How to watch the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix - times and TV channels


How and where to watch the 2021 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix

Bahrain Grand Prix, 2021

Bahrain hosts the 2021 F1 season opener this weekend


The first weekend of the Formula 1 season has arrived and there will be plenty to keep an eye on but where is the action available for UK fans?

Here is everything you need to know including TV and radio stations as well as session timings for the entire race weekend.

(All times GMT unless stated)


What time is the Bahrain Grand Prix?

The race begins at 4pm BST on Sunday 28 March and will run from late evening into the night in Sakhir. Friday practice has been reduced by an hour in total, with both Free Practice 1 and 2 now only lasting an hour each.

FP1 begins at 11:30am on Friday, with FP2 beginning at 3pm later in the afternoon, as conditions become more relevant to those that will be present during Sunday’s race as light fades.

Qualifying remains the same, with the session kicking off at 3pm on Saturday before the main event rolls around and the 2021 season gets underway on Sunday.

Where to watch?

The race will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 on all three days of the weekend with Saturday qualifying and Sunday’s race also shown on Sky Sports Main Event. Coverage begins on Sky at 2pm on Saturday and 4pm BST on Sunday, lasting until 4:30pm and 6pm respectively.

Highlights will also be available after qualifying and the race on Channel 4. Highlights from Saturday’s action begins at 6:30pm with the race higlights on Sunday beginning at 8:30pm BST.

Radio coverage will also be avaiable all weekend on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, with coverage beginning five minutes ahead of each practice session and 15 minutes before lights out on Sunday.


How to stream?

NowTV is an option for viewers to stream the race online, offering the Sky Sports coverage all weekend for each session live and as they happen.


Who will win?

Testing has suggested that Mercedes might not have everything its own way in 2021. If Red Bull’s apparent pace is the real deal, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas could be under threat from the outset.

Max Verstappen is the most recent F1 race winner having taken the victory in Abu Dhabi and last year’s finale, and the Dutchman has been quietly confident of his new RB16B going into round one. He’s joined by Sergio Perez for this season, who despite admitting it could take five races to get fully up to speed, is the most recent winner in Bahrain, albeit around the outer-loop layout.

On current form Mercedes is still likely the favourites going into the opening race of the 2021 season but expect Red Bull to be closer than it was last year. If the W12 is as tough to nail down set-up-wise as it appeared during testing then Verstappen could spring a surprise to open the season.

Behind the top two, the fight for midfield supremacy promises to be tighter than last year as performance margins converge in the final year of the current regulations. McLaren will hope to hit the ground running with the Mercedes power unit boost while Alpine and Aston Martin boast world champions Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel in their ranks respectively. AlphaTauri looked impressive in testing and Alfa Romeo is expecting a nice boost from the Ferrari power unit.

Free practice will be crucial as conditions over the weekend are expected to be tricky with stronger winds arriving in time for Sunday’s race.


2021 Bahrain Grand Prix session times


Free Practice 1: 11:30am – 12:30pm

Free Practice 2: 15:00 – 16:00


Free Practice 3: 12:00pm – 13:00

Qualifying: 15:00 – 16:00


(All times BST)

Race: 16:00 – 18:00

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix