Formula 1 has confirmed that the cancelled Chinese Grand Prix will not be replaced on this year’s schedule. The 2023 F1 calendar will therefore feature 23 rounds.
The 2023 Chinese Grand Prix will not be replaced on the Formula 1 calendar, with the calendar being finalised at 23 races. No other race dates are affected by the cancellation of the Shanghai race.
Following the cancellation of the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix in December 2022, Formula 1 said that it was looking at “alternative options” for replacing the event at Shanghai International Circuit on the 2023 calendar.
Leaving the April 16 race date as a ‘TBC’ round, the Portuguese Grand Prix – which took place in 2020 and 2021 at Portimão – was mooted as a potential replacement. However, Formula 1 has opted to not include an additional round.
Originally a 24-race calendar, the finalised 2023 F1 calendar falls to 23 races – which is still a record for the most races in a single season. There will actually be 29 races this year, with six Sprint events taking place at Baku City Circuit, the Red Bull Ring, Spa-Francorchamps, Lusail Circuit, COTA and Interlagos.
The 2023 F1 calendar
The 2023 Formula 1 season kicks off with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 5 and reaches its conclusion at Yas Marina Circuit, with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix taking place on November 26. The 2023 season is preceded by three days of pre-season testing at Bahrain International Circuit, taking place on February 23-25.
The cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix leaves a 28 day break between the Australian Grand Prix on April 2 and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on April 30. It’s the same length as F1’s annual summer break in August.
The 2022 season featured a similar lengthy mid-season break, following the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix. Like this year’s Chinese Grand Prix, the Sochi round was not replaced on the final calendar, leaving a 21 day gap between the Italian and Singapore Grands Prix.
Excluding summer breaks, the gap of 28 days between the 2023 Australian and Azerbaijan races will be the longest gap between two races during a season since the 2007 Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix, which were also separated by 28 days.
Formula 1 is understood to have requested that the date of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix be brought forward by a week in order to cut down the gap between races and also avoid the Baku-Miami double-header which features on the 2023 calendar. Organisers of the race at Baku City Circuit allegedly declined the request.
Four years since the last Chinese Grand Prix
2023 will be the fourth consecutive season in which Formula 1 has not raced in China. The sport last raced at Shanghai International Circuit in April 2019, where F1 celebrated the 1,000th round of the World Championship.
China imposed some of the strictest coronavirus-related rules during the pandemic and Formula 1 cancelled the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix for the fourth consecutive season due to fears around travel restrictions. The cancellation came just weeks before the country eased some of its rules.
The easing of pandemic-related rules in China are believed to have led to fresh talks between Formula 1 and race organisers, who were keen to have their event reinstated on the 2023 calendar. However, no agreement was reached between the two parties.
China remains an important market for Formula 1. The sport extended its contract with the Chinese Grand Prix through to 2025 back in November 2021. It is unclear whether an additional year will be added to the existing contract following the cancellation of the 2023 race.