only made exceptions if truly necessary for anything.
      Interesting point about the two-hour gap between Friday FPs, though, something that went entirely unnoticed by me before. 2h30min as has been the norm for a while.

    3. Another shetty article made by Will Wood, the professional of empty info, sourced from Instagram !

  2. I didn’t like the later start times for qualifying/races introduced a few years ago & really don’t like how qualifying is going to be an hour later again.

    I used to like when things were earlier as it left time in the afternoon to do other things. The later start times just make it feel like it’s taking up more of the day which on top of the increased number of races just makes it feel like I have less time to do things i used to once enjoy doing (Or just need to do) on weekend afternoons.

    It is now at the point where for me having to miss some track action is going to become inevitable which for some is maybenot a big deal but for me it is as i hate missing any bit of track action. I also hate watching reruns or highlights, Especially for qualifying as i just don’t get the same level of tension, excitement or enjoyment out of it.

    And speaking of highlights. I imagine some of the later evening/night start times are going to make it hard for those without Sky who rely on Channel 4’s highlights that are either going to air very late that day or early morning the next. Not ldeal at all.

    1. Also to add something to the reruns/highlights bit.

      The extra feeds we get on Sky are also only available live & i really enjoy having access to that stuff. The OnBoard-Mix especially which I’ve had up on a 2nd screen alongside the main feed since 2006 now.

      I know thats a minor thing which most perhaps Don’t care about but its just something i enjoy having as part of the coverage which is only available when watching live.

    2. “I used to like when things were earlier as it left time in the afternoon to do other things.” Agree. I’m in Finland, and the old starting time of 3pm was great, as you could have some snacks and afternoon coffee during the prerace, and then focus on the race. Now, with 4pm start, it’s awkwardly somewhere between afternoon and evening (at least for my daily rhythm).

      Small issues, but I don’t like having to wait that extra hour.

      1. @kaiie, I’m also where you’re & although I liked 3 pm pre-2017, I got used to 4 pm quickly & haven’t found that any more unideal than the previous regular for European races.

  3. The schedule does not have the word sprint anywhere. There are no Friday qualifying sessions listed, just free practice 1 and 2.
    Incurable optimist in me hopes this indicates that sprint qualifying has been abandoned and never to be spoken of again.

    1. @x1znet Unfortunately, I believe its because the sprints have so far not been written into the sporting regs for this year (partly because of the dispute over the budget cap), which I expect is something that will be raised in the F1 Commission (is that what it’s called?) meeting on Monday.

      But if anything, I think the later practice sessions look more like FOM making normal weekends closer to the format of the sprints (with a later FP1).

      Shame really

    2. FP2 being moved to 5pm and qualifying to 4pm are so that they can be converted to qualifying and sprint race, respectively, without having to do any rescheduling.

      Could potentially see any number of sprint races this season.

  4. Over 20 hours late, and no table.

    All sessions in India started at xx30 in UK, most Practice 1 sessions last year started at xx30, so don’t see a problem with Miami’s race starting on the half-hour? 🤷‍♂️

    1. @Simon The problem is inconsistency.

