Formula 1 has released the schedule for the 2023 season, and teams will be racking up the frequent flyer miles.
Some folks in the paddock have argued that this season’s 23-race schedule (which was shortened to 22 after the Russian Grand Prix was nixed) was already too much.
They’ve got families and want to spend some time at home. Who can blame them?
Well, the FIA and Formula 1 said suck it up, buttercup; we’re doing 24 races next year!
One of the highlights on the schedule is the penultimate race of the year, the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Vegas is set to be the final US stop on the 2023 calendar. The others are the Miami Grand Prix and the United States Grand Prix held at Circuit of the Americas near Austin.
That race will be just the fourth Formula 1 Grand Prix to be held on a Saturday with cars blasting down the Vegas strip under the lights. It’s going to be a spectacle (will the racing be any good? We will see), but it’s going to cost you a pretty penny to catch the race in person.
Las Vegas is one of three stops on the 2023 schedule that wasn’t visited in 2022. The other two are Qatar and China, both of which are making returns to the calendar.
Qatar’s Losail Circuit was a late addition to the 2021 season but was left off for 2022, partially because the country is prepping to host the the World Cup. The Losail Circuit should be in use again, but another permanent circuit is in the works.
China is returning to the schedule for the first time since 2019.
France Says Goodbye, Monaco And Spa Stay
With so many new and returning races, something had to change and unfortunately, France was the odd Grand Prix out.
That race is traditionally an unabashed snooze fest, but the last two editions — in 2021 and 2022 have been entertaining.
Another surprise was that both Monaco — F1’s marquee event — and Spa — a perennial fan favorite — are both on the schedule for 2023. Both races had question marks surrounding them before the new schedule was released.
F1 journalist Chris Medland confirmed that Monaco will stay on the calendar after the race’s contract was renewed for three more seasons.
I think most fans will be happy with this schedule. Losing France is a small price to pay for the spectacle of Las Vegas and the return of the high-speed Shanghai International Circuit.
Monaco’s renewal is also huge. It’s never the most exciting race given the difficulty of overtaking on track, but what is an F1 season without?
Plus, this means that in 2023, May 28 will be the biggest day in motorsports.
Kick back and watch the Monaco Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500, and Coca-Cola 600 all happening on the same day.
Follow on Twitter.: @Matt_Reigle