Why are the opening 2024 F1 races on Saturday: Schedule changes for Bahrain and Saudi Arabian GPs explained

The opening two races of the 2024 Formula 1 season, in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, will each take place on a Saturday; watch the season-opening Bahrain GP live on Sky Sports F1 with practice on Thursday, qualifying on Friday, and the race on SATURDAY at 3pm

The first two Formula 1 races of the 2024 season are being held on a Saturday in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

This is due to Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, starting on Sunday March 10 this year.

Saudi Arabia’s second round was scheduled for that weekend and has been moved forward by a day as a result.

  • Everything you need to know about F1 in 2024
  • Sky Sports F1’s live Bahrain Grand Prix schedule
  • Stream the Bahrain GP on NOW | Get Sky Sports F1

As FIA rules dictate that there must be a full seven days between Grands Prix, the opening round in Bahrain the week before has taken on that revised schedule too.

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Craig Slater is joined by Ted Kravitz to discuss the top-10 pecking order after F1 testing in Bahrain ahead of the season-opening Grand Prix

As a result, that means the two season-opening rounds will take on the following schedule:

  • Thursday: Practice One and Practice Two
  • Friday: Practice Three and Qualifying
  • Saturday: Grand Prix

As was the case when it returned to the Formula 1 calendar last year, the Las Vegas Grand Prix, scheduled for November 23, will also be held on a Saturday.

The main reason for the Vegas race taking place on a Saturday is to enable relatively convenient viewing times for a global audience, with the race set to start at 6am for Sky Sports F1 viewers in the UK.

The full live Bahrain GP schedule on Sky Sports F1

Wednesday February 28

  • 12.30pm: Drivers’ Press Conference
  • 3pm: The F1 Show – 2024 Preview

Thursday February 29

  • 7.50am: F3 Practice
  • 9am: F2 Practice
  • 11am: Bahrain GP Practice One (session starts at 11.30am)
  • 12.55pm: F3 Qualifying
  • 1.40pm: F2 Qualifying
  • 2.35pm: Bahrain GP Practice Two (session starts at 3pm)
  • 4.15pm: The F1 Show

Friday March 1

  • 10.10am: F3 Sprint Race
  • 12.15pm: Bahrain GP Practice Three (session starts at 12.30pm)
  • 2.10pm: F2 Sprint
  • 3.10pm: Bahrain GP Qualifying build-up
  • 6pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook

Saturday March 2

  • 8.55am: F3 Feature Race
  • 10.25am: F2 Feature Race
  • 1.30pm: Bahrain GP build-up: Grand Prix Saturday
  • 5pm: Bahrain GP reaction: Chequered Flag
  • 6pm: Ted’s Notebook
  • 6.30pm: Bahrain GP highlights

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Watch every round of the new season, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix from Thursday February 29 to Saturday March 2. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership

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