Formula 1 implements strange schedule change to start the 2024 season

The first two races of the 2024 Formula 1 season are scheduled to be contested on Saturdays as opposed to Sundays.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Formula 1
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Formula 1 / Eric Alonso/GettyImages
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Heading into the 2023 Formula 1 season, the last time a race had been held on a Saturday was in 1985. The Grand Prix of South Africa was contested at Kyalami Circuit on Saturday, October 19 of that year.

Last November, Formula 1 ran the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, the first race in Las Vegas since the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, on a Saturday night at the new Las Vegas Strip Circuit. That race is once again set to be contested on a Saturday night this November.

But first, two more races are set to be contested on Saturdays, and those two races are the first two races on the 24-race 2024 schedule: the Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit and the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

The unusual Formula 1 schedule change has to do with the start of Ramadan.

Ramadan is scheduled to begin on Sunday, March 10, so the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is scheduled to be contested on Saturday, March 9. Instead of giving teams one less day to travel and prepare for that race, Formula 1 opted to move the Bahrain Grand Prix from Sunday, March 3 to Saturday March 2 as well.

So no, the official Formula 1 schedule for the upcoming season does not consist of any typos having to do with 2024 being a leap year. The season is really scheduled to get underway with back-to-back races on Saturdays. After no Saturday races for more than 38 years, there are four scheduled within a 12-month span.

The Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled to get underway at 10:00 a.m. ET (ESPN), making it a night race local time. The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is scheduled to get underway at 12:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2), making it an even later night race local time.

The first Sunday race on the 2024 Formula 1 schedule is the Australian Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place at Albert Park Circuit. That race is scheduled to begin at 12:00 a.m. ET (ESPN2).

Formula 1 makes necessary change (plus two questionable ones) for 2024. dark. Next. Formula 1 makes necessary change (plus two questionable ones) for 2024

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