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F1 Chinese GP sprint race and qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more

Formula 1’s sprint race format changes get its first outing of 2024 at the Chinese Grand Prix. Here’s how and when to watch the sprint race and grand prix qualifying.

Valtteri Bottas, Kick Sauber C44

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

F1 has altered its sprint race schedule once again, with sprint race qualifying shifting to Friday and the sprint race moving to Saturday. The race weekend format then reverts back to a traditional schedule for grand prix qualifying on Saturday afternoon with the grand prix on Sunday. Here’s how the latest sprint race format changes will work

In sprint race qualifying, McLaren’s Lando Norris grabbed pole position but only after having his best lap time initially deleted and then reinstated for track limit breaches. 

Q3 of sprint qualifying was hit by rain which made conditions extremely difficult and slippery, triggering multiple offs, including Charles Leclerc’s glance off the Turn 9 barrier.

Lewis Hamilton will join Norris on the front row of the grid for the Chinese GP sprint race, ahead of Fernando Alonso in third and championship leader Max Verstappen in fourth.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz will start fifth in front of the sister Red Bull of Sergio Perez and Leclerc, while Oscar Piastri dropped to eighth having hit neutral with a gearbox issue during his final Q3 lap.

It was an impressive showing for Sauber with Valtteri Bottas ninth and home hero Zhou Guanyu in 10th as he becomes the first Chinese driver to compete at his home grand prix.

Zhou Guanyu, Kick Sauber C44

Zhou Guanyu, Kick Sauber C44

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

What time does the sprint race start for the F1 Chinese Grand Prix?

The sprint race for the Chinese GP starts at 11:00am local time (4:00am BST), covering a distance of 19 laps or 60 minutes.

Date: Saturday 20 April 2024
Start time: 11:00am local time – 4:00am BST

What time does qualifying start for the F1 Chinese Grand Prix?

Grand prix qualifying for the Chinese GP starts at 3:00pm local time (8:00am BST), using the traditional Q1, Q2 and Q3 knockout session format.

Date: Saturday 20 April 2024
Start time: 3:00pm local time – 8:00am BST

How can I watch Formula 1?

In the United Kingdom Formula 1 is broadcast live on Sky Sports, except for the British GP which is shown live on both Sky Sports and Channel 4, with highlights shown on Channel 4 several hours after the race has finished. Live streaming through NOW is also available in the UK.

Sky Sports F1, which broadcasts the F1 races, can be added as part of the Sky Sports channels which costs £18 a month for new customers. Sky Sports can also be accessed through NOW with a one-off day payment of £11.99p or a month membership of £34.99p per month.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

How can I watch F1 Chinese GP sprint race and grand prix qualifying?

In the United Kingdom every F1 practice, qualifying and race is broadcast live on Sky Sports F1, with Chinese GP sprint race coverage starting at 3:25am BST on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports F1, and grand prix qualifying coverage starting at 7:00am BST on Sky Sports Main Event Sky Sports F1.

Channel: Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports F1
Start time – Sprint Race: 3:25am BST Saturday 20 April 2024
Start time – Qualifying: 7:00am BST Saturday 20 April 2024

Autosport will be running a live text coverage of the sprint race and grand prix qualifying here

When can I watch the highlights of F1 Chinese GP sprint race and grand prix qualifying?

In the United Kingdom Channel 4 is broadcasting highlights of the sprint race and grand prix qualifying for the Chinese GP at 12:15pm BST on Saturday afternoon. The full programme will run for 90 minutes, covering both sprint race and grand prix qualifying and wrapping up the major talking points of the race weekend so far.

For the entire 2024 F1 season, Channel 4 will broadcast highlights of every qualifying and race of each event. The highlights will also be available on Channel 4’s on demand catch up services.

Channel: Channel 4
Start time: 12:15pm BST Saturday 20 April 2024

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Will F1 Chinese GP sprint race and grand prix qualifying be on the radio?

Live radio coverage of every practice, qualifying and race for the 2024 F1 season will be available on the BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC 5 Live Sports Extra or via the BBC Sport website.

Coverage of Chinese GP sprint race will start at 3:55am BST on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra and the BBC Sounds app.

Coverage of Chinese GP qualifying will start at 7:55am BST on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra and the BBC Sounds app.

What's the weather forecast for the sprint race and grand prix qualifying in Shanghai?

Cloud and dry conditions with a low chance of rain is forecast for all of Saturday in Shanghai. The temperature is set to reach highs of 22 degrees Celsius at the start of the sprint race and 23 degrees Celsius at the start of grand prix qualifying.

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