Ferrari F1 car at Sakhir during the 2022 Bahrain GP

F1 2024 calendar and race reports: What time the next grand prix starts and what happened in the previous rounds

Looks like Red Bull and Verstappen will do it again in 2024 but it's tight for best-of-the-rest

The 2024 Formula One season is well underway and set to feature a record 24 races. That was meant to be the case in 2023 but the Chinese GP and Emilia-Romagna GP were both dropped from the calendar, for different reasons; both return for the 2024 season, making this a bumper year for fans and a hectic one for the teams and drivers.

Once again the F1 season began with the Bahrain Grand Prix, which took place this year on Saturday, March 2. The season is due to stretch into December, with the final round slated for the Yas Marina track in Abu Dhabi on December 8.

In scheduling the races for 2024, F1’s management made a conscious move towards “greater calendar regionalisation”, which in layman’s terms means grouping events together based on their geographical locations. This, F1 says, has the dual benefit of reducing logistical burdens on the teams and making the season more sustainable.

The resulting tweaks involved moving the Japanese GP to April, putting it between the Australian and Chinese rounds, while the Azerbaijan GP shifts to September, after Italy and before Singapore. Additionally, the Qatar Grand Prix is back-to-back with Abu Dhabi.

Of greatest interest for UK F1 fans will be that the 2024 British Grand Prix takes place on the weekend of July 5-7.

A statement from F1 read: “This calendar creates a better flow of races in certain regions, and this work will continue while being realistic to the fact that as a world championship, with climatic and contractual constraints, there will always be travel required that cannot be completely regionalised.”

Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, said: “I believe this calendar strikes the right balance between traditional races and new and existing venues.

“Our journey to a more sustainable calendar will continue in the coming years as we further streamline operations as part of our Net Zero 2030 commitment.”

When is the next F1 race?

The next F1 race is the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday, May 19.

If you can watch it live, the main race starts at 3pm Italian time. For our UK readers, that’s 2pm over here, and coverage on Sky begins at 12:30pm. We’ve included local times below for the UK, USA and Australia.

LocationTimeTime ZoneUTC Offset
London (United Kingdom – England)Sunday, 19 May 2024, 15:00:00BSTUTC+1 hour
New York (USA – New York)Sunday, 19 May 2024, 10:00:00EDTUTC-4 hours
Los Angeles (USA – California)Sunday, 19 May 2024, 07:00:00PDTUTC-7 hours
Canberra (Australia – Australian Capital Territory)Monday, 20 May 2024, 00:00:00AEDTUTC+10 hours
Timings via

The full Emilia-Romagna GP schedule with UK timings:

Friday, May 17ITALYUK
Practice 113:30 – 12:3012:30 – 13:30
Practice 217:00 – 18:0016:00 – 17:00
Saturday, May 18
Practice 312:30 – 13:3011:30 – 12:30
Qualifying16:00 – 17:0015:00 – 16:00
Sunday, May 19
Grand Prix15:0014:00

2024 F1 calendar

Here’s the full schedule of grands prix for the 2024 Formula One season. After each round you’ll be able to click on links to read a report of each race.

DateGrand PrixVenue
February 21-23Pre-season testing, BahrainSakhir
February 29 – March 2Bahrain (report and highlights)Sakhir
March 7-9Saudi Arabia (report and highlights)Jeddah
March 22-24Australia (report and highlights)Melbourne
April 5-7Japan (report and highlights)Suzuka
April 19-21China (report and highlights)Shanghai
May 3-5Miami (report and highlights)Miami
May 17-19Emilia-RomagnaImola
May 24-26MonacoMonaco
June 7-9CanadaMontreal
June 21-23SpainBarcelona
June 28-30AustriaSpielberg
July 5-7Great BritainSilverstone
July 19-21HungaryBudapest
July 26-28BelgiumSpa
August 23-25NetherlandsZandvoort
August 30 – September 1ItalyMonza
September 13-15AzerbaijanBaku
September 20-22SingaporeSingapore
October 18-20United StatesAustin
October 25-27Mexico CityMexico City
November 1-3BrazilSao Paulo
November 21-23Las VegasLas Vegas
November 29 – December 1QatarLusail
December 6-8Abu DhabiYas Marina

2024 Bahrain GP race report

The 2024 F1 season has already had more than its fair share of drama and scandal before the lights went out on the first race, writes Dave Humphreys.

