F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – how to watch, start time & more

Max Verstappen has secured the first pole position of the 2021 Formula 1 season for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Here's how and when you can watch the race.

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – how to watch, start time & more

Red Bull’s Verstappen held off both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to claim the fourth pole position of his career to demonstrate his impressive pace during pre-season testing and practice in Bahrain.

Hamilton edged Mercedes team-mate Bottas to take second place, feeling he got the maximum out of his W12 F1 car, as the reigning F1 world champions appeared to trail Verstappen and Red Bull.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc produced an impressive late lap in Q3 to jump to fourth place, with Pierre Gasly also catching the eye for AlphaTauri in fifth place.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

New McLaren recruit Daniel Ricciardo beat team-mate Lando Norris in qualifying to take sixth place directly ahead of the British driver, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr slotting into eighth place for his race debut for the Scuderia.

Fernando Alonso marked his F1 return after a two-year absence by qualifying ninth for Alpine, as Lance Stroll rounded out the top 10 for Aston Martin.

Sergio Perez endured a frustrating first F1 qualifying for Red Bull as he failed to progress through Q2 on the medium tyres and will start the Bahrain GP in 11th place.

A worse fate was to fall on four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel though, as the new Aston Martin driver was knocked out of qualifying in Q1 after being caught out by traffic and yellow flags. The German will start the race down in 18th place.

When is the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix?

Date: Sunday 28th March 2021
Start time: 4:00pm BST, 6:00pm local time

The opening round of the 2021 F1 season, the Bahrain GP, gets underway at 6pm local time (4pm BST) on Sunday 28th March.

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

How can I watch the Bahrain GP?

In the United Kingdom, Sky Sports has exclusive live broadcasting rights of F1, with the Bahrain GP race shown live on Sky Sports F1. Pre-race coverage will be starting at 2:30pm BST ahead of the race start at 4:00pm BST.

After the race Sky Sports F1’s live coverage continues to follow the post-race reaction from when the chequered flag is waved until 7:00pm BST.

Autosport is running a live text commentary for the Bahrain GP. 

When can I watch the highlights?

In the United Kingdom Channel 4 is broadcasting highlights of the Bahrain GP at 8:30pm BST on Sunday.

The full programme will run for two-and-a-half hours, covering the pre-race, the race highlights and the initial post-race reaction to wrap up the major talking points of the race weekend.

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: 8:30pm BST

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

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 will start at 3:45pm BST on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, available on both DAB radio and the BBC Sounds app.

Weather forecast for the Bahrain GP

Current weather forecasts predict mostly clear but hazy conditions, and the possibility of moderate winds in the late afternoon, but with a very small chance of rain at the Bahrain International Circuit on race day.

The temperature is expected to be 22 degrees Celsius for the start of the race.

How many laps is the Bahrain GP?

The race is scheduled to complete 57 laps of the Bahrain International Circuit, covering a total race distance of 308.238km.

Bahrain GP starting grid

Cla # Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 1'28.997  
2 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'29.385 0.388
3 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1'29.586 0.589
4 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'29.678 0.681
5 10 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1'29.809 0.812
6 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1'29.927 0.930
7 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 1'29.974 0.977
8 55 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1'30.215 1.218
9 14 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 1'30.249 1.252
10 18 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1'30.601 1.604
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Bahrain GP
Author Haydn Cobb
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