Motor racing’s prestigious Formula 1 (F1) will put on a record 24 races in the 2023 season, with Las Vegas in the US set to host a Grand Prix for the first time since 1982.
F1 put out its confirmed calendar for next season yesterday (September 20), with grand prix action in 2023 set to run from March 5 (Bahrain) to November 26 (Abu Dhabi).
In terms of changes from this year’s 22-race schedule, races in China and Qatar will return after absences, while the Belgian GP will move to the end of July, and the Netherlands GP will move to the end of August, following the traditional mid-season break.
The first Las Vegas race in 41 years will take place on a Saturday (November 18), with qualifying on the Friday (November 17) and practice the day before that.
It will be only the fourth-ever grand prix to be held on a Saturday, with the traditional event format entailing that races typically take place on a Sunday, after practice and qualification days.
The schedule has been approved by the World Motor Sport Council.
Stefano Domenicali, Formula One’s chief executive and president, said: “We are excited to announce the 2023 calendar with 24 races around the world. Formula 1 has unprecedented demand to host races and it is important we get the balance right for the entire sport.
“We are very pleased with the strong momentum Formula 1 continues to experience and it is great news that we will be able to bring our passionate fans a mix of exciting new locations such as Las Vegas to the Championship with much-loved venues across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.”
On the Las Vegas race specifically, he commented: “The Las Vegas Grand Prix is going to take F1 race weekends to the next level. Staging a grand prix in the sports and entertainment capital of the world has allowed us to plan a truly spectacular celebration that has never been seen in our sport before, in the greatest arena on earth.”
The Las Vegas GP will be a night event, and F1 has said the drivers will “see drivers reach jaw-dropping speeds as they race around some of the world’s most iconic landmarks, hotels, and casinos on the legendary Las Vegas Strip.”
The decision to add a Las Vegas event to the 2023 calendar was confirmed in March, with a new 3.8-mile circuit created for it.
Yesterday also saw the iconic and glamorous Monaco Grand Prix retain its status on the F1 calendar until at least 2025, with a new three-year agreement having been announced.
The deal, struck by F1 with the Automobile Club of Monaco (ACM), means the Monaco event will continue its uninterrupted status on the calendar, with the first race there having taken place in 1950.
The sea-side racetrack will host the eighth round of the 2023 campaign, on May 28.
The previous contract between the ACM and F1 had been due to expire at the conclusion of the 2022 season, and there has been some concern about its status on the calendar due to the difficulty nowadays in overtaking at Monaco.
Michel Boeri, the ACM’s president, said: “In the interest of the Formula One World Championship, and after several months of negotiations, we are proud to announce that we have signed a three-year agreement …”
He added that this deal is “likely to be renewed.”
In terms of the calendar overall, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of the FIA, motor racing’s governing body, added: “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.”
The 2022 F1 season continues on October 2 in Singapore, the 17th round of this campaign, and comes to a conclusion on November 20 in Abu Dhabi.
Image: Eric Alonso/Getty Images