Despite plenty of variability in the early practice sessions, the starting grid for the Bahrain Grand Prix continued where 2023 left off. Reigning world champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull started from pole position ahead of Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari and George Russell of Mercedes.

Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) lined up in fourth place — he has a lot to prove this year, as he will be replaced by Lewis Hamilton in 2025. Hamilton could only qualify in ninth, saying he sacrificed qualifying speed for race setup in his Mercedes.

The wily Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) started from sixth, ahead of the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri. A strong performance from Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) saw him in tenth spot.

As the lights went out, Verstappen got away cleanly and maintained his lead into the first corner, with the pack taking a cautious approach to the first lap in this season-opener. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) spun around following a light touch from Hulkenberg, demoting the Canadian driver to last place as he recovered. Zhou Guanyu (Stake F1) made a great start and gained four places by the end of lap one.

A couple of laps in, Norris made a move stick on Alonso while further up the field, Russell performed a fantastic overtake on Leclerc into turn four. With the Mercedes moving ahead, Leclerc had the Red Bull of Sergio Perez on his rear wing. The Mexican driver kept the pressure on and on lap seven Leclerc locked up his brakes and ran wide in turn 11, allowing Perez to slip through.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 02: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 on track leads the group during the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 02, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images )

Hamilton’s race pace wasn’t as promising as it might have been; complaints over the team radio revealed he was dealing with hybrid battery issues and a broken race seat. Nevertheless, he passed Alonso on lap 10 just before Sargeant (Williams) stopped briefly off-track. Sargeant soon got the car going again but was now plum last.

The first raft of pit stops took place on lap 12, with Russell, Leclerc, Perez, Hamilton and Piastri all stopping. Perez was fast on fresh tyres and caught up to Russell, passing him two laps later to move into sixth place. Sainz was also driving well and pulled off a daring overtake on Leclerc on lap 17, clearly out to make a name for himself this year.

Verstappen was untroubled out in front, and the race leader stopped on lap 18 for fresh rubber. Further back, Leclerc struggled with balance issues, and the Mercedes of Russell also developed problems with the power unit overheating. That provided Sainz the opportunity to overtake for third place.

It then became quite processional out on track with little action for fans to get excited about. The second round of pit stops began on lap 32 with Russell and Bottas. The Finnish driver had a lengthy delay due to a wheel nut issue, but he was eventually able to rejoin the race in the lurid green Stake F1 car. A few laps later, Perez made his second stop that enabled him to get out in front of Sainz, though he was still some way behind Verstappen, who would set the fastest lap of the race on lap 40.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 02: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari SF-24 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 02, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images )

Six laps later, Russell made a mistake going into turn 11 and ran wide, leaving the door open for Leclerc to slip by in the Ferrari, moving up to fourth. Further back, the two RBs (formerly AlphaTauri) of Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda were involved in some action as the team instructed Tsunoda to switch places and leave Ricciardo through, much to the Japanese driver’s chagrin.

Unhappy at being asked to give up what was already a non-points-finishing place, Tsunoda vented his frustration on the team radio. It seems that the new team boss, Laurent Mekies, has brought some of the questionable decision-making from Ferrari’s strategy department with him to RB. Adding insult to injury, Verstappen lapped both RBs in the Red Bull on his way to the chequered flag.

Sergio Perez rolled home in a distant second place, some 22 seconds behind Verstappen, and Sainz scored an important third place ahead of Leclerc. Fifth was all that Russell could muster in the end, followed by Norris, Hamilton, Piastri, Alonso and a good recovery from Stroll following his spin at the start to finish the race in the last points-scoring position of 10th.

The next round of the 2024 Formula 1 season will take place on March 7 in Saudi Arabia, with the race taking place on Saturday, March 9 due to Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, starting on Sunday, March 10.

Watch the 2024 Bahrain GP highlights

2024 Saudi Arabian GP race report

A slightly altered weekend schedule for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, moved forward by one day to accommodate Ramadan, once more saw action under the floodlights, writes Dave Humphreys. The Christian Horner / Red Bull saga may have continued — and even ramped up — off-track but on circuit it was business as usual for Max Verstappen as he clinched pole position during Friday’s qualifying session.

