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How to watch F1 pre-season testing in 2024

The 2024 Formula 1 campaign is almost underway with pre-season testing next week, so here is how to watch the action

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Formula 1 cars will soon be back on track with pre-season testing at Bahrain International Circuit on the 21-23 February.

That is just a week before the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on the 29 February-2 March, so preparations are firmly underway for the upcoming campaign.

Recent weeks have seen excitement build for the 2024 season with teams unveiling their livery for the year ahead, amid various other news like Lewis Hamilton’s shock move to Ferrari for 2025.

It means the seven-time world champion has just one season left with Mercedes, who will look to close the gap on Red Bull.

Red Bull heads into 2024 after a truly dominant season where it won 21 of 22 grands prix in 2023 with triple world champion Max Verstappen claiming a record-breaking 19 victories.

READ MORE: All you need to know about F1 pre-season testing

So, will it become clear in pre-season testing that Red Bull and Verstappen are once again the team-driver pairing to beat, or will there be a surprise package?

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

When is F1 pre-season testing?

Date: 21-23 February
Start time: 7am GMT/10am local time on Wednesday 21 February

F1 pre-season testing starts at 7am in the United Kingdom and 10am local time on Wednesday 21 February to kickstart three days of running. Each day of F1 pre-season testing will start at the same time with the morning sessions lasting four hours, before running gets going again after lunch in Bahrain at 12pm GMT and 3pm local time.

Date 

Session 

Time 

Wednesday 21 February 

Morning 

7am GMT - 11am GMT 

10am local time - 2pm local time 

Wednesday 21 February 

Afternoon 

12pm GMT - 4pm GMT 

3pm local time - 7pm local time 

Thursday 22 February 

Morning 

7am GMT - 11am GMT 

10am local time - 2pm local time 

Thursday 22 February 

Afternoon 

12pm GMT - 4pm GMT 

3pm local time - 7pm local time 

Friday 23 February 

Morning 

7am GMT - 11am GMT 

10am local time - 2pm local time 

Friday 23 February 

Afternoon 

12pm GMT - 4pm GMT 

3pm local time - 7pm local time 

How can I watch F1 in 2024?

Sky Sports has held F1’s broadcasting rights in the UK since 2012, meaning a subscription is needed to watch the series. A Sky Sports subscription is available from £18 per month which includes all nine of its channels.

F1 can also be live streamed via NOW TV which offers unlimited Sky Sports and has two deals for new customers: a monthly pass for £26 or day membership for £11.99.

Although Sky Sports holds the exclusive rights for F1 in the UK, Channel 4 is able to show one grand prix live and that is the British GP on the 5-7 July 2024.

F1TV does not hold any rights to broadcast live grands prix in the UK, however fans can still catch some coverage of the series - documentaries for example - via the network for either £2.99 per month or £19.99 a year.

The car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, is wheeled down the pit lane

The car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, is wheeled down the pit lane

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

How can I watch F1 pre-season testing?

Sky Sports F1 will broadcast every session of pre-season testing in 2024 with its coverage starting on Wednesday 21 February at 6:50am GMT. Sky Sports F1 will start its coverage at the same time each morning, while some sessions will also be broadcast by Sky Sports Main Event.

READ MORE: Why F1 teams use flow-vis paint and aero rakes in pre-season testing

It will also not be one continuous live programme due to a lunch break each day, so Sky Sports will be on and off with its pre-season coverage.

F1 pre-season testing on Sky Sports can also be live streamed via NOW TV, meaning the action can be watched on a mobile or tablet device as well as a console.

The action from Bahrain can also be followed via Autosport, who will be running live text commentary.

Date 

Session 

Channel 

Coverage from 

Wednesday 21 February 

Morning 

Sky Sports F1/Sky Sports Main Event 

6:50am GMT/7am GMT 

Wednesday 21 February 

Afternoon 

Sky Sports F1/Sky Sports Main Event 

11:55am GMT/12pm GMT 

Thursday 22 February 

Morning 

Sky Sports F1/Sky Sports Main Event 

6:50am GMT/7am GMT 

Thursday 22 February 

Afternoon 

Sky Sports F1 

11:55am GMT 

Friday 23 February 

Morning 

Sky Sports F1/Sky Sports Main Event 

6:50am GMT/7am GMT 

Friday 23 February 

Afternoon 

Sky Sports F1 

11:55am GMT 

When can I watch F1 pre-season testing highlights?

F1 pre-season testing highlights are available via Sky Sports F1, who will broadcast a 30-minute programme each night reviewing the day’s action. That will be followed by Ted’s Testing Notebook where each day Sky Sports’ Ted Kravitz will give his thoughts on the action.

Pre-season testing highlights will also be available via the official F1 YouTube channel where, last year, it uploaded a shorter package - around five minutes - soon after each day had finished.

Date 

Channel 

Time 

Wednesday 21 February 

Sky Sports F1 

10pm GMT 

Thursday 22 February 

Sky Sports F1 

8pm GMT 

Friday 23 February 

Sky Sports F1 

8pm GMT 

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Who is testing for each F1 team?

Team Wednesday AM Wednesday PM Thursday AM Thursday PM Friday AM Friday PM
Red Bull Max Verstappen Max Verstappen Sergio Perez Max Verstappen Sergio Perez Sergio Perez
Mercedes George Russell George Russell Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton George Russell
Ferrari Charles Leclerc Carlos Sainz Charles Leclerc Carlos Sainz Carlos Sainz Charles Leclerc
McLaren Oscar Piastri Lando Norris Oscar Piastri Lando Norris Lando Norris Oscar Piastri
Aston Martin Fernando Alonso Lance Stroll Fernando Alonso Lance Stroll Lance Stroll Fernando Alonso
Alpine Esteban Ocon Pierre Gasly Pierre Gasly Esteban Ocon Esteban Ocon Pierre Gasly
Williams Alex Albon Logan Sargeant Logan Sargeant Logan Sargeant Alex Albon Alex Albon
RB Yuki Tsunoda Daniel Ricciardo Yuki Tsunoda Daniel Ricciardo Daniel Ricciardo Yuki Tsunoda
Sauber Valtteri Bottas Zhou Guanyu Zhou Guanyu Valtteri Bottas Valtteri Bottas Zhou Guanyu
Haas Kevin Magnussen Nico Hulkenberg Nico Hulkenberg Kevin Magnussen Kevin Magnussen Nico Hulkenberg

F1 teams only have one car on track for each session, so they usually look to split running between its two drivers during pre-season testing, handing them 1.5 days each in the car.

So, for example, Haas' Kevin Magnussen will be driving two morning sessions and one afternoon while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg will be doing the opposite. 

Other teams are opting for something different. Red Bull's Max Verstappen is driving all of day one and Sergio Perez all of day three, while they will split duties on day two - this is similar to Mercedes, but its drivers will split track time on the final day instead.

Occasionally a reserve driver might get some running as 2021 saw Roy Nissany drive day one for Williams, while Felipe Drugovich partook for Aston Martin in 2023 due to Lance Stroll’s wrist and toe injury - but occasions like this are rare.

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