The FIA sporting regulations have now officially been finalised for the 2022 season, with major changes now set in stone to the format of a F1 Grand Prix weekend.

Since 2014, F1 qualifying has included the factor that each of the ten drivers who make it through into Q3 must start Sunday’s race on the exact set of tyres that they set their fastest lap time on in Q2. Last season’s Sprint qualifying trials highlighted how free choice of tyres for each driver would look, and the rule has subsequently been dropped from the 2022 sporting regulations for every weekend.

This is what the rules said before but has been removed from the 2022 regulations: “At the start of the race each car which qualified for Q3 must be fitted with the tyres with which the driver set his fastest time during Q2.”

Looking at the points system, after the FIA shared the initial change regarding the revised system to avoid the happenings in 2021 Belgium GP, the 2022 Sporting Regulations confirmed those changes. As per that, no points will be awarded if a Grand Prix is abandoned with less than two race laps (under green flag) completed.

A revised points structure for finishes prior to 25%, 50% and 75% has also been approved. The regs provided addition information for sprint session  which if similarly suspended, points will not be awarded unless two green flag laps are completed, or the leader has completed more than half of the expected distance.

The sprint regs stated: “If a sprint session is suspended in accordance with Article 57 and cannot be resumed, points for each title will not be awarded in accordance with the following criteria: a) If the leader has completed less than 50% of the scheduled sprint session distance; and/or b) Unless a minimum of two (2) laps have been completed by the leader without a Safety Car and/or VSC intervention.”

In terms of testing, while the 2022 season sees six days of testing (three of which labelled as an official shakedown), the proposed 2023 pre-season testing will return to its 2021-style format of only three days of official testing for the 2022 season. Also, Pirelli will get 30 days of testing for the 2023 tyres in 2022 as opposed to last year’s 25.

Regarding the post-season testing, there will be a one day combined tyre and rookie test in Abu Dhabi, instead of two days in a current and older car, after the 2022 season’s conclusion, where teams must field two of their outgoing cars from the same season – one for tyre testing using a current driver, and one seeming for a rookie.

Meanwhile, rookies also will have a chance in each car a team enters in the championship, but only in FP1 sessions throughout the year. There is some confusion with regards to the number of sessions they get as the regulation talks of FP1 time in each car of a team rather than stating ‘two sessions’ directly.

2023 pre-season test rule: “One (1) test, which are open to all Competitors of three (3) consecutive days’ duration carried out between 1 February and ten (10) days before the start of the first Event of the Championship. Each Competitor may only use one (1) car on each day.”

Post-season test for 2022: “One (1) test, of two (2) consecutive days’ one (1) day in duration carried out on the circuit at which the last Event of the Championship was held, such test commencing no less than thirty-six (36) hours after the end of the Event.

i) Each Competitor must use two (2) cars at this test which must be in an identical configuration to that used in at least one (1) race during the current Championship year. These cars must fully comply with the provisions of the Technical Regulations. The provisions of Article 8.15 of the Technical Regulations will not be applicable. Any additional logging or testing of any component is strictly prohibited.

ii) One (1) car or two days of this test must be completed must be driven by drivers who have participated in at least one (1) race during the Formula 1 World Championship that has just been completed, and must be for the sole purpose of providing Competitors with the chance to test the tyre specifications to be used the following season. In the event that a Competitor is unable to provide a car that is compatible with such tyres, they will not be allowed to participate in this part day of testing.

iii) One (1) car or two days of this test must be for the sole purpose of providing Young Drivers with the opportunity to test current Formula 1 cars.

Pirelli testing: “A maximum of thirty (30) car days of testing, organised by the FIA in consultation with all Competitors and the appointed tyre supplier, for the sole purpose of providing the appointed tyre supplier with the chance to test improvements to the design of their tyres, carried out between the end of the first Event of the 2022 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations Championship and one (1) week before the start of the last Event of the Championship.”

