The 7-event calendar for the inaugural F1 Academy season has been announced, as well as the weekend format and point system.
After months of speculations, the highly anticipated calendar for the inaugural season of the all-female F1 Academy championship has been revealed. The series will kick off at Red Bull Ring, Austria, for the first of its seven race meetings on 28-29 April. Just one week later, the 5 teams will head to Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, for the second triple-header, where the series will support EuroNASCAR on 5-7 May. The second Spanish round will be at the home of the Grand Prix de Catalunya: the weekend from 19-21 May will host the third round at Barcelona, alongside Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine and the Copa Racer. F1 Academy will then join DTM at Zandvoort, Netherlands, for the fourth round on 23-25 June and, two weeks later, Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is set to host the fifth round, in conjunction with the FIA World Endurance Championship's 6H of Monza. The sixth and final European rounds will be at Circuit Paul Ricard, in the South of France, on 29-30 July, before the championship will join Formula 1 for its final three races almost three months later, at the US Grand Prix in Austin. The calendar features several F1 tracks - and importantly, circuits often used by the world's top championships in both single seaters and sports car racing, helping the young drivers to familiarize with the technical features of these layouts. Testing has also been announced to start on 11-12 April at Circuit de Catalunya, which will be followed by 13 more test days included in the capped budget. The F1 Academy weekend format has been confirmed to include two 40-minute practice sessions, followed by two 15-minute qualifying sessions. Q1 will set the grid for Race 1, while Q2 will shape the starting grid for Race 3. Each pole position will award 2 points. Race 2 will feature a reverse grid from the top eight from Q1, with the remaining drivers lining up in the same order. Each weekend includes three races: 30 minutes long Race 1 and Race 3 are set to award 25 points to the winner (with F1-style point system for the top ten), while the reverse grid race will be 20 minutes long and will award points to the top eight, with 10 points to the winner - using F1's point system used from 2003 to 2009. One extra point for the fastest lap will be awarded if the driver finishes within the top ten. “I’m very pleased to reveal the calendar of F1 Academy’s inaugural season,” said Bruno Michel, General Manager of the F1 Academy. “Our goal was to be able to race on as many Formula 1 Grand Prix tracks as possible, with circuits that could be a great challenge for the drivers. The teams know these layouts very well, so they will be able to help their young talents get to grips quickly. “We had announced that F1 Academy would be racing alongside Formula 1 at one event, so it’s fantastic to be part of the F1 Grand Prix package in Austin, where we will also conclude the first season, in front of the F1 paddock and the American crowd. Michel explained the gap between the calendar from the European rounds to the American race with the logistics of the shipment by sea, to save on logistical costs. No information has been revealed so far regarding the TV coverage of F1 Academy, but the track time included in each race weekend - also helped by moving away from the F1 weekend for most of its round - is a significant step forward for the young drivers, who will have over three hours of running per weekend and 21 races. Six drivers have already been confirmed so far (Léna Bühler, Jessica Edgar, Abbi Pulling, Nerea Martí, Carrie Schreiner, Bianca Bustamante), with nine more expected to be announced.
2023 F1 Academy Calendar
R1: Red Bull Ring, Austria / 29-29 April
R2: Valencia Ricardo Tormo, Spain / 05-07 May
R3: Circuit de Catalunya, Spain / 19-21 May
R4: Zandvoort, Netherlands / 23-25 June
R5: Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Italy / 07-09 July
R6: Circuit Paul Ricard, France / 29-30 July
R7: Circuit of the Americas, USA / 20-22 October