GRR

2024 Australian Grand Prix preview: timings, how to watch, and more

21st March 2024
Simon Ostler

Max Verstappen arrives in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix with a 15-point lead in the championship, and stands clear as odds-on favourite to take a third victory in succession in 2024. He’s begun the new Formula 1 season as he left off the last, in seemingly unbeatable form at the wheel of a car that is head and shoulders above the rest. It’s likely to be up to his team-mate Sergio Perez to knock him off his perch, will the Mexican be able to put up a challenge?

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Elsewhere, Carlos Sainz is set to climb back into his Ferrari SF-24 this weekend, at least for Free Practice 1. His comments in the build-up to the weekend suggest he is feeling well after undergoing surgery for appendicitis two weeks ago, but clarified that he won’t race unless he feels 100 per cent. Oliver Bearman is due to return to Formula 2 this weekend after his successful Ferrari cameo at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, but he’ll be ready to deputise once again if required.

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2024 F1 standings

04th March

We’re back to racing on Sundays

Yes, after two successive races on Saturdays, the Australian Grand Prix returns F1 racing to its traditional slot on Sunday. Both the Bahrain and Saudi Arabian Grands Prix were held on Saturdays to accommodate the Holy month of Ramadan.

When can I watch the 2024 Australian Grand Prix?

If you’re in the United Kingdom, then get ready for some early starts. We’ve been spoiled by very sociable session times so far this season, but that’s all about to change as FP1 gets underway at 01:30 UK time (12:30 local) on Friday morning. FP2 gets underway at the slightly more acceptable 05:00 UK time (16:00 local).

Saturday action begins with FP3 at 01:30 UK time (12:30 local) before qualifying kicks off at 05:00 UK time (16:00 local).

The 2024 Australian Grand Prix begins at 04:00 UK time (15:00 local) on Sunday 24th March for what will be the first race of the season to take place in daylight.

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Six talking points ahead of the 2024 Australian GP

18th March

How to watch the 2024 Australian Grand Prix?

Sky Sports retains exclusive rights to all live coverage of F1 in the UK. Every session of the Australian Grand Prix will be shown live and uninterrupted on Sky Sports F1.

US viewers can catch all the action on ESPN, and Australian audiences can watch on Kayo Sports. The F1 TV Pro app will also provide coverage of every F1 session across the weekend to several countries around the world.

Which support series are racing in Melbourne?

Both F2 and Formula 3 will return in Melbourne for their third and second rounds respectively. Zane Maloney currently leads the F2 standings thanks to a perfect weekend in Bahrain, while Luke Browning tops F3 after his feature race triumph in round one.

They’re joined by both the Porsche Carrera Cup and the Supercars Championship, which will kick off the track action on Thursday.

F2 and F3 will both complete their Free Practice and Qualifying sessions in the early hours of Friday morning before the F3 sprint race gets underway at 01:15 UK time (12:15 local) on Saturday. The F2 sprint follows at 04:15 UK time (15:15 local).

The F3 feature race will begin at 23:05 on Saturday evening here in the UK (that’s 10:05 local) before the F2 feature completes the support programme at 01:35 UK time (12:35 local) on Sunday.

Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

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