MOTORSPORT

F1 2023 Calendar released. Spoiler alert… no Africa this time.

America gets another one while Africa sits on the sideline, watching on.

TopGear Reporter
October 5, 2022
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F1 2023 Calendar released. Spoiler alert… no Africa this time.

"Another one", said your DJ Khaled voice. That brings the total to three in the USA. This time in Las Vegas. It's another street circuit on the calendar that we have all come to love. This brings the total number of races for 2023 to 24, the highest that any year has seen. Add to that the growing concerns at just how much the teams can manage; could this start a fatigue issue that sees greater skills drainage and driver discomfort at the cost of entertainment? We dig into the movements and the lack thereof in the space of Africa, and pluck out some points for consideration.

America's great big appetite and the Netflix effect

Given the natural appetite that exists in America as a nation of consumers, there's little doubt that Liberty Media will want more races in the USA, and if they could get their way, I'm sure we'd see a few more. In its time, America has played host to many circuits other than the Circuit of the Americas. Indianapolis has had a GP; so too has Sebring and Watkins Glen, all of which are dedicated circuits built for the purpose of speed.

The US of A is hungry for racing.

Still, we have seen with Miami on the calendar that America can put something together rather quickly. This opens the opportunity for more street races in major cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles. The potential is there, along with the hype created thanks to Netflix's Drive to Survive series that's awoken a beast inside America for racing.

Out with the old

We won't be seeing those blue runoffs for a while...

Paul Riccard is off the calendar for next year. For those in the know, Paul Riccard was bought by former F1 head honcho Bernie Ecclestone, and although he's since lost ownership in a divorce settlement with his ex-wife, the ties remain. Bernie and his controversial background certainly don't have a future with F1's social image, so better for F1 to rid itself of that now and part ways. Google "Bernie Ecclestone Controversy" when you have a moment, but make sure you have plenty of spare time and popcorn.

It's all about the money… Monaco stays on the calendar.

Apparently, there's a deal in place that secures Monaco's spot on the calendar until 2025.

And here we thought it was all about the racing? Let me not be the one that bursts the bubble, but F1 is all about the money. Increased racing means increased revenue. That's the game, and while everyone bemoans the lack of overtaking at Monaco, understand one thing: Monaco is a business network for the mega-rich. Just think of all the business dealings and sponsorship conversations that go down in those swanky parties during race week while people drink champagne that costs more than what the average factory worker earns all year. Monaco is as much a celebration for the people who fund it as it is for the racing. Think of it as 'sorta' like a year-end staff party, but with more boats and expensive stuff.

Great for spectacle. For racing? Well, debatable. Miami returns for 2023

It's time for Africa… well, no.

As Shakira likely faces jail time for tax evasion, she won't be repeating an F1 version of her 2010 FIFA World Cup song. But the tax evasion allegations had nothing to do with it. We've written about it before, but this time, developments point towards a possible lack of action. This prohibited us from getting the deal with murmurs from MSA (Motorsport South Africa) that the local promoter will be replaced in hopes of hosting an F1 Grand Prix in 2024. Once we have a proper sit-down with the man in charge of MSA himself, we'll hold back on committing to any further comments, but right now, it's all looking a little messy.

Words: Brent vd Schyff

The 2023 F1 calendar currently looks like this, pending circuit homologation for the GP of Vegas…

February 23-25: Pre-season testing, Sakhir

March 5: Bahrain

March 19: Saudi Arabia

April 2: Australia

April 16: China

April 30: Azerbaijan

May 7: Miami

May 21: Emilia Romagna

May 28: Monaco

June 4: Spain

June 18: Canada

July 2: Austria

July 9: United Kingdom

July 23: Hungary

July 30: Belgium

August 27: Netherlands

September 3: Italy

September 17: Singapore

September 24: Japan

October 8: Qatar

October 22: USA/Austin

October 29: Mexico

November 5: Brazil

November 18: Las Vegas

November 26: Abu Dhabi

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