F1 has turned its sprint race into a standalone Saturday event, with sprint qualifying deciding the starting grid followed by the sprint race later in the day. Here’s how the latest sprint race format changes will work.
During qualifying for Sunday’s grand prix, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took pole position, initially from McLaren’s Lando Norris but the British driver dropped to 10th after losing both his Q3 laps for exceeding track limits.
Oscar Piastri also lost his best Q3 time due to track limits and the reshuffled order has put Mercedes duo second and third, with George Russell heading Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen is likely to wrap up the 2023 F1 world drivers’ title in the Qatar sprint race as he needs just three points to seal the crown – which effectively means finishing sixth place or higher in the sprint, irrespective of what his rivals can produce.
What time does sprint qualifying start for the F1 Qatar Grand Prix?
Sprint qualifying for the Qatar GP starts at 4:00pm local time (2:00pm BST), using a shorter version of the traditional Q1, Q2 and Q3 knockout session format.
Date: Saturday 7 October 2023
Start time: 4:00pm local time – 2:00pm BST
What time does the sprint race start for the F1 Qatar Grand Prix?
The sprint race for the Qatar GP starts at 8:30pm local time (6:30pm BST), covering a distance of 19 laps or 60 minutes.
Date: Saturday 7 October 2023
Start time: 8:30pm local time – 6:30pm BST
Norris’s track limits infringements have promoted Russell to second for Sunday’s grand prix
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
How can I watch Formula 1?
In the United Kingdom Formula 1 is broadcast live on Sky Sports, with highlights shown on Channel 4 several hours after the race has finished. Live streaming through NOW is also available in the UK.
Sky Sports F1, which broadcasts the F1 races, can be added as part of the Sky Sports channels which costs £24 a month for new customers. Sky Sports can also be accessed through NOW with a one-off day payment of £11.98p or a month membership of £34.99p per month.
How can I watch F1 Qatar GP sprint qualifying and the sprint race?
In the United Kingdom every F1 practice, qualifying and race is broadcast live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event, with Qatar GP sprint qualifying coverage starting at 1:30pm BST on Sky Sports F1, and sprint race coverage starting at 5:30pm BST on Sky Sports F1.
Channel: Sky Sports F1
Start time – Sprint Qualifying: 1:30pm BST Saturday 7 October 2023
Start time – Sprint Race: 5:30pm BST Saturday 7 October 2023
Autosport will be running a live text coverage of sprint qualifying and the sprint race here.
When can I watch the highlights of F1 Qatar GP sprint qualifying and the sprint race?
In the United Kingdom Channel 4 is broadcasting highlights of sprint qualifying and the sprint race for the Qatar GP at 9:35pm BST on Saturday evening. The full programme will run for 90 minutes, covering both sprint qualifying and the sprint race and wrapping up the major talking points of the race weekend so far.
For the entire 2023 F1 season, Channel 4 will broadcast highlights of every qualifying and race of each event. The highlights will also be available on Channel 4’s on demand catch up services.
Channel: Channel 4
Start time: 9:35pm BST Saturday 7 October 2023
Ocon made it two Alpines in the Q3 shootout
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Will F1 Qatar GP sprint qualifying and the sprint race be on the radio?
Live radio coverage of every practice, qualifying and race for the 2023 F1 season will be available on the BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC 5 Live Sports Extra or via the BBC Sport website.
Coverage of Qatar GP sprint qualifying will start at 2:00pm BST on the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sounds app.
Coverage of the Qatar GP sprint race will start at 6:00pm BST on the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sounds app.
What’s the weather forecast for sprint qualifying and the sprint race?
Hot and windy conditions with a low chance of rain is forecast for all of Saturday at Losail. The temperature is set to reach highs of 33 degrees Celsius at the start of the sprint race.