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The standard Formula 1 races are conducted on weekends – typically Friday through Sunday, with two one-hour practice sessions on Friday and the final hour-long practice session on Saturday.

Teams and drivers have already begun gearing up for the 2024 Formula 1 season, which is set to be the longest with a calendar featuring as many as 24 Grand Prix races.

The preseason started on Wednesday, February 21st, with teams and drivers actively preparing for the upcoming challenges.

But there’s one special thing as the year kicks off with two races on Saturday which are usually conducted on Sundays which are Bahrain (2 March) and Saudi Arabian (9 March) Grands Prix.

Let’s delve into know, why these races are held on Saturday and not on Sunday. Additionally, we’ll know when will the first race of the 2024 season take place.

Why F1 Bahrain And Saudi Arabian GPS Are Being Held On Saturdays?

As the Muslim holy period of Ramadan begins on Sunday, March 10th, the two Grand Prix races, namely Bahrain and Saudi Arabian GPs, have been shifted forward 24 hours and are being held on Saturday instead of Sunday, as is usual for Grand Prix events.

F1 rules require at least a week between two races, so the Bahrain season opener had to be moved one day earlier to meet this regulation. This is why it also takes place on Saturday, a week earlier than the original schedule.

The change in the dates of the first two races affects the entire schedule, bringing it forward by a day.

This means the two one-hour practice sessions will be held on Thursday, while the third free practice and qualifying sessions will then take place on Friday. This states, that the first day of the weekend is entirely dedicated to the race.

Bahrain GP 2024 Schedule

Date                           Session & US start time    

Thursday 29 Feb          First FP   6:30 amET

Thursday 29 Feb          Second FP  10am ET

Friday 1 March            Third FP  7:30am ET

Friday 1 March             Qualifying 11am ET

Saturday 2 March         Grand Prix 10am ET

Saudi Arabian GP 2024 Schedule

Date.                               Session & US start time

Thursday 7 March.       First FP 8:30am ET

Thursday 7 March.       Second FP 12pm ET

Friday 8 March.             Third FP 1:30pm ET

Friday 8 March.             Qualifying 12pm ET

Saturday 9 March          Grand Prix 12pm ET

More F1 Races On Saturdays In 2024

The Bahrain and Saudi Arabian Grands Prix aren’t the only races in 2024 scheduled for a Saturday. The Las Vegas Grand Prix on November 24th is also set for a Saturday due to the significant time difference with Europe.

Read more:How Much Does F1 TV Cost in US, UK, India, and Other Countries?

Read more:F1 Pre-Season Testing 2024: Max Verstappen Breaks His Own ‘Major Day 1 Record’ From Last Year

The race takes place at 10 pm local time. If it were held on a Sunday, it would start at 6 am on Monday morning in the UK, causing many fans to have to leave for work, resulting in poor viewing figures.

Therefore, the decision was made to move the race forward a day to allow more F1 fans worldwide to tune in.

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Gaurang is a writer at the SportsOrbit covering articles related to F1,Gaurang was 14 when he cared more about playing football than studying. But when COVID hit and he had to stay home, he discovered Formula 1. It immediately caught his interest. Since then, he's been really into Formula 1, watching every race and learning all about it. He still loves football, but now he's also a big fan of Formula 1, especially Lewis Hamilton. Even though he loves racing, he still looks up to Cristiano Ronaldo as his idol.