F1 has reportedly finalized the first draft of the 2023 season calendar after it was leaked and some changes are in order.
The current 22-race campaign is far from over but the sport already has its sights set on next year, which promises to be the longest F1 season yet.
According to a report from F1insider.com based out of Germany, the 2023 calendar could have as many as 24 races, the maximum number allowed under current FIA protocols.
As per the aforementioned report, the season opener will be held in Sakhir, Bahrain in the first week of March. The Shanghai International Circuit is set to return after a three-year hiatus owing to the Covid-19 pandemic in the middle of April.
Monte Carlo appears to have retained its place on the calendar for the last week of May as is tradition, despite the perennial speculation surrounding its future in recent months.
Losail will return to the calendar after taking a gap this year to focus on the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The inaugural Las Vegas GP is slated to be the penultimate race weekend next year.
Circuit Paul Ricard is the lone casualty from the current calendar, as was predicted after the 2022 F1 French GP earlier this year. The plans to return to South Africa for the first time in three decades also appear to have been temporarily halted as of now.
Here is the leaked 2023 F1 calendar that is making the rounds:
March 05: Sakhir / Bahrain
March 19: Jeddah / Saudi Arabia
April 02: Melbourne / Australia
April 16: Shanghai / China
April 30: Baku / Azerbaijan
May 07: Miami / USA
21. May: Imola / Italy
May 28: Monte Carlo / Monaco
04. June: Barcelona / Spain
18. June: Montreal / Canada
02. July: Spielberg / Austria
09. July: Silverstone / England
23. July: Spa / Belgium
July 30: Budapest / Hungary
August 27: Zandvoort / Netherlands
03. September: Monza / Italy
September 17: Singapore
September 24: Suzuka / Japan
08. October: Doha / Qatar
October 22: Austin / USA
October 29: Mexico City / Mexico
05. November: Sao Paulo / Brazil
November 18: Las Vegas / USA
November 26: Yas-Island / Abu Dhabi
The aforementioned reports and calendar leaks may not be entirely accurate as they are yet to be officially confirmed by the FIA.
However, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali did hint at the number of races for the upcoming season and the report is consistent in that regard.
The Italian made an impromptu stop to the commentators box at the Circuit Zandvoort during the 2022 F1 Dutch GP, where he was asked about how the 2023 calendar was shaping up. Domenicali said:
The sport has been raking in huge profits this season with a windfall of $744 million between Q2 of 2021 and 2022. This could rise even further with the elongation of next season.
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