Belgian Grand Prix to feature on F1 calendar in 2023

·2-min read

The Belgian Grand Prix will be part of the Formula One calendar in 2023.

Speculation has persisted over the future of the event, held at the historic and much-loved Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Stavelot, as F1 continues its expansion into non-traditional markets.

There will be a third race in the United States, held in Las Vegas, on the schedule next year, while F1 bosses had been in talks about a return to South Africa.

However, those discussions have reportedly collapsed, paving the way for Spa to keep its spot.

"Formula 1 can confirm that the Belgian Grand Prix will be on the 2023 calendar following an agreement to extend our partnership together. Further details on the 2023 calendar will be announced in due course," an F1 statement read.

Speaking to Sky Sports, F1 president Stefano Domenicali said: "We have to congratulate the job [the race organisers] did. You've seen the investment they did. You see the number of people that are coming here. Incredible crowd, incredible attention to the people, and this is great for the sport.

"We always said that the race is a part of our tradition, and it has a very important space in our calendar, and this is a fact that we wanted to share in this moment."

Spa's long-term future as a fixture of the F1 season remains in question.

There have been suggestions it could become a biennial grand prix, though such a change would raise doubts over the circuit's ability to raise the finances to maintain the standards F1 requires while only racing once every two years.

The Belgian Grand Prix was first held in 1925. Since the inaugural F1 world drivers' championship in 1950, it has only been absent from the calendar on six occasions.

Repair work at Spa meant the race was not held in 2006; the last time the Belgian Grand Prix was not included on the calendar.

Sunday's race will be the 55th edition of the race to be held at Spa, with Ferrari's Carlos Sainz starting first on the grid following a raft of penalties, including for title rivals Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.