Formula One confirmed a new three-year deal with Monaco on Tuesday as it unveiled its biggest ever calendar for 2023.
A mammoth 24-race season which begins in Bahrain on March 5 and ends in Abu Dhabi on November 26 will feature all of the same races as this year minus the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard, plus it will squeeze in China, Qatar and Las Vegas.
Qatar took a break this year due to the football World Cup. The race at Losail will slot in between Japan and the United States in October next season. Las Vegas, meanwhile, will be making its debut next year in the penultimate round, the weekend before the finale in Abu Dhabi.
While there will be doubts over the viability of some of the races (China, which is still heavily affected by Covid regulations, on April 16 for example) and fretting over some of the scheduling, including two triple-headers in Imola-Monaco-Spain and USA-Mexico-Brazil, confirmation of Monaco’s presence was really the last outstanding question, with Spa having been confirmed for at least one more year at the Belgian Grand Prix last month.
Negotiations with the Principality over the race hosting fee, TV rights, trackside sponsorship and infrastructure have dragged on for a long time. Monaco has long enjoyed a protected spot on the calendar as F1’s most iconic race, reportedly paying little to nothing in hosting fees in the past due to its importance to the sport.
But with overtaking at the street circuit harder than ever due to the size of the cars these days, and other circuits clamouring to get on the calendar, it does not have the power it once did.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has made it clear that no circuit, whatever its history, has a right to host races.
But the Italian said he was delighted to have reached a new three-year deal through to 2025 with a race which has been part of the championship since 1950. “I want to thank everyone involved in this renewal and especially H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Michel Boeri, President of the Automobile Club of Monaco and all his team. We look forward to being back next season to continue our partnership together.”
Boeri added: “In the interest of the Formula One World Championship, and after several months of negotiations, we are proud to announce that we have signed a three-year agreement with Formula One, and likely to be renewed. The 2023 Formula One Monaco Grand Prix will be held on Sunday 28th May, 2023.”