Formula 1: Sao Paulo sprint not being broadcast on ESPN

Sao Paulo, Interlagos, Formula 1 (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Sao Paulo, Interlagos, Formula 1 (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

The sixth and final sprint race on the 2023 Formula 1 schedule is set to take place before the Sao Paulo Grand Prix at Interlagos Circuit, but it won’t be on ESPN.

The third ever Formula 1 sprint race schedule is set to come to an end this weekend at Interlagos Circuit ahead of Sunday afternoon’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix, formerly known as the Brazilian Grand Prix. This race is the 20th of 22 Grands Prix on the 2023 schedule.

Saturday’s sprint race is the sixth of six sprint races on this year’s schedule after sprint racing took on a larger role in 2023.

There were just three races in sprint racing’s inaugural season in 2021, and there were three again in 2022, though the format did expand slightly last year when points started being awarded to the top eight drivers instead of just the top three.

Points are still awarded to the top eight drivers, starting with eight for the winner and counting down to one for the eighth place finisher.

The 15-turn, 2.677-mile (4.308-kilometer) road course in Sao Paulo, Brazil is one of just two tracks on this year’s sprint schedule that hosted a sprint race in 2021 or 2022.

Interlagos Circuit hosted one last year, as did the Red Bull Ring, and both remained a part of the 2023 Formula 1 season’s six-race sprint slate.

This year’s slate featured the introduction of a new sprint format. Unlike in 2021 and 2022, sprint races are standalone events which have no bearing on the starting grid for the main event. They are effectively miniature Grands Prix, which are roughly one-third the length of Sunday’s races.

After Haas’ Kevin Magnussen took a shock pole position for the sprint race at Interlagos Circuit last year, Mercedes’ George Russell earned his first career sprint race victory ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, which secured him the pole position for the main event under last year’s sprint format.

He went on to secure his first career Formula 1 Grand Prix victory ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton in second place, giving Mercedes their first win since the end of the 2021 season and their first 1-2 finish since the end of the 2020 season.

This Saturday’s sprint race is set to be shown live on ESPNEWS as opposed to ESPN or ESPN2, just like the two most recent sprint races ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix and the United States Grand Prix.

The season’s first two sprint races, contested ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and the Austrian Grand Prix, were shown live on ESPN, while the next one ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix was shown live on ESPN2. College football occupies the broadcast schedule for ESPN and ESPN2 throughout this Saturday afternoon.

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Tune in to ESPNEWS at 2:25 p.m. ET this Saturday, November 4 for the live broadcast of the sprint race from Interlagos Circuit. The Sao Paulo Grand Prix itself is set to be broadcast live on ESPN2 beginning at 11:55 a.m. ET on Sunday, November 5. Start a free trial of FuboTV and don’t miss any of the action!