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

26th June 2024
Rachel Roberts

Lando Norris’ closely fought race with Max Verstappen at the Spanish Grand Prix gave us signs that we’re in for a competitive summer of Formula 1, and now our attention turns immediately to Spielberg and the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen remains atop the drivers’ championship, and Norris’ runner-up finish in Barcelona has seen him leapfrog Charles Leclerc for second. Lewis Hamilton’s first podium since Mexico last year was another sign that the Mercedes resurgence is for real, and with the return of the sprint format for the third time this season, it looks set to be an exciting weekend.


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Hot topics ahead of the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix

Back for the first time since Miami, F1’s sprint race makes its return in Austria at seemingly just the right time. The last four races have seen four different drivers (Verstappen, Leclerc, Russell, and Norris) take pole, so the increasing competitiveness at the sharp end of the grid should make for a thrilling, flat-out sprint race. The limited practice time should only add to the unpredictability we’ve been craving.

The sprint format also carries with it the added incentive of extra points, which, as the drivers’ championship table begins to tighten, become even more valuable. Verstappen may have clear air at the top for now, but there are only two points between Norris in second and Leclerc in third. Further down the table, 46-points cover Carlos Sainz Jr. in fourth and Hamilton in eighth, so for them and the three drivers in-between (Sergio Pérez, Oscar Piastri, and George Russell), every point earned is critical to maintain a higher standing.

And as we’ve seen race by race, consistent form is a must. Red Bull is charging ahead seemingly on the power of its three-time world champion alone and at the team’s home race, will be looking to Pérez to build on his eighth place finish in Spain after consecutive retirements. McLaren has been hugely consistent lately, and arguably the fastest car on track, a rise that has come at the expense of Ferrari, which was unable to threaten for the podium in Spain. Contrast that to a Mercedes team which has finally found some pace, and the weekend suddenly feels unpredictable again.

Last time out in Austria, one of the biggest talking points was the number of penalties given out for track limits offenses, to the extent to where the result changed hours after the chequered flag because it took the stewards so long to handle them all. This year, gravel traps have been added to the outside of Turns Nine and Ten, and the gravel has been moved closer to the exit of Turn Four to prevent any advantages being gained. The blue line that we saw painted on the outside of Turn 13 in Spain will return in Austria as the stewards deploy AI to assist with policing the issue.

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When can I watch the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix?

Action at the Red Bull Ring begins on Friday, with Free Practice 1 at 11:30 UK time (12:30 local time), followed by the Sprint qualifying at 15:30 (16:30). Saturday sees the return of the Sprint race, starting at 11:00 (12:00) ahead of qualifying for the grand prix at 15:00 (16:00). Lights out for the Austrian Grand Prix is at 14:00 (15:00) on Sunday 30th June.

How to watch the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix

Sky Sports retains exclusive rights to all live coverage of F1 in the UK. Every session of the Austrian 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 the world over.

Which series are supporting in Austria?

Both Formula 2 and Formula 3 will be competing in Austria this weekend. In Spain, it was Victor Martins who won the sprint and Jak Crawford who took feature race victory, though Paul Aron remains at the top of the drivers’ championship with a slender nine-point lead. In F3 it was a similar story, with Mari Boya taking the chequered flag for the sprint, and Arvid Lindblad winning the feature race. He is currently fourth in the standings, while Leonardo Fornaroli has overtaken Luke Browning at the top of the championship.

After Abbi Pulling and Chloe Chambers won race one and two respectively in Spain, F1 academy now takes a pause before returning to action in Zandvoort at the end of August.


Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

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