The Formula 1 2022 season starts here with the Bahrain Grand Prix ready to renew the rivalry between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the front of the grid.


Reigning world champion Verstappen is under a new kind of pressure in 2022 as he begins his title defence, while Hamilton won't allow him a moment of peace in this campaign.

Young George Russell will join Hamilton at Mercedes for his first race as a full-time member of the team this weekend. He was cruelly denied a victory on this track as a Mercedes stand-in for the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.

Ferrari and McLaren are once again expected to push hard this season and both will be eager to lay down signals of intent.

At the back of the grid, Haas will line up for the race with returning driver Kevin Magnussen back at the wheel following the abrupt exit of Nikita Mazepin due to sanctions placed on the Russian driver and his oligarch father Dmitry. brings you the complete guide to the Bahrain Grand Prix 2022 including start time, dates and TV details, as well as our analysis of the big storylines to come.

Bahrain Grand Prix date

The Bahrain Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 20th March.

Check out our full F1 2022 calendar for the full list of races and results throughout the season.

Bahrain Grand Prix start time

The race begins at 3pm on Sunday 20th March 2022.

We've included the full schedule for the rest of the weekend, including practice and qualifying times below.

Bahrain Grand Prix schedule

All UK time.

Bahrain Grand Prix practice time

Friday 18th March

From 11:30am on Sky Sports F1

Practice 1 – 12pm

Practice 2 – 3pm

Saturday 19th March

From 11:45am on Sky Sports F1

Practice 3 – 12pm

Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying time

Saturday 19th March

From 2pm on Sky Sports F1

Qualifying – 3pm

Bahrain Grand Prix race time

Sunday 20th March

From 1:30pm on Sky Sports F1

Race – 3pm

How to watch Bahrain Grand Prix on TV

The Bahrain Grand Prix will air live on Sky Sports F1 from 1:30pm.

All races will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 and Main Event throughout the season.

Sky customers can add individual channels for just £18 per month or add the complete sports package to their deal for just £25 per month.

There will also be free-to-air highlights of the race on Channel 4 from 7:30pm.

Live stream Bahrain Grand Prix online

Existing Sky Sports customers can live stream the race via the Sky Go app on a variety of devices.

You can watch the Grand Prix with a NOW Day Membership for £9.99 or a Monthly Membership for £33.99, all without signing up to a contract.

NOW can be streamed through a computer or apps found on most smart TVs, phones and consoles. NOW is also available via BT Sport.

Bahrain Grand Prix preview

Mercedes are playing down their chances this weekend Getty Images

1. Don't listen to Mercedes

Very little is certain ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Teams are usually coy, guarded and will have deployed every mind game trick in the book over the last few weeks of testing.

The team you need to trust least? Mercedes, as usual. Lewis Hamilton has been speaking in the press this week: “We are not the quickest. Ferrari look to be the fastest, and perhaps Red Bull and then maybe us, or McLaren. We are currently not at the top.

“We are being told we are talking ourselves down, but it is a bit different this year. We have far bigger challenges and they are not one-week turnarounds. They will take a little bit longer. I am told we have a considerable amount of pace to find."

More like this

Let's revisit Hamilton's quotes from 2021: “I wouldn’t call it a struggle necessarily, [we’re] just not quick enough.” How about 2020? "Normally in preseason testing we’ve got much more confidence in the reliability … so it’s definitely not an easy or relaxed scenario for us.” Surely he was more confident in 2019: “I think [Ferrari’s advantage] is potentially half a second … I’ve no reason to expect that to come down.”

Of course, Mercedes won the constructors championship in all three of those years and Hamilton won two driver's titles. Don't believe the lack of hype, Mercedes will be in the mix.

2. Look out for Ferrari

There's every reason to believe Ferrari really could return to the sharp end of the F1 standings in 2022.

Their F1-75 machine has been one of the big stories of testing with rapid pace throughout the weekends.

In Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr they boast two young, hungry drivers with neither of them exerting obvious dominance over the other but both capable of going to the very top of the sport.

Ferrari are coming back into fashion following a short spell in the wilderness. They are unanimously seen as the most likely 'best of the rest' team in 2022, but could they go further and legitimately push for regular podiums?

Leclerc and Sainz Jr will hope to contend with George Russell and Sergio Perez this term as they begin to feel their way back into the title picture. It may be too soon to go all the way, but expect a fun season from the boys in red.

3. All eyes on the first corner...

Remember, this is the very first time Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are stepping back into Formula 1 cars alongside each other in race mode since the drama of Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton handled the events of that day impeccably well, whatever your opinion of him, but there's no doubt about it, he's coming back with vengeance on his mind in 2022.

Barring unforeseen chaos in qualifying (which is by no means a given), Hamilton and Verstappen will slam on the throttle into the first turn with Russell, Perez and a pair of Ferraris lurking in the mix, an increasingly sparky Lando Norris at the helm of a McLaren and no doubt a rogue name floating around in the top pack. Expect carnage.

The cars are going into this one in all shapes and sizes, and mostly medium-rare. Nobody's entirely sure how they're supposed to be cooked yet. It's going to be a wonderfully unpredictable start. We're not sure everyone makes it out cleanly given the sheer number of hazy variables at play here.

Bahrain Grand Prix prediction

Verstappen is the favourite going into this one but the Mercedes pair will be hot on his tail. Hamilton must keep his cool and not let emotions overcome him in the first race of the campaign.

Russell is an interesting contender. In any other season, a second British driver slotting into Mercedes' new car would be the story of the weekend. Instead, Russell is very much a sideshow to the main event of Verstappen v Hamilton.

Verstappen is our choice but if Russell can keep his head down, stay out of trouble early doors, there's every chance he could seize any opportunities that come from the likely battle ahead of him.

Who will win the Bahrain Grand Prix? Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

Dark horse: George Russell (Mercedes)

If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our Sport hub.


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