Legendary F1 circuit set to stay on the calendar in 2023 despite axe rumours

The French Grand Prix is set to drop off the calendar next season.

The Belgian Grand Prix is set to retain its place on the Formula 1 in the 2023 season that is expected to run until the middle of December.

For the last three seasons, the racing calendar in F1 has run until the final month of the year, a trend that has now been broken this season, with the 2022 season finale in Abu Dhabi set to take place on 20 November.

Due to the influx of new and returning venues in the pinnacle of motorsport, the calendar is changing significantly.

F1 is set to make its return to South Africa next year, while Vegas will be added to the growing list of races in the United States – Austin and Miami also have a race on the schedule.

READ: Toto Wolff fires new cheating accusation at Ferrari and Red Bull as he warns of ‘performance impact’

The Monaco, Austrian, French, Belgian and Mexican Grand Prix are all out of contract this season, and there has been genuine concern that Spa Francorchamps – the home of the Belgian Grand Prix and one of the most historic tracks in F1 – will disappear next season.

However, it is now set to stay, while the Circuit Paul Ricard’s fate is sealed, according to Auto Motor und Sport journalist, Michael Schmidt.

“France is definitely out. South Africa looks more like it will be in 2024, and if that were the case then Spa would stay on the calendar for one more year,” he said.

There is still uncertainty as to whether or not the COVID-19 situation in China will allow for the first race there since 2019.

Article continues below

“China is desperate to have the Grand Prix, F1 has now included the race in the calendar for now,” explained Schmidt.

READ: ‘It would be wrong’: Sebastian Vettel makes request to Formula 1

“But if the Covid policy doesn’t change, I don’t think F1 will risk going there. If the GP is cancelled, it will not be replaced, there will only be 23 races.”

The 2023 season is expected to draw to a close just before Christmas.

“The season will start in Bahrain, then there will be a one week break, after that it will be a double header with Jeddah and Melbourne,” added Schmidt.

“And after that, there is the question if the race in South Africa will happen or not. That would be the next race.”

“The season will be longer, until the middle of December, the season will also start a bit earlier, to create space for the additional races.”