LONDON (Reuters) -Formula One will have a record 24 races next season with Las Vegas making its floodlit debut in November and Monaco signing a new deal to secure its place on the calendar until at least 2025.
The governing FIA announced approval of the calendar on Tuesday, with the Las Vegas Strip circuit taking a Nov. 18 date as the season’s penultimate round and third in the United States.
It will also be the first race to be held on a Saturday since 1985.
“The Las Vegas Grand Prix is going to take F1 race weekends to the next level,” said Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali. “The entire city is buzzing with excitement for next year’s race.”
The Grand Prix’s 3.8 mile (6.12km) track along the famed Las Vegas Strip will see drivers roar past landmarks such as the Bellagio Fountains and Caesars Palace at an event expected to attract 170,000 fans.
Monaco, historically the most glamorous race, had its future thrown into doubt earlier in the year amid contract renewal talks.
Formula One said a new three-year deal had now been signed with the Automobile Club de Monaco, whose president Michel Boeri added that it was likely to be renewed.
The principality retains its traditional May 28 slot as the eighth race and middle part of a triple-header with Italy’s Imola and Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.
This season was to have had a record 23 races but that was reduced to 22 after Russia’s race in Sochi was cancelled following the invasion of Ukraine.
Bahrain will open the season on March 5 with Abu Dhabi hosting the final round on Nov. 26.
The calendar also avoids a clash with the 24 Hours of Le Mans sportscar race which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary next year on June 10-11.
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 9 will be on the weekend before the Wimbledon men’s and women’s tennis finals on July 15-16.
The traditional August break is maintained, with Belgium becoming the last race before it at the end of July -- and following on from Hungary -- rather than the first after.
Belgium’s longer-term future remains uncertain, with organisers signing only a one-year extension last month.
“The presence of 24 races on the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar is further evidence of the growth and appeal of the sport on a global scale,” said FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
“The addition of new venues and the retention of traditional events underlines the FIA’s sound stewardship of the sport,” added the Emirati.
Qatar, with a race on Oct. 8, returns as a fourth Middle Eastern round after being absent this year due to the country hosting the soccer World Cup.
China, which last hosted a race in 2019, returns despite lingering uncertainty over COVID-19 restrictions while France, whose race was at Le Castellet’s Circuit Paul Ricard near Marseille, has been dropped as previously announced.
Formula One has also been negotiating with South Africa’s Kyalami circuit but that deal has yet to be done.
Azerbaijan and Miami remain as back-to-back races on April 30 and May 7 respectively.
There was no confirmation of which races would be held in the sprint format, with the sport seeking as many as six after three this year.
“Formula One has unprecedented demand to host races and it is important we get the balance right for the entire sport,” said Domenicali.
March 5 - Bahrain
March 19 - Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)
April 2 - Australia (Melbourne)
April 16 - China (Shanghai)
April 30 - Azerbaijan (Baku)
May 7 - Miami
May 21 - Emilia Romagna (Imola)
May 28 - Monaco
June 4 - Spain (Barcelona)
June 18 - Canada (Montreal)
July 2 - Austria (Spielberg)
July 9 - Britain (Silverstone)
July 23 - Hungary
July 30 - Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
Aug 27 - Netherlands (Zandvoort)
Sept 3 - Italy (Monza)
Sept 17 - Singapore
Sept 24 - Japan (Suzuka)
Oct 8 - Qatar
Oct 22 - United States (Austin)
Oct 29 - Mexico
Nov 5 - Brazil (Interlagos)
Nov 18 - Las Vegas
Nov 26 - Abu Dhabi
Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Additional reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; editing by Christian Radnedge/Toby Davis/Ken Ferris
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