Formula One

F1 Qatar GP preview – start time, how to watch & more

F1 Qatar GP Preview Start time
XPB Images – Photo by Icon sport

F1 returns from a short, one-week break. The action heads over to the fast Losail Circuit for the Qatar Grand Prix, which will see Max Verstappen get his first match point for the 2023 title. Here is everything you need to know ahead of this weekend’s GP, with information on how to watch and the start time for all sessions. You can also check out our F1 predictions and odds for the sprint weekend.

Qatar GP start time and UK schedule

Qatar Grand Prix date

The 2023 Qatar GP will happen on Sunday, October 8th.

Qatar Grand Prix start time

The Qatar Grand Prix is set to start at 6:00 pm BST (5:00 pm GMT).

Check the tables below for additional information on the start time for all sessions.

Qatar GP schedule

Friday, October 6thStart time (BST)
Free practice 14:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Qualifying6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Saturday, October 7thStart time (BST)
Sprint shootout2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
Sprint race6:30 pm
Sunday, October 8thStart time (BST)
Race6:00 pm

How can I watch the Qatar GP?

Fans looking out for information on how to watch the Qatar GP in the UK can tune in on Sky Sports, which will broadcast the race live. On the internet, Sky Sports is also an option, along with NOW. In the US, F1 fans can watch the Qatar GP on ESPN, both on TV and on streaming.

Television channels

TV channelLocation
Sky Sports F1UK
Fox SportsAustralia

Streaming services

Streaming serviceLocation
TSN DirectCanada

About the Qatar GP

The Qatar GP was only supposed to join the F1 schedule in 2023, on a 10-year deal. But the race was a last-minute addition in 2021, as an emergency replacement for the canceled Australian Grand Prix.

Losail Circuit, home of the MotoGP Qatar Grand Prix since 2004, hosted the race in the first year, as there were no other FIA Grade A options available in Qatar. But the plan was to move the race to a new, purpose-built F1 track from 2023 onwards. These plans, however, never really came to fruition, and F1 will return to the MotoGP track.

A fast track with lots of wide radius corners, Losail is, for obvious reasons, more of a motorcycle track. The long turns, combined with the Qatari heat, ask a lot out of the tyres on racecars. Punctures could once again become a problem this year, as they were in 2021.

Qatar will host the fourth sprint weekend of the season. Max Verstappen will have the match point on Saturday, with the Dutchman only needing a third place finish in the sprint race to complete his three-peat.

Altitude and weather

As is usually the case in Qatar, drivers and teams can expect a dry and hot weekend, with no chance of rain. The highs will be in the 38-40°C range, although temperatures will be at a slightly more bearable 32°C for the sprint and for the Grand Prix.

Qatar GP stats

These are some of the stats you need to know ahead of the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix:

Last Singapore Grand Prix2021
Circuit length5.419 km
Number of laps57
Race distance308.611 km
Lap recordMax Verstappen, 2021 (1:23.196)

Most wins (drivers)

DriversNumber of wins
Lewis Hamilton1

Most wins (constructors)

ConstructorsNumber of wins

Qatar offers more than just racing

Having just hosted the FIFA World Cup less than 12 months ago, Qatar has been in evidence. Losail (or Lusail) is still under development, and is planned to become a model city. Built in the desert and from scratch, Losail has an ambitious development plan, which could make the Qatari metropolis into a smart and sustainable city.

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