Formula 1 looks set to break convention for three races in 2024. This is because fans will be treated to Saturday races to open the year in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Las Vegas.
In the first two cases, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, it has to do with the holy month of Ramadan starting. This means the first two races of the 2024 season will take place on Saturday. Indeed, Ramadan begins at sunset on Saturday 9th March 2024, the day of the race in Jedda.
This also necessitates moving the race in Bahrain, a week earlier, to Saturday. This is an indirect consequence of the start of Ramadan, because if the opening race were to take place on Sunday, the F1 circus would have one less day to travel to Saudi Arabia.
While both sound 'close' in reality they will have to make a long road trip of nearly 15 hours by car. So one less day of travel and set-up time is certainly not desirable.
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Las Vegas Grand Prix
Later in the year, the Las Vegas Grand Prix will also be held on Saturday. This has a different reason, namely the American as well as European audience. What is the very best time to reach viewers in the United States and also satisfy European fans? Saturday night.
Renee Wilm, CEO of the Las Vegas GP explains: "We have found a solution so that European fans can watch the race with a cup of coffee at six or seven in the morning, just like it happens in the U.S. during the European races."
So for Americans, the Las Vegas GP will take place at 10pm in the evening.