Formula 1: Belgium sprint race not being broadcast on ESPN

Spa, Belgium, Formula 1 (Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Spa, Belgium, Formula 1 (Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

While the Belgian Grand Prix is set to be broadcast live on ESPN, the Formula 1 sprint race at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps will not be.

For the first time in its history, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps was named host of one of the six sprint races on the 22-race 2023 Formula 1 schedule amid sprint racing expansion’s from three races to six for this year.

Sprint racing was introduced in 2021 and was featured at three Grand Prix weekends in both 2021 and 2022. Sprint races are now standalone events that do not affect the Grand Prix grid. Like they did in 2022, they still award points to the top eight finishers. In 2021, they only awarded points to the top three.

The 19-turn, 4.352-mile (7.004-kilometer) Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps road course in Stavelot, Belgium is one of four tracks on this year’s sprint schedule that had never hosted a sprint race prior to 2023.

Formula 1 sprint races are roughly one-third the distance of a full Grand Prix.

With the Belgian Grand Prix being a 44-lap race, the sprint race is set to last for 15 laps around the longest track on the calendar. While the Belgian Grand Prix is set to be shown live on ESPN this Sunday, the sprint race is set to be aired on ESPN2 on Saturday.

This race is the third sprint race on the schedule, and it is the first of two in a row on ESPN2. The first two were shown live on ESPN, while the final two are set to be aired on ESPNEWS.

Two-time reigning world champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull is the reigning winner of the Belgian Grand Prix, having won the race from 14th place on the grid to become the second driver in Formula 1 history to win back-to-back races from outside of the top nine (won from 10th in Hungary one race prior).

Verstappen is technically the two-time reigning winner in Belgium, having taken pole for the race in 2021. He led the field behind the safety car when the event was deemed official, even though it did not officially get underway due to the downpour. Half points were awarded, and Verstappen still stood atop the podium as the Dutch and Austrian national anthems were played.

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Saturday’s sprint race is set to be broadcast live on ESPN2 from Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps beginning at 10:25 a.m. ET. ESPN, not ESPN2, is set to broadcast the Belgian Grand Prix itself live on Sunday, July 30 beginning at 8:55 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV today and don’t miss any of the action!