2023 F1 Sprint Race Locations and New Cost Cap Allowance

Contentious though sprint races may be with Max Verstappen, sprint races are an apparent hit, according to the FIA. 2023 will see a few changes for the format. Here are all the upcoming sprint races and the changes to the cost cap allowance involving these races. 

2023 Sprint Race Locations

We may have only started with three sprint races a season, but for 2023 that number has doubled to six. 

The locations are as follows:

  • Azerbaijan 
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Qatar
  • The U.S (Austin)
  • Brazil 

Azerbaijan has been campaigning hard for a sprint race since they were originally announced and likely means that F1 will not cancel the Grand Prix there despite growing humanitarian concerns in the area. The same can be said of Qatar which has struck a 10-year deal with F1 to host a Grand Prix which begins in 2023. 

The Formula 1 organisation explained that the races were chosen following research that assessed overtaking opportunities, close racing, and high-speed sections in order to determine which might be the most exciting for short races. 

Formula 1 president and CEO, Stefano Domenicali, said, “We have seen a hugely positive reaction to the F1 sprint events during the first two years of its running, 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.

“The introduction of the F1 sprint has created a race weekend that includes three days of competitive racing action and brings more entertainment to fans of the sport as well as additional value for key stakeholders including teams, broadcasters, partners, and host venues.”

FIA Doubles Cost Cap Allowances for Sprint Races

One of the criticisms the teams and drivers have for sprint races is that it doesn’t incentivise hard racing, instead drivers race conservatively so that they don’t incur any damage and don’t lose position for the race proper on Sunday. 

Exemptions for accident damage were already in place but those have been ditched in 2023. What the teams want is greater breathing room in the budget to account for the sprint races and the likelihood of damages incurred. An agreement had not been reached between the teams and the FIA last year, with one team allegedly seeking a budget cap increase of $5 million in return for their approval. 

After the latest World Motor Sport Council meeting in Bologna, the FIA announced that they will double the allowance for sprint races for the next two years. 

The way the allowance currently works is like this: each team gets an additional $150,000 allowance in the budget cap, they get another $100,000 per car for any accidental damage sustained in the sprint, if the cost is greater than that, they receive more. 

The new agreement means that teams will receive an extra $300,000 per sprint race from 2023 onwards. The catch is that there will not be any further adjustments for any accidental damage. 

The FIA statement read, “The World Council also approved several updates and clarifications to the 2023 and 2024 Financial Regulations, including an increase of the forfeit allowance amount for each Sprint session from $150k to $300k from 2023 onwards, and the elimination of any subsequent adjustment for accident damage sustained during the Sprint sessions.”

Read more