Max Verstappen prevails in world title shoot-out
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F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has made an extraordinary boast ahead of what will be a record-breaking 2022 season. The next campaign will consist of 23 Grands Prix, one more than the previous high set in 2021, and will consist of a new venue with a race in Miami.
The likes of Suzuka, Montreal and Melbourne are all back on the calendar, after all three events were forced to be cancelled in 2021 due to the impact of Covid-19.
However, the Chinese Grand Prix still does not appear on the 2022 calendar, but provisions are in place for the Shanghai race to be reinstated the following year if conditions allow.
Last month saw the debut of the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, on the Jeddah Street Circuit, which arguably proved the most chaotic event of the campaign with two red flags and both virtual and manual safety cars needing to be deployed.
The culmination of the title race provided a wilder conclusion than any F1 fan could have hoped for though, with Max Verstappen claiming the championship after overtaking Lewis Hamilton on the final lap in Abu Dhabi.
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The global appeal of F1, as well as the FIA’s need to recuperate funds lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has meant there has been no shortage of interest in hosting races, and now Domenicali, 56, has claimed the 2022 season could have been considerably longer.
“We are living in a great moment for Formula 1, there’s no doubt,” the Italian told The Race.
“In terms of sporting intensity on the track, in terms of interest from stakeholders, from the public, a new audience coming in and a new way of talking with the new audiences, and having a clear path in the regulations for a future that is very relevant to our DNA and the future technology and sustainability with this type of fuel and hybridisation.
“And therefore, it’s true that there is a big interest for new places – or old places – to be part of our calendar.”
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“I think that with no doubt, without any kind of limitation that is correct to keep, there could be easily over 30 venues that we could do tomorrow, but we cannot go in this direction.”
Domenicali also pledged that while some venues have inevitably missed out on a money-spinning week, the FIA were looking at provisions to adapt the calendar in the future years.
“It’s a good problem to have, to manage the most important in terms of strategy, in terms of business, in terms of the future of where we have to go,”he continued.
“It’s something that we are now understanding as to what is the best Grands Prix that we want to keep in a stable base, or we may think for certain places where there could be a rotation. These are thoughts that we are elaborating on.”
Domenicali began work with the FIA in 2014 after almost two decades at Ferrari, where he became Team Principal in 2008, also overseeing their Constructors’ title win that same year.
In September 2020, it was confirmed he would be replacing Chase Carey as FIA CEO in time for the 2021 season.
His first campaign in charge proved a tempestuous one, with the fallout from that final, and controversial, race at the Yas Marina still rumbling on.
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