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Why is F1 Bahrain GP 2024 being held on Saturday?

Published at :March 2, 2024 at 4:53 PM
Modified at :March 2, 2024 at 4:53 PM
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(Courtesy : F1)

Arpit Anand

As Formula One enthusiasts eagerly await the start of the 2024 season with the Bahrain GP, there’s a noticeable departure from convention this year: the races will take place on Saturdays instead of the customary Sundays. This shift in scheduling has sparked intrigue among fans worldwide, prompting inquiries into the rationale behind this change.

Observance of Ramadan and Avoiding Collision

The decision to hold the Bahrain Grand Prix and subsequent races in Saudi Arabia on Saturdays stems from the observance of Ramadan, a significant religious event for the Muslim community. With Ramadan commencing on March 10, 2024, and lasting for a month, adherents fast from sunrise to sunset and engage in daily prayers. To accommodate this religious observance and avoid scheduling conflicts with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Formula One organizers opted to reschedule both races to Saturdays.

Originally slated for March 10, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix had to be moved forward by a day to March 9 to avoid overlapping with Ramadan. However, this adjustment posed another challenge: Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) regulations require a minimum seven-day gap between Grand Prix events. To adhere to these regulations while ensuring compliance and respecting cultural observances, the Bahrain Grand Prix was also rescheduled to Saturday.

Bahrain GP 2024: Updated Schedule and Timings

Thursday, 29 February 2024

  • ​Free Practice 1: 5:00 pm-6:00 pm IST
  • ​Free Practice 2: 8:30 pm-9:30 pm IST

Friday, 1 March 2024

  • ​Free Practice 3: 6:00 pm-7:00 pm IST
  • ​Qualifying Race: 9:00 pm-10:30 pm IST

Saturday, 2 March 2024

  • ​Race: 8:30 pm-10:30 pm IST

Regulatory Compliance and Consideration

The decision to reschedule the Bahrain Grand Prix underscores Formula One’s commitment to regulatory compliance and consideration for cultural and religious observances. By accommodating religious holidays and adhering to FIA regulations, Formula One demonstrates its inclusivity and sensitivity to the diverse global audience of the sport. This proactive approach highlights Formula One’s dedication to fostering harmony and understanding across different cultures and traditions.

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