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Formula 1

When is the first race of the 2024 F1 season?

The 2024 Formula 1 season is fast approaching, but when exactly is the first race of the year - and when does it start?

When is the first F1 race of 2024?

On Saturday, March 2nd, the first race of the 2024 Formula 1 season will take place, with the Bahrain Grand Prix once again having that honour for the fourth straight year.

As in previous years, the race will start at 18:00pm local time, which is 15:00pm in the UK.

Last year, Red Bull recorded a one-two finish with Max Verstappen taking the first of a record-breaking 19 wins ahead of Sergio Perez as Fernando Alonso took a podium on his debut for Aston Martin.

Full schedule of the first F1 race of 2024

Event Date GMT Time
Free practice 1 Thursday, February 29th 11:30
Free practice 2 Thursday, February 29th 15:00
Free practice 3 Friday, March 1st 12:30
Qualifying Friday, March 1st 16:00
Grand Prix Saturday, March 2nd 15:00

Why is it on a Saturday?

The Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled for March 2nd due to the need to bring the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix the next weekend forward to Saturday, March 9th.

This is because of the start of the Islamic holy month on Ramadan on March 10th and the need to allow appropriate time for logistics to move from Sakhir to Jeddah in the double-header.

If the change had not been made, it would have meant pack-up after Bahrain on Sunday as usual, leaving just two days to move everything to Saudi Arabia before media day on Wednesday and on-track action starting on Thursday.

The changes mean that F1 will hold three Saturday races in 2024, along with Las Vegas, which became the first since the 1985 South African Grand Prix with its first running in 2023.

Don't miss out on any of the F1 action thanks to this handy 2024 F1 calendar that can be easily loaded into your smartphone or PC.

Download our F1 calendar