F1 Sprint changes formally approved as 2024 season takes shape

Henry Valantine
Charles Leclerc drives the Ferrari SF-24.

Charles Leclerc took the Ferrari SF-24 around Fiorano for the first time shortly after its launch.

The World Motor Sport Council has approved changes to the F1 Sprint schedule for the 2024 season, which will see these weekends change how they are structured for the season ahead.

Following the announcement from the F1 Commission that Sprint changes would take place for the 2024 season, these have now received official WMSC approval ahead of the new campaign.

The official schedules for the six Sprint weekends have yet to be confirmed on the Formula 1 website, but this announcement will likely enable race organisers to put these changes into place for the year ahead.

F1 Sprint changes confirmed for 2024 season

To make it so parc fermé conditions come in at a later time in the weekend, offering teams more flexibility over car set-up, qualifying for the Sprint has been moved back to Friday after the sole free practice session on a Sprint weekend.

The Saturday will see the Sprint take place as the first F1 session of the day, before the drivers dust themselves down for Grand Prix qualifying later on – offering the teams a chance to make car tweaks in between before the cars are locked into a set-up when they leave the pit lane in qualifying.

The 2024 Sprint weekend structure is now set to take place as follows:

Friday: Free Practice 1 and Sprint qualifying
Saturday: Sprint and Grand Prix qualifying
Sunday: Grand Prix

The six Grand Prix weekends at which Sprints are due to take place in 2024 are in China, Miami, Austria, Brazil, Las Vegas and Qatar.

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These changes have already received approval from the drivers, with Max Verstappen among those to say they make more sense than the previous weekend structure.

“I think it’s a bit more logic I would say with the way the format is formed,” he told media including PlanetF1.com. “For me, I don’t get more excited by winning a sprint or fighting for these kind of races but at least a bit more logical.”

Verstappen’s former team-mate, Pierre Gasly also spoke positively about the changes, saying separately: “I think that’s great – I think that was missing, definitely. We ended up last year having amazing, brilliant, genius guys on a Friday afternoon being forbidden to touch anything on our car.

“That’s what they are paid for, that’s why they are the best. It was a bit sad, because they have much more to bring to the table than just one or two clicks of front flap and tyre pressure.

“F1 is the top of engineering, and I think it’s great we still give them the opportunity to always make these continuous improvements through the weekend.”

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