However, all eyes in qualifying were on young up-and-coming British driver Oliver Bearman, who had a last-minute call-up to replace Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari. The Spanish driver had been feeling under the weather since arriving in Saudi Arabia and was subsequently diagnosed with appendicitis, requiring immediate surgery.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: 7th placed Oliver Bearman of Great Britain and Ferrari looks on in the pits prior to competing in the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 09, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Ferrari called upon 18-year-old Bearman, who had been competing in feeder series F2, to step into the second Ferrari from the third practice session. Having spent just an hour with the car, he was thrown into Qualifying, though it didn’t rattle the youngster and he narrowly missed out on making it through to Q3, qualifying a very respectable 11th. 

Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) lined up alongside Verstappen (Red Bull) on the front row of the grid, with Perez (Red Bull) in 3rd ahead of Alonso (Aston Martin), who was impressive throughout the weekend. The McLarens of Piastri and Norris made up the third row, with the Mercedes of Russell and Hamilton behind. Tsuoda (RB) and Stroll (Aston Martin) rounded off the top 10.

Verstappen got a clean getaway at the start, with Leclerc following closely into the tight first corner. Perez was all over the Ferrari’s rear, keen to get by. Piastri made no delay in getting past Alonso, while Gasly (Alpine) was forced to retire at the end of the opening lap with suspected gearbox issues.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Aston Martin AMR24 Mercedes on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 09, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Perez slipped by Leclerc to 2nd place with the help of DRS on lap 4, but the race was neutralised three laps later when Stroll tapped the wall on the inside of turn one, damaging his suspension and sending him into the tyre wall, resulting in the deployment of the safety car. That triggered a flurry of pit-stop action, with some teams double-stacking cars. Perez narrowly avoided a collision as he left his pit box, which earned him a five-second penalty.

Norris and Hamilton stayed out during the safety car period, leaving the McLaren driver in the lead of the race when action got underway again.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Oscar Piastri of Australia driving the (81) McLaren F1 Team MCL38 on track and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 09, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Bearman kept his nose clean but raced hard and moved into the top 10 on lap 10m, passing Zhou (Stake F1).

Magnussen (Haas) was also handed a 10-second penalty for causing a collision with Albon (Williams). That was bad news for Magnussen’s race, but he proceeded to defend his position gallantly and held up Tsunoda, Ocon (Alpine), Albon and Sargeant (Williams), creating enough of a gap ahead for his Haas team mate Hulkenberg to pit and retain his points-scoring position.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany driving the (27) Haas F1 VF-24 Ferrari makes a pitstop during the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 09, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Peter Fox - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Hamilton stopped on lap 37 for fresh rubber, leaving Norris some clear air ahead of his stop one lap later. The McLaren re-emerged between Bearman in the second Ferrari, slowly making his way up the field, and Hamilton’s Mercedes.

Perez was closing the gap to Verstappen at the front, but the Red Bull driver would hold station in 2nd place with a comfortable gap to Leclerc in 3rd. The Ferrari driver did manage to secure the fastest lap before the end, earning another crucial championship point.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Race Winner Max Verstappen of Netherland and Oracle Red Bull Racing, second placed Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing and third placed Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 09, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Despite the off-track drama, it was very much business as usual for Verstappen as he crossed the line, having led from the start. However, Bearman impressed most with a faultless drive to secure a respectable 7th place in his F1 debut with Ferrari. It remains unclear if Sainz will recover in time for the next round in Melbourne, so we may see the young Brit in action again.

2024 Australian GP race report

As F1 returned “Down Under”, it was a welcome relief that it was the action on-track that generated the most interest, rather than what was happening behind the scenes, writes Dave Humphreys.

The tight circuit nestled within the leafy surrounds of Melbourne’s Albert Park proved to be a challenging one for some of the drivers. Alex Albon (Williams) had an enormous impact against the wall during practice, enough to damage his chassis beyond repair.

Williams, already on the back foot during winter development, didn’t have a spare chassis for Albon and therefore made the controversial and difficult decision to put underperforming Logan Sergeant on the bench for the weekend and give his car to Albon in the hope of him scoring a point or two.

Many saw it as unfair to punish a driver who, through no fault of their own, would have to miss a race, but team principal James Vowles said he made the tough decision in the team’s best interests. Albon lined up a decent 12th on the starting grid, just behind Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who could manage only 11th after being knocked out of Q2 by Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin).

