In Formula 1, Formula1

Formula 1 has announced a
revolutionary calendar for the 2024 season
, setting a record with 24 Grand Prix. This extended calendar marks a new era for the FIA World Championship of
Formula One World Championship
, showing the organization’s commitment to ‘further expanding the sport and its desire to reach fans in new locations, while maintaining the traditional European venues that have made F1 history.

With races scheduled in every corner of the world, from traditional Europe to the Americas via Asia and the Middle East, the calendar reflects the global nature of Formula 1 and its ability to attract diverse audiences.


It starts on Saturday in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

The decision to move the first two races of the Formula 1 world championship to Saturday instead of the traditional Sunday has significant implications for Middle Eastern fans. In fact, it is an attempt to adapt to the needs of these emerging and diverse markets, where the weekend may have different dynamics than in traditional European or North American countries.

For example, in some Middle Eastern nations, the weekend falls on Fridays and Saturdays, making Saturday racing more accessible to that audience.

In addition, the beginning of Ramadan, which in 2024 is March 10 was definitely taken into account in the decision to schedule the first two races of the season on Saturday.

This choice respects the religious practices and observances of the host countries (Bahrain and Saudi Arabia), allowing local fans and participants to observe the holy month without conflict with sporting events. This consideration shows significant respect for local culture and traditions, reflecting Formula 1’s commitment to adapting its calendar to the different geographical, cultural and social circumstances of the countries in which it competes.

What do the fans think about that?

As for the impact on fans, this change may have mixed effects.

On the one hand, it could increase participation and engagement in markets where Saturday is preferred or more practical for following sporting events.
On the other hand, it could disorient some fans in other geographic areas who are used to following Formula 1 on Sundays, potentially creating conflicts with other commitments or with watching other sporting events typically scheduled for the weekend.

Certainly it will be interesting to check the audience for the Friday qualifying sessions of the two races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to see how many fans were able to devote a weekday to follow the cars on the track in the first two GPs.


Experimenting to improve

Adapting to these new schedules could prove to be an apt move to boost Formula 1’s global audience, reflecting an attempt to maximize the event’s TV and digital appeal in different time zones, we’ll see the results–the numbers never lie.

This approach could not only expand the fan base, but also provide new commercial and sponsorship opportunities for the Formula 1 circus. Formula 1 which is confirmed as an excellence not only in the world of motor sports, but also as an innovative and dynamic business model.

Its ability to adapt and take advantage of market opportunities with great flexibility underscores a vision at the forefront of the global sports landscape.

This openness to change and innovation enables the circus not only to improve its racing-related operations, but also to expand its commercial presence and strengthen its connection with fans around the world.

F1 thus proves that it is much more than a sport: it is a global marketing platform, capable of generating brand loyalty and attracting significant investment, contributing to economic growth and the spread of sporting values. In conclusion, Formula 1 embodies an excellent example of how flexibility, innovation and a well-thought-out business strategy can lead to tangible successes, both on and off the track.

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Riccardo Tafà
Riccardo Tafà
Managing Director for RTR Sports, Riccardo graduated in law at the University of Bologna. He began his career in London in PR, then started working in two and four-wheelers. A brief move to Monaco followed before returning to Italy. There he founded RTR, first a consulting firm and then a sports marketing company which, eventually, he moved back to London.
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F1 2024, The longest championship ever: 24 races and the first two Grand Prix are run on Saturday. Here’s why., RTR Sports
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