Sprint race locations chosen for 2023, but first venue may change

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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The venues which will host Formula 1’s six sprint races next year have been chosen, though at least one remains subject to change.

The 2023 F1 calendar will feature twice as many sprint rounds as took place this year. Two of those venues are expected to remain unchanged: The Red Bull Ring and Interlagos. The Imola circuit in Italy, which held the first sprint race of 2022, has not been chosen for another.

The Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan, which has not previously held a sprint race, is being lined up to hold the first such event of the 2023 season. Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, USA are also set to hold sprints next year.

The sixth venue to hold a sprint race in 2023 is expected to be the Losail International Circuit. The venue outside Doha, Qatar is returning to the schedule following a one-year absence in 2023.

However RaceFans understands this sprint race may be relocated to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at Jeddah Corniche Circuit, which is under consideration as an alternative to Qatar. If that circuit is chosen instead, it will become the first sprint event of 2023, before Baku.

F1 has not officially commented on its plans for sprint races in 2023, which it intends to announce in due course. However it is understood to prefer venues which it expects will produce the most entertaining sprint races. The long straights of Jeddah are more likely to fit that requirement than Qatar, where overtaking proved difficult in F1’s sole visit to date last year.

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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14 comments on “Sprint race locations chosen for 2023, but first venue may change”

  1. Before we get all the usual “the only good sprints are no sprints” commentary, I for one am looking forward to them.
    Not because they are great, but because they are different.
    F1 needs more ‘different.’

    1. If being “different” is the only criteria, I can imagine many further changes, including not racing at all (and awarding points via lottery). I doubt that’s the only reason you like sprints if you do. In my case, something new (or “different”) must be better (it’s subjective, of course) than the old. Making random changes doesn’t involve much creativity and effort, in this case it involves only greed it seems.

      1. I wouldn’t be upset if grids were decided by lottery sometimes. Reverse grids would be cool too, occasionally.
        Racing would almost certainly be better than putting the fastest car at the front, wouldn’t it…

        The best way to make something seem monotonous is to do it the same every single time. Forever….
        Especially when it’s happening more often each season.
        Change and variety are the key to preventing it from going more stale than it already is.

        1. I couldn’t agree more.

          I just don’t understand why any fans are against reverse grids. It would make for so much great racing to watch. Yes it has to be done in a fair and competitive manner, but that’s easy to achieve.

          1. Simple, at top level sport we shouldn’t be punishing success/rewarding failure. Usain Bolt has just been interviewed by Brundle as I type this, imagine if he’d been made to run 105m at the 2012 Olympics because he’d won so easily in 2008. I don’t watch BTCC much anymore due to the success ballast etc.

            A pole position has become a special thing, Latifi shouldn’t get to start on pole by virtue of not being very good. It’s the same reason why I’m against the sliding scale windtunnel/CFD restrictions based on performance.

          2. I’m not against sprint races but 3 in a season is enough. Reversed grid would make me stop watching F1. I don’t think you can have reversed grid in a fair and competitive way.

  2. A couple of city circuits there with a few crashes to push people to the back… still don’t like them though. Just equals out the field.

  3. No Sakhir or Montreal as initially planned for this season, but could anyone clarify the Qatar track situation?
    Did the new track plan fail because Losail wasn’t supposed to hold more Qatar GPs?

  4. Is the sprint race in Losail meant to make people want to turn off their TV so bad that they accidentaly turn it on again?

  5. Possibly the only way I would warm to sprints was if the only took place at Spa, Suzuka and Interlagos in recognition of those being the best circuits in the world.

    1. So you essentially reject the format on principle…?

      1. There are alternative formats that might work, but they are so far out of the realm of possibility that I the above option is the only one that seems credible to me. However, alternatives I might support:
        1) We already have too many races, so go back to around 16 races a year and maybe they might be worth having.
        2) If they were only held on alternative layouts (we would need more circuits with alternative layouts).
        3) A separate sprint championship with only the bottom five teams competing, so Alpha vs Alfa vs Aston vs Haas vs Williams.
        4) A separate sprint championship, one car per team, non-F1 drivers or maybe reserve drivers only.

  6. I like the sprint format but the layout is all wrong.

    FP2 needs to be on Friday, having a redundant session in parc ferme on Saturday is silly. Also they should have a sprint qualifying and a Grand Prix Qualifying.

    Friday: FP1, FP2
    Saturday: Sprint Qualifying (15 mins session), {15 min break}, Full Grand Prix Qualifying (as normal), {2 hr 30 mins break}, Sprint Race (aim for 40 mins of racing)
    Sunday: Grand Prix

  7. Please just make them a standalone event, that will actually force drivers to fight for every point without having to think about compromising the main race. And maybe make the top 10 on the grid start on the same set of tyres they did their fastest lap in Q3 on, this will likely make a higher deg race with those starting further back on potentially better tyres. I am against this rule for the main race, but for a standalone sprint? Why not. And we won’t face the issue (like we did from 2011-2013) of drivers not bothering with Q3 to get a free tyre choice as the grid would impact the main race with free tyre choice.

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