Bahrain Grand Prix 2023: What time does the race start, what TV channel is it on and latest odds
The 2023 Formula One season gets under way in Bahrain, at the Bahrain International Circuit just outside of Sakhir.
Max Verstappen is the defending champion, having won his second drivers' title in a row last season for Red Bull.
Mercedes – with drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell – and Ferrari will hope to be stiffer competition than they were in 2022 and could do with starting on the front foot.
This year there are six sprint race events where the weekend schedule differs from the normal, but the standard set-up is of two one-hour practice sessions on Friday, one hour of practice before qualifying on Saturday and then the grand prix itself on Sunday.
As has been the case for some time now, qualifying and the race will take place under lights after dark.
When is it?
The 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix runs from Friday March 3 until Sunday March 5.
What time do the sessions start?
Friday, March 3
First practice – 11.30am GMT
Second practice – 3pm
Saturday, March 4
Third practice – 11.30am
Qualifying – 3pm
Sunday, March 5
Bahrain Grand Prix – 3pm
What TV channel is it on?
Sky Sports F1 have near-exclusive live coverage rights in the UK this year and indeed for the next few with their usual excellent team.
Sky's qualifying program starts at 2pm GMT on Saturday, with their race coverage at 1.30pm on Sunday.
Channel 4 also have extended highlights coverage this year, although we await the exact times that their coverage will be broadcast.
What is our prediction?
Of course, it is hard to say with only testing undertaken. Yet it would be difficult to look much beyond Max Verstappen and Red Bull, who raced away to the championship last season, winning it by the Japanese Grand Prix. Their pre-season testing suggested few issues.
Mercedes, who made significant progress after their initial woes, could be challengers as could Ferrari, who have a new team principal. McLaren suffered a difficult test and may find they are towards the rear of the midfield.
What do we know about the Bahrain International Circuit?
Circuit length: 5.412km
First grand prix: 2004
Race distance: 308.238km
Race lap record: 1:31.447 (Pedro de la Rosa, 2005, McLaren)
2022 winner: Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
Number of corners: 15
Overtaking chances: Pretty decent overall, though again, you're most likely to see it along the long pit straight, with the aid of DRS into the heavy braking hairpin at turn one. A couple of other opportunities throughout the lap, though they require a bit more bravery.
What are the driver line-ups for this year?
Red Bull: Max Verstappen (1) and Sergio Pérez (11)
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton (44) and George Russell (63)
Ferrari: Carlos Sainz (55) and Charles Leclerc (55)
Alpine: Esteban Ocon (31) and Pierre Gasly (10)
McLaren: Lando Norris (4) and Oscar Piastri (81)
Alfa Romeo: Valtteri Bottas (77) and Guanyu Zhou (24)
Aston Martin: Lance Stroll (18) and Fernando Alonso (14)
Haas: Kevin Magnussen (20) and Nico Hulkenberg (27)
AlphaTauri: Yuki Tsunoda (22) and Nyck de Vries (21)
Williams: Alexander Albon (23) and Logan Sargeant (2)
What are the latest odds?
Max Verstappen 5/4
Charles Leclerc 4/1
Lewis Hamilton 5/1
George Russell 14/1
Sergio Perez 16/1
Carlos Sainz 18/1
Fernando Alonso 25/1