Formula 1 will not replace cancelled Russian Grand Prix in 2022 calendar

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning 2021 Russian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton celebrated the 100th win of his F1 career at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi

Formula 1 has decided not to replace this year's Russian Grand Prix with another race, it said on Wednesday.

The move comes following the decision to permanently cancel Russia's race at Sochi in the wake of Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine.

F1 had explored returning to Qatar and hosting a second race in Singapore.

But after months of talks the sport's bosses decided that neither event was workable and that it made more sense simply to leave a gap in the calendar.

The move will be a relief to many team employees as cramming in another race would have increased the work toll of an already punishing schedule this season.

F1 decided that neither alternative option - Qatar or a second race in Singapore - made sense when all factors were taken into account. It did not want to add to teams' costs if the return was not worthwhile.

But the move should not be viewed as a step away from the desire to host seasons with record numbers of races.

A 23-race calendar, as had been planned this season, or even longer, is inevitable as F1 seeks to expand its reach in the wake of increasing audiences amid its rising global appeal.

Qatar hosted its maiden race in 2021 and has signed a 10-year contract from 2023 had been F1's first option to replace the Russian race on its 25 September date.

But there were a series of issues with the event being held at that time - there were concerns it would be too hot; it was closer to the start of the football World Cup than Qatar would like; and the organisers felt it would be a struggle to be ready in time, having not expected to be holding an event of such magnitude at the Losail circuit this year.

An extra race in Singapore, one week before the event's return to the calendar after two seasons of it being cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, had been another option.

The idea was to hold a race a week before the official Singapore night street race, held slightly earlier in the day.

But shutting down the city for two weeks proved impossible and both parties agreed to abandon the idea.

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