It was another pole position start for Max Verstappen (Red Bull), but more impressive was Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), returning from an appendectomy that saw him sit out the previous race. The Spanish driver is still on the hunt for a drive next year and is keen to prove his worth. Lining up behind him were Lando Norris (McLaren), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Oscar Piastri (McLaren) and Sergio Perez (Red Bull), who was demoted after receiving a penalty for blocking Nico Hulkenberg (Haas).

A clean getaway from the grid saw Sainz sticking with Verstappen in the opening laps while George Russell (Mercedes) passed Perez to move up a place. Hamilton also moved up a place; otherwise, the pack was holding station. The Ferrari cars had looked quick all weekend at Albert Park and, on the second lap, Sainz exploited the DRS to pass Verstappen and remain in front.

It seemed as if Verstappen didn’t have an answer to Sainz’s speed, and then on lap five smoke began to emerge from the Red Bull’s rear, causing him to slow. A fire on the right rear brake proved to be terminal as the Red Bull returned to the pits, ending Verstappen’s phenomenally impressive reliability run.

Sainz built up a comfortable lead over Norris, with Leclerc following in third. Hamilton, one of the only drivers to start on the soft tyre, pitted on lap eight for hard tyres, with teammate Russell doing the same one lap later. An early pit stop for Leclerc signalled that the Ferrari driver was going for the “undercut” on the McLaren of Norris. The McLaren driver stayed out to counter the offensive before pitting on lap 15.

Race leader Sainz stopped on lap 17 just before the virtual safety car was activated because Hamilton peeled off the circuit with an engine failure. It was a premature end to the race in what Hamilton later described as the worst start to a season in his career. Alonso took advantage of the incident to make a quick pit stop and save a few seconds.

With Sainz in a comfortable lead and Leclerc closing in, Ferrari instructed its drivers to hold position. The team was eyeing a valuable one-two finish and didn’t want to risk more racing between its drivers. In the sole Red Bull, Perez was making up places, passing Russell to regain sixth on lap 21. Albon was now running in 10th and in the points, though there was still lots of racing to be done.

Piastri obliged as team player when asked to switch with Norris as he was proving to be faster and chasing a podium finish. The other Australian driver, Daniel Ricciardo (RB), wasn’t having such a good race and continued to struggle, running last at one point and four seconds adrift of the Alpines. In the other RB, Yuki Tsunoda had a far better race, in ninth.

The leaders’ second round of pit stops began on lap 40 with Piastri, followed by Norris and Sainz one lap later. That temporarily made Leclerc the race leader, but he still had a stop to make himself. A late dive into the pit for Russell on lap 46 suggested he might catch Alonso with fresher tyres, and by the closing stages of the race he had caught right up. Alonso, claiming to have an engine issue, slowed more than expected into turn six, catching Russell out and sending him off the track and spearing into the wall, before ricocheting back onto the circuit.

Further up the field, Sainz crossed the line to complete a masterfully controlled race and take the win ahead of Leclerc. Norris secured third. Piastri earned a solid fourth ahead of Perez and Lance Stroll in the second Aston Martin.

Tsunoda was promoted to seventh after the stewards issued a drive-through penalty to Alonso for causing an incident with Russell, which became a 20-second time penalty.

The two Haas cars finished in the points as a result of Russell retiring, but Albon, who had so much pressure to earn some points, finished just outside them in 11th.

2024 Japanese GP race report

Race fans in the UK once again had to set their alarm clocks for an early start as the latest round of the 2024 F1 season took place at the Suzuka circuit in Japan, writes Dave Humphreys.

Following his surprise retirement at the Australian Grand Prix, current championship leader Max Verstappen (Red Bull) was keen to regain his race-winning ways at Suzuka. Despite securing yet another pole position start, he didn’t have such an easy run of it after a close-run qualifying battle with his teammate Sergio Perez (Red Bull) and Lando Norris (McLaren) in third, just ahead of Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and Oscar Piastri (McLaren).

The Mercedes team continued to struggle with its car performance, resulting in Lewis Hamilton starting in seventh and George Russell in ninth. Making up the rest of the top ten was Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) in eighth and local driver Yuki Tsunoda (RB) in tenth.

Verstappen made a clean getaway at the start, keeping Perez behind, but the race was quickly red-flagged following a collision between Daniel Ricciardo (RB) and Alex Albon (Williams) that sent both cars into the tyre barrier in turn three, ending their races. It was an unfortunate end for both drivers, with more pressure ratcheting up on Ricciardo and the security of this seat at the team, while Williams suffered yet another substantial (and costly) repair.

