Significant F1 Sprint, DRS and power unit rule changes set for 2024 season

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen takes the lead of the Sprint race at the FIA F1 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen takes the lead of the Sprint race at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The FIA has published the outcome of the latest F1 Commission meeting, with significant changes planned for the F1 Sprint, DRS activation and power unit supply.

The format of an F1 Sprint weekend is going to change – namely the scheduling, to offer the teams more of a chance to change their car setup before they go into parc fermé conditions.

Alongside that, plans are in place to activate DRS zones after one complete lap following a start or restart, instead of the previous two-lap window.

F1 Commission plans significant 2024 changes

All the plans set out by the F1 Commission all still need approval in the next World Motor Sport Council meeting on February 28th, but the scheduling of the F1 Sprint has seen another tweak for 2024.

Having had a Saturday set aside for the Sprint as a self-contained day in 2023, with qualifying for the Grand Prix placed on a Friday last season, that will now change and qualifying for the Sprint will now take place on Friday, with the Sprint itself followed by Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday.

That leaves teams the option to change their car setup in between the Sprint and qualifying if needed, as a way to offer more flexibility before they go into parc fermé conditions and cannot make tweaks without incurring a grid penalty.

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 weekends Sprints are due to take place in 2024 are in China, Miami, Austria, Brazil, Las Vegas and Qatar.

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DRS activation to change and power unit allocation to increase

Away from that, to try and encourage more overtaking the F1 Commission announced that DRS [drag reduction system] overtaking would be activated after one lap of a start or restart, rather than after two laps as had previously been the case.

Alongside that, with the F1 calendar expanding to a record 24 races, an approval to increase each driver’s power unit allocation from three to four has happened for 2024 and 2025, before the sport’s reset in engine regulations in 2026.

Finally, the F1 Commission confirmed: “The group discussed a number of topics relating to the 2026 Regulations in particular financial and sustainability matters.

“Other minor updates to the 2024 Technical, Sporting and Financial Regulations were approved by the Commission.”

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