The new F1 season will feature a record-breaking 24 events, with the start times largely unchanged from 2023.
Just two races will have a different start time, with the Miami GP kicking off at 4pm local time instead of 3:30pm, as well as a significant change for the Qatar GP.
After heat exhaustion proved to be an issue for the drivers in last year’s Losail race, which started at 5pm in early October, this year’s event will take place at 8pm on 1 December, which should ensure the athletes’ safety in that regard.
Practice and qualifying times have been released too for most grands prix, but only the race start time is available for sprint weekends and the Las Vegas GP.
After its first edition was disrupted by water valve covers being ripped up by cars nine minutes into FP1 – which started at 8:30pm – and spectators subsequently being sent home due to delays and staffing restrictions, it is unclear whether the Thursday and Friday schedules will be adapted this year.
Team principals have been calling for a less strenuous schedule at the Nevada event, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner commenting last November: “Everybody is leaving Vegas slightly f***ed! One way or another it has been a brutal weekend for everyone behind the scenes, and I think we need to look at how we can improve that for the future.”
It is worth noting that the Chinese GP will start at 3pm local time for the event’s return to the calendar after four seasons away due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s just three hours and 26 minutes before sunset, which means any lengthy stoppage might prevent full-distance running.