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


The second sprint qualifying event of the 2021 Formula 1 season takes place at Monza on Saturday

Pierre Gasly, 2020 Italian Grand Prix

Last year's Monza race was one of the best of the season. Will 2021 deliver?

Mario Renzi - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

Formula 1’s second ever sprint qualifying takes place this weekend on the Saturday ahead of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.

Monza plays host to round 14 of the season and it’s an intriguing one following Red Bull’s recent domination over a single lap.

While pole position on Friday is a nice prize, it isn’t the major factor it was last weekend at Zandvoort, especially with a one-third distance race on Saturday deciding the final starting grid.

Monza’s straights and DRS zones mean that passing is less of an issue so there is a chance for Mercedes to steal some valuable points back ahead of Sunday’s main event.

Max Verstappen leads the way following his seventh victory of the season, three points clear of title rival Lewis Hamilton on 224.5.

With his home victory, Verstappen now has the most victories without winning an F1 drivers’ championship crown. Victory for him at Monza may be the beginning of the end for Mercedes’ unmatched run of dominance dating back to 2014.

Here are all the TV schedules, timings and highlight shows you need to be aware of this weekend for the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.


How many laps is the Italian Grand Prix?

The 2021 Italian Grand Prix is scheduled for 53 laps of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza circuit. The Sprint Qualifying event is set to run 18 laps and will set the starting grid for Sunday’s race.


Where to watch

As usual, Sky Sports F1 is the place to watch every single session from the Italian GP race weekend. Friday practice will be the prelude to qualifying though the fastest laps won’t be setting the grid this weekend. Sprint qualifying returns for the second of three trial races this year, and will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 with highlights available on Channel 4.

Sky Sports F1 – Live

Friday: FP1 – 1pm | Qualifying – 4:20pm

Saturday: FP2 – 10:30pm | Sprint Qualifying: 2:35pm

Sunday: Race – 12:30pm

Channel 4 – Highlights

Saturday: Sprint Qualifying – 6:30pm

Sunday: Race – 6:30pm


How to stream

NowTV is the easiest option for streaming the race weekend live on mobile, tablet or smart TV devices. Weekend passes give you full access to the Sky Sports F1 channel and each session, including pre and post-session coverage.


Who will win?

Last year’s Italian Grand Prix showed that overtaking was possible but that the DRS train could become a real issue for those in pursuit of another driver.

This year’s sprint event is sure to shake-up the grid a little more than last season, though the main contenders at the front will likely be separated by fractions of a second like at Zandvoort. Mercedes theoretically should perform stronger here with more straights and less corners while Red Bull might suffer a step back from last weekend.

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Whether that means Max Verstappen can’t take pole is another matter. At Silverstone, the Dutchman couldn’t match Mercedes around a Mercedes-favoured circuit over a single flying lap but by Turn One, that issue was moot as he’d secured the lead and followed it up with a canter to pole position and maiden Speed King award, keeping Lewis Hamilton at arm’s length throughout.

This weekend, the run into Turn One and the lack of space at either of the chicanes that open the lap means that contact is not out of the realms of possibility, and it’s the Red Bull driver with the most to lose in this situation.

Hamilton showed at Copse he won’t back out of these wheel-to-wheel situations any longer in the title fight against Verstappen. The latter has the faster car, the points advantage and the momentum in the title battle. A non-points finish here would be a major blow after rebounding from his Silverstone DNF and Hungarian nightmare prior to the summer break.

There has been no word on whether or not Red Bull intend to take a grid penalty for this weekend. The team is expected to introduce fresh components on Verstappen’s car before the end of the season, but any penalty taken this weekend would be served in the main Sunday race rather than the Sprint Qualifying event on Saturday.

It’ll be close but Mercedes has to win this weekend for Hamilton to maintain his chance of an eighth world championship.


2021 Italian Grand Prix session times


Free Practice 1: 13:30 – 14:30

Qualifying: 17:00 – 18:00


Free Practice 2: 11:00 – 12:00

Sprint Qualifying: 15:30 – 16:00


Race: 14:0016:00