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F1 sprint race weekend format set for reshuffle in 2024

Formula 1's sprint race format is set to be reshuffled for 2024 with grand prix qualifying to be moved to Saturdays, following an F1 Commission meeting on Monday.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W14

Erik Junius

The schedule across the six sprint race weekends in 2024 will be reordered pending approval from the World Motorsport Council, although the FIA revealed details of the discussions that took place by those involved in the F1 Commission.

Sprint weekends are set to operate as follows: free practice and sprint qualifying will take place on the Friday, with the sprint race on Saturday. The shortened race format will precede qualifying for the grand prix, which will occupy its usual slot on Saturday along with the full race on Sunday.

This has been agreed to in principle by the commission, with the FIA stating that regulatory changes will be presented to the WMSC on 28 February - a few days prior to the Bahrain season opener.

The changes follow last season's complaints about parc ferme conditions, where cars were effectively locked into their set-ups on Fridays following just one practice session.

There were multiple instances of drivers having to sacrifice their grid positions for Sunday's race by breaking parc ferme, following the discovery of an incorrect set-up decision over the sprint qualifying and race.

It is expected that the shuffling of the sessions across the sprint race weekend will ensure that parc ferme can be reopened between the sprint race and grand prix qualifying, allowing for any necessary set-up tweaks.

Alpine broke parc ferme for Esteban Ocon at last year's Baku sprint race to make suspension changes, while both Aston Martins and Haases started from the pitlane in Austin as they made specification changes.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

In 2024, the Chinese, Miami, Austrian, United States, Sao Paulo, and Qatar grands prix will be run to a sprint weekend format, as China and Miami will replace the Azerbaijan and Belgium sprint weekends run last season.

Further late changes for 2024 will include a roll back on the restricted power unit allocation, which had fallen from four to three for internal combustion engine, MGU-K, MGU-H, and turbocharger. This has been restored to four per driver for 2024 and 2025.

In addition, the rules regarding DRS use has been changed; the race director can now trigger DRS use one lap after the start of the race, instead of the current two-laps grace period. This also applies to race restarts after a safety car period.

The FIA added that "the group discussed a number of topics relating to the 2026 Regulations in particular financial and sustainability matters", and that "other minor updates to the 2024 Technical, Sporting and Financial Regulations were approved by the Commission".

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