Sprint race start, Red Bull Ring, 2022

F1 to hold 30 races in 2023 as six sprint events are confirmed

2023 F1 season

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Formula 1 has confirmed it will double the number of sprint races next season to six.

With 24 rounds confirmed on the 2023 F1 calendar, six sprint events will mean a total of 30 points-paying races are scheduled.

The expansion of the sprint race format was confirmed by an electronic vote of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

The sprint format was introduced at three races last season under its original name ‘sprint qualifying’. Extra points are awarded for one-third distance races held on Saturday, which also determine the grid for the grand prix on Sunday. The sprint race grid is decided by a regular qualifying session, held on Friday instead of Saturday.

F1 tried to increase the number of sprint races to six for this year, but was thwarted by opposition from teams and had to settle for three instead. Its first attempt to expand the sprint format to six races in 2023 was blocked by the FIA, however the sport’s governing body has now approved the change.

“The confirmation that six race weekends featuring sprint will take place from the 2023 FIA Formula 1 world championship season onwards is another example of the continued growth and prosperity at the highest level of motor sport,” said FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

“Thanks to close collaboration with [F1 CEO] Stefano Domenicali and our colleagues at FOM, we concluded a thorough analysis on the impact of additional sprint sessions, and have adjusted relevant parameters of our work to ensure that they continue to be regulated at the very highest level.

“Sprint sessions provide an exciting dynamic to the race weekend format and have proven to be popular over the past two seasons – I am sure that this positive trend will continue and am pleased that the World Motor Sport Council has today given its approval for them to go ahead.”

The series is yet to confirm which of next year’s races will feature sprints. The Brazilian Grand Prix is the only round to have one in 2021 and 2022. The British and Italian grands prix were also sprint rounds last year, while the Emilia-Romagna and Austrian grands prix held sprints this year.

Domenicali claimed “the feedback from the fans, teams, promoters, and partners has been very positive and the format is adding a new dimension to Formula 1, and we all want to ensure its success in the future.” A survey of over 167,000 fans carried out by F1 last year found a small majority of 6.7% agreed that the “introduction of sprint race has improved the show”.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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86 comments on “F1 to hold 30 races in 2023 as six sprint events are confirmed”

  1. Great news! More races for Max Verstappen to dominate and beat records!

    1. Fangio, Stewart and Prost would point out that this trend for more races, making it easier to smash wins records, has been going on for quite some time…

      1. It has indeed, started with around 7 races I believe, went up to around 11 in the 70s, then around 60s in the 80s and then slowly increased during the 2000s until reaching 24 now.

  2. More racing is more racing…
    Better than practice sessions, by all accounts.

    1. More racing = less valuable racing.

        1. So much this!

      1. Then don’t watch it all.

      2. Remember when a Porsche was still a special thing to see out on the street?

      3. More racing = less valuable racing per race = more race value overall

      4. Lift and coast throughout the season from now on… let’s see if I can make it to the finish

    2. Then why not a hundred races a month? More the better, bigger the better…

    3. I remember over 20 years ago when I still loved to watched football, especially Champions League. There were like 16 teams, they all played every other Wednesday at 20:45. That’s all, you picked one match every two weeks and watched it, then half an hour of highlights from others and you were done. Couldn’t wait for those Wednesdays. Every match counted.

      And then they started changing Champions League, adding teams, playing on Tuesdays, different hours. I don’t know how it works right now really because I just don’t care. Majority of these matches don’t really matter. That is what happens when you quantity trumps quality.

  3. I’ll believe it when I see something saying the teams have agreed to it. Without an increase in allowed components, I don’t see that happening.

    1. Same here – no response from any team yet. My hunch is Crypto.com (sprint “qualifying/race/whatever” sponsor) pushed – hard – to make this happen. Hope they’re happy now, I guess?

  4. F1 is starting to have the same problem for me of following Nascar. For a while, I was really into that sort of racing, but I can’t be bothered to tune in for that amount of sessions. Watching 30 races on a year is just too much and I don’t like watching and incomplete season, if I tube out for a couple of weekends I’ll probably stop watching all together.

    Also, Sprint weekends are really boring for me. Watching a Sprint race on Saturday takes away the unknowns which makes the Sunday race interesting. Not watching it would make me feel as if I missed part of the GP (as I did). I mostly don’t watch practice sessions, because yeah, they are not a great show, but they are enjoyable for the people on track. Still, I totally prefer a normal weekend (also, it has always screwed my predictions weekends whenever I forget those weekends exist and come to this site and see the results of a Qualy session on Friday).

    1. @oeuribe yeah, I also forget that Quali is on Friday and often miss it live.

