Formula One’s calendar for 2023 has been announced with a record number of 24 races, the maximum allowed under the current commercial agreement with the teams. The schedule was approved by a meeting of the FIA’s world motor sport council on Tuesday.
This year F1 is to host 22 races but with new meetings being added as the sport enjoys a surge in popularity across the world, it will attempt to hold the most extensive season in the sport’s history in 2023.
The number of races will push F1 team personnel to the limit. July alone will feature four races across two double headers, with four further pairs of back-to-back races to come in its wake.
In August the Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, described 24 races as “right on the limit” of what could be asked of teams. The F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali, also said this year he believed the number was as high as the sport should go.
“Around 24 grands prix, 23, 24 maximum,” he said. “I don’t want to discuss any more than that number because then we have the problem of devaluation of [events].”
The season will open in Bahrain on 5 March and will conclude in Abu Dhabi on 26 November, while the British GP will be held on 9 July. New meetings in Las Vegas and Qatar are confirmed as is the Monaco GP, whose future had been considered to be under threat, on 28 May as part of the only triple-header of the season after the Emilia Romagna GP and before the Spanish GP. F1 have also confirmed a new deal with Monaco to run until 2025.
The US will host three races, in Austin, Miami and Las Vegas, with the latter forming a double-header with the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
As expected the proposed meeting in South Africa was not included but China has returned with a date scheduled for 16 April. That meeting remains subject to the Covid restrictions imposed in the country however and its position early in the schedule suggests if it is cancelled it could be replaced later in the year.
The Belgian GP at Spa, also considered to be under threat, retained its place on 30 July but as expected the French GP is no longer featured. There is also no clash with the Le Mans 24 Hours which will take place on 10-11 June between the Spanish and Canadian GPs.
Despite strong opposition and criticism from human rights groups and some drivers the Saudi Arabian GP remains on the calendar.
Domenicali welcomed the record breaking schedule. “Formula 1 has unprecedented demand to host races and it is important we get the balance right for the entire sport,” he said. “We are very pleased with the strong momentum Formula 1 continues to experience.”