Following the expansion of the Formula 1 calendar, the leaders of the series have decided to reduce the number of days that teams must be on the track.
Traditionally, the day before the start of training, on Thursdays, there were press conferences of pilots and inspections of cars. Now they have been moved to Friday morning, and on Thursdays access to the track will even be limited for non-essential team personnel. Racingnews365. These requirements also apply to the stage in Monaco, where earlier weekends traditionally began on Wednesday, free races took place on Thursday, and Friday was a day off.
At the same time, Formula 1 decided to return to the previous format of the first two free practice sessions. Last year, their duration was reduced to one hour. Now they will again last for an hour and a half. Further schedule of the weekends remains the same: an hour of practice and qualification on Saturday, the race on Sunday will be held according to the same rules.
All this applies to standard racing weekends. The schedule of stages with sprints, if they will be in 2022 at all, as well as their regulations, are currently unknown. Previously, sprints were planned for the Grand Prix of Bahrain, Emilia-Romagna, Canada, Austria, the Netherlands and Sao Paulo.
As for the interaction of the riders with the fans, the fate of the pit lane walks, which were traditionally held on Thursdays and were limited with the onset of the pandemic, is not yet clear. Now, during the weekends, some kind of interactive or autograph signing is planned on Saturday mornings. But it is not clear how they will pass in covid times.
Military aviation ban
“Formula 1” sent a letter to the promoters of the stages, in which it was forbidden to arrange shows with the participation of military aircraft before the start of the weekend. The series motivated this by aspirations to reduce carbon emissions and achieve carbon neutral status by 2030. Another reason, according to Racingnews365, F1 began to fear that such shows could be used as a demonstration of the military potential of countries.
However, the series left a loophole for stage promoters, as the ban does not apply to commercial and civil aircraft. However, they need to agree on a number of conditions, in particular the use of environmentally friendly fuel and ensure that proper flight insurance is in place. Some promoters have already announced their readiness to comply with the requirements.
Pirelli will choose tires for the participants
Formula 1 is switching to new 18-inch tires in 2022. And their supplier, Pirelli, will still choose how many sets of slicks of a particular composition will be available to pilots at each Grand Prix.
From 2016 to 2019, there was a different system, where Pirelli announced the compositions of rubber for dry weather at a certain stage. And then the participants chose how many kits of each type they would take to the Grand Prix. With the onset of the pandemic, the Italian manufacturer, due to problems with logistics, began to make the choice for them and gave everyone the same sets. And then the teams were asked to continue this practice because it allowed them to save money, said Mario Isola, head of the Pirelli division for F1 and motorsport:
“They said that if there is a fixed distribution, then it is the same for everyone, and no one has any advantages,” he quotes Motorsport. “Teams can plan within this fixed allocation instead of wasting time, resources and people thinking about taking one more medium or one less software. They have this distribution and they have to work with it.
In 2020, the teams came in and said they wanted to continue this practice in 2021, and in 2021, with a new product in 2022, no one was sure about the tire compounds, and so they wanted to continue like that. But I don’t know if they want it for 2023.”
Rescheduled pre-season tests
The second series of Formula 1 pre-season tests has been postponed by one day, as confirmed by the official twitter Bahrain International Circuit. Initially, they were supposed to start on March 11, but in the end they will be held from the 10th to the 12th, so that the teams have one more day to prepare for the season. Spectators will be allowed into the stands during these tests.
The first series of pre-season tests will take place at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit from 23 to 25 February. The 2022 World Championship will start with the Bahrain Grand Prix, which will be held from March 18 to 20.