New Season of Formula 1 Racing Launches This Weekend with Expanded Coverage on ESPN

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New Season of Formula 1 Racing Launches This Weekend with Expanded Coverage on ESPN

All Races and On-Track Sessions from F1’s Largest Schedule in History to Air Exclusively on ESPN Networks and Platforms

More Surround Coverage Added, including Qualifying Pre-Show for all Events and Additional Coverage on SportsCenter

Full Season of F1 Academy Races, On-Track Sessions to Air on ESPN Platforms

On the heels of airing the two most-viewed seasons of Formula 1 racing ever on U.S. television, ESPN kicks off the 2024 Formula 1 World Championship season this weekend with the running of the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. The race will air Saturday, March 2, at 9:55 a.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+ and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+. The first two races of the season are airing on Saturdays in a change from F1’s usual Sunday race days.

With F1 embarking on a 24-race schedule in 2024, the largest ever for the championship, ESPN will serve sports fans with expanded coverage, including the addition of a qualifying pre-show for the full season and additional F1 coverage on SportsCenter.

ESPN platforms will again air all races in the championship, with 18 of the 24 airing on ABC or ESPN. The other six will air on ESPN2 and 16 races will be simulcast on ESPN+. ESPN platforms also will televise live coverage of all practice and qualifying sessions for each race as well as live coverage of the six F1 Sprint races and accompanying Sprint Shootouts. ESPN Deportes continues as the exclusive Spanish-language television outlet for F1 in the U.S.

With Mercedes-Benz returning as telecast presenting sponsor, all live race broadcasts will continue the commercial-free presentation used over the past six seasons, a format that has set ESPN’s coverage apart and proved very popular with viewers. New for 2024, Liquid IV will be the season-long pre-race Grand Prix Sunday telecast presenting sponsor, and Heineken returns as sole sponsor of the pre and post-race coverage on SportsCenter.

SportsCenter and other ESPN news platforms will again have expanded, on-site coverage from Miami, Austin and Las Vegas, the three U.S. races on the F1 calendar.

As it has since F1 returned in 2018, ESPN is again teaming with Sky Sports and Formula 1 to bring Sky Sports’ award-winning presentation of F1 racing to American viewers. Included will be the addition of Sky’s qualifying pre-show, airing on ESPN3 leading up to live coverage of qualifying at all races.

Also new for 2024, ESPN platforms will have live coverage of all seven rounds, including races, practice and qualifying, for the second season of F1 Academy, a Formula 1 priority project to develop and prepare female drivers to progress to higher levels of competition. The series began in 2023 and ESPN aired the final round held in conjunction with the United States Grand Prix. The first F1 Academy race of the season will be on International Women’s Day (March 8) in Saudi Arabia.

ESPN+ will continue live coverage of all Formula 2, Formula 3 and Porsche Supercup races during F1 race weekends.

A major part of ESPN’s F1 coverage is ESPN.com/F1, a dedicated site that reports on the championship year-round, with reporters on-site at every race. ESPN’s F1 reporters also contribute to the video podcast program Unlapped, which appears year-round on the ESPN YouTube channel. Also connected with the ESPN.com/F1 website are social handles @ESPNF1 on X, @ESPNF1 on Instagram and ESPNF1 on Facebook.

Again this year, ESPN will produce countdown shows from the race circuits for the three U.S. rounds of the Championship. The programs will air live on ESPN social media and digital channels in the hour prior to the race telecast and will stream to ESPN’s YouTube, X and Facebook accounts, as well as on ESPN3 and the ESPN App.

The 2022 F1 season was the most-viewed season ever on U.S. television, averaging 1.21 million viewers per race across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. The 2023 season averaged 1.1 million viewers, the second-largest average in history, and included three of the four largest live U.S. F1 race audiences ever. Eight races set viewership records in 2023.

F1 returned to its original U.S. television home in 2018 – the first race ever aired in the country was on ABC in 1962. F1 races also aired on ESPN from 1984-1997.

Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on ESPN platforms

Session/Program Date Start Time (ET) Network
F1 Show: Bahrain Thursday, February 29 11:10 a.m. ESPN3
Practice 1 6:25 a.m. ESPN2
Practice 2 9:55 a.m. ESPN2
Practice 3 Friday, March 1 7:25 a.m. ESPN2
Qualifying Pre-Show 10 a.m. ESPN3
Qualifying 10:55 a.m. ESPN2
Ted’s Qualifying Notebook 1 p.m. ESPN3
Grand Prix Sunday (pre-race) Saturday, March 2 8:30 a.m. ESPN, ESPN+
Race   9:55 a.m. ESPN, ESPN+
Checkered Flag Noon ESPN3
Ted’s Race Notebook 1 p.m. ESPN3
Race (re-air) 8 p.m. ESPNEWS
Race (re-air) Sunday, March 3 1 a.m. ESPNEWS

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Media contact: [email protected]

Andy Hall

I’m part of a team that handles PR/Communications for SportsCenter, including the SC Featured brand, the E60 program, and ESPN’s news platforms. In addition, I’m the PR contact for ESPN’s Formula 1 coverage and golf majors (the Masters and PGA Championship). I’m based in Daytona Beach, Fla., and have been with ESPN since 2006.
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