2024 F1 Academy Spain preview: timings, how to watch, and more

20th June 2024
Simon Ostler

F1 Academy returns this weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya as a grid of 15 drivers prepare to do battle on a permanent race track for the first time in 2024, for rounds five and six of the season.

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Abbi Pulling holds a significant advantage in the drivers’ championship after dominating in Miami seven weeks ago, and since then she became the first woman to ever win a British F4 race when she took victory at Brands Hatch. The Alpine Academy driver is in great form in 2024, and will arrive in Spain as the driver to beat in F1 Academy.

Her nearest challenger, Doriane Pin has suffered a decidedly less inspiring few weeks since she first emerged in Saudi Arabia as the quickest driver on the grid. After being penalised at the end of round two, Pin did not have the same speed advantage over the rest of the field in Miami. Following that, she was forced into a period on the sidelines as she recovered from a mystery rib injury that forced her to skip the Le Mans 24 Hours. Pin returns in Spain with a point to prove and championship challenge to reignite.

Meanwhile the likes of Maya Weug, Chloe Chambers, and Bianca Bustamante will be looking to continue their own runs of consistent form. Will we see a third race winner emerge around Catalunya?

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F1 Academy drivers and teams

Ten F1 Academy drivers are representing F1 teams in 2024, driving cars painted in the liveries of their respective teams. Hamda Al Qubaisi is racing for Red Bull, Doriane Pin for Mercedes, and Maya Weug for Ferrari.

Bianca Bustamante is McLaren’s representative, Abbi Pulling races for Alpine, Chloe Chambers for Haas, Tina Hausmann for Aston Martin, Amna Al Qubaisi for RB, Lia Block for Williams, and Carrie Schreiner for Sauber.

The remaining five drivers are supported by F1 Academy’s various major partners. Aurelia Nobels is racing for Puma, Nerea Marti for Tommy Hilfiger, Lola Lovinfosse for Charlotte Tilbury, Emely de Heus for Red Bull, and Jessica Edgar for American Express, with cars each sporting their own uniquely branded liveries.

The Prema, ART, Rodin, MP Motorsport, and Campos teams will be running three cars each, with Prema overseeing an additional car during race weekends where a wildcard entrant has been added to the grid. No wildcard driver has been announced for this weekend.


2024 F1 Academy drivers and teams

19th February

F1 Academy session format

An F1 Academy weekend will vary slightly from weekend to weekend. Some races feature two free practice sessions, others only one. In Spain, where F1 Academy is set to share the weekend with Formula 1, Formula 2, and Formula 3, these 15 women will be restricted to just one 40-minute practice session on Friday morning before qualifying gets underway on Friday afternoon.

Qualifying will set the grid for both races. Race one is set according to the drivers’ quickest lap times, but they will need to complete several hot laps, because the grid for race two is set according to their second fastest times. Each race runs for 30 minutes.

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What is the F1 Academy points system?

The old saying that points are only given out on Sunday doesn’t apply here; 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 Spain?

F1 Academy in Spain kicks off with free practice at 07:50 UK time (08:50 local time). Qualifying follows later on Friday evening at 17:30 (18:30) to set the grids for both races. Race one gets underway at 17:00 (18:00) on Saturday evening after F1 qualifying, with race two rounding off the weekend first thing on Sunday morning at 07:50 (08:50).

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 Academy YouTube channel.


Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

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