Formula 1 confirms the six sprint venues for 2023 with four format debutants

Jamie Woodhouse
The start of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Brazil, November 2022.

The start of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix as drivers surge towards Turn 1. Brazil, November 2022.

Formula 1 will double its number of sprint events from three to six for 2023, with Baku, Spa, Qatar and Austin to experience the format for the first time.

2021 saw the first trials of Formula 1’s new concept, where a 100km race takes place on the Saturday of a race weekend to set the grid for the main grand prix on Sunday.

The traditional Q1, Q2 and Q3 format remains in use, moving forward to Friday to determine the sprint grid.

There has been talk surrounding potential changes to how the sprints fit into a race weekend, but at this stage we do now know the six venues which will host them in 2023.

First up will be the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku getting its first taste of sprint action having publicly stated a willingness to stage one in the past, while the sprint will then return for the Austrian Grand Prix, the Red Bull Ring having held a sprint weekend in 2022.

Then it will be another new venue for the format in the form of Spa, host of the Belgian Grand Prix, before further uncharted territory with a sprint at the Qatar Grand Prix, which returns to Formula 1 as a long-term fixture of the calendar for 2023.

After the Losail International Circuit hosted Formula 1 action for the first time in 2021, a 10-year deal was later struck which begins in 2023.

From there the Circuit of The Americas will also hold a sprint as part of the United States Grand Prix weekend, this the final debutant with Interlagos the sixth and final named circuit, maintaining its 100 per cent record having hosted a sprint race in 2021 and 2022.

Formula 1 explained that the choices came following research which assessed overtaking opportunities, close racing and high-speed sections to determine the best venues.

Formula 1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “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.”

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem added: “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.”

Read more: Ross Brawn suggests number of sprints may rise further in the future