FIA confirm 23-race 2023 F1 calendar with six Sprints

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Baku City Circuit, in Azerbaijan, will host the first of Formula 1’s six sprint races next season, the sport said on Wednesday on updating the 2023 World Championship calendar without China.

The others will be held in Austria, at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps, Qatar, Austin’s Circuit of the Americas and Brazil’s Interlagos. Azerbaijan’s race weekend is April 28-30, with the Austrian race at Spielberg from June 30 to July 2. Spa is  28-30 July, Qatar 6-8 October, Austin 20-22 October and Brazil 3-5 November.

Baku, Spa, Qatar and Austin will be hosting sprints for the first time. Qatar was absent from this year’s calendar due to the country hosting the soccer World Cup.

F1 is doubling the number of sprint race weekends on next year’s F1 calendar, with three held this year at Italy’s Imola, in Austria and Brazil, with support and approval from the FIA

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of F1’s governing body said: “Following strong collaboration between the FIA and FOM, and the approval of the World Motor Sport Council, we are pleased to reveal the six events for Sprints for the 2023 season. We look forward to this exciting addition to the calendar.”

The FIA stated in a press release: “The World Council also approved several updates and clarifications to the 2023 and 2024 [F1] Financial Regulations, including an increase of the forfeit allowance amount for each Sprint session from $150k to $300k from 2023 onwards, and the elimination of any subsequent adjustment for accident damage sustained during the Sprint sessions.”

The sprint format involves qualifying on Friday for a 100km race on Saturday, with points awarded to the top eight, which sets the grid for the main grand prix on Sunday.

Pole position is awarded to the fastest driver in Friday qualifying rather than who starts Sunday’s race at the front of the grid.

Domenicali: We have seen a hugely positive reaction to the F1 Sprint events

formula 1 grid sprint race plans

The same format will continue next year, although F1 is considering changes for the future including turning Saturday into a stand-alone race.

F1 said the choice of locations was based on research into which tracks offered the best overtaking opportunities, close racing and high-speed sections.

“We have seen a hugely positive reaction to the F1 Sprint events during the first two years of its running,” said F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

“The introduction of the F1 Sprint has created a race weekend that includes three days of competitive racing action and brings more entertainment to fans of the sport as well as additional value for key stakeholders including teams, broadcasters, partners, and host venues.”

Baku promoter Arif Rahimov said in May that he wanted to host a sprint weekend to create more excitement.

“We’re a market where most of the fans are not as educated in the sport itself so when you say that we have two races…that will definitely increase the attendance on a Saturday and give them more value for money,” he said then.

“I’m a big proponent of it. I really like the idea. I think it’s good just to mix things around a little bit throughout the years. Things get boring and people just get too used to the same format and then they lose their interest.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)

2023 F1 Calendar

2023 F1 calendar