How to watch the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP live on Sky and Channel 4: start time and live streams


All of the times you need to watch the 2021 F1 title showdown between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton


Timings you need for the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP

Antonin Vincent / DPPI

The sun will set on Yas Marina and the 2021 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton go head-to-head in a winner-takes-all battle.

Both tied on 369.5 points, whoever finishes ahead of the other will be the likely champion barring any other spectacular circumstances.

This weekend’s race will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 and Channel 4 meaning the title decider will be available to viewers in the UK on free-to-air television.

It is arguably the most anticipated race in F1 history with nothing to separate the two contenders in terms of points. You won’t want to miss a moment.

Here are all the timings you need for the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.


Key times

If you want to see all the action live as it happens, here are the times you need to tune into your TV or have your device ready. All times are GMT.


Live: Saturday, 12.55pm via Sky Sports F1/Sky Sports Main Event/NowTV

Highlights: Saturday, 6.55pm via Channel 4


Live: Sunday, 12.55pm via Sky Sports F1/Sky Sports Main Event/NowTV/Channel 4

Highlights: Sunday, 5.30pm via Channel 4


How many laps is the Abu Dhabi GP?

The Abu Dhabi GP will be run three extra laps compared to the past versions of the race. The changes to the circuit have shortened the length of the circuit to 5.281 km (3.281 mi) meaning the race will now run to 58 laps, on Sunday December 12. The weather forecast predicts a dry weekend, with just a 3% chance of rain across the three days.


Where to watch 

All sessions are live on Sky Sports F1 with both pre and post-session coverage through the duration of the race weekend. Coverage on race day will last until 5.30pm.

Qualifying and the race will also be available on Sky Sports Main Event from 12pm and 12:55pm respectively. Channel 4 will also get to show the race live. Coverage begins at 12pm before switching over to Sky’s feed at 12.15pm. Channel 4 will resume its own coverage after the podium ceremony and both qualifying and race highlights available in the early evening as usual.

Sky Sports F1 – Live

Friday: FP1 – 9am | FP2 – 12.45pm

Saturday: FP3 – 9.45am | Qualifying – 12pm

Sunday: Race – 11.30am

Channel 4 – Live

Sunday: Race – 12pm

Channel 4 – Highlights

Saturday: Qualifying – 6.55pm

Sunday: Race – 5.30pm


How to stream

NowTV will cover every session throughout the weekend, meaning you can keep up with the action whatever your location. The app is available to download on mobile and tablet devices – weekend passes are available which provide all the live sessions in addition to the pre and post-race coverage.


Who will win? 

The title duo cannot be separated. Max Verstappen technically still holds the lead of the championship on countback due to his nine wins versus Lewis Hamilton’s tally of eight.

A double DNF then would make Verstappen champion, and if the two come to blows for the fourth time this season it will happen under controversial circumstances, but Red Bull team boss Christian Horner insists his star man won’t resort to such tactics in Abu Dhabi.

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The title looked like Verstappen’s to lose just a month ago. On the back of his last win in Mexico, he enjoyed a 19-point advantage over Hamilton with four rounds left of the season.

But then Hamilton and Mercedes found another level of performance and it’s the defending champion that has stood on the top step at every race since. An against-the-odds victory in Brazil from the back of the grid felt like a huge shift in power between the two.

Victory in Qatar a week later and the comeback was on. After the chaotic and highly-charged Saudi Arabian GP last weekend, the two are on equal footing once again, just like they were back in Bahrain in March.

Last season, it was Red Bull that dominated at Yas Marina but the circuit has been reconfigured since then and will now be faster than the original version. Such changes suit Mercedes on paper but it was a Merc-favoured venue last year and Verstappen won that comfortably.

With three victories in a row, Mercedes and Hamilton might be favourites but with the dynamic at its lowest ebb between the title rivals and Verstappen’s take-no-prisoners approach in Jeddah, nothing is off the table this weekend.


2021 Abu Dhabi GP session times

(All times GMT)


Free Practice 1: 9.30am – 10.30am

Free Practice 2: 1.45pm – 2.45pm


Free Practice 3: 10am – 11am

Qualifying: 1pm – 2pm


Race: 1pm – 3pm