Formula 1 returns to Europe for the first time in 2022, with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix! Now a permanent fixture because of the pandemic, the Imola circuit will remain on the calendar until at least 2025.
So far, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is firm favourite, even at this stage, to claim his first Drivers’ Championship, but can Red Bull’s Max Verstappen fight back in Ferrari’s backyard?
Fans in Italy have reacted to Ferrari’s championship challenge, with Sky’s Italian F1 channel seeing a record audience tune into their coverage of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last month.
F1 sprints into Imola
The Imola weekend sees the Sprint return to the calendar for the first of its three outings this season, resulting in different television schedules for fans worldwide, including in the UK.
Qualifying moves to Friday afternoon, with the three-part session starting at 16:00 UK time, while the Sprint starts at 15:30 on Saturday.
Channel 4’s highlights package on Saturday evening will feature a shorter edit of qualifying, followed by a longer edit of the Sprint session. Steve Jones, David Coulthard, Billy Monger, and Alex Jacques will be covering the weekend for the free-to-air broadcaster.
The change in schedule to accommodate the Sprint leaves no room in Sky Sports F1’s schedules for The F1 Show. Last year, the show aired on Thursday’s, which is no longer the case with F1’s media activities now taking place on Friday mornings.
The traditional European support package of Formula Two, Formula Three and Porsche Supercup supports the Grand Prix, all airing live on Sky, the first time since 2006 that the leading feeder series has supported F1 at Imola.
Alex Brundle re-joins Alex Jacques in the commentary booth for Formula Two, while Will Buxton is back in F1 TV’s commentary box for fans outside of the UK.
All F1 sessions are available to listen live via BBC’s F1 website.Full scheduling details for the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Scheduling details correct as of Monday 18th April and are subject to change.
Friday 22nd April
08:55 to 09:40 – F3: Practice (Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event)
10:05 to 10:50 – F2: Practice (Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event)
11:00 to 14:30 (Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 11:00 – F1: Drivers’ Press Conference
=> 12:00 – F1: Practice 1
=> 13:50 – F3: Qualifying
14:45 to 18:15 (Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 14:45 – F2: Qualifying
=> 15:25 – F1: Qualifying
=> 17:45 – Ted’s Qualifying Notebook
21:30 to 22:00 – F1: Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
Saturday 23rd April
09:30 to 10:25 – F3: Sprint Race (Sky Sports F1)
11:00 to 12:40 – F1: Practice 2 (Sky Sports F1)
14:30 to 18:15 (Sky Sports F1)
=> 14:30 – F1: Sprint (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 16:50 – F2: Sprint Race
=> 17:45 – Ted’s Sprint Notebook
18:45 to 20:15 – F1: Sprint Highlights (Channel 4)
Sunday 24th April
07:45 to 08:45 – F3: Feature Race (Sky Sports F1)
09:15 to 10:30 – F2: Feature Race (Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event)
11:05 to 11:40 – Porsche Supercup (Sky Sports F1)
12:30 to 17:30 – F1: Race (Sky Sports F1)
=> 12:30 – Grand Prix Sunday
=> 13:55 – Race
– also BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra from 14:00 to 16:00
=> 16:00 – Chequered Flag
=> 17:00 – Ted’s Notebook
18:30 to 21:00 – F1: Race Highlights (Channel 4)
MotoGP returns to the Algarve
Like Imola, the Portimão circuit in Portugal, has found itself benefiting from the pandemic. Portimão plays host to round five of the MotoGP championship, with it all still to play for.
Enea Bastianini leads the championship, two victories from the first four races enough to sit top of the table.
All the action airs live on BT Sport 2, with highlights airing on Monday evening on ITV4. As in America last weekend, the Moto3 race follows the main MotoGP race, meaning that MotoGP avoids a direct clash with the F1 action.
Friday 22nd April
09:00 to 16:00 – Practice (BT Sport 2)
=> 09:00 – Moto3: Practice 1
=> 09:55 – MotoGP: Practice 1
=> 10:55 – Moto2: Practice 1
=> 13:15 – Moto3: Practice 2
=> 14:10 – MotoGP: Practice 2
=> 15:10 – Moto2: Practice 2
Saturday 23rd April
09:00 to 16:00 – Practice and Qualifying (BT Sport 2)
=> 09:00 – Moto3: Practice 3
=> 09:55 – MotoGP: Practice 3
=> 10:55 – Moto2: Practice 3
=> 12:35 – Moto3: Qualifying
=> 13:30 – MotoGP: Practice 4
=> 14:10 – MotoGP: Qualifying
=> 15:10 – Moto2: Qualifying
16:15 to 17:15 – Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup (BT Sport 2)
Sunday 24th April
09:15 to 16:30 – Races (BT Sport 2)
=> 09:15 – Warm Ups
=> 10:30 – Moto2: Race
=> 12:30 – MotoGP: Race
=> 14:00 – Moto3: Race
=> 15:30 – Chequered Flag
Monday 25th AprilFull scheduling details for the 2022 Portuguese MotoGP. Scheduling details correct as of Monday 18th April and are subject to change.
20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)
While BTCC kicks off a new era
Elsewhere, the British Touring Car Championship returns for its new season, as the series’ new hybrid era begins.
As usual, extensive live coverage airs on ITV4, with Steve Rider and Tim Harvey leading the presenting line-up, alongside David Addison, Louise Goodman, Paul O’Neill and Richard John Neil.
In a ‘new for 2022’ development, two race days will also receive live coverage on ITV’s main channel. The Brands Hatch Indy event on May 15th and Oulton Park event on June 12th will air on ITV for three hours.
It is likely that clashes with other events on ITV4 (likely the MotoGP race from Le Mans on May 15th, and potentially the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 12th), mean that neither race can air on ITV4 for some of its slot, and ITV have opted to air the first BTCC race of the day on their main channel instead.
The first race day of the season from Donington Park airs live on Sunday 24th April from 10:50 to 18:15 on ITV4.
Contribute to the running costs of Motorsport Broadcasting by donating via PayPal. If you wish to reproduce the contents of this article in any form, please contact Motorsport Broadcasting in the first instance.