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F1 Bahrain GP qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more

Max Verstappen took a clean sweep of top spot in Friday’s practice sessions ahead of the 2021 Formula 1 opener in Bahrain. Here’s how and when to watch qualifying.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Following an encouraging pre-season test, Verstappen continued to set the pace for Red Bull by going quickest in both free practice sessions on the opening day of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

At the end of FP2, McLaren’s Lando Norris was the Dutch driver’s closest competitor, with the pair split by just 0.095s, while defending F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton held third place for Mercedes – but Norris doesn’t expect his team to remain in the mix against Mercedes and Red Bull come qualifying.

With new Ferrari recruit Carlos Sainz Jr taking fourth place, Valtteri Bottas was shuffled back to fifth having been second fastest in the first session for Mercedes.

Sainz’s replacement at McLaren Daniel Ricciardo maintained the Woking-based team’s impressive start to the Bahrain GP weekend in sixth place ahead of F1 rookie Yuki Tsunoda who continues to catch the eye for AlphaTauri.

Lance Stroll led the new-look Aston Martin squad’s charge in eighth at the end of the second session, with new team-mate Sebastian Vettel in 14th place, as Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) and Sergio Perez (Red Bull) rounded out the top 10.

Fernando Alonso made a low-key start to his return to F1 after two years away, with the Alpine driver 15th in FP2, one spot ahead of fellow former F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, after the Finn suffered a spin at Turn 2 midway through the second session in which he suffered a broken front wing.

 

What time does qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix start?

Qualifying for Bahrain GP starts at 6pm local time (3pm GMT), using the regular Q1, Q2 and Q3 knockout session format.

Date: Saturday 27 March 2021

Start time: 6pm local time - 3pm GMT

How can I watch qualifying?

In the United Kingdom every F1 practice, qualifying and race is broadcast live on Sky Sports F1, with qualifying coverage starting at 2pm GMT.

Autosport will be running a live text coverage of qualifying here. [https://www.autosport.com/f1/live-text/f1-bahrain-grand-prix-live-updates-final-practice-and-qualifying/709749/]

When can I watch the highlights?

In the United Kingdom Channel 4 is broadcasting highlights of qualifying for the Bahrain GP at 6:30pm GMT on Saturday. The full programme will run for 90 minutes, covering both qualifying and wrapping up the major talking points of the race weekend so far.

For the entire 2021 F1 season, Channel 4 will broadcast highlights of every qualifying and race on the Saturday and Sunday of each event. The highlights will also be available on Channel 4’s on demand catch up services.

• Channel: Channel 4

• Start time: 6:30pm GMT

 

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 Bahrain GP qualifying will start at 2:55pm GMT on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, available on both DAB radio and the BBC Sounds app.

What's the weather forecast for qualifying at the Bahrain International Circuit?

Hazy conditions are forecast for Saturday evening at the Bahrain International Circuit but it is expected to remain dry throughout. Temperatures are set to be 29 degrees Celsius at the start of qualifying.

Results from FP2

Cla Driver Chassis Engine Time Gap
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda 1'30.847  
2 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 1'30.942 0.095
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 1'31.082 0.235
4 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari Ferrari 1'31.127 0.280
5 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Mercedes 1'31.218 0.371
6 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes 1'31.230 0.383
7 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda 1'31.294 0.447
8 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes 1'31.393 0.546
9 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda 1'31.483 0.636
10 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull Honda 1'31.503 0.656

Results from FP1

Cla Driver Chassis Engine Time Gap
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda 1'31.394  
2 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Mercedes 1'31.692 0.298
3 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 1'31.897 0.503
4 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 1'31.921 0.527
5 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari Ferrari 1'31.993 0.599
6 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull Honda 1'32.071 0.677
7 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda 1'32.195 0.801
8 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari Ferrari 1'32.366 0.972
9 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes 1'32.434 1.040
10 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1'32.786 1.392

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