Home Formula 4Chinese F4 The 2023 Macau GP is being planned to take place over two weekends

The 2023 Macau GP is being planned to take place over two weekends

by Ida Wood

Photo: Macau GP

This year’s Macau Grand Prix event may take the unusual move of taking place over two weeks, the organisers have revealed.

The famous street circuit race held annually in Macau, a special administrative region of China, has run specifically for junior single-seaters since 1974 and has been part of the Chinese Formula 4 championship since 2020.

From 1983 to 2019 it was a Formula 3 race, but restrictions introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic have prevented overseas entrants from taking part in the last three years and so F3 was swapped out for F4.

The event will feature Chinese F4 again this November, and be its fifth and final round of the season, but a specific date has not been set due to the plans being made by the Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee (MGPOC).

“The MGPOC is currently working towards a race programme for the 70th Macau GP that will take place over two weekends,” its secretary general See Lei wrote to Formula Scout.

“The MGPOC is in constant communication with the FIA with the target of bringing FIA World Cup events, including the FIA F3 World Cup, to the Macau GP this year.”

The grand prix was awarded world cup status for the first time in 2016, when Carlin’s Antonio Felix da Costa claimed his second win at the event. Motopark’s Dan Ticktum was the winner the next two years, then in 2019 there was a big change as the race switched from its long-held format of being open to any driver and team in the world that had been active in an F3 car in a series that year and instead was run specifically for teams from Bruno Michel’s Europe-based FIA F3 Championship.

FIA F3 planned to return in 2020 before the pandemic arrived, and then for 2021 there were plans for the F3-level Euroformula and Super Formula Lights series combining to bring back a more traditional open entry event.

That ultimately did not come to fruition following pressure from the FIA to keep its F3 championship on the bill, but then it could not visit either as Macau continued to have a quarantine procedure for overseas visitors.

The World Motor Sport Council announced that the FIA F3 World Cup would return in 2022, and be held in Macau, but that did not occur and the grand prix instead ran with F4 cars for a third time. Charles Leong was the Macau GP winner in 2020 and ’21, and Andy Chang was victorious last year.

If a higher single-seater category is not added to the event this year, then the grand prix will be awarded to the winner of the final Chinese F4 race.

Major motorsport events that currently take place over two weeks include the Le Mans 24 Hours and IndyCar’s Indianapolis 500, and Macau last used a two-week format for its 60th anniversary edition in 2013 when supporting categories including the Audi R8 LMS Cup ran the week before the grand prix race.