2024 F1 Academy Saudi Arabia preview

06th March 2024
Simon Ostler

The second season of F1 Academy gets underway this weekend in Saudi Arabia, as the all-female championship is put under a new spotlight as an official Formula 1 support series.


Five teams, fifteen drivers, racing over seven weekends will see one woman confirmed as the 2024 F1 Academy champion on 8th December in Abu Dhabi. After three days of testing, the F1 Academy class of 2024 arrives in Saudi Arabia for the opening two rounds of the season.

F1 Academy drivers and teams

Nine drivers return for a second season in F1 Academy, with six new additions to the grid. Hamda Al Qubaisi, Amna Al Qubaisi, Bianca Bustamante, Jessica Edgar, Emely de Heus and Carrie Schreiner all won F1 Academy races in 2023.

The Prema, ART, Rodin, MP Motorsport and Campos teams will be running three cars each. New for 2024, the F1 Academy grid features ten cars supported by the F1 teams themselves. Each team has nominated a driver to race as its representative, many of them coming from the various young driver academies.


2024 F1 Academy drivers and teams

19th February

Four cars are supported by F1 Academy’s various major partners, Puma, Tommy Hilfiger, Charlotte Tilbury and Red Bull, with one final car being run with ‘F1 Academy’ branding.

On chosen weekends, the grid will also be opened up to a wildcard entrant, allowing for a maximum of 16 drivers, with Prema running the additional car. Reema Juffali has been announced as the first wildcard driver, she’ll race in Saudi Arabia this weekend.


F1 Academy session format

The F1 Academy weekend will vary slightly from weekend to weekend. Some races feature two Free Practice sessions, others just one. In Saudi Arabia, there is a single 40-minute practice session.

A 30-minute qualifying session follows, and will set the grid for both races. Race one is set according to the drivers’ quickest lap times, but they will need to set several fast laps, because the grid for race two is set according to their second fastest times. Each race runs for 30 minutes.

What is the F1 Academy points system?

The old saying that points are only given out on Sunday doesn’t apply here, because the drivers who achieve pole position in race one and two will each score two points. If the same driver takes pole for both races, they bag four points.

On race day, F1 Academy follows the same points system as F1, with the top ten drivers receiving 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 respectively. The driver with the fastest lap takes an additional point providing they finish in the top ten.


When can I watch F1 Academy in Saudi Arabia?

The first and only Free Practice session takes place on Thursday at 11:05 UK time before qualifying later in the day at 18:30.

That sets the grids for both races. The first kicks off at 12:10 UK time on Friday, race two follows on Saturday at 12:05.

UK viewers can watch F1 Academy in its entirety on Sky Sports F1 in 2024. Every session will also be streamed live on the F1 Acacemy YouTube channel.

Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

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