The beginner’s guide to the Formula 1 calendar
As the countdown to the 2024 Formula 1 campaign continues, our beginner’s guide provides all you need to know about this year’s F1 calendar, while also explaining how it has developed since the sport’s inaugural season more than 70 years ago.
When does the 2024 F1 season start?
The 2024 Formula 1 season begins in Sakhir on March 2 with the Bahrain Grand Prix, before heading to Jeddah for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on March 9. Both races will take place on a Saturday for the very first time because of Ramadan.
As a result, everything at those events will happen one day earlier than usual - the first two free practice sessions (FP1 and FP2) take place on Thursday, the final free practice session (FP3) and qualifying on Friday, before the Grand Prix on Saturday.
Pre-season testing will take place at the Bahrain International Circuit before the 2024 season opener on February 21-23.
When does the 2024 F1 season finish?
The 2024 Formula 1 season concludes at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on December 8.
How many races are on the 2024 F1 calendar?
F1’s 2024 calendar will feature a record-breaking number of Grand Prix events, with 24 races set to take place around the world this season.
A total of 21 countries across five continents are included on the schedule, which features classic tracks such as Silverstone, Spa and Suzuka, along with exciting recent additions to the roster including Las Vegas, Miami and Qatar – a varied selection that offers drivers and fans plenty to look forward to.
China returns to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since 2019 (April 19-21) and will host the first F1 Sprint of 2024.
2024 F1 calendar
|February 29 - March 2
|August 30 - September 1
|November 29 - December 1
How many F1 Sprint events will there be in 2024?
Six venues will host F1 Sprint events in 2024. China and Miami make the F1 Sprint line up for the first time, joining Austin and Qatar which both return to host their second F1 Sprint events. Austria (hosting their third) and Brazil (hosting their fourth) complete the exciting 2024 F1 Sprint roster.
2024 F1 Sprint calendar
|November 29 - December 1
What are ‘double-headers’ and ‘triple-headers’?
Traditionally, F1 races were planned with a weekend-on, weekend-off approach, but an expanding calendar brought about by the ever-increasing popularity of the sport led to the arrival of double-headers and, in some cases, triple-headers.
A double-header is a sequence of back-to-back Grands Prix on successive weekends, while a triple-header is three race weekends in a row – venues being grouped together by location where possible. Simply put, this allows for more races within the 52-week year.
What does the term ‘flyaway race’ mean?
The F1 calendar is a global affair, very much putting the ‘world’ in world championship. But you will often hear those involved differentiating between races held in Europe and those in the rest of the world – the key word being ‘flyaway’.
European rounds allow the teams to transport all their equipment – including the F1 cars themselves – by truck. Events held further afield – in different continents and/or across seas – need other forms of travel, with the paddock being flown or shipped between each venue.
F1 transports all cars from race to race to assist the teams, supported by a partnership with global logistics experts DHL. For some flyaway events, supplementary equipment is sent by sea months in advance.
How does the 2024 calendar compare to F1’s first championship season?
The F1 calendar of today differs greatly to the one agreed for the first year of the world championship in 1950. Back then, there were only seven races and they were spread out from May to September, with six held in Europe – the exception being the US-located Indianapolis 500, which most regular F1 drivers skipped.
New European venues gradually arrived as Formula 1 established itself, while the first overseas addition came in 1953 as teams headed to Argentina in South America for the first time. Since then, the sport has expanded to North America, Asia, the Middle East and Australia, with races having also been held in Africa.
Of the original venues used in 1950, Silverstone, Monaco, Spa-Francorchamps and Monza still feature, albeit with several significant track layout and safety-based changes being made over the years.