As the race restart got underway Verstappen once again led the field. Further back Esteban Ocon (Alpine) suspected contact with his teammate Pierre Gasly. Verstappen started to pull out a slight lead, breaking free of the DRS window ahead of Perez.

Sainz was putting pressure on Norris, who had got the best from his tyres already and went on to pit on lap 12. Tyres were proving to be a challenge for others, including Hamilton, and resulted in the team orchestrating a swap of positions between him and Russell. Hamilton’s race didn’t get much better when Norris overtook him on the way into turn two, and soon Sainz would also pass.

Leclerc opted to stay out longer and was splitting the Red Bulls for a period until Perez resumed second place when he passed the Ferrari as it ran wide at the Degner 2 corner. With the Red Bulls managing a comfortable lead, the more exciting action was happening further back in the field, with Nico Hulkenberg (Haas), Tsunoda and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) fighting for the remaining points places.

Williams’ dire weekend continued when Sargeant went into the gravel trap but stopped short of the tyre barrier. He managed to reverse back out onto the track before continuing. Both Ferrari drivers had strong races, with Sainz putting in another impressive performance as he continues his search for a drive in 2025. The Channel 4 commentators in Britain claimed that there was now huge demand for the Spanish star, following his performances so far this year.

Towards the end, Leclerc swapped positions with Sainz as they were on different race strategies and lapping faster.

The action continued right to the end of the race as Russell tussled with Piastri into the final chicane. The McLaren driver was forced off the track to avoid contact but held onto the position. Nevertheless, Russell made the move work at the second attempt, aided by the drag reduction system, which flips open a rear winglet.

It proved to be another relatively easy victory for Verstappen, with Perez securing second ahead of Sainz in third. Given his starting position, Leclerc’s drive to earn fourth represented a good recovery.

Norris and Alonso crossed the line in fifth and sixth, respectively, followed by Russell, Piastri, Hamilton and Tsunoda, who scored the last remaining point, much to the delight of his home crowd. He’d also made two brilliant passes on different laps around the outside at turn six, which is highly unusual and showed the Japanese driver is more than pulling his weight at RB.

2024 Chinese GP race report

After a lengthy break from the calendar, F1 returned to China with a sprint weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit, writes Dave Humphreys.

The return of the Chinese Grand Prix was accompanied by lots of interest in the country, buoyed by the presence of a local driver, Guanyu Zhou (Sauber), competing in front of his home crowd.

Sprint race

They were treated to an exciting qualifying session for the Sprint race, which saw Lando Norris (McLaren) start from pole ahead of Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin).

As the lights went out, Norris led the way, but a slightly faster start from Hamilton gave him the better line going into the first corner, and he was able to run Norris wide, sending him off the track and back down the field.

Alonso had a front-row seat for the move and capitalised on it, moving up to second with Max Verstappen (Red Bull) close behind in third, but the Dutch driver was struggling early on with battery issues in his car.

After what was becoming a processional race, Verstappen resolved his car issues with a change of engine mode and began closing in on Alonso.

Behind that was Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), while Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull was keeping ahead of the second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. Having dropped back, Norris managed to stay ahead of his McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri.

The long back straight in Shanghai and the benefit of the drag reduction system (DRS) meant that on lap eight, Verstappen could comfortably pass Alonso and began closing in on Hamilton.

Verstappen gained an added advantage as the gap diminished when Hamilton ran wide at the hairpin. Now, Verstappen was right behind and, on the next lap, helped with that DRS advantage, he overtook the Mercedes for the lead. Further back, it was a more settled race until the closing laps.

On lap 17, Sainz sent it up the inside of Alonso, pushing him wide, opening the door for Perez to slip by. Alonso regained the position but picked up a puncture in the process. In the frantic action, Leclerc then passed Sainz heading into the hairpin, but the Spanish driver — soon to be out of contract — barged his way back in front, forcing Leclerc off the road.

After having to pit with a puncture from the incident with Sainz, Alonso found he had to retire his Aston Martin due to additional damage.

