Lewis Hamilton Formula One

The 2024 Formula One season will feature a record 24 races. Up next? The Chinese Grand Prix. Image: X @LewisHamilton

EXPLAINER: Why is the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday?

The first two Formula One races of the 2024 season will be held on a Saturday in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Lewis Hamilton Formula One

The 2024 Formula One season will feature a record 24 races. Up next? The Chinese Grand Prix. Image: X @LewisHamilton

The first two Formula One races of the 2024 season will be held on a Saturday in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

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This is due to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan which starts on Sunday, 10 March this year.

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was scheduled for that day, but has been moved forward by 24 hours as a result.

FIA rules dictate that there must be a full seven days between grands prix, meaning the opening round in Bahrain this weekend has taken on that revised schedule too.

Meanwhile, as was the case when it returned to the Formula One calendar last year, the Las Vegas Grand Prix, scheduled for 23 November, will also be held on a Saturday.

The main reason for the Vegas race taking place on a Saturday is to enable relatively convenient viewing times for a global audience.

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The Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit will be the first of a record 24 races in the 2024 season and will take place on Saturday, 2 March.

The lights are due to go out at 17:00 (SA time).

As a reminder, last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix was won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, with team-mate Sergio Perez in second and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso in third.

BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX TIMES

All times SA

Thursday, 29 February

Practice 1: 13:30 – 14:30

Practice 2: 17:00 – 18:00

Friday, 1 March

Practice 3: 14:30 – 15:30

Qualifying: 18:00 – 19:00

Saturday, 2 March

Main race: 17:00