The beginner’s guide to… the Formula 1 calendar
As the countdown continues to the 2023 Formula 1 campaign, our latest beginner’s guide provides all you need to know about the current F1 calendar, while also explaining how it has developed since the sport’s inaugural season more than 70 years ago…
How many races are on the 2023 F1 calendar?
F1’s 2023 calendar will feature a record-breaking number of races, with 23 stops planned during another tour of the world. It is scheduled to run from the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 5 to the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 26.
A total of 20 countries and five continents are included on the roster, which will feature classic tracks such as Silverstone and Suzuka along with recent additions like Jeddah and Miami – a selection that offers drivers and fans plenty of variety over the course of the season.
With F1 enjoying strong growth in the United States in recent times, the country will host three races this year, as the bright lights of Las Vegas join Miami and the well established Grand Prix at Austin.
2023 F1 calendar
|February 23-25||Pre-season testing||Sakhir|
|March 19||Saudi Arabia||Jeddah|
|May 21||Emilia Romagna||Imola|
|July 9||United Kingdom||Silverstone|
|October 29||Mexico||Mexico City|
|November 5||Brazil||Sao Paulo|
|November 18||Las Vegas||Las Vegas*|
|November 26||Abu Dhabi||Yas Marina|
|*Subject to FIA circuit homologation|
What are double-headers and triple-headers?
Traditionally, F1 races were planned with a weekend-on, weekend-off approach, but an expanding calendar brought about by the ever-increasing popularity of the sport led to the arrival of double-headers and, in some cases, triple-headers.
A double-header is a sequence of back-to-back Grands Prix on successive weekends, while a triple-header puts three in a row – venues being grouped together by location where possible. Simply put, this allows for more races within the 52-week year.
What does the term ‘flyaway race’ mean?
The F1 calendar is a global affair, very much putting the ‘world’ in world championship. But you will often hear members of the paddock differentiating between races held in Europe and those in the rest of the world – the key word being ‘flyaway’.
While European rounds allow the teams to transport all their equipment – and the cars themselves – to the circuits by truck, events held further afield – in different continents and/or across seas – necessitate air travel, with the paddock effectively being flown between each venue.
F1 transports all cars from race to race to assist the teams, supported by a partnership with global logistics experts DHL, while for some flyaway events, supplementary equipment is sent by sea months in advance.
How does the 2023 calendar compare to F1’s first?
The F1 calendar of today differs greatly to the one agreed for the first year of the world championship in 1950. Back then, there were only seven races and they were spread out from May to September, with six held in Europe – the exception being the US-located Indianapolis 500, which most regular F1 drivers skipped.
New European venues gradually arrived as F1 established itself, while the first overseas event – aside from the Indy 500 – came in 1953, as teams headed to South America (and Argentina) for the first time. Since then, the sport has expanded to North America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East, while races have also been held in Africa.
Of the original venues used in 1950, Silverstone, Monaco, Spa-Francorchamps and Monza are the four that still feature, albeit with several significant track layout and safety-based changes being made over the years.