The FIA has shared details of the revised weekend format of 2022 F1 season and beyond as helmet rule is reversed among other things.
Apart from the financial and technical aspect of the big 2022 F1 changes – which was supposed for 2021 – there was also the weekend format changed expected, where they wanted to trim it to three days from the original four which they have.
The new Sporting Regulations released earlier in the week carried changes not only for 2020, 2021 but also the 2022 F1 season. As per the new format, the FIA has omitted the Thursday programme, which was otherwise known as the Media Day.
There were multiple theories of a reduced track run but as per the regulations, the whole weekend format remains mostly the same in terms of the practice sessions, qualifying and the eventual F1 race – where the other activities has been crammed in to three days.
The scrutineering is likely to take place on Thursday as the deadline to submit all the papers can be done 1.5 hours before the first practice on Friday as opposed to the 18 hours call in the current scheme, where it takes place on Wednesday.
The weekend will see usual practice sessions of 1.5 hours for FP1 and FP2, while FP3 – on Saturday – will be of one hour after which the qualifying happens and the race on Sunday. The media and fan events will see the biggest change across the weekend.
The Thursday and Friday press conferences seems likely to have been dropped in favour of dedicated TV and written media time, as there is no specific mention of the conferences in the 2022 regulations as it has been in the current regs until the 2021 F1 season.
As per the new rule, all the F1 drivers are mandatory to be present for media time as well as promotional activities for upto two hours on first day of action i.e Friday, which will be completed 1.5 hours before the start of the first official practice session.
Likewise, the F1 drivers will have to be present for media briefings at their respective hospitality areas post the end of the second session – they can do at whatever time but it should be within two hours of the session’s completion.
For Saturday, six F1 team representatives will have to give one hour time for media, 1.5 hours before the third practice – the FIA Media Delegate can divide them into two groups of three each when speaking to media. The drivers will have fan activities in the same period.
For qualifying, drivers eliminated after Q1 and Q2 will have media time at the end of the respective sessions, which will be the same for drivers outside the Top 3 post Q3. The Top 3 will take part in a press conference, after which, they will also have individual sessions.
The fan activities will continue post the qualifying session, where maximum of six drivers – selected by Commercial Rights Holder – will have to be present. It has to be undertaken within two-three hours after the end of the qualifying session.
The race day activities is largely the same where the Top 3 will have a press conference, while others will have to make themselves available to both TV and written crew in the Media Pen. F1 teams can have their own sessions at their hospitality areas.
The teams will have to ensure that one senior personnel is available to speak with media in their hospitality after the race. The format of the media sessions changed in 2019, especially for written media, where they clubbed together with the TV crew.
This largely happened for post-qualifying and post-race sessions, while Thursday and Friday saw individual sessions at the team’s hospitality. As mentioned above, the expected scenario was for track limitations but it seems like usual work will happen on all days.
The only change is for media as F1 sees this as an idea to lure teams to expand to 25 races (maximum) in future. Aside the weekend format, another peculiar change which can be spotted in the 2022 regulations is regarding the helmet livery.
Only ahead of the 2020 F1 season, the FIA noted that drivers will be given free run to alter their designs. However, the 2022 regulations has once again restricted them to just one big design change with base livery remaining the same throughout the season.
The rule is omitted from 2020 and 2021 F1 regulations but features in 2022. It says: “In order for drivers to be easily distinguished from one another whilst they are on the track, the crash helmet of each driver must, with the exception of one Competition of the driver’s choice, be presented in substantially the same livery at every Competition during a Championship season.
“A change to helmet livery will also be permitted if a driver changes team during a Championship season.” Apart from the above, the FIA has shared details of the restrictions on wind-tunnel and also CFD usage timings to help in cost cutting.
Here are the revised 2022 Sporting Regulations: 2022 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations – 27/05/20
Here’s the full story on the FIA changes for F1 2020, 2021 and beyond
Here’s details on 2020 and 2021 Sporting Changes
Here’s details on FIA change regarding helmet rule