One of the 23 races on the 2022 Formula 1 schedule could end up being dropped as a result of Russia’s deployment of its army into eastern Ukraine.
Formula 1 is set for a record-breaking 23-race season in 2022 following a record-tying 22-race season in 2021.
However, there are doubts that this will end up happening.
In 2020 and 2021, the schedule had to be shortened due to various COVID-19-related restrictions around the globe. A record-tying 22-race 2020 schedule was shortened to just 17 races, and a record-breaking 23-race 2021 schedule only managed to tie the record with 22 events.
In 2022, however, political reasons could result in Formula 1 shortening its schedule by one race.
There are doubts that the Russian Grand Prix will take place this year, with Formula 1 facing mounting pressure to cancel the event following the deployment of Russia’s army into eastern Ukraine. The United States of America, the European Union and the United Kingdom have all brought sanctions against Russia.
Sochi Autodrom has been on the Formula 1 schedule annually since October 2014, when it hosted its first race less than eight months after Russia’s annexation of Crimea. This also led to sanctions against the country, but the race took place as scheduled that season.
The 2022 Russian Grand Prix is slated to be the ninth and final race around the 18-turn, 3.634-mile (5.848-kilometer) road course in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia, with the event set to move to Autodrom Igora Drive from 2023. This 15-turn, 2.539-mile (4.086-kilometer) road course is located outside of St. Petersburg.
Of course, there is no guarantee that Formula 1 wouldn’t seek to replace this year’s Russian Grand Prix if it ends up axed, though it would naturally be challenging to do so.
The race is currently scheduled to take place two weeks after the Italian Grand Prix at Monza (Sunday, September 11), and it is scheduled to take place just one week ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay (Sunday, October 2).
The 2022 Formula 1 season is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, March 20 with the Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit. Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is currently hosting preseason testing until Friday, and Bahrain International Circuit is scheduled to host another preseason test from Thursday, March 10 to Saturday, March 12.