Paris: Formula One on Wednesday named Qatar, Azerbaijan and Austin in the United States among the six circuits chosen to stage sprint races in 2023.
The 100-kilometre dash has proved a popular addition to Grand Prix weekends since it was first introduced last year. F1 announced in September it was doubling the number of sprints to six for 2023.
And joining Azerbaijan’s Baku street circuit, Qatar’s Losail track and Austin’s Circuit of the America’s are the RedBull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps and Interlagos in Brazil.
For a sprint weekend the traditional one-hour qualifying session is shifted to Friday, setting the starting order for Saturday’s sprint, which in turn shapes the grid for the Grand Prix itself.
This season the sprint’s points system was beefed up, with the top three home gaining eight, seven and six points respectively down to one point for eighth place.
At Imola’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in April, double world champion Max Verstappen hit the points jackpot for the weekend, emerging with a maximum 34 points after winning the sprint, the grand prix and setting the fastest lap.
F1 boss Stefano Domenicali said the sprints had proved a welcome addition “and we can’t wait to bring even more action to fans with six events next year, including our first US F1 Sprint in Austin”.