The Bahrain International Circuit plays host to the first round of the 2022 Formula One season as the new era gets underway!
Can Max Verstappen retain his crown and become a double Drivers’ Champion, or will Lewis Hamilton make history and become an eight-time champion? With new look cars on show, everything is to play for over eight months and 23 races.
F1 returns to Australia, Canada, Japan, and Singapore this year, while Miami makes its first appearance on the F1 calendar.
F1 – the coverage
For UK fans, every race airs live on Sky Sports, with extended free-to-air highlights airing later in the evening on Channel 4. The exception is the British Grand Prix, which airs live across Channel 4 and Sky Sports.
Sky will be hoping that their audience figures continue to rise off the back of last season’s titanic battle between Verstappen and Hamilton, the broadcaster celebrating 10 years of covering F1 this year.
The length of Channel 4’s shows remain the same as last season: 90 minutes for qualifying and 150 minutes for the race.
Although neither the broadcaster or F1 have made a formal announcement, schedule details show that F1 will remain on BBC Radio 5 Live for the upcoming season. Under what terms, whether the BBC have signed a one-year deal, or a multi-year deal is unclear.
What Motorsport Broadcasting can confirm is that IMG will continue to produce the BBC’s offering, as they have done since late 2018.
Joining Radio 5 Live are Radio 1, in the form of BBC Newsbeat, who have increased their F1 coverage in recent years. Christian Hewgill presents the programme from Bahrain next Friday, across Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra and the BBC Asian Network.
Formula Two and Formula Three return to their old two-race format, with both series in action at Sakhir. In addition, the F1 schedule switches from four days to three, with the Thursday press conference moving to Friday mornings, bumping practice to Friday afternoons.
F1 – the personnel
Naomi Schiff is the latest talent to join Sky’s broadcast team ahead of the new season. Schiff will present a new show on Monday evenings called Any Driven Monday alongside Sky’s Matt Baker.
Schiff will also be part of Sky’s presentation line-up during the Bahrain weekend. The usual Sky voices of David Croft, Martin Brundle, Anthony Davidson, and Jenson Button will be back with Sky throughout the 2022 season.
Readers listening to BBC’s coverage will hear less of Jolyon Palmer this season. Palmer will feature more on F1’s over-the-top platform, as F1 moves to making their own line-up the main choice for fans watching live outside of the UK.
Will Buxton, Tom Gaymor and a third person will rotate the lead commentator role for F1 TV. Once F1 publicly confirms the identity of the third person, Motorsport Broadcasting will update this site with additional information. Joining the trio will be the likes of Palmer and other guests throughout the year.
With no Palmer on 5 Live for most of the season, a wider variety of voices will join Jack Nicholls and Jennie Gow across the BBC’s output this season.
Owing to his existing commitments with Channel 4 and F1 respectively, Alex Jacques steps back from his Formula Three commentary role for 2022, with Harry Benjamin stepping up. Alex Brundle will continue to be part of F1’s feeder series offering, commentating alongside Jacques on F2 and Benjamin on F3.
All F1 sessions are available to listen live via BBC’s F1 website.Full scheduling details for the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix. Scheduling details correct as of Tuesday 15th March and are subject to change.
Friday 11th March
All Day – Drive to Survive: Season 4 (Netflix)
Monday 14th March
18:00 to 19:00 – Any Driven Monday (Sky Sports F1’s YouTube)
– also Sky Sports F1 from 21:00 to 22:00
Thursday 17th March
19:00 to 20:00 – F1: Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
Friday 18th March
08:25 to 09:10 – F3: Practice (Sky Sports F1)
09:35 to 10:20 – F2: Practice (Sky Sports F1)
08:30 to 10:30 – F1: Drivers’ Press Conference (Sky Sports Main Event)
11:30 to 13:20 – F1: Practice 1 (Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event)
– also BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra from 11:55 to 13:05
12:45 to 13:00 – Newsbeat (BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra and BBC Asian Network)
13:20 to 14:00 – F3: Qualifying (Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event)
14:45 to 16:20 – F1: Practice 2 (Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event)
16:20 to 17:00 – F2: Qualifying (Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event)
17:00 to 18:00 – The F1 Show (Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Main Event)
17:45 to 18:00 – Newsbeat (BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra and BBC Asian Network)
Saturday 19th March
09:55 to 10:55 – F3: Sprint Race (Sky Sports F1)
11:45 to 13:10 – F1: Practice 3 (Sky Sports F1)
– also BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra from 11:55 to 13:05
14:00 to 16:35 – F1: Qualifying (Sky Sports F1)
– also Sky Sports Main Event from 14:45
16:35 to 17:35 – F2: Sprint Race (Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event)
17:35 to 18:05 – Ted’s Qualifying Notebook (Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event)
19:30 to 21:00 – F1: Qualifying Highlights (Channel 4)
Sunday 20th March
08:55 to 09:55 – F3: Feature Race (Sky Sports F1)
10:35 to 11:50 – F2: Feature Race (Sky Sports F1)
13:30 to 18:30 – F1: Race (Sky Sports F1)
=> 13:30 – Grand Prix Sunday
=> 14:55 – Race
– also Sky Sports Main Event from 14:30 to 16:30
– also BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra from 14:30 to 16:50
=> 17:00 – Chequered Flag
=> 18:00 – Ted’s Notebook
19:30 to 22:00 – F1: Race Highlights (Channel 4)
Outside of the F1 circles, MotoGP heads to the Mandalika International Street Circuit in Indonesia for the first time. The action airs live in the early hours on BT Sport 2, with the main MotoGP race starting at 07:00 UK time on Sunday 20th March.
However, before MotoGP arrives in Indonesia, there is the small matter of Life at Speed, the championship’s new documentary series which aims to emulate the success of F1’s Drive to Survive. The series arrives on Amazon Prime on Monday 14th March.
The weekend also sees the World Endurance Championship return, with fans able to catch the racing from Sebring across Eurosport’s and WEC’s platforms on Friday 18th March.
Anthony Davidson joins the broadcast team, replacing Allan McNish who will focus on other commitments this year. Davidson joins Martin Haven and Graham Goodwin in the commentary box.
As reported on Twitter earlier this week, Eurosport will not be producing their own commentary feed for WEC, instead opting to take the World Feed. This follows a worse than usual reception to their 24 Hours of Le Mans commentary last Summer, which fans panned across social media.
The IndyCar Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for round two of their season. Unusually, due to F1 post-race analysis on Sky Sports F1, the race airs live on Sky Sports Mix from 16:30 on Sunday 20th March, with a full tape-delay airing on Sky F1 from 22:00 onwards.
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