Formula 1

Revving Up for a Unique Start: F1’s 2024 Season Begins with Historic Back-to-Back Saturday Races

The 2024 Formula 1 season is set to begin uniquely with two consecutive Saturday Grand Prix races, a first in F1 history. Scheduled for March 2 and 9, this change marks a significant shift in the traditional race weekend format.

Key Takeaways:

  • Historic Doubleheader: The 2024 F1 season opener in Bahrain and the following race in Saudi Arabia are scheduled for Saturdays, March 2 and 9. This change is driven by logistical needs and the onset of Ramadan.
  • Schedule Shifts: Traditional Friday practices and Saturday qualifying sessions are rescheduled, with media days moving to Wednesday. This is a notable deviation from the customary F1 weekend structure.
  • Season’s Challenges: With minimal driver lineup changes but expected team rebranding, the season poses the question of whether any driver can surpass Max Verstappen’s dominance. The 24-race season, ending with a demanding triple-header, adds to the unpredictability.

In a groundbreaking move, the 2024 Formula 1 season is gearing up to start with an unprecedented doubleheader of Saturday Grands Prix. This marks a departure from the long-standing tradition of Sunday races, with the first Grand Prix taking place on March 2nd and the second on March 9th. The decision to hold back-to-back races on Saturdays in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia stems from logistical considerations and the need to accommodate the Muslim holy period of Ramadan, beginning on March 10th.

The typical Formula 1 weekend involves free practice on Friday, followed by final practice and qualifying on Saturday, and culminating with the Grand Prix on Sunday. However, the 2024 season opener faced a necessary rescheduling due to the time required for teams to transport their equipment and personnel, as well as to prepare for the race weekends.

With this change, media days for both race weekends are now slated for Wednesdays, breaking away from the usual Thursday routine. The Bahrain Grand Prix will also serve as a showcase for the teams’ 2024 cars. While there are minimal changes in the driver lineup, team rebranding is on the horizon. Sauber has already been rechristened as the Stake F1 team, with AlphaTauri’s new name yet to be announced.

A key focus of the season is whether any competitor can challenge Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, following his extraordinary performance in the previous year. The 2024 season, stretching over 24 races and concluding with a demanding triple-header spanning Las Vegas, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi, presents a formidable challenge. The endurance of drivers and teams will be tested, particularly in managing the effects of jetlag and the intense race schedule. This season not only brings excitement with its novel start but also raises questions about the resilience and adaptability of the teams and drivers in the face of these new challenges.

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