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F1 2024 season: Full race calendar, schedule, driver line-ups and sprints latest

Undated handout photo provided by Scuderia Ferrari of the Scuderia Ferrari SF-24 car ahead of the 2024 Formula One season.
Can Ferrari take the challenge to Red Bull in 2024 ahead of Lewis Hamilton's arrival next year? - PA/Scuderia Ferrari

The 2024 Formula One season is a little under a few weeks away, with testing taking place this week in Bahrain and the opening race at the same location a week later. The car launches are all almost done as teams and drivers prepare for the new season.

As ever, there are questions hanging over the sport. Can anyone challenge Verstappen and Red Bull after the most dominant year in F1 history? Will Christian Horner begin the season as Red Bull’s team principal? Can Mercedes put in a car that at least contends for victories? Will McLaren remain Red Bull’s biggest challengers? And how will Ferrari fare with Lewis Hamilton heading to the team for 2025?

There is plenty to consider, with a record-breaking 24-race calendar that includes the return of the Chinese Grand Prix for the first time since 2019. Click below for more information on the following:


When is the first race of the 2024 season?

The new F1 season begins with first practice in Bahrain on Thursday February 29, with qualifying the following day and the Bahrain Grand Prix itself on Saturday (yes, Saturday) March 2. The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix also takes place on Saturday, a week later.

The reason for this unusual occurrence – although the Las Vegas Grand Prix last year was also held on a Saturday – is because of Ramadan, which begins on Sunday March 10.

To avoid a clash, the race in Jeddah has been moved to Saturday March 9 and because the rules state that there must be a minimum of seven days between grands prix, this means the season-opening race in Bahrain must be moved to Saturday too.

Is there pre-season testing in 2024?

Yes, as with 2023 (but not 2022) there will be one pre-season test which runs from Wednesday February 21 until Friday February 23 inclusive at the Bahrain International Circuit. This will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 with the opening days blogged live here on Telegraph Sport, too.

Distance allowances for “filming days” in which F1 teams often run their cars on track for the first time (as well as shooting promotional footage), however, have been increased from 100km to 200km per day. Teams are allowed two filming days over the course of the season.

How many F1 races will there be in 2024?

There will be 24 races on the calendar this year, which will begin in Bahrain on Saturday March 2 and culminating with the season finale in Abu Dhabi on December 8.

Will there be sprint races in 2024?

ernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Aston Martin AMR23 Mercedes leads Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Alpine F1 A523 Renault and Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Aston Martin AMR23 Mercedes on track
The last and most recent F1 sprint race was in Brazil this year - Getty Images/Clive Mason

It has been confirmed that six sprint races will be staged in 2024, the same as in 2023. The venues, however, have shifted with China and Miami the additions next year, replacing Azerbaijan and Belgium. Austria, the Circuit of the Americas, Brazil and Qatar remain in place.

In short, the 2024 sprint race weekends are as follows.

  • Chinese Grand Prix, April 19-21

  • Miami Grand Prix, May 3-5

  • Austrian Grand Prix, June 28-30

  • United States Grand Prix, October 18-20

  • Sao Paulo Grand Prix, November 1-3

  • Qatar Grand Prix, November 29-December 31

The format, however, has yet to be decided, as reports Tom Cary:

The format is now the only thing left to decide. It is understood sprint qualifying is almost certain to return to a Friday followed by a sprint on Saturday as well as the main qualifying session for the grand prix.

But everything else – including the possibility of reverse grids – is still up in the air.

Sprint races, shorter events staged over the course of a race weekend, with a handful of championship points on offer, were first introduced in 2021 in an attempt to spice up weekends, effectively offering venues the chance to have three days of competitive running.

Formula One claims they have been a success, with increased viewing figures year on year, especially on Friday compared with regular free practice sessions. But they remain controversial with fans and some drivers.

Triple world champion Max Verstappen is an outspoken critic, even going as far as to say he will quit the sport if Formula One moves too far from its “DNA”.

In 2023, the format was that Friday’s qualifying set the grid for Sunday’s grand prix whilst an extra sprint shootout (in effect a shortened three-part, elimination qualifying session) set the grid for the sprint. Both took place on Saturday.

The top eight drivers in the sprint race scored points from eight to the winner and one for the eighth-placed driver. Again, the sprint races were approximately 100km – or roughly a third of a grand prix distance.

When is the summer break?

With a record-breaking 24-race season next year, the built-in breaks throughout the season are critical for personnel who work in F1 to recover. The summer break lasts from Monday July 29 after the Belgian Grand Prix until Friday 23 August, when practice for the Dutch Grand Prix begins. During this time all teams have to enact a “summer shutdown” of 14 consecutive days when they cannot work on design or production of the car, in short.

With such a long calendar there is also, mercifully, a slot of three weekends without a race between the Singapore Grand Prix on September 22 until the United States Grand Prix, which begins on October 18. That unofficial “autumn break” is the same length as the summer break and is perhaps understandable considering the season then ends with a run of one triple header (United States, Mexico, Brazil) followed by two weeks off and then another triple header (Las Vegas, Qatar, Abu Dhabi).

What are the driver line-ups?

