2024 Bahrain Grand Prix Preview

Everything you need to know ahead of the 2024 F1 season opener!

Ryan, Data Analyst

Ryan, Data Analyst

1 year ago

It’s “Lights out, and away we go!” on the 2024 Formula One season this weekend as the 20 cars will race 57 laps around the Bahrain International Circuit just outside Sakhir. This is the 19th running of the Bahrain GP and the fifth time it has hosted the season opener. Since 2014 the Bahrain GP has been Formula One’s second night race and this year will be no different, with the race scheduled for a 6PM start local time.

What time are the practices, qualifying and race for UK viewers?

The sessions take place between Thursday the 29th of February and Saturday the 2nd of March

Practice 1: Thursday at 11:30am

Practice 2: Thursday at 3.00pm

Practice 3: Friday at 12.30pm

Qualifying: Friday at 4.00pm

Race: Saturday at 3.00pm.

What to expect

The Bahrain International Circuit is a fast track with lots of long straights and intense braking zones that usually provide ample amounts of overtaking. With three DRS zones again this year we can expect much of the same overtaking-wise with three of the four main straights covered with a DRS zone. Drivers usually have to contend with high winds and large amounts of desert sand being deposited on the circuit.

The cars always look spectacular under the lights around the fast turn 11 to turn 12 section, but the real challenge is the tricky hairpin at turn 10. Turn 10 is left handed, off camber, downhill corner and arrives very quickly after turn 9. This is a common spot to see people run wide and compromise their run on the straight (and DRS zone) between turns 10 and 11.

What did testing tell us?

It’s usually a dangerous game to point to the top of the testing timesheet and say “that car is fastest” and in this instance, I’d reiterate that. Whilst the Ferrari was quickest over the three day period, the confident and relaxed demeanour of everyone from the Red Bull camp should tell you all that you need to know. Three time world champion, Max Verstappen, even went as far as saying that he was actually wishing for less laps and claimed that this years car has been improved over last years.

Why is the race on a Saturday?

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and the Bahrain Grand Prix form a double header on the Arabian Peninsula to start the season off. However, Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, starts on March the 10th. The race organisers for Saudi Arabia chose to move their race to Saturday to accommodate this and to give the teams time to transport themselves from one track to another, the Bahrain Grand Prix moved to Saturday.

These are the only two grands prix to be affected and we’ll return to normal on Sunday the 24th of March in Australia.

Don’t forget to check out our 2024 Season Preview!