Formula 1 recently confirmed the six Grand Prix weekends that will now feature ‘Sprint Races’ on the 2023 racing calendar, with the countries chosen to host them being Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Qatar, the United States and Brazil.
The list was recently agreed and confirmed following Formula 1’s assessments and analysis of which tracks were most suitable and best placed to host the events moving forward, and obviously following the culmination of negotiations and discussions on commercial terms with race organisers.
F1 confirmed that the number of sprint events had doubled purely owing to the increased revenue that the increased interest from fans had created following their original introduction a few years ago, but F1 did confirm that the existing format of sprint races would continue as they were in 2022 – a short race on the Saturday will determine points for the first eight finishers, which in turn defines the grid for the main grand prix race.
The grid for the sprint remains led by standard qualifying, but that has now been moved to the Friday afternoon as opposed to its normal slot on Saturday.
The first sprint in the 2023 calendar will be held in Baku at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on 28-30 April and this is set to be either the third or fourth race of the season, but it is dependent on whether F1 choses to replace the cancelled Chinese Grand Prix. You can check sports betting sites and offers here.
The two ‘race’ format in high demand by Grand Prix organisers
With F1 having fine tuned its analysis to determine the best tracks for the event, Austria (June 30-July 2) follows, with Belgium (July 28-30), Qatar (October 6-8), the US race in Austin, Texas (October 20-22) and Braxil (November 3-5) then all following.
It had originally planned to host a sprint event in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (second race of the season on March 17-19) but reportedly the Saudi authorities were utterly unwilling to pay the fee that was being demanded from them.
In the statement released by F1 to explain the choice of tracks for the new six event calendar, they stated that the 2022 Austrian sprint event had seen a 39% increase in audience levels when compared with qualifying at the same race the previous year, F1 president and chief executive officer, Stefano Domenicali, explained.
With the 2022 calendar again being pretty well dominated by contentious race decisions, rule changes and disagreements and the usual level of inter driver and team sniping, Formula 1 fans will simply be pleased to have some news that should create further entertainment in the months to come.
Whether it actually helps aid competition on the track and allow some teams to catch up a bit more and improve further remains to be seen.