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Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024

F1 to introduce new weekend format at Chinese GP

The first Sprint race of 2024 is on the horizon as F1 returns to China - but there are some big changes to the weekend format.

Hamilton race Japan
To news overview © XPBimages

Sprint races in Formula 1 are divisive with equal numbers of fans, and drivers, keen to either see them stay or be consigned to the history books, World Champion Max Verstappen among them.

But as in 2023, there will be six Sprint races coming up on the 2024 calendar, taking place in China, Miami, Austria, the United States, Brazil and Qatar, with the final three taking place in the final six races of the year.

And once again, there are some format changes to the Sprint, designed in part due to blowback from teams and drivers after the 2023 format flopped.

Grand Prix qualifying was moved to Friday afternoon in 2023 after just 60 minutes of practice, meaning parc ferme conditions kicked in after an hour of running and could lock teams into the wrong, or even illegal set-ups as Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc found out in Austin where they were disqualified for excessive plank wear.

This was put down to the ride-heights being too low, something that could have been fixed had more practice been available and so the teams, F1 and the FIA came up with a new weekend format for the Sprint events.

New Sprint format

In the 2024 Sprint races, Free Practice 1 is held as normal on Friday, but then the Sprint Shootout qualifying session takes place.

Parc ferme then kicks in for the Sprint which takes place on Saturday morning, before parc ferme is then reopened ahead of qualifying on Saturday afternoon with the main race on Sunday as normal.

The Sprint remains at 100km distance, or one-third of the usual grand prix distance, with the tables below showing both the new format and how it will be deployed in Shanghai this weekend.

Formula 1 Sprint format 2024

Time Session
Friday - morning/early afternoon First free practice
Friday - late afternoon Sprint Shootout
Saturday - morning/early afternoon Sprint race
Saturday - end of afternoon Qualifying
Sunday - afternoon Race

Timetable Chinese GP

Session Date Time
Free practice 1 Friday 19 April -
Sprint shootout Friday 19 April -
Sprintrace Saturday 20 April -
Qualification Saturday 20 April -
Race Sunday 21 April -

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying