Image for article titled F1 Doubles Down On Six Sprint Races for 2023

Photo: Andrej Isakovic (Getty Images)

Sprint races have been a feature of the FIA Formula One World Championship since 2021 and are set to become a more prominent fixture of the global-trotting race schedule. Despite Liberty Media and F1’s teams publicly supporting the plan to increase the number of sprint races since April, the FIA had been delaying official approval of F1’s sprint agenda.

Tuesday, Formula 1 announced the 2023 season will feature six sprint races, an increase from the three short-distance contests seen in 2021 and 2022. The series has yet to announce which race weekends in 2023 will feature sprint races next season. Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali praised the 62-mile (100-kilometer) Saturday races and welcomed added rounds to the sprint slate.

Domenicali said:

“I am pleased that we can confirm six Sprints will be part of the Championship from 2023 onwards, building on the success of the new format introduced for the first time in 2021. The Sprint provides action across three days with the drivers all fighting for something right from the start on Friday through to the main event on Sunday, adding more drama and excitement to the weekend. The feedback from the fans, teams, promoters, and partners has been very positive and the format is adding a new dimension to Formula 1, and we all want to ensure its success in the future.”

I won’t say the feedback from fans has been all positive. It is clear to see in replies to F1’s social media posts on the announcement that there’s little excitement about the increase in sprint races. Despite the negative feedback online, fans still fill the grandstands and watch Saturday broadcasts. Also, more people are watching on Fridays for the moved qualifying session. It’s common sense that fans are more likely to watch a competitive session than a non-competitive practice session, whatever they might say online.

According to, the delay in FIA approval was over a dispute on the fees paid to the motorsport’s international governing body. More sprint races will increase the value of television broadcast rights and race-sanctioning fees. The FIA understandably would like a proportionally larger share of the revenue from F1. Also, the FIA stated that they need to adjust to the added workload in race officiating. While Formula 1 might not be going down the MotoGP route of a sprint race at every round, F1 clearly wants more water from the well.

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