Word on the beat, May 2022

Las Vegas’s F1 return; and Ralf Schumacher puts the boot in

St Petersburg circuit

● Las Vegas is looking ever more likely to secure a place on the 2023 Formula 1 calendar, to make it three grands prix in the US.

● The discontinuation of F1’s contract with the Russian Grand Prix organisers in the wake of the Ukraine invasion means that the planned move to the Igora Drive circuit near St Petersburg in 2023 (above) will no longer be happening. In the meantime Imola’s contract has been extended to run to 2025 and at the time of writing Qatar was expected to take the Sochi slot on
this year’s calendar.

● The FIA has published its report about the events of Abu Dhabi 2021 and while acknowledging “human errors” in how the race was restarted, has not specifically confirmed that the sporting regulations were not adhered to. Former race director Michael Masi has been moved to another, as yet unspecified, role within the FIA, replaced by an alternating duo of Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas. ● Carlos Sainz has agreed in principle to the terms of an extension of his Ferrari contract. “I think we have found an agreement,” said Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto in Bahrain. “It’s only a matter to translate it onto paper.”

Ralf Schumacher in 2022

● Retired F1 race winner Ralf Schumacher, ab0ve, was outspoken in his pundit role about the performance of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll in being outqualified by late-notice Vettel stand-in Nico Hülkenberg. “It’s an understatement to say that he was beaten by a team-mate. When someone who has not driven for a year and a half comes in and is three-tenths faster than you, you should think carefully about whether you are doing everything right.”