FP1 running to rookies: “On one (1) occasion in each car entered for the Championship during each Championship, each Competitor must use a driver who has not participated in more than two (2) Championship races in their career. This driver may only participate in FP1.”

Next up is the structure of the Grand Prix weekend which has also been overhauled, with ‘media day’ moved to Friday morning ahead of FP1 and FP2 shifted to later in the day. The drivers’ press conference will now be on Friday, while the teams’ will be done on Saturday. The post-qualifying and post-race will remain as it is with the Top 3 involved.

In sprint events, there will be no post-Friday qualifying press conference, while Saturday and Sunday will see a conference each. A new addition is a ‘pre-event automobile display’ will take place prior to FP1 and after qualifying, with teams forced to place both of their cars outside their garage alongside a senior technical representative to talk through the latest upgrades to the car.

Media changes, Day 1 (Friday): “All drivers must be available to participate in media and promotional activities (as defined by the Media Delegate, in conjunction with the Commercial Rights Holder with regard to the promotional activities) for a maximum duration of one (1) hour during a two (2) hour period, commencing three (3) hours and thirty (30) minutes prior to the scheduled start of P1.

“At each event where a sprint qualifying session is scheduled, a minimum of three and a maximum of six drivers and/or team personalities will be chosen by the Media Delegate during the Event and must make themselves available to the media for a press conference for a period of one (1) hour, thirty (30) minutes after the scheduled end of P1. There will be no press conference after the qualifying practice session, however all drivers must be available for media interviews of up to five (5) minutes directly after the session.”

Day 2 (Saturday): “A maximum of six (6) team representatives will be selected by the Media Delegate to participate in media activities (as defined by the Media Delegate) for a period of one (1) hour, finishing no later than one hour and 30 minutes prior to the start of P3.

i) At the sole discretion of the Media Delegate, the Competitor representatives may be split into two (2) groups of three (3) and rotate between different media activities; ii) Each Competitor must have at least three (3) senior Competitor representatives to take part in these media activities during the Championship; iii) A list of at least two (2) senior Competitor representatives at each Event available to take part in these media activities must be sent by each Competitor to the Media Delegate no later than ten (10) days before the start of each Event.”

Automobile Display, Day 1: “Each Competitor must make both of its cars available outside their designated garage area for the pre-Event Automobile Display for a period of up to one (1) hour, which will commence no later than one hour and 30 minutes prior to the start of P1.

i) Each car must be nominally complete and fitted with all major aerodynamic and bodywork components that are intended to be used when the car leaves the pit lane for the first time in P1; ii) During this period, each car must be positioned as determined by the Race Director and one (1) car may be used for pit-stop practice; iii) Exceptions to the pre Event Automobile Display will be permitted with prior written approval of the Race Director.”

Day 2: “Commencing thirty (30) minutes after the end of the qualifying practice session, for a period of up to one (1) hour, one (1) car from five (5) different Competitors (as specified by the Race Director and Technical Delegate) must be made available for the post-qualifying Automobile display. Each car must be positioned as determined by the Race Director. During this period a senior technical or sporting representative of the Competitor must be available for a period of at least 10 minutes to describe to the media all major aerodynamic and bodywork component updates made to their car following the pre-Event Automobile Display.”

Regarding the calendar, the initial FIA sporting regulations for 2022 noted a maximum of a 25 race calendar with a minimum of 10 rounds to be classed a championship. The latest revision cuts this to 24 as a maximum and 8 minimum, which is one more race than 2021.

And finally, after the much-debated topic regarding the powers of FIA Race Director, nothing has changed from last year to this year with regards to his role as mentioned under Article 15. The lapped car rule seems to remain the same as well.

Here’s the full 2022 FIA Sporting Regulations: 

The story was written by Danny Herbert

Here’s how the FIA structure going forward

Here’s contract situation plus penalty points

Here’s latest F1 Commission ruling regarding sprint, etc

Here’s initial 2022 FIA sporting regulations