F1 makes major changes to weekend schedule for 2022
Didn't see this posted anywhere and thought it deserved its own thread.
I'm fine with most of this, but Re: the Pit Walks, there probably will actually be pit lane walks, just not for us regular folk. They already have separate pit lane walks for VIPs, Paddock Club, certain ticket holders, etc. Even on Friday and Saturday. I doubt that'll change. They'll probably just leave out all of us unwashed peasants.
What say you?
...The easiest way of achieving Liberty's objective is through calendar expansion: more races equal more in hosting fees, increased TV offerings and greater visibility for sponsors and trackside advertisers – hence 2022's record 23-race calendar. There are, though, practical limitations to such growth, particularly if add-ons are staged outside Europe given the flipside is more travel, and less 'me' time for hardworking F1 staff....In effect the choices facing FOG were no calendar expansion, or a more compact format to 'buy' the sport time between fixtures. It is obvious which option Liberty preferred, with the most logical format being a reduction in 'track days'…What will the new F1 weekend schedule look like?...From this year all events, including, crucially, the Principality's race, feature three-day schedules, with non-essential personnel not gaining paddock access on Thursdays.Thus, no pitlane walkabouts for fans, with Monaco visitors being particularly hard hit...The result is that Grand Prix weekends will start Friday morning, with ancillary stuff such as documentation, meetings and media sessions taking teams through to around midday depending upon specific timings for an event. Thereafter two free practice sessions - each of 90-minute duration and separated by at least two hours - will take place.At most venues the first free practice session is expected to start at 13:00 local time, with FP2 run from 17:00 to 18:30. These sessions will be followed by further media activities and meetings/briefings, potentially keeping personnel trackside for 12 (or more) hours at a stretch. The good news - particularly for fans at events - is that F1 is reverting to two 90-minute sessions in place of 2021's two one-hour practices....Accordingly, a typical weekend schedule during the 2022 F1 season will be:Friday09:00 – Media/documentation/scrutineering13:00-14:30 – FP115:00-16:00 – Team representative media session17:00-18:30 – FP219:00 onwards – Media/briefingsSaturday09:00-10:30 – Driver/fan interaction, autographs (each team minimum 15 minutes)12:00-13:00 – FP315:00-16:00 – Qualifying17:00 onwards – Media/briefingsSunday13:30 – Driver parade15:00 – Race start18:00 – MediaNote: exact timings will vary within permitted parameters, particularly for dusk/night races.The bottom line is that F1 believes the revised formats will this year save at least 24 days – two days for Monaco and one per each of the 22 'traditional' Grands Prix, in turn potentially saving teams hotel costs while enabling most personnel to enjoy additional time off between races. The downside for promoters is that tourism potential is reduced a day (at least) per race weekend.These 'off' days may not translate to domestic time - particularly where flyaways and back-to-backs are concerned - but should make for less interim hectic while permitting a modicum of relaxation. The flipside is that Liberty may well decide to grow calendars even further, arguing that three-day formats are the silver bullet to 25 or more events…