      At first I was one of the few who was excited by the Sprint idea; but after experiencing a few, I hate it.

  5. The Disneyfication continues

    1. @Mayrton Disneyfication is a new term to me.

      1. Disney to Star Wars = Liberty to F1. Milk every last penny out of it…

  6. Slightly misleading title as Sprints aren’t races technically, but merely race-like sessions, so more specifically, 24 events/races & 6 Sprints.
    Furthermore, if Domenicali’s alternative weekend format suggestions get through, the 18 non-Sprint events would also have more than a single points-paying competitive session, with the present FP1 possibly the only non-competitive session. I wouldn’t mind.

    1. I like the sprints because its gives more purpose to non race days as normally Friday is a borefest with fp1/fp2 being instillation sessions with engines turned down.
      One session on Friday should be enough and fp2 being replaced with ‘qualification’ gives an extra day of meaningful on track action.

      What FOM need to change is the limited PU allocation which is too limited and needs to be increased.

    2. Sprint races are boring in F1 just as in F2, F3, etc. A sprint race is a ticket selling gimmick.

      By the way, you’re splitting a hair on the titling silliness.

    3. Well you’ve fallen for their rubbish.

      If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a duck.

      If it looks like a race, starts on a grid like a race, and runs for a predetermined number of laps, then it must be a race. They’re just desperate to call it anything but for legal and contractual reasons.

    4. “It’s not a race, but a race-like session”

      my sides

  7. Glad to see they took all that input from the Sprint Race fan poll they conducted. /s

    1. More racing is definitely better than practice sessions. Very happy with more sprint races thank you. People just like to complain, keep it coming F1!

      1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend I was curious about Sprint Races at the beginning and I was even excited about them. But having watched them over the last few seasons, I can say now that I think they take away more from the race on Sunday then they add to the other sessions throughout the weekend. So while they may make Friday and Saturday a bit better, they have made Sunday substantially worse and that is why I do not like them.

      2. @g-funk
        How did Sprint made Sundays worse? Can you give an example of a sprint races last year that was detrimental to the race on Sunday? I’m genuinely curious

        1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend The sprint at the British Grand Prix was prosessional and it led to a pretty processional Grand Prix (other than Max and Lewis tangling). The same could be said about the Italian Grand Prix. The race behind the leaders was very processional. It was exciting as a McLaren fan to see them finish 1-2 but overall it wasn’t a very exciting “race”.



          1. The same could be said about most F1 GP’s.
            Your problem isn’t with sprint races, it’s with F1 and its consistently garbage racing.

            Sprint races are just the scapegoat.

          2. To add to that: I’m pretty sure that Lewis and Max tangling in the Grand Prix wouldn’t have happened if Lewis hadn’t learnt from the sprint race that if he wasn’t ahead after that phase of the race, Max would be able to pull a gap that would be harder to overcome.

          3. @g-funk
            In neither case you could argue that sprint made the sunday race worse. That’s what I was trying to get at. The actual sprint race could have been processional, that’s understandable, but sometimes races will be processional in F1. The point is that the outcome of the sprint race did not have a bearing on whether the Sunday grand Prix was more or less entertaining than otherwise. Interesting to see how people just latch on a position that they are emotionally invested, all common sense goes out of the window. That’s also why fan polls have to be taken with a pinch of salt. Fans in general are not rational, they are emotional so whatever they vote for has to be taken in that context.

          4. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend I think reasonable people can disagree here. I think the Sprint Race gives the teams far too much information about how the race will unfold on Sunday and so it becomes processional. I now see the Sprint Race as a practice test before the real test. The practice test will tell you everything you need to know about the real test for yourself and everyone else taking the test. Unless something totally changes the testing environment, there will be no surprises between the practice test and the real test.

            With F1, if the Sprint and Grand Prix were held in different conditions (wet vs dry, night vs day, etc.) or if the FIA allowed changes to car set-ups, I could see Sprints not telling everyone in the paddock how the Grand Prix will play out the very next day and, in turn, getting their strategies so dialed in that there is no opportunity for someone in the grid to uncork something unexpected that allows them to move through the grid. But right now, everyone in the paddock can see what the cars, drivers, tyres, strategists, etc. will do under actual race conditions, and without the ability to really change the environment any, that allows them to tweak their ideaas from Saturday to Sunday but doesn’t allow someone to come up with something novel that will move someone through the field and produce great racing.

          5. The italian gp was very very likely that year, check the racefans rating. Silverstone would’ve been also very high if not for hamilton winning by taking out verstappen, the leclerc chase was interesting.

