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

A number of regulation changes have been made for Formula 1 ahead of the 2024 season, and they are set to go into effect immediately.
Max Verstappen, Formula 1
Max Verstappen, Formula 1 / Amin Mohammad Jamali/GettyImages

Three changes are being introduced to Formula 1 from the 2024 season onwards, and many fans will love them. The biggest one that will heavily impact racing going forward involves the famed Drag Reduction System (DRS).

Ever since its introduction to Formula 1 in 2011, DRS has brought another realm to the sport. The change for 2024 and beyond is that now DRS can be activated from lap two onwards instead of lap three. This should keep things exciting, especially at the front of the pack. It also applies to safety car restarts.

After a season in which Max Verstappen dominated race after race, quickly pulling away from the field on most occasions, drivers being able to use DRS one lap earlier could make races more competitive. A common theme of recent regulation changes has become making overtaking more manageable and thus making the racing more exciting.

What else is changing?

This change to DRS regulations will keep fans excited right from the beginning, starting with the 2024 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit in three weeks.

When the monumental regulation changes go into effect in 2026, the cars will be very different, and we could see several teams competing for victories right from the beginning. Even though the change is only a one-lap difference, the impact should be beneficial for Formula 1 for years to come.

Along with the change to DRS, two other changes big changes have been implemented for the 2024 season and beyond.

Each driver will now be able to use four power units over the course of the season before they start to get penalized. The limit had previously been three.

Additionally, the structure of sprint weekends has been changed. FP1 and sprint qualifying are now on Friday, while the sprint and Grand Prix qualifying are now on Saturday. The Grand Prix is still scheduled for Sunday.

Grand Prix qualifying had previously been on Friday after FP1, while sprint qualifying had been held on Saturday ahead of the sprint.

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Compared to the DRS change, these two changes are not as significant, though the sprint change is highly questionable. With qualifying for the Grand Prix being right after the sprint race, a crash in the sprint could lead to a driver not being able to qualify. Could we see more drivers competing for points in the sprint end up at the back of the grid for the Grand Prix, or will drivers take it easier in the sprint?