British F1 GP sprint qualifying race: Start time, how to watch, channel

Silverstone will play host to Formula 1's first-ever sprint qualifying race as part of this weekend's British Grand Prix. Find out when it starts and how to watch it here.

British F1 GP sprint qualifying race: Start time, how to watch, channel

What is F1’s sprint qualifying race?

In a bid to spice up the show, F1 is trialling a new weekend format at three races this year, starting with the British GP. The highlight of the overhaul is a new 100km sprint race scheduled on Saturday evening that will determine the starting order for the grand prix on Sunday.

The original qualifying has been retained but pushed forward to Friday, essentially replacing the second one-hour practice session.

Sprint races are common in other racing categories including Formula 1's own support series Formula 2 and Formula 3. However, the chief difference is that the F1's sprint race is being held solely to decide the grid for the main race, with the winner officially granted pole position in the history books.

The race distance is set at 100km or 17 laps of the Silverstone circuit, with the drivers given a free choice of tyres. Pitstops are not mandatory to enable a flat-out race from start to finish.

Should the trials prove to be a success, F1 will run sprint qualifying races more often next year - although it won't feature on every grand prix weekend. 

The sprint race weekend format will be:

  • Friday morning – 60-minute Free Practice 1
  • Friday afternoon – Q1, Q2, Q3 sessions to order the starting grid for the sprint race qualifying
  • Saturday morning – 60-minute Free Practice 2
  • Saturday afternoon – 100km sprint race qualifying
  • Sunday – Full grand prix race

A more in-depth explanation of F1's sprint race format can be found here.

2021 British GP timetable:

Session

GMT

BST

CEST

ET

PT

AEST

JST

IST

FP1

13:30

14:30

15:30

09:30

06:30

23:30

22:30

19:00

Qualifying 17:00

18:00

19:00

13:00

10:00

03:00¹

02:00¹

22:30

FP2

11:00

12:00

13:00

07:00

04:00

21:00

20:00

16:30

Sprint

15:30

16:30

17:30

11:30

08:30

01:30¹

00:30¹

21:00

Race 

14:00

15:00

16:00

10:00

07:00

00:00¹

23:00

19:30

What time does the sprint qualifying race start at the British GP?

The sprint qualifying race for the British GP will kick off at 4.30pm local time on Saturday, July 17 and is expected to last roughly 30 minutes - barring any red flags or prolonged interruptions.

  • Date: Saturday, July 17, 2021 
  • Start time: 15:30 GMT / 16:30 BST / 17:30 CEST / 17:30 SAT / 18:30 EAT / 11:30 ET / 08:30 PT / 01:30¹ AEST / 00:30¹ JST / 21:00 IST

Can’t find your country or region in the list? Check the Formula 1 schedule page for the broadcast times in your local timezone.

How many laps will the sprint qualifying race be at the British GP?

The Silverstone sprint race will run to 17 laps. As a rule, all sprint races must last 100km, with the lap count decided accordingly. 

For comparison, a full-distance grand prix is held over 305-310km.

Do points get awarded for the sprint qualifying races?

Yes, F1 will offer points for top finishers in the sprint race. The winner will take home three points, the second-placed driver will get two points, and the third-placed finisher will be awarded a single point.

This means that a maximum of 29 points will be up for grabs for drivers across the weekend, including 25 for the win, three for pole position and the bonus point for the fastest lap in the grand prix.

How can I watch the British GP sprint qualifying race?

Formula 1 is broadcast live in nearly every country around the world. 

Europe

  • Austria - Servus TV / ORF
  • Belgium - RTBF
  • Denmark - TV3 / TV3 Sport / Viasat
  • Finland - MTV
  • France - Canal+
  • Germany - Sky
  • Hungary - M4
  • Italy - Sky
  • Netherlands - Ziggo
  • Poland - Eleven Sports
  • Portugal - Eleven Sports
  • Spain - Movistar / DAZN
  • Sweden - Viasat
  • Switzerland - SRF / RSI / RTS
  • UK - Sky Sports F1 / Channel 4 

Americas

  • USA - ESPN
  • Canada - RDS / TSN / Discovery Velocity
  • Latin America - Fox Sports / ESPN

Asia

  • China - CCTV / Tencent / Guangdong TV
  • India - Star Sports
  • Japan - Fuji Television
  • Russia - Match TV
  • Turkey - S Sport
  • Rest of Asia - Fox Sports

Oceania

  • Australia - Fox Sports / Network 10
  • New Zealand - Spark Sports

Africa

  • Africa - SuperSport

What’s the weather forecast for the British GP sprint qualifying race?

The current weather forecast suggests a sunny and cloudy afternoon at Silverstone on Saturday, with the temperature expected to be around 24C for the start of the sprint race.

Sprint race - Starting grid

Cla # Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 1'26.134
2 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 1'26.209 0.075
3 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 1'26.328 0.194
4 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 1'26.828 0.694
5 11 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 1'26.844 0.710
6 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 1'26.897 0.763
7 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 1'26.899 0.765
8 63 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 1'26.971 0.837
9 55 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari 1'27.007 0.873
10 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin 1'27.179 1.045
11 14 Spain Fernando Alonso
Alpine 1'27.245 1.111
12 10 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 1'27.273 1.139
13 31 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 1'27.340 1.206
14 99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 1'27.617 1.483
15 18 Canada Lance Stroll
Aston Martin 1'27.665 1.531
16 22 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 1'28.043 1.909
17 7 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 1'28.062 1.928
18 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 1'28.254 2.120
19 47 Germany Mick Schumacher
Haas 1'28.738 2.604
20 9 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
Haas 1'29.051 2.917
shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes' F1 upgrade revealed ahead of British GP

Previous article

Mercedes' F1 upgrade revealed ahead of British GP

Next article

Pirelli expects F1 drivers to gamble on soft tyres in sprint race

Pirelli expects F1 drivers to gamble on soft tyres in sprint race
Load comments
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making Prime

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021