Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappens 2022 plans could be heavily disrupted

Nico Rosberg tells of his willingness to befriend Lewis Hamilton

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Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali admits there could be some changes to the 2022 calendar as the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to cause issues to the sporting world. The 2022 season is set to become the longest ever season in the history of the championship, with a record-breaking 23 races planned across a nine-month period.

Since the start of 2020, the pandemic has seen F1’s race plans heavily disrupted, with the championship yet to return to Australia, Japan, Singapore, Canada, and China.

After Australia was called off at the start of the 2020 season, a delayed start saw just 17 races run as Lewis Hamilton picked up his seventh world title.

But in 2022, F1 is set to return to Australia, Canada, Singapore, and Japan, with many questions still surrounding how viable this could be with the emergence of new variants worldwide.

In an interview with Sport 1, Domenicali said: “The USA is important to us and we are working hard to make Miami a success in 2022.

“The other region that we must not underestimate is the Far East, especially with Guanyu Zhou, who now drives for Alfa Romeo. Interest from China is growing, which is why the region will also become our focus.

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“A comeback in Africa – whether in the north or south – would be great.

“However, how quickly this works will also depend on the situation around Covid. We must not continue to underestimate the corona pandemic. In 2022, we may also have to adjust the calendar again.”

Max Verstappen beat Hamilton to the title this season after a controversial end to the 2021 season that went down to the final lap of the final race.

Hamilton and Mercedes felt robbed of the win, and the 36-year-old has remained silent ever since, despite picking up a knighthood prompting some to believe he may retire come the end of the season.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was asked directly if he had doubts about the seven-time champion returning next season with his Mercedes contract due to expire in 2023.

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He replied: “Lewis and I are disillusioned at the moment.

“Not disillusioned of the sport, we love this sport with every bone in our body, and we love it because the stopwatch never lies.

“But if we break that fundamental principle of sporting fairness and authenticity of the sport, then suddenly the stopwatch doesn’t become relevant anymore because we are exposed to random decision making, and it’s clear you fall out of love with it.

“You start to question that if all the work you have been putting in, all the sweat, tears, and blood can actually be demonstrated, in terms of bringing the best possible performances on track because it can be taken away randomly.

Hamilton and Mercedes felt robbed of the win, and the 36-year-old has remained silent ever since, despite picking up a knighthood prompting some to believe he may retire come the end of the season.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was asked directly if he had doubts about the seven-time champion returning next season with his Mercedes contract due to expire in 2023.

He replied: “Lewis and I are disillusioned at the moment.

“Not disillusioned of the sport, we love this sport with every bone in our body, and we love it because the stopwatch never lies.

“But if we break that fundamental principle of sporting fairness and authenticity of the sport, then suddenly the stopwatch doesn’t become relevant anymore because we are exposed to random decision making, and it’s clear you fall out of love with it.

“So it’s going to take a long time for us to digest what happened on Sunday. I don’t think we will ever get over it. That’s not possible, and certainly not for him as a driver.

“I very much hope the two of us, and the rest of the team, work through the events, and we can, with the FIA and F1, utilise the situation to improve the sport going forward.

“But he will never overcome the pain and the distress that was caused on Sunday.

“To be honest, still today, I can’t even understand what happened. I’m in disbelief, It still feels surreal.

“On a human level, it is so difficult because it is so disappointing.”

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