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US, Belgium named among hosts for six F1 sprint races in 2023

LONDON (AP) – The United States (US) Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and the famed Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium will host their first sprint races on the Formula One calendar for next season.

F1 had already committed to doubling the number of sprints from three to six and confirmed the hosts yesterday.

The sprint races take place on Saturdays before the main Grand Prix a day later.

Sprints are held over a shorter distance and award fewer points, and also set the grid for the next day’s race. They have been credited with making the race weekend as a whole more attractive to TV viewers since they were first trialled in 2021.

Qualifying moves from Saturday to Friday when a sprint is on the schedule. Besides Austin and Spa, the other sprints next season will take place at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the Austrian Grand Prix, the returning Qatar Grand Prix and the Brazilian Grand Prix. Of those, Austria and Brazil hosted two of the three sprints in 2022, and Brazil was also a host in the initial 2021 trial.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Red Bull driver Sergio Perez of Mexico lead at the start during the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi. PHOTO: AP

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