Formula 1: Qatar sprint race not being broadcast on ESPN

Qatar, Lusail International Circuit, Formula 1 (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Qatar, Lusail International Circuit, Formula 1 (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) /

Upon its return to the Formula 1 schedule in 2023, Lusail International Circuit is set to host its first sprint race prior to the Qatar Grand Prix.

After being left off the Formula 1 calendar in 2022 due to the fact that Qatar hosted the FIFA World Cup, Lusail International Circuit, which hosted its first Formula 1 race back in 2021, is back with a new 10-year contract to host the Qatar Grand Prix through 2032.

Upon its return to the calendar as the host of the 17th of 22 races of the 2023 campaign, the 16-turn, 3.343-mile (5.381-kilometer) road course in Lusail, Al Daayen, Qatar is set to host the fourth of six sprint races on this year’s schedule.

Formula 1 introduced sprint racing two years ago, and the schedule was expanded from three sprint races to six this year for the first time. For the second year in a row, points are paid to the top eight drivers instead of just the top three.

But the 2023 Formula 1 season is the first in which sprint races are standalone events.

Instead of sprint races, which are roughly one third of the distance of a Grand Prix, setting the starting grid for the main event, they are a separate entity entirely and have no effect on the grid for Sunday’s race. They even have their own qualifying sessions.

With the Qatar Grand Prix being a 57-lap race, the sprint race is set to last for 19 circuits. This 19-lap race is just the second sprint race of the year which will not be shown live on ESPN. It is set to be shown live on ESPNEWS.

The first two sprint races at Baku City Circuit and the Red Bull Ring were aired on ESPN, and the most recent one at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps was aired on ESPN2.

Following the Qatar Grand Prix, the two remaining sprint races on this year’s schedule at Circuit of the Americas and Interlagos Circuit are set to be shown live on ESPNEWS as well.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the Qatar Grand Prix in Formula 1’s first ever visit to Lusail International Circuit back in 2021.

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ESPNEWS is set to broadcast Saturday’s sprint race live from Lusail International Circuit beginning at 1:25 p.m. ET. The Qatar Grand Prix itself is set to be broadcast live on ESPN2 starting at 12:55 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 8. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don’t miss any of the action!