After F1 delivered a truly pulsating climax to an absolutely thrilling season in 2021, the world has barely managed to catch its collective breath. But the next season is hot on its heels.
Fans will not have to wait too long to see Max Verstappen take on Lewis Hamilton again as the 2022 F1 season is expected to start in the spring of next year, following a fortnight of pre-season testing.
The 2022 F1 season is expected to have a jam-packed roster with no fewer than 23 race events penciled in on the calendar for the year.
Albert Park, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and the Suzuka International Racing Course are all set to return to the F1 calendar after an absence on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
China is set to miss out on next season as well while Qatar will take a hiatus to focus on the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Both nations are expected to be back on the F1 calendar for 2023.
The United States of America is gearing up for what will be their second race with Miami, a new entrant on the F1 race roster.
Pre-season testing for the 2022 F1 season is expected to begin towards the end of February with three days of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain from February 23rd to February 25th.
The second round of pre-season testing is tabled to be done at the Bahrain International Circuit from March 11th to March 13th. The first race of the upcoming F1 season is expected to take place on March 20th in Bahrain.
New F1 season brings with new cars and rules
F1 is set to make one of its biggest sets of technical changes from the 2022 season onwards. These rules were supposed to be implemented in 2021 but were pushed back on account of the COVID -19 pandemic.
Aerodynamic regulations are at the fore of most of these changes and should essentially act as a reset button for a championship that has seen frontrunners leave the rest behind very quickly in the past.
The biggest change to the aerodynamic rules is the return of ground effect, something that hasn't been seen in F1 since 1982.
F1 is also keen to end the dependency cars have built up over the years on the wings for downforce. Wings bring with them a propensity for dirty air, which has been a hindrance for drivers in their pursuit to engage in close racing. These changes should give us more high-octane racing action.
The wheels, too, are getting a makeover for next season. F1 has decided to adopt an 18-inch rim for the 2022 season. Complex bargeboards, a staple from the '90s, also bid adieu.
All teams are also expected to adhere to a strict cost cap that is aimed at keeping the competition fairer between all teams.
All this and more are coming our way on the other side of the winter break.