F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more

The defending F1 world champion held on to take his fifth pole of the season in Jeddah after Max Verstappen hit the wall at the final corner on his last lap in Q3, having looked set to grab top spot at the finish. 

The crash meant Verstappen will start the inaugural Saudi Arabian GP from third place behind a Mercedes front row lockout with Hamilton on pole from team-mate Valtteri Bottas, but Hamilton remains wary of Red Bull’s pace this weekend

Red Bull is also set to check over Verstappen’s gearbox following his heavy clash with the wall at the final corner in qualifying, and “won’t hesitate” to swap for a fresh one and pick up a five-place grid drop if needed to avoid reliability concerns. 

Meanwhile, Red Bull opted not to appeal the FIA race stewards’ decision not to penalise Hamilton for a yellow flag incident in final practice despite weighing up the option. 

Behind the front three Charles Leclerc bounced back from a big FP2 crash to take fourth place for Ferrari and beat the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez in qualifying. Pierre Gasly will start the race from sixth place for AlphaTauri ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and the French driver’s team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi round out the top 10 on the grid for the Saudi Arabian GP.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

When is the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix?

  • Date: Sunday 5th December 2021
  • Start time: 5:30pm GMT, 8:30pm local time

The 21st round of the 2021 F1 season, the Saudi Arabian GP at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, gets underway at 5.30pm local time (8.30pm GMT) on Sunday 5th December.

How can I watch the Saudi Arabian GP?

In the United Kingdom, Sky Sports will be live broadcasting the Saudi Arabian GP, with the race shown live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event. Pre-race coverage will be starting on Sky Sports F1 at 4:00pm GMT, with coverage on Sky Sports Main Event starting at 5:00pm GMT, ahead of the race start at 5:30pm GMT.

  • Channel: Sky Sports F1
  • Start time: 4:00pm GMT, Sunday 5th December

Autosport will be running a live text coverage of the Saudi Arabian GP here

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, celebrates in Parc Ferme after securing pole

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, celebrates in Parc Ferme after securing pole

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

When can I watch the Saudi Arabian GP highlights?

In the United Kingdom Channel 4 is also broadcasting highlights of the Saudi Arabian GP at 10:00pm GMT on Sunday. The full programme will run for two hours and 30 minutes, covering the pre-race, the race highlights and the initial post-race reaction to wrap up the major talking points of the race weekend.

For the entire 2021 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: 10:00pm GMT, Sunday 5th December

Will the Saudi Arabian GP be on the radio?

Live radio coverage of every practice, qualifying and race for the 2021 F1 season will be available on the BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra stations and the via the BBC Sport website.

Live coverage of the Saudi Arabian GP will start at 5:15pm GMT on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and on the BBC Sounds app.

Weather forecast for the Saudi Arabian GP

Current weather forecasts predict hot and dry conditions at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, with a very low chance of rain during the race. The temperature is expected to be 28 degrees Celsius for the start of the race – one degree warmer than the Qatar GP.

How many laps is the Saudi Arabian GP?

The race is scheduled to complete 50 laps of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, covering a total race distance of 308.450km.

Saudi Arabian GP starting grid

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