George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team during the F1 Grand Prix of United States at Circuit of The Americas on October 22, 2023 in Austin, United States
George Russell (left) and Lewis Hamilton (right) will line up for Mercedes in 2024 - Getty Images/Song Haiyuan

The “same” 10 teams will be involved in the 2024 season although some have changed names for the new season. Alfa Romeo pulled out of their partnership (which began in 2019) with Sauber at the end of 2023, before the Swiss outfit becomes Audi in 2026. It is reported that no Audi branding will be seen on the car in 2024, with the team officially named Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber for 2024. I think we will just call them Sauber.

Meanwhile, AlphaTauri’s rebranding for 2024 has also finally been confirmed, their new name being Visa Cash App RB (yes, really). I think we will call them RB.

In any case, there is very little change to the driver line-ups next year with no changes from how the season finished in Abu Dhabi.

Red Bull (Honda RBPT)

Max Verstappen (No 1) and Sergio Pérez (No 11)

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton (44) and George Russell (63)

Ferrari

Carlos Sainz (55) and Charles Leclerc (16)

Alpine (Renault)

Esteban Ocon (31) and Pierre Gasly (10)

McLaren (Mercedes)

Lando Norris (4) and Oscar Piastri (81)

Sauber (Ferrari)

Valtteri Bottas (77) and Guanyu Zhou (24)

Aston Martin (Mercedes)

Lance Stroll (18) and Fernando Alonso (14)

Haas (Ferrari)

Kevin Magnussen (20) and Nico Hulkenberg (27)

Visa Cash App RB (Honda RBPT)

Yuki Tsunoda (22) and Daniel Ricciardo (3)

Williams (Mercedes)

Alexander Albon (23) and Logan Sargeant (2)

What is the full 2024 calendar?

March

2: Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir 
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Perez 3rd Alonso
9: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah 
2023 result: 1st Perez 2nd Verstappen 3rd Alonso
24: Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne 
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Hamilton 3rd Alonso

April

7: Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Norris 3rd Piastri
21: Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai
2023 result: N/A

May

5: Miami Grand Prix, Miami
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Perez 3rd Alonso
19: Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, Imola
2023 result: N/A
26: Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Alonso 3rd Ocon

June

9: Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Alonso 3rd Hamilton
23: Spanish Grand Prix, Montmelo
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Hamilton 3rd Russell
30: Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Leclerc 3rd Perez

July

7: British Grand Prix, Silverstone
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Norris 3rd Hamilton
21: Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Norris 3rd Perez
28: Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Perez 3rd Leclerc

August

25: Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Alonso 3rd Gasly

September

1: Italian Grand Prix, Monza
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Perez 3rd Sainz
15: Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku
2023 result: 1st Perez 2nd Verstappen 3rd Leclerc
22: Singapore Grand Prix, Singapore
2023 result: 1st Sainz 2nd Norris 3rd Hamilton

October

20: United States Grand Prix, Austin
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Hamilton 3rd Hamilton
27: Mexico City Grand Prix, Mexico City
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Hamilton 3rd Leclerc

November

3: Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Interlagos
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Norris 3rd Alonso
23: Las Vegas Grand Prix, Las Vegas
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Leclerc 3rd Perez

December

1: Qatar Grand Prix, Lusail
2023 result: 1st Verstappen 2nd Piastri 3rd Norris
8: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina
2023 result: Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, George Russell

What is our prediction?

Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing, Second placed Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari and Third placed Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing pose for a photo in parc ferme
Will Ferrari be Red Bull's biggest rivals in 2024? - Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Of course, given how easily they have swept aside the competition in 2023 it would be ludicrous to suggest that anyone other than Max Verstappen will be favourite for the drivers’ title.

There should be some hope, at least, that he might not take the trophy home as easily as he did in 2023, though. Towards the end of the 2023 season, Ferrari and McLaren have pushed them, though it has most often resulted in Verstappen and Red Bull taking the top step of the podium.

Entering the third year of the current aerodynamic regulations, the general trend is for the performance gap between teams close up. We saw that in 2021. However, given the cars for 2024 are largely carry-overs from this year, you would expect Red Bull’s advantage to be fairly prolonged.

In the last first half of the 2023 F1 season Red Bull scored 411 points to Mercedes’ 203, Ferrari’s 157, Aston Martin’s 181 and McLaren’s 59. In the second half of the season the results were as follows: Red Bull 449, Mercedes 206, Ferrari 249, Aston Martin 99 and McLaren 243.

So, to some extent, the other teams have clawed Red Bull in but only from scoring roughly half of their points from races 1-11 to scoring 60 per cent of their points thereafter.

As you can see, it is Aston Martin who have had the biggest drop-off in performance throughout the year. On current form they face a fight to get back their place in the top four teams, whilst McLaren’s late-season form was exceptional and they (or Ferrari) could be the closest challengers to Red Bull at the start of next year.

How to watch the season

As has been the case for some time now, in the United Kingdom, Sky Sports F1 have near exclusive coverage rights for the season. They will be showing all practice sessions, qualifying sessions, sprint qualifying and races throughout the season.

Channel 4 will have their extended qualifying and race highlights again, with the British Grand Prix in July broadcast live.

If you are outside of the UK you may also be able to subscribe to F1’s own F1TV for a monthly fee throughout the season.

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