Formula 1’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix will have an early-May date on the provisional 2022 calendar that is expected to be revealed next month.
The championship will finally add its long-awaited Miami race next year, giving F1 two races in the United States, after a lengthy local battle with many compromises made to get the necessary permissions.
Miami had been earmarked for a place in the second quarter of the season, with a spot either side of the Canadian GP previously considered likely so the two North American races could be held alongside one another while keeping Miami separate to the end-of-year United States GP.
But F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has revealed it will “happen in the first half of May”, which indicates Miami and Canada will not be paired after all – unless Canada has a significant date shift.
Canada could be moved forward from June but it has held that spot for almost 30 years and the Canadian GP website already lists the race’s date as “June 13 2022”.
That date would be a Monday next year, so it’s understood that it simply reflects the promoter expecting that it will be the same weekend as this year’s planned race was meant to fall as that was scheduled for Sunday June 13 2021.
If Miami and Canada are held apart, then F1 will travel twice between North America and Europe in the space of roughly one month.
Miami’s early-May date is traditionally when the European leg of the season has already started, so it will have a knock-on impact on other events as well.
If Canada remains in June, then there would be space for another European round in May before the end-of-May Monaco GP – a slot traditionally held by Spain – if Miami is held on May 1.
It is likely that F1 will need to clear at least one more European race before Monaco.
Otherwise, as Azerbaijan is known to favour its June date and is unlikely to move from that, it would leave multiple European events – Spain, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Britain and Hungary – to be held in the six realistic weekends between Canada’s theoretical date and the summer break at the start of August.
The races in Spain and the Netherlands have been mooted as another back-to-back option. Their dates are more flexible, as evidenced by switching between spring and summer dates across 2020 and 2021.
These two could be held earlier, perhaps April 24 and May 1, which would allow for the Miami GP to run on May 15 – keeping it isolated before the Monaco GP on May 29.
A Spain/Netherlands double-header would also help solve where F1 plans to race in April.
The start of F1’s 2022 season is expected to repeat 2021’s example of starting in the Middle East, in Bahrain, but with Saudi Arabia to follow immediately in a back-to-back.
There is believed to be an intention for back-to-back races in April as well, but it is unclear whether flyaway contenders Australia and China will be in a position to host F1 by then because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
F1 hopes to announce a provisional calendar next month.
“Our planning for 2022 has been ongoing for some time,” Domenicali said in a Liberty Media second-quarter earnings call.
“There is a high demand for venues to make our 2022 calendar.”