F1’s governing body has announced a record length 24-race calendar for next year’s Formula 1 World Championship.
The F1 circus begins in Bahrain over the weekend of March 3rd-5th, with Abu Dhabi again the final race of the season in late November. FIA’s 2023 Formula 1 calendar sees the debut of a new circuit, the return of two former locations, and movement in what will be a busy year for the sport.
The 2023 Calendar
The calendar sees the return of the Chinese Grand Prix for the first time in four years. It also features the re-inclusion of Qatar in early October. Perhaps the marque piece of the announcement, the first installment of the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Las Vegas will form a double-header with Abu Dhabi to close out the 2023 season.
Azerbaijan is moved earlier in the year up to April to become the fifth round in the Championship. Monaco, which was recently confirmed through 2025, will take place in late May along with Emilia Romagna. Extra care has been taken to avoid a clash with the Le Mans 24 Hours, with the FIA ensuring that such planning will “optimize” all of the World Championship calendars they govern.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 20, 2022
Spa Returns but with conflict
The Belgian Grand Prix returns after the organizers agreed to a new one-year contract with the FIA. But there remains confusion about its placement as it has been scheduled over the same weekend as the GT World Challenge Europe series’ 24 Hours of Spa race. As expected the French Grand Prix, Paul Richard, has been dropped from the 2023 calendar.
In the FIA’s official press release, President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said:
The presence of 24 races on the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar is further evidence of the growth and appeal of the sport on a global scale. The addition of new venues and the retention of traditional events underlines the FIA’s sound stewardship of the sport. I am delighted that we will be able to take Formula 1’s new era of exciting racing, created by the FIA’s 2022 Regulations, to a broader fan base in 2023. In framing the 2023 F1 calendar, WMSC Members have also been mindful of the timing of the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
— Jennie Gow (@JennieGow) September 20, 2022
Much attention will be focused on the debut of Las Vegas on the Formula 1 calendar. The street circuit encompassing the landmarks of the famous “Sin City” will be the venue for the penultimate round in the first Saturday F1 race since 1985. The Las Vegas GP is scheduled to start at 10 pm local time. Expect more announcements around the off-season calendar, pre-season testing schedules, and Sprint races in the coming months.