The Bahrain International Circuit will once again play host to Formula 1 pre-season testing ahead of the 2024 season, the first time teams break cover with their cars to set the opening benchmarks for the year.
Teams will spend three days in Sakhir then have less than a week to make any last-minute changes before the season-opening 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix, won by Max Verstappen 12 months ago.
While Sergio Perez topped the timesheets in 2023 pre-season testing, the headline times aren’t necessarily the best indicator of pre-season form – but that doesn’t stop fans and the media from diving deep into each session looking for any hints at the season to come.
Teams are limited to running one car per session meaning there’s only ever a maximum of 10 cars on track at a time and the clock keeps running through any red flags or sandstorms, as we saw in 2021.
When is F1 testing 2024?
F1 2024 pre-season testing will run for three days from February 21-23, before it’s lights out for the Bahrain GP on March 2.
The action each day will begin at 10:00 local time and finish at 19:00, so teams will get well over an hour on track after the sun sets to simulate grand prix conditions too.
For UK viewers, that means watching 7-16:00 from Wednesday to Friday, with an hour’s shutdown for lunch each day too.
Perez led the way with a time of 1:30.305 in 2023, 1.4 seconds quicker than Verstappen‘s pacesetting time the previous year and almost four seconds faster than the fastest lap in the Bahrain GP, surprisingly set by Zhou Guanyu.
However, Verstappen‘s 2023 pole lap was still six-tenths ahead, so still expect teams to make improvements ahead of the grand prix this time around too.
Can fans attend F1 pre-season testing 2024?
Tickets will be available for 2024 pre-season testing, and the link to register with F1 before the go on sale is already open. Fans who purchased tickets for the 2024 Bahrain GP before February 1 also get free access to the last two days of testing.
In 2023, tickets were priced at just 5 BHD for adults and 2.5 BHD for children (around $13/$6.50 respectively).