The F1 calendar 2021 has entered the final sector with just three races to go and plenty riding on every lap. The Qatar Grand Prix promises major drama with the title race firmly back on.
Max Verstappen currently tops the F1 standings by 14 points, but victory for Lewis Hamilton would halve that deficit – assuming Verstappen comes second.
The very real possibility of two Hamilton victories and two Verstappen second-place finishes in the upcoming pair of races would see both drivers exactly level on points going into the final race, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here.
Red Bull superstar Verstappen has racked up nine race wins so far this term, three more than Hamilton, and a 10th this weekend could open up an unassailable lead.
Various ensuing midfield battles also promise plenty of drama in the final few weeks, but all pale into relative insignificance with Red Bull and Mercedes’ top drivers locked in such a heated battle to the end.
RadioTimes.com brings you the complete guide to the Qatar Grand Prix 2021 including start time, dates and TV details, as well as exclusive analysis from Sky Sports F1 commentator Crofty ahead of every race.
When is the Qatar Grand Prix?
The Qatar Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 21st November 2021.
Check out our full F1 2021 calendar for the list of dates and upcoming races.
Qatar Grand Prix start time
The race begins at 2pm on Sunday 21st November 2021.
We’ve included the full schedule for the rest of the weekend, including practice and qualifying times below.
Qatar Grand Prix schedule
Friday 19th November
From 10am on Sky Sports F1
Practice 1 – 10:30pm
Practice 2 – 2pm
Saturday 20th November
From 10:45am on Sky Sports F1
Practice 3 – 11am
Qualifying – 2pm
Sunday 21st November
From 12:30pm on Sky Sports F1
Race – 2pm
How to watch Qatar Grand Prix on TV
The Qatar Grand Prix will air live on Sky Sports F1.
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.
Live stream Qatar Grand Prix online
Existing Sky Sports customers can live stream the race via the Sky Go app on a variety of devices.
NOW can be streamed through a computer or apps found on most smart TVs, phones and consoles. NOW is also available via BT Sport.
Qatar Grand Prix preview
With Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft
The Hamilton-Verstappen incident in Brazil
DC: It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that Mercedes have asked for the right to review. It was clear at the time that the one angle we wanted to see was the front-facing camera. There’s nothing sinister in the fact that we couldn’t see it. It wouldn’t surprise me if [the appeal] did succeed. At the time, I felt Max had run Lewis off the road and it was worthy of a penalty. That was my immediate reaction to it.
I think while Verstappen is not driving into Lewis, he is certainly leaving an awful lot of room on the inside there, and he’s braking later into that corner, he is picking up a bit of understeer, he doesn’t go full lock until way, way into that corner. It wouldn’t surprise me if the stewards find that Max hasn’t, shall we say, kept it as clean as you would like. Now, whether that’s worthy of a time penalty or not, or just a black and white flag, for instance, that’s entirely up to the stewards, but it is a key moment.
The speed of Mercedes
DC: With three races to go, I’m loving the fact that the two are so close. Mercedes have picked up some pace. Make no mistake, it’s not just Lewis’ new engine that was helping him in Brazil. There are suspicions from Red Bull that Mercedes have something on their rear wing that they feel contravenes the technical regulations but it is up to the FIA to prove that those technical regulations have been broken. And as it stands, Mercedes have passed every test so far. There’s been no protest from Red Bull, the FIA have found nothing that they feel isn’t right so until something is found that is wrong or doesn’t comply with the regulations, you have just got to hand it to Mercedes and say that’s clever engineering and well done for the way that they’ve developed it.
What it has done is brought Lewis Hamilton back into play. If I were Red Bull, I would be worried about that because momentum is everything. He was so dominant in Brazil, and this race come so quickly afterwards, all the momentum here is with Lewis Hamilton. Max Verstappen has a 14-point lead but that can easily disappear in the space of one race, as it did in Monaco. Earlier this year, Lewis went into that race with a 14-point lead and came out on the other side behind Max.
DC: It will be new to the drivers. Sergio Perez won there a few years ago in GP2 Asia and he got a podium the next day as well, but the drivers won’t really know this track until they get on it for the first practice session, which will be kind of a familiarisation session really, because the only relevant practice session really will be FP2. It’s a night race, but FP1 and FP3 are held during the day where the track is very different and the temperatures are very different and it’s gonna be hot – very hot.
Looking at the track, there’s only one DRS zone, there’s a very long main straight that will obviously favour Mercedes with their straight line speed at the moment. The rest of the lap, you could argue should favour Red Bull more, however, I don’t really see many overtaking possibilities apart from the end of the straights, which means qualifying is massive this weekend. I’m not expecting a huge amount of overtaking in the race unless you get cars out of position. You have to look at Mercedes being favourites here. But I don’t know how you predict what’s going to come next!