F1 Schedule: Where to Watch and What Time Is 2021 Bahrain GP Qualifying?

Published 03/25/2021, 4:35 AM EDT
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – MARCH 12: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP walks on the grid during Day One of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on March 12, 2021 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


It has been a long few months, but Formula One is finally back this weekend with the 2021 Bahrain GP. The good news is that the sport seems better prepared to adjust for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of that, Bahrain will play host to the opening round of the 2021 season.

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It is worth mentioning that qualifying will kick off at 3:00 PM GMT on Saturday. Since this is an evening race, qualifying will take place at 8:30 PM local time.

Just like the last few years, Sky Sports F1 own the exclusive coverage rights in the United Kingdom. Additionally, Sky F1 coverage begins at 2pm BST on Saturday. Of course, even non-subscribers can enjoy the race, though they will have to rely on highlights aired on Channel 4.

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Speaking of Channel 4, their qualifying program commences at 6:30 PM BST on Saturday. Meanwhile, their race highlights are at 8.30pm on Sunday.

What to expect from the 2021 Bahrain GP qualifying?

Obviously, since this is the first race of the season, nobody knows how the pecking order will be. However, if past form is to be believed, then Mercedes F1 should be the favorites to take pole and/or win the race. However, stranger things have happened in the desert, especially considering the team’s early struggles.

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 12, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

On the other side of the fence, Red Bull Racing performed reasonably well in pre-season testing. There is also a chance of another team trying to spoil the party, though the big question is, which one. The likes of McLaren, Alpine and Aston Martin were strong contenders last year. So, there is no reason why they should not carry that momentum into this season.

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Until then, fans will have to wait and see how the three practice sessions play out. Only then will we get a clearer idea of who is the favorite to take pole at the 2021 Bahrain GP qualifying session.

Will Lewis Hamilton kick-start his title defence in style? Or will someone else draw first blood? There are so many questions that need answering, only then will fans and pundits have an idea of who is the quickest. Already, pre-season testing has given a small taste of what to expect. However, not every team will be willing to show all their cards too early.

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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