Saudi Arabia Grand Prix 2021: Race start time UK, qualifying results and how can I watch F1 on TV today?

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  • Lewis Hamilton
    Lewis Hamilton
    British racing driver
  • Max Verstappen
    Max Verstappen
    Dutch-Belgian racing driver
  • Valtteri Bottas
    Valtteri Bottas
    Finnish Formula 1 racing driver

Lewis Hamilton is on pole position at the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix today as he looks to chase down Max Verstappen’s title lead in the penultimate race of the season.

Red Bull star Verstappen can win the world title if he can extend his eight-point advantage to 26 on the newly-constructed street circuit, with one such scenario requiring a race victory and fastest lap combined with a finish of sixth or lower from Hamilton.

But he will have it all to do in today’s race, after Hamilton took pole. Verstappen crashed out in the final corner right at the end of Q3, when he was on a brilliant lap and looked set to snatch pole.

Valtteri Bottas will join Hamilton on the front-row, with Mercedes seemingly in control.

It is a fascinating factor of Hamilton and Verstappen’s duel that their final three match-ups come on two new tracks and a modified Abu Dhabi circuit. F1’s move into Saudi has raised eyebrows from some and the Jeddah Corniche Circuit promises to be the “fastest street circuit in F1”.

A short run down to Turn 1 enters a tight, technical first sector described by Christian Horner as “like Suzuka but with walls”. Overtaking may prove difficult on the narrow track with small run-off areas potentially leading to a few scrapes and a high chance of a safety car during the race.

That made qualifying all the more important, and it’s a big advantage for Hamilton and Mercedes.

When is the 2021 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix?

The 2021 Saudi Grand Prix is scheduled for today - Sunday, December 5, 2021 - and will take place at the new Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

What time is the 2021 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix?

Preparation for the Saudi GP began with practice on Friday, December 3 with the two sessions taking place at 1pm and 5pm GMT with Hamilton setting an early lead.

Qualifying took place on Saturday after the final practice session and the race is set to begin at 5.30pm GMT this afternoon.

How can I watch the 2021 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix?

TV channel: Today’s race will be shown LIVE on Sky Sports F1 and Main Event. Coverage of Grand Prix Sunday starts at 4pm on F1 and 5pm on Main Event.

Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers can also stream the action live online via the SkyGo app.

Who is on pole?

Lewis Hamilton will start on pole in Sunday’s race, with teammate Valtteri Bottas also on the front-row after a brilliant qualifying session for Mercedes. Max Verstappen looked set to secure pole with his last lap, but crashed out on the final corner and will start third. He’ll be hoping there is no damage to his car.

Qualifying results in full

1. Lewis Hamilton, Great Britain, 1 minute, 27.511 seconds.

2. Valtteri Bottas, Finland, 1:27.622.

3. Max Verstappen, Netherlands, 1:27.653.

4. Charles Leclerc, Monaco, 1:28.054.

5. Sergio Perez, Mexico, 1:28.123.

6. Pierre Gasly, France, 1:28.125.

7. Lando Norris, Great Britain, 1:28.180.

8. Yuki Tsunoda, Japan, 1:28.442.

9. Esteban Ocon, France, 1:28.647.

10. Antonio Giovinazzi, Italy, 1:28.754.

Eliminated after second session

11. Daniel Ricciardo, Australia, 1:28.668.

12. Kimi Raikkonen, Finland, 1:28.885.

13. Fernando Alonso, Spain, 1:28.920.

14. George Russell, Great Britain, 1:29.054.

15. Carlos Sainz Jr, Spain, 1:53.652.

Eliminated after first session

16. Nicholas Latifi, Canada, 1:29.177.

17. Sebastian Vettel, Germany, 1:29.198.

18. Lance Stroll, Canada, 1:29.368.

19. Mick Schumacher, Germany, 1:29.464.

20. Nikita Mazepin, Russia, 1:30.473.

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