Formula 1’s all-new female junior series F1 Academy has unveiled its 2023 calendar, which includes three races over the 2023 United States Grand Prix weekend at Circuit of The Americas.
Formula 1 has confirmed the 21-race calendar for its new all-female junior series, F1 Academy. The inaugural season of F1 Academy will race at six circuits across Europe before coming to a close at Circuit of The Americas over the 2023 United States Grand Prix weekend.
Five teams – ART, Campos, Carlin, MP Motorsport and Prema – will field three drivers each on the 15-car grid for the first F1 Academy season. Six of the 15 drivers have been confirmed for the 2023 season – including W Series regulars Abbi Pulling, Bianca Bustamante and Nerea Marti.
Each round of the F1 Academy season will feature three races and two qualifying sessions. Races 1 and 3 will each run for 30 minutes and will have their own qualifying sessions. Race 2 will be slightly shorter, at 20 minutes, with the grid being decided by reversing the top eight drivers from the first qualifying session.
Speaking about the calendar, General Manager of the F1 Academy Bruno Michel – who is also the CEO of Formula 2 and Formula 3 – noted the series’ aim to race on Formula 1 circuits:
“I’m very pleased to reveal the calendar of F1 Academy’s inaugural season. Our goal was to be able to race on as many Formula 1 Grand Prix tracks as possible, with circuits that could be a great challenge for the drivers. The teams know these layouts very well, so they will be able to help their young talents get to grips quickly.
We had announced that F1 Academy would be racing alongside Formula 1 at one event, so it’s fantastic to be part of the F1 Grand Prix package in Austin, where we will also conclude the first season, in front of the F1 paddock and the American crowd. There is quite a gap in between Rounds 6 and 7, but that is mainly due to the fact that we will be sending the cars and equipment by ship, to save on logistical costs.”
The 2023 F1 Academy calendar
The 2023 F1 Academy season will take place between April and October. The calendar includes five circuits which currently feature on the Formula 1 calendar, as well as Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia and Circuit Paul Ricard, former host of the French Grand Prix – which was dropped from the F1 calendar in 2023.
The events take place predominantly in Europe, with the exception of the last three races which will be staged over the 2023 United States Grand Prix weekend at Circuit of The Americas. The season will be preceded by two days of testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on April 11-12.
F1 Academy finale to take place at 2023 United States Grand Prix
For its inaugural season, F1 Academy will appear on the support schedule at a single Formula 1 Grand Prix. The season finale in October will take place at the United States Grand Prix. That means fans trackside at COTA will benefit from an additional three hours of on-track action thanks to the addition of F1 Academy to the support schedule.
In previous years, other support series at the United States Grand Prix have included Masters Historic, the Masters Endurance Legends series, W Series and other regional junior series. The on-track action at COTA is also complemented by high-profile music acts performing across the race weekend. Artists performing at the 2023 United States Grand Prix have not yet been announced.
W Series future uncertain
The continuation of Formula 1’s other all-female support series is in doubt. W Series curtailed its season in 2022 amid financial issues. The series cancelled the final three planned races last year, which were due to take place as support races at the United States Grand Prix and Mexico City Grand Prix.
Speaking about the early end to W Series’ 2022 campaign last October, CEO Catherine Bond Muir expressed confidence that the series would race again in 2023, saying that everyone involved was “doing everything” in order “to ensure the long-term financial health” of the business.
A calendar for 2023 has not yet been announced, with little in the way of updates on whether or not the championship will run this year. W Series began in 2019, with Jamie Chadwick crowned champion in all three seasons to date.