        2. How did Sprint made Sundays worse?

          Brazil last year, we were denied Hamilton’s “charge” through the field on Sunday because almost all of it took place on Saturday.

          More racing is definitely better than practice sessions.

          Practice is often one of my favourite parts of the weekend, I get to watch the cars without Crofty screaming at me every few minutes. Heck, sometimes he isn’t in the booth at all. Bliss!

          1. This is true about hamilton, would’ve been interesting to see if he’d win starting last.

  8. There was a survey on F1 fan voice about sprint races recently, mentioned by racefans. Does anyone know the result because I cannot find it.

    1. @f1frog Liberty Media are declining to release the results of that poll, so nobody outside of Liberty Media will be able to tell you what the results were.

      1. They tried, anon, but Keith would not be thwarted.

        It’s in the article. The mighty 6.7% have spoken.

        A survey of over 167,000 fans carried out by F1 last year found a small majority of 6.7% agreed that the “introduction of sprint race has improved the show”

        1. But how many were actually negative it?

          And does it really matter anyway? Given that predominantly F1 fans respond to F1 polls, and existing F1 fans tend to not want change anyway, making their response rather useless and predictable.

          1. Uh… sure… play with the stats until they mean what you want.

            With a 6.7% of responders consider the sprint format has improved the show, that’s not the approval they were looking for.

          2. Uh… sure… play with the stats until they mean what you want.

            That’s exactly what you do with statistics and data.

            With a 6.7% of responders consider the sprint format has improved the show, that’s not the approval they were looking for.

            But then, if only 2% said sprints lowered the quality of F1, it’s a net gain, isn’t it.

            Who’s playing with stats?
            Everyone is.

          3. @jimmi-cynic Just for clarity, that’s not what the 6.7% refers to. It was a 6.7% majority , meaning 6.7% more people voted that sprint races improved the show than voted that they didn’t improve the show.

      2. Liberty Media are declining to release the results of that poll, so nobody outside of Liberty Media will be able to tell you what the results were.

        Yet it is widely available on the internet: (not allowed to share the link here)
        Seems to be a new sport to share fake news to further your own beliefs.

        PS it is not “6.7%” in favour but “+6.7%” more in favour than against.

        1. https://cdn-1. motorsportnetwork. com/survey/2021/2021-f1-global-fan-survey-motorsportnetwork.pdf

          make sure you remove the spaces – this site does not allow links to other motorsports sites :(

        2. PS it is not “6.7%” in favour but “+6.7%” more in favour than against.

          Ah yes. It was too.
          Which makes it positive, no matter which way you look at it.

          1. Indeed, I’m not a fan of sprint races, but the “replacing practice” aspect is not to be underestimated, and the survey has a slight % saying it improved the show compared to those saying it made it worse.

    2. Using their own ‘massaged’ stats, over 60% were NOT in favour of sprint races at every race.

      F1’s carefully curated group of respondents only want a little improvement to the ‘show’ at select venues?

      PDF Report – Page 45

  9. I Hate Liberty, please stop them doing this stupid and ridiculous things. stop destroying F1 🤬

  10. RIP Formula One.

    1. whoa, I think, or suspect, you might be slightly overreacting…

      1. For now maybe, but it is a critical step in a path towards. The end of F1 will not happen overnight, but in small incremental steps like this one. Just let revenue driven people steer the circus and see what happens..

        1. Didn’t Bernie like the money too?
          And F1 was monetised long before he took over….

          But indeed, it is convenient to blame Liberty for everything.

  11. Motorsport is my passion, and specially F1. I always try to watch every single race live, even those in weird time zones. But I’m sure I won’t be able to watch the whole 30 races. It’s just not doable for me…

    If they keep adding races, and more and more sprints, they’ll make F1 feel like football, where you can’t be bothered to watch the lesser games and just turn in when there’s an important match.

    1. You’d watch qualifying, wouldn’t you? That’s when the sprints take place.
      It’s not more – it’s just a reallocation of track time.

    2. Especially when they allocate points to the result. I suspect they will lose a significant amount of viewers on the long run. But that’s not how Liberty works or sees things. Usually for any US stock listed company their horizon is 2 to 3 quarters ahead in their fiscal year maximum. They will worry about future years later and just put patches on issues they will inevitable encounter – through their lack of love for what they do – at a later stage.

  12. Domenicali claimed “the feedback from the fans, teams, promoters, and partners has been very positive and the format is adding a new dimension

    Ah, another dimension that explains why Domenicali seems to say one thing about what the fans, teams etc say and those of us in this dimension say something else.

