F1 testing 2024: Start time, where is it and how to watch on TV

When is F1 2024 pre-season testing and how can I watch it?


As the Formula 1 teams and drivers conclude their winter breaks and prepare for another season on exciting track action in 2024, there has arguably never been more emphasis placed upon teams nailing their setups in F1 testing.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull elevated to new heights of dominance in 2023, winning 21 of 22 races to mark a record-breaking season for the Austrian team. Mercedes may have fell short in the title battle, but they did at least reclaim second spot in the constructors’ championship ahead of Ferrari.

The Silver Arrows will be hoping to make the most of Lewis Hamilton‘s final season in the W15 before his move to Ferrari in 2025, although the team have struggled to assemble a quick car in the last two seasons.

Before the new season kicks off on March 2 at the Bahrain Grand Prix, there will be ample opportunities for the teams to assess the limits of their new cars with three days of testing. Total-Motorsport has everything you need to know ahead of three-day event.

Where is F1 pre-season testing 2024?

Since 2023, Sakhir is the only location used for F1 pre-season testing after F1 officials decided to move away from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and use the Bahrain International Circuit.

Recently, it has been used as a testing venue due to almost certain dry conditions and warmer weather in the winter, which is more representative than the conditions in Barcelona.

However, there was a heavy downpour waiting for Formula 2 teams when they arrived in Sakhir in early February, and it could offer up an interesting wet-weather scenario for teams as part of their testing schedule if there is a repeat.

When is F1 pre-season testing 2024?

There will be three days of testing before the actual race in March, with eight hours of running on each day from February 21-23.

A four-hour session will take place on the morning of the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the aforementioned dates from 07:00 to 11:00 UK time, with another four-hour session in the afternoon from 12:00 to 16:00 UK time.

How to watch F1 pre-season testing 2024?

Sky Sports F1 have secured the rights to show every minute of testing from Bahrain as part of their exclusive coverage agreement, which runs until 2029 in the UK.

As has often been the case in previous years, Sky’s commentary will combine with F1 Media for commentating and reporting duties due to the long-running sessions.

Sky Sports F1’s lead commentator David Croft will oversee the sessions with Alex Jacques, Will Buxton, Jolyon Palmer, Anthony Davidson and Rachel Brookes also in the commentary box.

Martin Brundle, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Naomi Schiff, Damon Hill, Karun Chandhok, Danica Patrick, Bernie Collins and Davidson will share punditry duties in the paddock throughout 2024. Elsewhere, Simon Lazenby, Natalie Pinkham, Ted Kravitz and Craig Slater will also continue to be part of Sky’s coverage.

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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