The conclusion of Super Bowl LVIII has brought the 2023-2024 NFL season to an end. That can only mean one thing.
It is now NFL Draft season.
Wait no! It means two things.
It is also Formula 1 season.
By the end of this week every team will have unveiled at least their livery — if not their challenger — for the upcoming season. Shakedown sessions are underway as well, and pre-season testing is slated to get underway in just a few short days.
Ahead of the 2024 F1 season, here are some recent rule changes that you should be aware of before the grid truly roars back to life.
Altered Sprint Race schedules
Last season saw the introduction of “F1 Sprint Saturdays” to the schedule.
For the six weekends that incorporated Sprint races to the schedule, the format for the weekend was altered. Instead of a traditional grand prix weekend, which saw two practices on Friday, a practice on Saturday ahead of qualifying, and then the race on Sunday, teams only had one practice session to work with.
That practice session would take place on Friday, followed by qualifying for the Sunday grand prix. Then Saturday, dubbed “F1 Sprint Saturday,” would be dedicated to the Sprint race. The “F1 Sprint Shootout” — qualifying for the Sprint race — would happen first, ahead of the Sprint race itself.
Then on Sunday fans would be treated to the main event.
For 2024 the schedule has been altered. Now following practice on Friday teams will participate in qualifying for the F1 Sprint race. That race will be held on Saturday, along with qualifying for the grand prix itself.
Which will take place on Sunday.
As with the 2023 season, there are six Sprint weekends on the 2024 F1 calendar. The first is the Chinese Grand Prix in April, followed by the Miami Grand Prix in early May. The Austrian. Grand Prix in June, the United States Grand Prix in October, the São Paulo Grand Prix in November, and the Qatar Grand Prix at the end of December, are the six Sprint weekends this season.
Adjusted Power Unit allocations
F1 has also increased the number of power units available over the course of the season for each team. Last season, teams were allowed three power units over the course of the year, and drivers who took on an additional power unit faced grid penalties.
For this season and next, teams are allocated four power units over the course of the season.
Change to DRS
In addition, changes are coming to the Drag Reduction System, or DRS. In previous season, drivers were only allowed to use DRS starting two laps after the start of the race, or after a restart following a safety car.
This season, drivers can now use DRS after only one lap, whether after the start of the race, or following a restart.