How to watch F1: 2021 British Grand Prix start time and TV schedule


TV start times, free-to-air coverage and live streams for the 2021 British Grand Prix

British Grand Prix 2020, Lewis Hamilton

The British Grand Prix will be on free-to-air TV this weekend


The 2021 British Grand Prix will be the first Formula 1 event to stage a Sprint Qualifying race as F1 experiments with its race weekend offering and be available on free-to-air television.

Channel 4 will show every session live and qualifying will shift to Friday evening, replaced by a flat-out 17-lap race to the flag to set the grid for Sunday’s grand prix.

Sky will begin coverage of the Sprint at 15:40 while Channel 4 will air their build-up 15:45 on Saturday. Race day build-up begins at 13:30 on Sky and Channel 4 with lights out at 15:00.

Max Verstappen comes into the weekend with a very healthy 32-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship but Mercedes has an update planned that it hopes will turn the tide back in its favour.

New Pirelli tyres will also be introduced this weekend after the Baku blowouts earlier in the season. The new tyres have a new rear construction that according to Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola, should be similar to the C4 compound used so far this year.

Ross Brawn is very optimistic this weekend could be a thoroughly entertaining one with the Sprint offering an unknown to mix up the established order but when is it actually happening?

Here is your guide to watching the 2021 British Grand Prix.


How many laps is the British Grand Prix?

Sunday’s British Grand Prix is 52 laps of the Silverstone Circuit though isn’t the only race this weekend. Sprint Qualifying on Saturday will last 17 laps and set the grid for the grand prix.


Where to watch?

Both Sky Sports F1 and Channel 4 will be showing the 2021 British Grand Prix live throughout the race weekend. Coverage on Sky Sports F1 begins at 14:00 for Free Practice 1 and 17:25 for qualifying. Channel 4 will show FP1 from 14:10 and 17:00 for qualifying.

Saturday’s coverage on Sky begins with FP2 at 11:30 and 15:40 for the Sprint. C4 will show FP2 from 11:45 and cover Sprint Qualifying from 15:45.

Race day build-up begins at 13:30 on Sky and Channel 4 with lights out at 15:00.


How to stream?

The British Grand Prix weekend will be available on NowTV to stream online. You can watch Sky Sports coverage of each session from Friday through to Sunday’s race including the pre and post-race coverage on Sky Sports F1.

With the race being shown on Channel 4 live this weekend, viewers can stream every session of the weekend using the Channel 4 watch live page on its website and using the All 4 app.


Who will win?

While Silverstone has historically been a circuit that favours Mercedes, Red Bull might just be the favourites this weekend and its run of five consecutive wins could stretch to six.

Max Verstappen has taken four of those wins himself and is arguably in the form of his career at the moment as he continues to extend his championship lead over title rival Lewis Hamilton.

The Mercedes driver has said upgrades are needed if he is to challenge the Dutch driver and he will be getting one this weekend, though it might not be enough to take on the RB16B.

F1’s first ever Sprint Qualifying race could throw the form book out of the window if F1 managing director of motor sport Ross Brawn is to be believed.

The format aims to shake-up the grid and reward drivers with better starting positions for Sunday’s race should they make progress through the order in the sprint. If drivers collide or crash though, it will spell disaster for their weekend and put them at the back of the grid for the grand prix.

Team-mates of the title protagonists Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas will be hoping they can steal a march on their respective targets in the sprint, particularly the latter as rumours continue to swirl around the possible announcement of George Russell as a Mercedes driver next season.

If Red Bull can win decisively around Silverstone, there might not be many more races Mercedes can realistically win.


2021 British Grand Prix session times


Free Practice 1: 14:30 – 15:30

Qualifying: 18:00 – 19:00


Free Practice 2: 12:00 – 13:00

Sprint Qualifying: 16:30 – 17:00


Race: 15:00 – 17:00