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Why are the F1 GPs of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are on Saturday

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Groups and drivers are gearing up for the longest season in F1’s historical past, with as many as 24 grands prix on the calendar. Nonetheless, that is not the one particular factor concerning the 2024 season, because the 12 months kicks off with two races on Saturday: the Bahrain (2 March) and Saudi Arabian (9 March) grands prix. Why is that this? 

Why does the 2024 F1 season begin on a Saturday?

The rationale the 2024 System 1 season begins with two races on Saturdays is Ramadan, which begins on Sunday 10 March – the day the Saudi Arabia grand prix is meant to be held. Due to the beginning of Ramadan, this race has been introduced ahead someday to be held on the Saturday evening. The rationale that the season opener in Bahrain additionally takes place every week earlier on Saturday has to do with F1 guidelines, because the laws stipulate that there should be no less than every week between two races. This compelled the Bahrain season opener to be moved someday earlier as effectively, to accommodate for it.

What does the schedule seem like for the races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia?

As the primary two races of the season are on a Saturday, your complete schedule has been introduced ahead by a day. Which means the 2 one-hour free follow periods might be held on Thursday, whereas the third free follow and qualifying periods will then happen on Friday. In each {cases}, the primary day of the weekend is solely devoted to the race.

Bahrain GP 2024

Date Session UK begin time
Thursday 29 February First free follow 11:30am GMT
Thursday 29 February Second free follow 3pm GMT
Friday 1 March Third free follow 12:30pm GMT
Friday 1 March Qualifying 4pm GMT
Saturday 2 March Grand Prix 3pm GMT

Saudi Arabian GP 2024

Date Session UK begin time
Thursday 7 March First free follow 1:30pm GMT
Thursday 7 March Second free follow 5pm GMT
Friday 8 March Third free follow 1:30pm GMT
Friday 8 March Qualifying 5pm GMT
Saturday 9 March Grand Prix 5pm GMT

Extra F1 races on Saturdays in 2024

The Bahrain and Saudi Arabian grands prix aren’t the one two races in 2024 which might be held on a Saturday, because the Las Vegas Grand Prix on 24 November can be scheduled on a Saturday. That is as a result of important time distinction with Europe. Actually, the race takes place at 10pm native time – had been it to occur on a Sunday, the race would begin at 6am on Monday morning within the UK. Many followers would then have to go away for work, which might lead to poor viewing figures. It was due to this fact determined to convey the race ahead a day to permit extra F1 followers worldwide to change on.

When was the final time F1 raced on a Saturday?

F1 is not a stranger to not racing on a Sunday, although it isn’t precisely frequent. Simply 75 F1 races have been held on days apart from a Sunday, with the newest being 2023’s Las Vegas GP. Earlier than that although, you’d have to return 38 years to the 1985 South African GP which was held on a Saturday.

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