The Spanish Grand Prix would mark the sixth race of the F1 23-race calendar in 2022. The racing body was focused on hosting a record-breaking 23 races in 36 weeks to avoid a clash with the beginning of the World Cup. However, Formula One decided to call off the weekend in Russia after the country kicked off its invasion of Ukraine.
After Formula One decided to withdraw from Russia, they were actively looking for a new venue to host the race and keep the full-fledged calendar going. However, F1 could not find a manageable solution and decided to cancel the race, reducing the calendar schedule to 22 races. While the management might feel the cancelation is a loss, the racers and the teams will have some time to take a breather during a high-workload schedule.
Recently, Formula One confirmed that it would not replace the canceled Russian Grand Prix, which was scheduled for September. The weekend in Sochi was scraped one day after Russia launched the war on Ukraine. Moreover, F1 broke its lucrative deal with the race promoter. They issued a statement revealing that “Russia will not have a race in the future.”
The contract has four more years left. But the racing body thought it was the right decision to end all the ties with the country. After the cancellation, Formula One management was focused on keeping the 23-race calendar by finding a replacement.
F1 Looks For A Replacement Before Canceling The Race
The motorsport racing body planned the first ambitious triple-header with three back-to-back weekends in Russia, Singapore, and Japan. However, F1 had limited options for scheduling the Russian weekend to a different venue during the weekend of September 23-25.
Qatar was a venue that the racing body had in mind. The Middle-Easter nation has signed a ten-year contract with Formula One, which will begin in 2023. The race cannot be hosted this year to allow the preparations for the FIFA World Cup. The first match would be on November 21, and the motorsport bosses thought of scheduling the race in September. However, the weather is usually ten degrees hotter in September when the inaugural race was hosted last year, making it a non-starter.
Singapore was the second venue where F1 discussed the possibility of hosting a double header race at the same venue. They thought of hosting the first race in the afternoon before Singapore’s customary night race the following weekend. However, the plan did not go through due to some financial issues. Moreover, the temporary street circuit would need to be put in place at least a week earlier.
Further, there was a possibility of hosting the races in Europe. But it did not work out due to logistics reasons. The possibility of racing teams moving the whole racing set up on Sunday night in Europe, trucking the gear back to factories, unpacking, and then repacking it into airfreight containers before transferring it to the airport and arriving in Singapore in a matter of 24 hours.
Thus, F1 decided to leave the weekend free, leading to a two-weekend break between the end of European races. After Europe, F1 will move to the crucial six-race overseas season in Asia, America, and Abu Dhabi. The decision will relieve the traveling crew. In ten weeks, they would have faced an exhausting schedule of 13 races across seven different time zones. Thus, burnout could become a major issue in November for the racing teams with a jam-packed schedule. Hence, a two-week break will have the teams rejuvenate before moving into the season’s final leg.