    I’m sure we all recall the vote they set up to ask people what they wanted, and then killed it and buried the results when the interim results showed a significant majority were against the proposals. Can’t have facts damaging their virtual/alternate reality can we?

  13. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    27th September 2022, 19:48

    Liberty are absolutely awful for the sport. This is just too much and it feels we are at breaking point for the sport.

  14. Nice way to devalue the Grand Prix. F1 is killing F1.

  15. F1 is on fire as a sport, they are trying new & different things to keep the fans engaged. Some will hate the change and want to remember yester-years and some will embrace the updated format. In 5 years the show is going to seem different than it is today.

    The people making the changes came up in the yester-years racing F1. Let’s see what they have in mind.

  16. I never thought I’d want Bernie back.

    1. @darryn I have been feeling lonely in the missing bernie club. We have meetings in court every thursday.
      Turns out marrying a lawyer was quite the genius financial decision.

  17. Yes, more missing qualifying on a friday. That is what I wanted the most.

  18. I just do not have enough enthusiasm for this level of F1. I used to watch all qualifying and races, now I skip all practise, qualifying and sprints. I am honestly unsure if I am watching the race this weekend, I might catch up on wec instead.

  19. I never understood the opposition to sprint racing. Don’t you people like F1? Surely more races is a good thing! I didn’t like them calling it qualifying and throwing 60 years of qualifying stats in the bin, but they’ve changed the name so I’m happy now! I hate to compare apples and oranges but football teams have 38 league games per season plus all the extra cup games and international games… none of the fans complain there’s too much football! Stop whining and enjoy it!

    1. Yes sir, @swh1386! Or do we call you Ben? Or Brawn?

      Not complaining, just noting that Saturday qualy is far more exciting than pathetic zero-strategy qualy sprint ‘races’.

      I’d be just fine with this trash if they sprinted on Friday. Or even mid-week. Just leave Saturday and Sunday for real qualifying and racing.

      1. What real racing is there in F1?
        And real qualifying still happens on Friday.

        1. Have you watched a sprint weekend?! Friday qualy is only qualy for the Saturday sprint. The results of the sprint ‘race’ determine the grid for the actual race.

          1. Have you watched a sprint weekend?!

            Friday qualifying is the same as Saturday qualifying at every other event. It just happens on Friday, and sets the grid for a different race – the results of which set the grid for the GP.
            Alternatively, you could look at it as Friday qualifying setting the grid for the GP, which starts on Saturday and has an overnight red flag after 1/4 distance.

            If you don’t like it, you could just skip the sprint and pretend that the GP grid changed due to grid penalties.
            If that makes you feel better….

  20. This comments section is a classic representation of exactly why F1 needs to stop listening to their existing, die-hard, -self-described ‘fans’ and continue to focus on the new, incoming audience.

    If F1 was the way many here wanted it, it would die a very sudden (commercial) death.
    Never forget that the F1 teams and drivers you support are in on this, taking all the money that comes with it.
    It’s not just Liberty you should be upset with.
    Unless you’ve stopped watching it altogether, you should even include yourself for being complicit.

    1. Why should they focus on the new fans? Here today, gone tomorrow. Those of us who have been watching for decades, who go to the races, buy the merch, pay for Sky, we are the ones that should be listened to.

      On the teams taking the money, why do you think the budget cap was introduced, really? Wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the less the teams cost to run, the less Liberty have to pay them, and the more they can keep for themselves and their shareholders.

      Bring back Bernie, at least you knew what you were getting with him

      1. Why should they focus on the new fans?

        While you get all defensive and gate-keepy, you forget that there are more of ‘them’ than there are of ‘you.’
        Here today, gone tomorrow is bull, of course. Many people getting into F1 now and into the future will stick with it for decades (if it lasts that long). Just like you did.
        Have you seen F1 recently? There are more people attending events now than there were 10, 20 or 30 years ago, more people covered in merch and clearly more people watching it on pay TV.

        The budget cap?
        Several reasons… Keeping a minimum number of teams in F1 is at the top of the list. That helps everyone involved.
        While I, too, pondered whether Liberty would be able to pay reduced prize/commercial money as a result, I highly doubt any of the teams would have agreed to that, never mind enough of them to pass such a proposal.
        The teams are more powerful now than ever before in F1’s history, which is why Liberty have been so keen to lock in a minimum of 10 franchisees. Lose a team or two, and everything is weakened massively… They aren’t exactly queuing up to get in, are they…
        As for shareholders…. F1 isn’t special in that regard. Every corporation is maximising profits these days.

        And Bernie?
        I don’t think he was any more predictable than Liberty. They’ve both got their pro’s and con’s.

