Formula One has confirmed that the 2024 season will kick off with two Saturday races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The Bahrain Grand Prix will take place on March 2, followed by the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on March 9. This change in schedule is due to the fact that Ramadan begins the day after the Saudi race, on Sunday, March 10. Additionally, the race format will align with the Middle East weekend schedule, which is traditionally held on Fridays and Saturdays rather than Saturdays and Sundays.
In a departure from tradition, the 2024 season will feature three races held on Saturdays. The Las Vegas Grand Prix, set to debut later this year, will also be held on a Saturday in 2024. This adjustment to the race calendar reflects Formula One‘s commitment to incorporating new and exciting elements into the sport.
One notable change to the 2024 schedule compared to 2023 is the swapping of Azerbaijan and Japan’s positions on the calendar. Japan, which had previously been the season finale, will now be the fourth race of the season, taking place between the Australia and China Grand Prix events. Meanwhile, the popular Baku race in Azerbaijan will now form a double-header with Singapore in September.
While Formula One has stated that the revised schedule aims to create a better flow of races in certain regions, concerns have been raised about the toll it may take on teams. The inclusion of Australia, Japan, and China as standalone out-and-back trips poses a grueling challenge for the 10 teams based in Europe.
The season will conclude with two triple headers spanning multiple continents. The first triple header will feature the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, followed by races in Mexico and Brazil. The second triple header will consist of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the Qatar Grand Prix, and finally, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which has been the season finale since 2014.
Spain has also been moved deeper into the year and will form a triple header with Austria and Great Britain during the European leg of the season. However, the status of the Chinese Grand Prix remains uncertain as it has not hosted a race since 2019 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
If the Chinese Grand Prix proceeds and Formula One manages to avoid further cancellations, the 2024 season will be a record-breaking one with a total of 24 races, the maximum currently permitted under the regulations. The season will culminate with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 8, maintaining its position as the traditional finale.
Overall, the 2024 Formula One calendar promises an exciting and action-packed season for both teams and fans alike. With unique race formats, new venues, and a potential record number of races, the forthcoming season is sure to captivate motorsport enthusiasts around the world.