Completing a gruelling triple-header that started in Mexico, F1 will run its inaugural Qatar round this weekend in the first race ahead of a 10-year deal which will run from 2023 to 2032.
It presents a brand new challenge to drivers and teams alike adapting to a new circuit, a familiar venue for MotoGP and World Superbikes, to add extra spice to an already tantalising world title battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton holds fresh momentum after his stunning comeback victory at the Brazilian GP last time out, having been excluded from qualifying and sent to the back of the grid for the sprint race for a DRS rear wing infringement, with Verstappen having to settle for second place.
The fallout from the race focused on a Turn 4 incident between the F1 title fighters, which wasn’t asked to be investigated by the FIA race stewards by race director Michael Masi, with Mercedes requesting a right to review the clash and Verstappen’s actions following the appearance of new onboard footage.
With the outcome of the request on the right to review yet to be decided, it poses additional intrigue over one of the fiercest title fights in F1 for years.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
Full 2021 Qatar GP session timings
Friday 19th November 2021
Free Practice 1: 10:30am-11:30am GMT (1:30pm-2:30pm local)
Free Practice 2: 2:00pm-3:00pm GMT (5:00pm-6:00pm local)
Saturday 20th November 2021
Free Practice 3: 11:00am-12:00pm GMT (2:00pm-3:00pm local)
Qualifying: 2:00pm-3:00pm GMT (5:00pm-6:00pm local)
Sunday 21st November 2021
Race: 2:00pm GMT (5:00pm local)
How can I watch the Qatar GP?
Channel: Sky Sports F1 HD
Channel numbers – Sky: 406
Channel numbers – Virgin Media: 506 (Sky Sports F1 HD)
Sky Sports has live and exclusive broadcasting rights in the United Kingdom, with the build-up to the F1 race starting from 12:30pm ahead of lights out at 2:00pm.
Losail International Circuit
When can I watch the Qatar GP highlights?
· Channel: Channel 4
· Start time: Saturday qualifying – 5:30pm, Sunday race – 6:30pm
Channel 4 has the rights to show Qatar GP highlights of qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.
Will the Qatar 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 or via the BBC Sport website.
Coverage of the Qatar GP will start at 1:45pm GMT on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and the BBC Sounds app.
Weather forecast for the Qatar GP
The Losail International Circuit is set for largely dry and clear weather conditions throughout the race weekend, with a tiny chance of rain on each day of track action. Highs of 27 degrees Celsius are predicted on Sunday for the start of the race with the temperature dipping as the race progresses into the night.