Last Updated: 07/12/22 3:22pm
Formula 1 has confirmed the venues for its six Sprint events during the 2023 season, with four tracks hosting the shortened format for the first time.
Austin’s Circuit of the Americas will see the United States debut as a Sprint host, along with Azerbaijan, Belgium, Qatar. Austria holds the event for a second successive season, with Brazil maintaining its record of being the only country to have been a venue for the format since its inception in 2021.
F1 has doubled the number of Sprints from three – as seen in 2021 and 2022 – to six for the upcoming campaign, with Grand Prix hosts keen to hold the popular events, which shake up the usual weekend format and provide more wheel-to-wheel action with another race.
F1 said the Sprint venues for 2023 had been selected “following research into the most suitable tracks for the format, including overtaking opportunities, close racing and high-speed sections”.
F1 president Stefano Domenicali added: “We have seen a hugely positive reaction to the F1 Sprint events during the first two years of its running, and we can’t wait to bring even more action to fans with six events next year, including our first US F1 Sprint in Austin.
“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.”
The format sees Qualifying take place on Friday, before on Saturday drivers race over 100km – which is a third of the usual race distance – in a flat-out sprint for grid slots for the Grand Prix and points for their championship hopes.
The winner of the Sprint gains eight points, with that award descending by one point for each of the top eight.
Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player
The future of the format has divided opinion in the paddock, with world champion Max Verstappen suggesting the Sprint should not set the grid for Sunday’s race because drivers would then be willing to take even greater risk in the shorter event.
The most recent Sprint, at November’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix, played host to perhaps the format’s most thrilling edition to date, as George Russell overtook Verstappen to win for Mercedes at Interlagos.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem 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.”
F1 initially announced a record 24-race calendar for the 2023 season, but the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix has reduced the number of events back to 23.
Upon the December 2 announcement of the cancellation, the sport’s organisers said they were “assessing alternative options” to replace the event, but have yet to provide an update.
March 5: Bahrain (Sakhir)
March 19: Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)
April 2: Australia (Melbourne)
April 30: Azerbaijan (Baku)
May 7: Miami (Miami)
May 21: Emilia Romagna (Imola)
May 28: Monaco (Monaco)
June 4: Spain (Barcelona)
June 18: Canada (Montreal)
July 2: Austria (Spielberg)
July 9: Great Britain (Silverstone)
July 23: Hungary (Budapest)
July 30: Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
August 27: Netherlands (Zandvoort)
September 3: Italy (Monza)
September 17: Singapore (Marina Bay)
September 24: Japan (Suzuka)
October 8: Qatar (Losail)
October 22: USA (Austin)
October 29: Mexico (Mexico City)
November 5: Brazil (Sao Paulo)
November 18: Las Vegas
November 26: Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
©2022 Sky UK