Things began to settle from then on and, up front, Verstappen cruised to a comfortable victory. Hamilton was able to keep ahead of Perez and earn a very welcome second place. Leclerc, angry with Sainz, finished ahead in fourth as the McLaren pair crossed the line in sixth (Norris) and seventh (Piastri), while Russell in the other Mercedes could only manage eighth. Big cheers went up for local driver Guanyu as he scored a ninth-place finish ahead of Magnussen in the Haas.

Grand Prix

Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix had a predictable front row, with Verstappen on pole and Perez alongside, but a stellar drive from Alonso in qualifying placed him in third place for the start, beside Norris. Despite a great showing in the Sprint race, Hamilton had one of his worst qualifying sessions in years and would start from 18th.

Verstappen led into the first corner, but Alonso pulled off a masterful overtake on Perez around the outside of turn one. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) was running well in sixth, just behind Russell. On lap five, Perez lunged at Alonso to regain the Red Bull one-two. Alonso was overtaken again at the hairpin by Norris and soon after, Leclerc made a successful move on Russell.

Next on Leclerc’s list was Piastri, whom he passed at the hairpin and then, as Alonso pitted, the Ferrari driver found himself in fourth place.

Following the first round of pit stops, Verstappen was back in the lead. The Sauber of Bottas suffered a technical failure that caused a virtual safety car on lap 21, allowing Leclerc an advantageous pit stop.

Marshalls had difficulty removing the Sauber, prompting a full safety car that bunched up the field. As that was happening, Stroll (Aston Martin) ploughed into the back of Ricciardo (RB), ending the Australian driver’s race with a broken floor. Stroll received a 10-second penalty for causing the incident.

As racing resumed, Perez made a move on Leclerc to gain third place, while Hamilton fought his way up into a points-scoring position further back. Alonso’s second pit stop saw him drop to 12th, but he quickly raced his way back up to 7th.

It was an easy win for Verstappen, who was in another class to the rest of the field and seemed to be toying with his car in the final laps. It was another solid podium finish for Norris in second, who must surely be in line for a race win soon.

Perez’s third place was more good news for the Red Bull Racing team, while Ferrari earned another fourth and fifth place with Leclerc and Sainz, respectively. The rest of the top ten included Russell, Alonso, Piastri, Hamilton and Hulkenberg.

2024 Miami GP race report

F1 landed in Miami for the first of three races in the United States this year, writes Dave Humphreys, and it was a weekend to remember for one debut GP winner.

The circuit at Miami may take place in the car park area surrounding the Hard Rock Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins, but the 19-turn track involves both tight racing and high-speed action. McLaren brought a comprehensive upgrade package, while Ferrari celebrated its 70-year presence in North America by running flashes of blue on its car as a nod to the US importer, Luigi Chinetti, who operated the North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.) with blue and white colour schemes.

Sprint race

The Saturday Sprint race saw Max Verstappen (Red Bull) start from pole, ahead of Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Sergio Perez (Red Bull) and Daniel Ricciardo (RB), who put in a solid performance to start on the second row.

As the lights went out, the run into the first corner saw Perez lose a place, but further back there was more drama as the two Aston Martin drivers, Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso, came together with Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Lando Norris (McLaren). The safety car was deployed as marshals cleared the debris.

As racing resumed on lap three, the drivers were a bit more cautious, but once the tyres were back up to temperature, Perez began his fight with Ricciardo. A deep lunge under braking on lap five saw the Mexican driver regain his position.

Further back, Hamilton was engaged in a close battle with Kevin Magnussen (Haas), who gave no quarter to the multiple world champion. The Haas matched the Mercedes on performance, requiring Hamilton to dig deep into his book of tactics to get past. Magnussen missed the chicane on lap 12, earning him a penalty and, two laps later, the stewards showed him the black and white flag for driving standards. This ding-dong fight intensified when Hamilton ran wide, trying to out-brake the Haas, opening the door for Yuki Tsunoda (RB) to slip by and gain two positions.

There was a vast train of cars further back, with positions from 11th to 18th all within one second of each other. To add insult to injury, Hamilton was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane during the safety car period, resulting in the time being added to his race. It was a clean win for Verstappen, though Leclerc wasn’t far behind in second, with Perez in third. Fourth place gave Ricciardo a strong result after a challenging 2024 season to date.

Grand Prix

The race on Sunday once again saw Verstappen start from pole, with the Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz behind and Perez in fourth. The two McLarens of Norris and Oscar Piastri made up the third row, followed by the Mercedes of Russell and Hamilton.

