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2021 F1 Belgian GP session timings and how to watch

Formula 1 returns from its summer break with the Belgian Grand Prix which hosts the 12th round of the 2021 season on the 27-29 August.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W11

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W11

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

F1 heads to its traditional post-summer break venue at Spa-Francorchamps which is set to welcome a thrilling return to action as the world title fight intensifies between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen after a pair of dramatic races at Silverstone and the Hungaroring before the break.

After the high-profile clash between the world title protagonists at the British GP was followed by a chaotic start to the Hungarian GP, which later resulted in a stunning maiden F1 win for Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, defending champion Hamilton tops the drivers’ world championship by eight points from Verstappen.

While the full second half of the 2021 F1 calendar remains unconfirmed, amid speculation a new Qatar GP could replace the cancelled Australian round with the Japanese GP also cancelled, the title fight is expected to crank up over the upcoming triple-header which starts in Belgium before a long-awaited return of the Dutch GP and then the second sprint format weekend at the Italian GP.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT01, and Sergio Perez, Racing Point RP20

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT01, and Sergio Perez, Racing Point RP20

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

2021 Formula 1 Belgian GP session timings

F1 will use its regular weekend schedule this weekend, with two practice sessions on Friday each lasting 60 minutes (rather than the previous 90-minute sessions), before an additional practice session also running for one hour on Saturday.

The Q1, Q2 and Q3 knockout-style qualifying format is also being retained on Saturday afternoon to decide the grid for the Belgian GP on Sunday.

F1 has also ditched starting races at 10 minutes past the hour mark for the 2021 season, with all races starting at the top of the hour.

Friday 27th August 2021

Free Practice 1: 10:30am-11:30am BST (11:30am-12:30pm local)
Free Practice 2: 2:00pm-3:00pm BST (3:00pm-4:00pm local)

Saturday 28th August 2021

Free Practice 3: 11:00am-12:00pm BST (12:00pm-1:00pm local)
Qualifying: 2:00pm-3:00pm BST (3:00pm-4:00pm local)

Sunday 29th August 2021

Race: 2:00pm BST (3:00pm local)

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT01, Sergio Perez, Racing Point RP20, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.20, and Alex Albon, Red Bull Racing RB16

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT01, Sergio Perez, Racing Point RP20, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.20, and Alex Albon, Red Bull Racing RB16

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

How can I watch the Belgian GP?

Channel: Sky Sports F1 HD
Channel numbers - Sky: 406
Channel numbers – Virgin Media: 506 (Sky Sports F1 HD)
Sky Sports has live and exclusive broadcasting rights in the United Kingdom, with the build-up to the F1 race starting from 12:30pm ahead of lights out at 2:00pm.

When can I watch the Belgian GP highlights?

· Channel: Channel 4
· Start time: Saturday qualifying 6:00pm, Sunday race 6:30pm
Channel 4 has the rights to show Belgian GP highlights of qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.

Will the Belgian GP be on the radio?

Live radio coverage of every practice, qualifying and race for the 2021 F1 season will be available on the BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra stations or via the BBC Sport website.

Coverage of the Belgian GP will start at 2:00pm BST on the BBC Sport website.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF1000, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF1000, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Weather forecast for the Belgian GP

Spa-Francorchamps is set for mixed weather conditions throughout the race weekend, with sunny spells punctuated by rain and cloud across the three days of track action. Highs of 15 degrees Celsius are predicted on Sunday – around 20 degrees cooler than the warmest conditions at the Hungarian GP.

Most F1 Belgian GP wins

Michael Schumacher: 6 wins (1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002)
Ayrton Senna: 5 wins (1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991)
Jim Clark: 4 wins (1962, 1963, 1964, 1965)
Kimi Raikkonen: 4 wins (2004, 2005, 2007, 2009)
Lewis Hamilton: 4 wins (2010, 2015, 2017, 2020)

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