  21. @keithcollantine confusing wording ‘a small majority of 6.7%’ …could use clarifying.

    Yeah, these people will never get rid of DRS. It’s a brave new world of short attention spans.

    1. Food for the masses. Swift meaningless gimmickery so people can tune to their Insta instantly after. No loyalty or returning fans just tapping in to that vast ever changing mass audience to get a dollar out of them and let them move on to take the dollar from the next group. Yes, the system is at its end game.

  22. I guess the audience on this site can be considered fans of the sport. I dont think that many of the people Liberty is aiming at will visit a site like this. So to some extent we could be considered dinosaurs. In the end this group will stop watching all together but it will be just this groups loss. Liberty taps in to a much larger group and will replace fans with this mass audience to extract every bit of revenue they possibly can. And they will celebrate and compliment themselves for making the sport such a global success. Nowadays criteria for quality is how many people consume something. I am sure the dinosaur group will find some other cool stuff to watch. I am actually surprised it is taking Liberty this long to make this a cheap entertainment for the masses format.

  23. Unfortunately, or at least fora lot of fans, sprints are here to stay and they’ll become more prevalent in the future.

    Next up will be reverse grids, 3 sprint only weekends and other “short form” gimmicks.

    My guess is Liberty will keep making changes to talk up the share price. Once it gets high enough, they’ll sell it off at inflated pricing.

    I hate it, but it’s a business and they’re in it to drive up the share price for their “shareholders” just like any other listed corporation. Book value is king, one only has to look at the decline of any real service in major banks, the health sector and any other large institutions to understand that nothing, particularly our opinions will have any impact as long as the shareholders are kept happy.

    Let’s face it. We’re a captive audience and will have to swallow whatever we’re served which is no different to any other institution that has pretty much no competition, or has convinced the competition to follow the same path.

    1. Next up will be reverse grids, 3 sprint only weekends and other “short form” gimmicks.

      This sounds wonderful! I hope so :)
      A wide variety of challenges to determine the World Champions seems fitting, when you think about it.

      Let’s face it. We’re a captive audience and will have to swallow whatever we’re served which is no different to any other institution that has pretty much no competition, or has convinced the competition to follow the same path.

      Yep. You have a choice about what to watch and how much of it you consume. Our options, as with everything else in life, are limited to what is available to us – or we can create our own alternatives.

      I think the most important thing people should remember is that everything changes. It was always inevitable that this sort of stuff would happen one day.
      Change isn’t always bad, though. It’s just different.

  24. IfImnotverymuchmistaken
    28th September 2022, 12:08

    This is exactly what I need to free up some of my weekends. used to be an F1 weekend was special, and I’d look forward to it and make plans around it.
    Now I guess I’ll just watch it once in a while when it’s on a good circuit, and skip these new, useless ones. Not really worth the F1TV subscription anymore, I guess this is my last season using the service.

  25. Luke Carlile-Stanton
    28th September 2022, 13:02

    The ever-expanding calendar, more sprint races. F1 clearly hasn’t heard of the term ‘oversaturation’.

    Imola aside – where the sprint race was decent – it’s hard to think of anything too memorable since the format was introduced. Too often, the sprint just feels like the opening stint of a normal GP – largely the ‘worst’ (for want of a better, more accurate term) – of the race. I’m not against the sport changing things up and trying different things, but if they are to persist with this particular format then it will require radical change.

    Personally though, I would like to see it quietly dropped. That obviously won’t happen, irrespective of what I – or anyone else – thinks. Our opinions aren’t heard.

    Just wait until they propose/introduce playoffs! Might not be today or tomorrow (you know what I mean…), but I’ll wager that it’s coming. The aforementioned ever-expanding calendar means that it’s feasible.

  26. Motor sport is about finding out who can cover a set distance in the shortest amount of time or the most distance in a set amount of time. In its purest form it’s an easy concept to explain and in my opinion one that can and will stand the test of time.

    Engine regulations formed the first frame to ensure a fair competition. Then came the safety regulations so fewer drivers would be killed. And finally budget restrictions so running a racing team would be doable, even in financial hard times. In the light of these phases throughout history any changes for the sake of entertainment just seem lazy.

  27. I believe F1 Fans are insensitive to the World around us..

    Come winter, Europe is going to go through some very rough times. Nobody can predict
    what next year will be made of.
    Most countries will face a reduction in their buying power. Buying basic will be all people can afford.
    We might not even see a single race.

  28. After the footage today of Azerbaijan soldiers point blank range machine gunning kneeling Armenian POW’s with their hands on their heads that Grand Prix should also go the way of the Russian GP and be cancelled.

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