F1 contemplate Saturday races in 2024

The Islamic festival is set to take place between March and April next year which could interfere with the F1 season

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Formula 1 is reportedly considering holding some races on a Saturday in 2024 to coincide with the Islamic festival of Ramadan.

According to Formula Passion, the opening events of the 2024 season in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia may well move to the Saturday rather than the Sunday. This is because Sunday is considered a “feast day” during Ramadan which sees the world’s almost two-billion Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset during the other six days of the week.

Islam is the prominent religion in the Middle East where both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are situated which makes F1’s presence in the region all the more important during the biggest festival of the year.

The F1 weekend wouldn’t be changed a great deal even with this new race day because one would assume that everything gets moved forwards 24 hours should the change go ahead.

This would mean practice on a Thursday, qualifying on a Friday and then the race on a Saturday.

Japan on the move

That might not be the only change to the F1 calendar for the 2024 season, though, because the FIA are keen to have races make more logistical sense where they can.

The Chinese Grand Prix might finally be on course to return after several years away due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it would likely slot back into its traditional early-season spot in April.

F1, however, are keen to see both the Chinese and Japanese races scheduled close together to minimise the freight travel for both races. That could mean Suzuka hosts their annual Grand Prix at the beginning of the season rather than as one of the later races where it currently resides.

Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen battle at the start of the 2022 Japanese GP | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Another small change that could occur in 2024 would be the Belgian and Dutch Grand Prix swapping places towards the end of the European season with the F1 circus heading to Zandvoort before the legendary Spa should the Belgian GP seal its future on the calendar after South Africa’s bid fell through.

Where is the next F1 2023 race?

The next F1 race is the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix which will be the second sprint weekend of the year, held at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on June 30 to July 2.

Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis is a motorsport journalist with experience working in BTCC. He is the resident IndyCar correspondent for Total-Motorsport.com and a top class F1 writer.
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