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F1 Bahrain Grand Prix: Where to stream, TV channels, schedule, track details, weather best bets and more

Teams have unveiled their liveries, Drive to Survive has hit Netflix and Red Bull is looking strong, all of which signal one thing: Formula 1 opens its 2024 season this weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

This season will feature a record 24 races spanning 21 countries and five continents. The calendar features the return of the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit after a four-year hiatus because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The driver lineup for 2024 is unchanged from the end of the 2023 season, but this year does mark the end of Lewis Hamilton’s incredible run at Mercedes as the seven-time world champion is jumping to Ferrari for 2025. Since joining the Silver Arrows ahead of the 2013 season, Hamilton has amassed 82 of his 103 career wins and six of his seven world titles.

Here’s what else you need to know for the year’s first grand prix weekend:

Bahrain Grand Prix broadcast schedule

All times ET

Thursday, February 296:25-7:30 a.m.: Free practice 1 (ESPN2, ESPN+, F1TV Pro)9:55-11 a.m.: Free practice 2 (ESPN2, ESPN+, F1TV Pro)

Friday, March 16:25-7:30 a.m.: Free practice 3 (ESPN2, ESPN+, F1TV Pro)10:55 a.m.-Noon: Qualifying (ESPN2, ESPN+, F1TV Pro)

Saturday, March 28:30-9:55 a.m.: Pre-race show (ESPN, ESPN+, F1TV Pro)6:55 a.m.-Noon: Bahrain Grand Prix (ESPN, ESPN+, F1TV Pro)

Bahrain Grand Prix race details

Track: Bahrain International Circuit, 15-turn, 3.62-mile clockwise permanent racing facility in Sakhir, BahrainRace length: 57 lapsTire compounds: C1 (Hard) | C2 (Medium) | C3 (Soft)Lap record: 1:31.447 (Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren-Mercedes, 2005)2023 winner: Max Verstappen, Red Bull-RBPT

Top drivers and best bets for the Bahrain Grand Prix

Triple defending champion Max Verstappen is the overwhelming favorite entering the race weekend with a -300 moneyline, according to BetMGM. The next-best odds belong to Ferrari's Charles Leclerc at 8-to-1. Verstappen was the fastest in the first pre-season test last week at Bahrain, while Leclerc topped the second of three sessions.

Best odds to win

Max Verstappen -300

Charles Leclerc +800

Sergio Perez +1200

Lewis Hamilton +1200

Bahrain Grand Prix entries

Max Verstappen (1), Red Bull-Honda RBPTSergio Perez (11), Red Bull-Honda RBPTCharles Leclerc (16), FerrariCarlos Sainz (55), FerrariLewis Hamilton (44), MercedesGeorge Russell (63), MercedesPierre Gasly (10), Alpine-RenaultEsteban Ocon (31), Alpine-RenaultLando Norris (4), McLaren-MercedesOscar Piastri (81), McLaren-MercedesZhou Guanyu (24), Alfa Romeo-FerrariValtteri Bottas (77), Alfa Romeo-FerrariFernando Alonso (14), Aston Martin-MercedesLance Stroll (18), Aston Martin-MercedesKevin Magnussen (20), Haas-FerrariNico Hulkenberg (27), Haas-FerrariDaniel Ricciardo (3), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPTYuki Tsunoda (22), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPTLogan Sargeant (2), Williams-MercedesAlexander Albon (23), Williams-Mercedes

Bahrain Grand Prix weather

The forecast calls for temperatures to be in the mid-60s with no threat of rain (it is a desert after all) during evening on-track running. The atmospheric condition most likely to impact the weekend is wind, with gusts of up to 25 mph expected during practice and qualifying. That represents an unpredictable challenge in Bahrain's several heavy braking zones — a strong gust at just the wrong moment trying to slow the car will turn it around, ruining the lap.