F1 2023: Venues announced for six sprint races

Formula 1 sprint races are here to stay; at least for a while longer. While there were only three sprint races in 2021 and 2022, the FIA has announced that the number will be doubled in 2023. If you’re rather new to the world of F1 and don’t really understand what this means, read on for more information.

What are sprints?

In 2021, Formula 1 decided to trial a sprint race at a few locations – Britain, Italy, and São Paulo. This means that the regular qualifications were moved from Saturday to Friday and determined the grid for the sprint race which took place on Saturday. The outcome of the 100–km dash sorted out the starting order for the big race on Sunday. The top three finishers get points while the polesitter also gets a trophy.

In 2022, the same approach was kept, with sprints happening in Emilia Romagna, Austrian, and São Paulo Grands Prix. The difference here was that the top eight finishers received points.

Now, in 2023, there will be twice as many sprints on the calendar. While we are yet to see the cars and what innovation the teams will bring to the table, viewers should start preparing their F1 bets on time as we know which race will take place on which weekend.

Here is what Stefano Domenicali had to say: “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.” He added: “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 an additional value for key stakeholders including teams, broadcasters, partners, and host venues.”

The President of the FIA, Mohammed Ben Sulayem stated: “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.”

Let’s go over the sprint races that we can expect in 2023.

Azerbaijan – Baku City Circuit

First, there is Azerbaijan’s Baku City Circuit. It will be home to next year’s fourth race, held from April 28-30. Although Charles Leclerc won the pole position twice in a row, in 2021 in Bahrain and 2022 in Azerbaijan, Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen were able to clinch the victory. Seeing as how the pole might not be as important on this track, the sprint will be all that more exciting as it can make for a very fun race.

Austria – Red Bull Ring

The tenth race weekend will take place at the Red Bull Ring and see Austria host its second sprint race. In 2022, Verstappen won both in Friday’s qualifying and Saturday’s sprint but didn’t manage to win it all, as Leclerc was 1.532 faster. These two are surely just waiting to battle It out again, with Verstappen surely aiming for the trophy in Red Bull’s backyard. It will be taking place from June 30 to July 2.

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Belgium – Spa-Francorchamps

The last sprint before the summer break will take place in Belgium, at the famous Spa Francorchamps. From the 28 to the 30 of July, drivers will duke it out at the legendary track. Although Carlos Sainz Jr. started on the pole in 2022, he finished third behind Red Bull’s duo Verstappen and Pérez. With its unpredictable weather, this perfectly sets the scene for the second half of the season.

Qatar – Losail Circuit

As the controversial Qatar Grand Prix didn’t find a place on the 2022 calendar due to the World Cup, it’s coming back in style with a sprint race on October 9. Lewis Hamilton has both the pole and the win from the only time this race was held, but unless Mercedes makes some changes to be able to rival Red Bull and Ferrari, we are sure to see a new name on the list of winners.

United States – Circuit of The Americas

The next race, taking place two weeks later, October 20-22, in the United States, also comes with a sprint qualifying. Verstappen was victorious here in 2022, with Hamilton and Leclerc following, despite a pole from Sainz. With ten months to go, it’s still too early to make predictions, but it’s surely going to be a great one.

São Paulo – Interlagos

Finally, there is Interlagos, which is hosting its third sprint. In 2021, Valtteri Bottas in Mercedes took the pole ahead of Verstappen and Sainz, while Hamilton won with Verstappen second. In 2022, George Russel qualified third on Friday but won both the sprint on Saturday and the race on Sunday – his maiden win.

The time has come to start gathering all the data and making early predictions before the season officially starts on 5 March in Bahrain. Who are you backing this time around?