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2021 F1 Portuguese GP session timings and how to watch

The Portuguese Grand Prix hosts the third round of the 2021 Formula 1 world championship season on the 30 April-2 May.

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Following two action-packed opening rounds in Bahrain and at Imola, the F1 paddock heads to the Algarve International Circuit located just outside of Portimao.

Lewis Hamilton holds a tiny one-point lead the early F1 world drivers’ championship standings after Max Verstappen’s victory in the hectic Emilia Romagna GP two weeks ago. 

But the race will most likely be remembered for the massive crash between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell which caused red-flag stoppage. 

The Portuguese GP will mark the first time the pair have faced the media since the clash, which was deemed a racing incident by the F1 race stewards at Imola, with the spotlight set to be placed firmly on the fallout from the collision and what future implications it could have in the race for the second Mercedes seat in 2022.

Why is F1 racing in Portugal?

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to disrupt the regular motorsport calendar, the start of the 2021 F1 season has been reshaped after the Australian GP was postponed to November and the Chinese GP was called off for this year

As a result, and just like last season, the Portimao track has stepped in as a late replacement to fill the gap in the calendar and will host the Portuguese GP.

At the time of writing, the 2021 F1 calendar reverts to a largely familiar schedule with the Spanish GP and Monaco GP taking place in May.


2021 Formula 1 Portuguese GP session timings

F1 will continue to run its revised weekend schedule for 2021, with shorter practice sessions on Friday. Two free practice sessions lasting 60 minutes each on Friday (rather than the previous 90-minute sessions) are followed by an additional practice session also running for one hour on Saturday morning.

The Q1, Q2 and Q3 knockout-style qualifying format is also being retained on Saturday afternoon to decide the grid for the Portuguese 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 30th April 2021

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

Saturday 1st May 2021

  • Free Practice 3: 12:00pm-1:00pm BST (12:00pm-1:00pm local)
  • Qualifying: 3:00pm-4:00pm BST (3:00pm-4:00pm local)

Sunday 2nd May 2021

  • Race: 3:00pm BST (3:00pm local)


How can I watch the Portuguese 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 1:30pm ahead of lights out at 3:00pm.

When can I watch the highlights?

  • Channel: Channel 4
  • Start time: Saturday qualifying 6:30pm, Sunday race 7:30pm

Channel 4 has the rights to show Portuguese GP highlights of qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.

Will it 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.

Coverage of the Portuguese GP will start at 2:55pm BST on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, available on both DAB radio and the BBC Sounds app.

Weather forecast for the Portuguese GP

Portimao is set for mixed conditions with rain and sunshine on Friday, but dry and sunny conditions are forecast for the weekend, with a minimal chance of rain. Across the weekend highs of 19 degrees Celsius are predicted – around four degrees warmer than the hottest conditions at the Emilia Romagna GP.

Most F1 Portuguese GP wins

Alain Prost: 3 wins (1984, 1987, 1988)

Nigel Mansell: 3 wins (1986, 1990, 1992)

Stirling Moss: 2 wins (1958, 1959)

Of the active F1 drivers, Lewis Hamilton won the 2020 Portuguese GP held at the Algarve International Circuit last October after an early rain shower allowed Carlos Sainz Jr to lead for McLaren.

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