The 2023 calendar includes the return of Qatar in October, the first night race in Las Vegas in November and six sprint weekends
Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton (front row) drives during the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi on November 20, 2022. -AFP file
Formula One will run 23 races this season, still a record and one more than last year, with the sport facing a four-week gap in April after deciding not to replace the canceled Chinese Grand Prix.
Abu Dhabi will host the final game of the season on November 26.
The match, scheduled for April 16 in Shanghai, the fourth of 24 rounds, was canceled last month for the fourth consecutive year due to strict local measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Formula 1 said at the time it was evaluating alternatives, with the media touting various venues, including Portugal’s Portimão circuit, which was used as an alternative to races canceled during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
“Formula 1 can confirm that the 2023 season will consist of 23 races. All existing race dates on the calendar remain unchanged,” the sport said on Tuesday.
That will leave a gap between round three, the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on April 2, and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku on April 30.
Organizers of the Chinese Grand Prix had sought to resume racing after Beijing eased coronavirus controls but were ruled out for logistical reasons, sources said.
There is also consideration of moving the game in Baku forward by a week.
The 2023 calendar includes the return of Qatar in October, the first night race in Las Vegas in November and six sprint weekends.
Red Bull’s Dutchman Max Verstappen, who starts the season in Bahrain on March 5, will claim his third consecutive title after pre-season testing at the Sakhir circuit in late February.
The season will conclude on November 26 in Abu Dhabi.