Six F1 Sprint Venues Confirmed for 2023 Season

Formula 1 has confirmed the six venues which will host sprint races in 2023. Baku City Circuit, the Red Bull Ring, Spa-Francorchamps, Losail International Circuit, COTA and Interlagos are in line to host 100km Saturday races next season.

Formula 1 will host six Sprint races during the 2023 season, with the locations now confirmed for the six Saturday races. Sprint events will be held at the Azerbaijan, Austrian, Belgian, Qatar, United States and Sao Paulo Grands Prix next season. Formula 1 confirmed in September that the number of sprint events would increase from three to six from 2023 onwards.

Formula 1 first introduced sprint events in the 2021 season, with Silverstone picked to host the inaugural 30-minute, 100km Saturday race. Further events followed at Monza and Interlagos. Deemed a success, the shorter races returned in 2022, with three more races taking place at Imola, the Red Bull Ring and Interlagos.

Both the Red Bull Ring and Interlagos will host further sprint events in 2023, with four venues hosting Saturday races for the first time. The first will be at Baku City Circuit for the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Spa will host a sprint event over the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix weekend, Losail International Circuit will host its first sprint on its return to the calendar for the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix and the drivers will race on Saturday at Circuit of The Americas in a sprint event ahead of the 2023 United States Grand Prix.

2023 F1 Sprint races

2023 Azerbaijan Grand PrixBaku City CircuitApril 28-30
2023 Austrian Grand PrixRed Bull RingJune 30 – July 2
2023 Belgian Grand PrixCircuit de Spa-FrancorchampsJuly 28-30
2023 Qatar Grand PrixLosail International CircuitOctober 6-8
2023 United States Grand PrixCircuit of The AmericasOctober 20-22
2023 Sao Paulo Grand PrixInterlagosNovember 3-5

For the six sprint races, Formula 1 has chosen venues at which overtaking opportunities are greater, in order to improve the spectacle of the Satuday races. Some previous sprint events, held at venues such as Imola, have provided little in the way of memorable action.

Ross Brawn recently confirmed to that F1 had prioritised tracks which promote overtaking rather than chasing big money deals: “They are not necessarily the most commercially lucrative of the options we have, but they’re the ones where we thought the sprint would work well.”

Further F1 qualifying tweaks

These will not be the only races during the 2023 season which see slightly different qualifying rules. It’s expected that F1 will trial the use of a tweaked version of its popular knockout qualifying system, which was introduced at the start of the 2006 season.

The tweak will see drivers only able to use the hardest tyre compound in Q1, the medium compound in Q2 and the softest compound in Q3. The tweaked concept will be used at “up to two event” in 2023.

F1 Sprints to become standalone events?

In both 2021 and 2022, the result of the sprint race decided the grid for Sunday’s main Grand Prix. The traditional qualifying hour was held on Friday evening, setting the grid for the sprint event. That will be the case again in 2023. 

However, it is believed that Formula 1 is keen to make sprint races standalone events in the future. The races would still award championship points but would have no bearing on the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

The format was altered slightly for 2022, with sprint events becoming more valuable in terms of championship points. In 2021, points were only awarded to the top three, with three points for the winner, two for second place and one for third place. In 2022, points were awarded down to eighth place, with a maximum of eight points for the sprint winner.

Which circuit do you think will produce the best sprint race in 2023? Leave a comment below!

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