  5. I was expecting this article on Thursday, but oh well, long(-ish) post warning:
    Some timings & changes from last season (or last time for some) are weird.
    Montreal & COTA have 14:00 as the local for the race, so why not also Miami & even more so, why half past the hour (like Saudi Arabian GP last season) rather than on the hour for consistency’s sake?
    Miami’s QLF is also unnecessarily late, albeit I care more about the race.
    Mexico & Brazil race times have also changed for some reason, both an hour later than thus far since 2015 return & recent past, respectively.
    Concerning SA GP, I expected 19:00 for all floodlit sessions like originally planned for the inaugural event, so surprised about 20:00 since Singapore GP already has that local equivalent.
    At least, not 20:30 if this is any consolation.
    18:00 would be the best as this would give an Abu Dhabi GP backdrop with 18:35 & 18:36 sunset times on that weekend.
    Singapore timings are the same as last time except for Friday sessions, which are both 30 min later.
    European race times have remained unchanged, albeit Fridays changed, as I could expect, even though the recent ones would equally work with having press conference & media stuff on the morning, but surprisingly also Saturdays except for Silverstone.
    Friday timings have additionally become later for Azerbaijan, Canada, Russia, Japan, COTA, Mexico, & Brazil. Furthermore, Saturday for Azerbaijan, Canada, Russia, Japan, COTA (they still don’t realize nothing forbids concerts occurring earlier in the day), Brazil, & most surprisingly, Abu Dhabi. Surprisingly, Russian & Azerbaijan GP race times are an hour earlier.
    The former had just got pushed back an hour for last season & the latter already had 4+ hours until sunset.
    Japanese GP qualifying start is unnecessarily close to sunset (only 88 min), which could get tight if the weather is terrible & or the session gets red-flagged for something.
    QLF end time is unfixed, unlike FP2 (which, of course, also commences at 16:00 local), so 60 minutes more just in case wouldn’t hurt anyone.
    The most surprising one is undoubtedly Abu Dhabi GP Saturday.
    Abu Dhabi GP timings have been 100% consistent with all floodlit sessions starting pre-sunset ever since the inaugural 2009 event, so why suddenly an hour later for FP3 & QLF.
    This goes slightly against the original day-to-night race intention as with 18:00, QLF starts when the sky is already almost entirely dark rather than Sun 7 degrees above the horizon. Just thinking about this for any Abu Dhabi session feels wrong as Abu Dhabi = pre-sunset & has always only been.
    Overall, I wish all session timings were 100% aligned with FP2, QLF, & race sharing the same local start time.
    Nothing wrong with consistency, after all. Certainly more inconsistency in these event timings than for a while, AFAIA.
    The only somewhat understandable one is AusGP as Victoria (& some other states) switches to standard time on race day, meaning 15:00 is the latest possible considering the 3-hour minimum window with FP2 & QLF having 3+ hours left from 16:00. In the end, some timings could change suddenly at a later point, though.
    This happened with SA GP last season & some others in the recent past, so I don’t rule out, for example, ADGP Saturday reverting to standard service, after all, & or Russia 15:00 & Azerbaijan 16:00, or even Miami shifting to either 15:00 or 14:00 among others.

    1. Japan is problematic, definitely – you’d think previous experience (2x qualifying washouts in recent history, plus the events of 2014) would have persuaded them to leave plenty of time in the day.

      1. @red-andy Exactly, & especially as an hour earlier would still be later than the race, so not unideally early for European viewers.

        1. I just realized I’d mixed up Aussie clock change day, which is the First Sunday in April, seven days before the race, but still, I’m more okay with FP2, QLF, & race not sharing the same start time.
          At least QLF begins with more lead time until sunset than Japan equivalent session, 30+ min.

  6. Well, here in Aus that just makes it later in the night.

    I hate having to watch replays so I’m just going to have to be up late more often.

    Either that or it will end up being another reason to cancel my subscription and just follow “highlights” and sites like this to read about qualy and race results.

    So disappointing that I’m finding it so much harder to stay connected to live F1

    1. This now makes it completely impractical to watch live for many of us in Aus (east coast) :(

      1. For us Aussies, appears actual race times remain @ 3pm, so for the East Coasters is still normally 11pm EST for the Central European races and most are run not during Daylight Saving [no ‘s’ – it’s singular 😉]. FP1 will now equate to 10pm EST with FP2 @ 12am EST [midnight]. Qualy is to be also @ 12am EST, & being Fri/Sat night, is that really a problem?
        Asian races are a slight variation during the daytime.
        We know Nth & Sth American races are always a b1tch, timewise. However Miami GP should be a bonus @ 6.30pm EST.

  7. I was wondering about Melbournes start time. The later date puts it after the end to day light savings and it being a mid autumn race. Its will finish in pretty low light condition even with a 3pm start.

    1. @theoddkiwi Light conditions aren’t massively different between starting at 15:00 with three hours left until sunset versus 16:00 with about 3h20-30min until sunset in March latter-half.

      1. Without the adjustment for daylight savings, if they started at 4pm they would only have 2 hour untill sunset so the 3pm start gives 3 hours until sunset and long shadows across much of the track. The mid March 4pm Start gives them about 3.5hrs. Pretty confident it will absolutely be darker with more shadows even with the 3pm .
        I have found it takes about am hour to get out of the park so 7pm in mid april will be dark on the way home.

        It will alost certainly be cooler with average temps between 12 and 21 degrees and a bit more rain. So the new surface may well help alot.

  8. Once you get used to watching Tape-Delayed coverage of qualifying and the races, timing is not a big deal. I will however miss the motivation to drag my butt out of bed at 4:30 am to watch it live (NA West Coast).
    The ZING is definitely starting to fade.

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