W Series reveals season 3 calendar
Eight weekends on the F1 calendar, 3 in the American continent and the first Asian round - here's the 2022 W Series calendar.
Having made its debut on the Formula 1 support bill in 2021, the all-female championship W Series will continue its adventure alongside the most famous racing series in the world, as widely expected; the 2022 calendar was released to reveal several new rounds.
Just like for the 2021 edition, the championship will feature rounds in conjunction with eight Grand Prix weekends, including five new events: the series is expected to get underway in 100 days at the brand-new Miami Grand Prix (6-8 May), before moving to Europe for four dates. Barcelona, Spain, hosts the first European round on 20-22 May, which precedes W Series' return to Silverstone for the British GP.
Circuit Paul Ricard at Le Castellet is expected to host the French GP – which was supposed to kick-start the 2021 season before a change in the F1 schedule that forced W Series to adapt its calendar. The Hungarian GP at Hungaroring is also making its return after a successful edition in 2021 – rounding out the Summer races. The series will in fact go on a hiatus until 7-9 October, when the first ever race in Asia will go underway at the iconic Suzuka circuit. The Japanese GP has been missing from the F1 calendar since 2019 due to the pandemic challenges and strict border regulations in Japan, but is expected to return in 2022.
Just like for the 2021 calendar, the championship plans to have its final two rounds in the American continent, with the COTA round preceding the Mexican GP at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City. A date change by F1 prevented W Series to race in Mexico last year and a double round at Austin was arranged instead, but the all-female series is this keen on providing its Mexican fans with another spectacular finale.
W Series is indeed putting a lot of effort into expanding its operations in America, also thanks to a very successful season finale in Texas and growing interest among the fanbase. Testament of the geographical shift is also the upcoming assessment tests for potential newcomers, which will be contested next week at Inde Motorsports Ranch, Arizona, USA.
"W Series' expansion continues with the announcement of our 2022 race calendar which will see us visit more circuits and countries in a single season than ever before." – commented Catherine Bond Muir, CEO of the London-based organization.
"Last year, we began a landmark partnership with Formula 1 and our talented grid of female racing drivers proved that they belong on motor racing's greatest stage. Their skill and determination captivated audiences around the world, culminating in a thrilling season-ending double header in Austin, Texas, USA, where a record crowd of 400,000 people attended the race weekend and saw Jamie Chadwick successfully defend her W Series title."
"I am delighted that we will be returning to the Circuit of the Americas, Silverstone and Hungary in 2022, and excited to take W Series to Miami, Spain, France, Mexico and Japan for the first time – the latter representing another landmark achievement for W Series as we make our debut in Asia. We have always stated our intention to make the series a truly global movement and this calendar is the next step towards achieving that."
The format of each weekend will be disclosed in due course, but the series statements mentioning "races at eight Formula 1 weekends during its third season in 2022" potentially opens up to the possibility of double-headers.
Following the upcoming selection tests we will find out the new entry list, with 9 drivers already having guaranteed spots on the grid.
The brand-new Hard Rock Stadium complex in Miami Gardens will thus host its first ever F1 and W Series races, on the 5.41km long racetrack which is currently under construction.
W Series 2022 Calendar:
6-8 May / Miami, USA
20-22 May / Barcelona, Spain
1-3 July / Silverstone, UK
22-24 July / Le Castellet, France
29-31 July / Budapest, Hungary
7-9 October / Suzuka, Japan
21-23 October / Austin, USA
28-30 October / Mexico City, Mexico