Why Are the First Two Grands Prix of the Season Held on a Saturday?

Why Are the First Two Grands Prix of the Season Held on a Saturday?

The first Grand Prix of the year is an event that shouldn’t be missed. The inaugural race of the F1 season in Bahrain is set to take place on Saturday, March 2 at 4 p.m. (French time). The following week, the Saudi Arabian GP is also scheduled for Saturday, March 9. You may wonder why this is the case.

The reason behind this scheduling is quite straightforward. The Formula 1 management has made adjustments to accommodate the commencement of Ramadan, the sacred month for Muslims, which is from Sunday, March 10 to Tuesday, April 9. As a result, the Saudi Arabian GP, where Islam is the primary religion, could not be organized on a Sunday. Therefore, the Jeddah Grand Prix has logically been rescheduled to Saturday, March 9.

This shift has a direct impact: as the initial two races of the year are on consecutive weekends, it was necessary to change the Bahrain GP’s calendar to avoid overburdening the drivers and teams at the outset of a historic season with 24 races.

Consequently, the season’s first race has also been moved ahead to Saturday, March 2. For logistical reasons, the entire weekend is brought forward by a day, with free practice on Thursday and qualifying on Friday.

During the season, a third GP, the Las Vegas Grand Prix, will occur on a Saturday, November 23. At this time, the reason is not religious but pertains to the time difference on a circuit intended to be nocturnal.

To ensure a suitable broadcast time across Europe, the Grand Prix will be held on Saturday evening locally and on Sunday morning in France, around 7 a.m.