The Formula 1 calendar is at record capacity, but that isn’t stopping interest from around the world to join the 2023 F1 schedule.
The demand for Formula 1 around the world continues to surge. With 22 races on the current calendar, the season is more packed than ever before. In fact, prior to the cancelation of the Russian Grand Prix, 2022 was set to be the largest F1 season to date. As interest and speculation build from cities across the globe, there are plenty of questions about now only the 2023 F1 schedule, but the future of many long-term circuits.
There are already 20 Grand Prix events contracted for the 2023 season. This includes the return of the Chinese and Qatar Grands Prix and the debut of Las Vegas. Then there are four circuits from the 2022 schedule – Austria (Red Bull Ring), Spa, Mexico City, and Monaco – that have yet to be confirmed for 2023. Current regulations allow for the schedule to expand to a maximum of 24 races.
Red Bull Ring put on a thrilling race this season. Mexico City had tremendous support last fall and isn’t a market F1’s new American owners will be willing to drop. So if we pencil in those that leaves just two open spots. Toss in the rumors circulating that F1 will return to South Africa and the game of musical chairs is running out of seats. So how do the reports of interest from Madrid (Spain) and Nice (France) stack up?
Is Madrid a future Spanish Grand Prix?
Earlier this year officials from Madrid wrote to Formula 1 confirming their interest in bringing the series to the Spanish capital. The current Spanish Grand Prix is held in Barcelona at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. While the racing improved slightly in 2022, the venue was not ready to handle the record crowd of over 300,000. But F1 recently signed an extension with Barcelona through 2026. Madrid’s interest will put pressure on the organizers in Barcelona to improve the logistics in and around the circuit. Ultimately, 2023 is too early for an F1 race in Madrid, but it could land in the capital in a few years’ time.
Nice on the 2023 F1 Schedule?
This weekend is the French Grand Prix. It will be the fourth time the Circuit Paul Ricard has hosted the event in the last five years. Prior to that F1 went a decade away from the French GP since the 2008 race at Magny-Cours. We await confirmation if France will remain on the 2023 schedule, whether that be at Paul Ricard or the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit. But beyond that remains a question. As recent as last month F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has spoken of a current project to bring Formula 1 to the streets of Nice. Could a strong weekend in France help boost its place on the future schedule, even if that means moving from Paul Ricard to another street circuit in Nice?
Local fans and those who enjoy some of the legacy F1 circuits are likely in a new reality soon. With the ever-increasing interest in F1, the series will eventually need to resort to schedule rotation. Certain tracks could be paired together and rotated into the calendar every other year. This format will help F1 reach more locations while also ensuring that certain circuits are lost from the Formula 1 schedule completely.
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