Formula One teams were left angry and disappointed when they were caught off guard by the FIA’s announcement of the 2023 sporting calendar. The unexpected publication of the new schedule by the governing body happened without warning and without the approval of the teams of the triple match for next season, increasing the increasingly fragile relations in the center of the sport.
A schedule of 24 races was announced on Tuesday without the usual cooperation from F1 itself, the owner of the commercial rights to the sport. Sources in the sport believe that this has only added to the sense of fatigue and alienated the teams from the FIA, which became clear after the Italian Grand Prix. One team member said the FIA’s attitude was “unacceptable”.
The new calendar was expected on Friday. However, following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on Tuesday, the FIA unilaterally released it. It features a record number of races in a season that opens in Bahrain on March 5 and ends in Abu Dhabi on November 26.
The lack of message wasn’t the only problem felt in the sport. The inclusion of a US-Mexico-Brazil triple header requires team approval. They are expected to accept the offer, as in the past, but there was irritation that the FIA did not consult them.
Formula One officials were also surprised by the announcement, a situation that is unlikely to improve the already testy relationship between the sport’s owners and its governing body. The sport was not able to separately release a new Monaco Grand Prix deal until 2025 or confirm the date for the new Las Vegas Grand Prix. Instead, they should have quickly issued press releases confirming them following the calendar.
After the Italian Grand Prix, the FIA and its president Mohammed bin Sulaiman came under heavy criticism for their slow deployment of the grid after qualifying and then the use of the safety car at the end of the race.
The governing body has insisted on maintaining a good working relationship with the teams, but the already tense atmosphere has now only intensified as the teams face what they consider the longest and most grueling season in the sport’s history.