F1 Bahrain Grand Prix: When is the first race of the season - and why it's on a Saturday

Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen in Bahrain 2022. (Picture: Getty Images)Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen in Bahrain 2022. (Picture: Getty Images)
Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen in Bahrain 2022. (Picture: Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images
Both the Bahrain and Saudi Arabia Grand Prix will be held on a Saturday this season.

Drivers and teams are gearing up for the new F1 season - which commences on a slightly different timetable.

With a 24-race calendar this year, it's set to be an action-packed season, with drama abounding before we even reach the track. Lewis Hamilton looks set for a switch to Ferrari, and if so we're in for a pre-season silly season (which might be a first for F1).

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But when the teams do land in Bahrain for the first grand prix of the season, they will be racing on Saturday, not Sunday. In fact, both of the first two races - Bahrain and Saudi Arabia - will have the main race taking place on Saturday.

The Bahrain Grand Prix will be held on Saturday, March 2, with the Saudi race in Jeddah taking place the following weekend on Saturday, March 9.

Both races have been moved forward due to the start of Ramadan, the Muslim holy period that begins on Sunday, March 10. For logistical reasons, Bahrain had to be brought forward after Saudi Arabia was rearranged.

However, this isn't the first time that races have been held on a Saturday. In fact, traditionally that's how the weekend used to be scheduled.

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From the 1950 British GP until 1975, it was standard for races to held on Saturdays - especially when the Indy 500 was on the calendar. The last race to be held on a Saturday, until the Las Vegas GP last year, was the South African Grand Prix at Kayalami in 1985.

Pre-season testing will take place over the course of three days, between February 21-23.

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