The race start time for the first two races of the 2024 season has been confirmed, and they are expected to be held on Saturday, which is unsustainable. The 24-race season kicks off with back-to-back events in the Middle East in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
The start of Ramadan on the Sunday of the Jeddah race week has caused the start date of both events to be shifted forward, featuring practice on Thursday, qualifying on Friday, and the Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Bahrain Grand Prix, slated for Saturday, March 2, will start at 3 pm UK time, while the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix on Saturday, March 9, will begin at 5 pm. Both races will be held under floodlights, providing a captivating visual spectacle for viewers.
Notably, the Las Vegas Grand Prix in November is another race on the 2024 calendar scheduled for a Saturday. However, the time difference to the west coast in the USA means it will be an early Sunday morning start for UK viewers, with the race set to begin at 10 pm local time (6 am Sunday UK).
Concerns were raised by some drivers and team bosses about the late nature of the inaugural Vegas schedule. While the 2024 schedule lists the race for a 10 pm local start, the rest of the weekend schedule remains unconfirmed, suggesting potential tweaks in plans.
Additionally, the schedule for the six Sprint events – China, Miami, Austria, the United States, Brazil, and Qatar – is subject to confirmation. F1 stakeholders are expected to meet in the coming weeks to finalize the format for those weekends, featuring an additional 100km Saturday Sprint race. Adjustments may include placing Sprint-related events first in the schedule before qualifying for the Grand Prix and the full Sunday race.
European races in the 2024 season will follow the normal 2 pm start time in the UK, with Silverstone hosting its race on July 7 at 3 pm local time. Fans can catch every track session of the 2024 season live on Sky Sports F1, with pre-season testing in Bahrain also broadcast live from February 21-23, building anticipation for another thrilling year in Formula 1.