Verstappen got off to a great start but Perez locked up and almost speared into his teammate as he carried straight on, and only just avoided the Ferraris. The melee gave an opportunity to McLaren, with Piastri moving up. Hamilton was once more battling a Haas, this time with Nico Hulkenberg at the wheel, as George Russell (Mercedes) closed in. On lap five, the hard-charging McLaren of Piastri went up the inside of Leclerc to gain second place.

Going through the chicane on lap 22, Verstappen clipped a bollard and sent it into the racing line, which called for a virtual safety car (VSC) period as marshals retrieved it. That VSC wasn’t long enough to give any major pit stop advantages to the leading drivers. However, six laps later, Magnussen tangled with Logan Sargeant, putting the Williams car out of the race and bringing out the safety car once more, gifting Norris an advantageous pit stop. As the field reshuffled, Norris was leading.

Sainz and Piastri were embroiled in a thrilling battle as racing resumed, with each driver giving as good as they got. The two touched, damaging the McLaren’s front wing and requiring a pit stop that effectively ended the Australian’s race.

As the laps ticked down, it became clear that Verstappen, who complained all weekend of not feeling at one with his car, didn’t have an answer for Norris, who put in consistently fast laps in his McLaren. There was intense fighting back in the pack, and a massive lock-up from Albon saw him lose out to Ricciardo, Piastri, Valtteri Bottas (Kick Sauber) and Magnussen.

As the chequered flag came out, it was a richly deserved and long-overdue win for Norris. It confirms his talent and highlights how much the McLaren team has improved this year. But although Verstappen couldn’t catch the Brit and was complaining of poor grip all weekend, it is a sign of the Red Bull driver’s dominance that he still managed to win the sprint race from pole and start the grand prix from pole, too, then secure the second step on the podium in Sunday’s main event.

The next round takes place in Emila-Romagna in Italy on 19 May.

Are there F1 Sprint races in 2024?

Sprint races made their debut during the 2021 season and are set to continue in 2024. They are meant to feature circuits that encourage overtaking and thus result in close and entertaining action for fans.

Sprint races will take place in 2024 at the following grands prix:

  • Chinese GP, April 19-21
  • Miami GP, May 3-5
  • Austrian GP, June 28-30
  • United States GP, October 18-20
  • Brazilian GP, November 1-3
  • Qatar GP, November 29 – December 1

What is the format for an F1 Sprint race weekend?

The starting grid for the sprint race on Saturday used to be determined on Friday afternoon with the weekend’s traditional three-session knockout qualifying session. The final order from the sprint race was then the grid for Sunday’s GP. However, in 2023 things were different, and it’s changed again for 2024.

At 62 miles long, sprint races are around two thirds shorter than a normal 190-mile grand prix, and last around 30 minutes. Though the rules are almost the same as for a GP, drivers do not have to pit for tyres during a sprint (though pit stops are not banned).

Importantly, in 2023 the sprint race was made an isolated event, with its own qualifying session, and a separate qualifying for Sunday’s GP. That’s a change from the debut format, which saw the GP grid determined by the result of the sprint. It was modified to try to encourage drivers to be a bit less cautious in the sprint race, knowing that they would still start the GP from the grid spot for which they qualified, even if they have a disaster in the sprint race and finish near the back of the field (or crash out).

However, in 2024 the schedule was changed to move sprint qualifying from Saturday to the Friday afternoon, replacing the second free practice session of a regular weekend. The sprint race now takes place on Saturday morning, replacing FP3, before the qualifying session for the grand prix. This gives teams less practice time, and less time for prep/analysis. Basically, it’s more frenetic.

While drivers have a second bite at the cherry in the GP, even if the sprint race goes badly, penalties are carried over from the sprint so bad behaviour on or off-track can result in being pushed down the order for the start of the race on Sunday. What’s more, any damage sustained means the engineers have their work cut out to get the car ready again for the GP.

The top eight drivers receive points for the sprint race: eight points for the win, seven for second, etc.

The sprint qualifying session is in three parts, as with the GP qualifying, but with sessions lasting 12, 10 and eight minutes respectively, giving teams less time to get their quick lap in.

Making it trickier, for 2023 it was determined that drivers can only use medium tyres in the first two sessions, and softs in the final session, and could only use a single new set of tyres per session.

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