Last week’s Bahrain Grand Prix couldn’t have got Formula 1’s new era off to a better start – a thrilling battle for the lead, late drama in spades and grand prix racing’s most famous team Ferrari back on top again.
F1’s new rules are designed to make the racing closer and give cars more opportunity to pass. Charles Leclerc’s titanic scrap with Max Verstappen appeared to confirm they’ve been largely successful one race down, and with plenty of action further down the field all the signs are we could be set for another classic season.
Now the F1 circus makes the short hop to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia for the second event of a 23-race campaign, on a fast and flowing 6.174km track which last year provided a breathtaking duel between Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen in what turned out to be a key race for the championship.
Ferrari’s speed in Bahrain partly came from its strength in low-speed corners, but with impressive top speed another weapon in its arsenal, Jeddah – the ‘fastest street circuit in the world’ with 310km/h being hit three times – could well also favour the Scuderia.
Red Bull will of course also be contenders, but will the Milton Keynes squad have solved its reliability issues in just the fews days-gap between Saudi and Bahrain, after fuel pick-up issues stymied its challenge in the closing laps of the latter race?
Hamilton salvaged an impressive third in the misfiring W13, but Mercedes’ technical chief James Allison says the car’s performance issues could take “two to three races” to remedy.
With another exciting race looking to be in store, here’s how to watch this weekend’s Saudi Arabian GP.
If you want to view all the action live as it happens, below are the times you need to tune into your TV or have your device ready. Times are GMT.
Live: Saturday, 4.55pm
Highlights: Saturday, 8.25pm
Live: Sunday, 5.55pm
Highlights: Sunday, 10.25pm
How many laps is the Saudi Arabian GP?
The 2022 Saudi Arabia GP, held on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, is 50 laps long. The track is 6.174km (3.8 miles) and features three DRS detection zones. There is a 0% chance of rain at the track this weekend, with highs of 27, 29 and 32 degrees celsius on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively– though of course FP3 qualifying and the race will be held at night.
Where to watch
All sessions will be live on Sky Sports F1, including pre and post-session coverage. As per usual, Channel 4 will feature highlights of the qualifying and race sessions after both have finished.
Live coverage of the race begins at 4.30pm on Sky Sports F1 and 5pm on Sky Sports Main Event. Highlights on Channel 4 start at 10.30pm on Sunday evening.
Sky Sports F1 – Live
Friday: FP1 – 1.30pm | FP2 – 4.45pm
Saturday: FP3 –1.45pm | Qualifying – 4pm
Sunday: Race – 4.30pm
Channel 4 – Highlights
Saturday: Qualifying – 8.30pm
Sunday: Race – 10.30pm
How to stream
NowTV covers every session throughout the weekend, meaning you can stay up-to-date with the action whatever your location. You can download the app on mobile and tablet devices – weekend passes are also available which provide all the live sessions in addition to the pre and post-race coverage.
Who will win?
Ferrari looked strong in testing prior to last week’s season opener, and so it proved as Charles Leclerc fended off Max Verstappen to take Ferrari’s first win in three years, with Carlos Sainz claiming second as the Red Bull challenge faltered.
It’s likely we’ll see the same two teams fighting it out again, with Mercedes filling in the third-fastest slot. In addition to Lewis Hamilton’s podium, George Russell aided the damage limitation with a solid fourth in Bahrain.