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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021 start time: F1 practice, qualifying, race schedule on TV

Your complete guide to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021 start time, plus full TV schedule for race weekend, including practice, qualifying and the GP itself.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Published: Sunday, 5th December 2021 at 1:00 pm

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is the penultimate race on the F1 calendar 2021 and there's still everything to play for at the top of the standings.

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Red Bull superstar Max Verstappen leads the way and can be crowned champion this weekend, but he would need to win the race and hope Lewis Hamilton finishes well away from the podium.

That looks unlikely given the rampant form of Hamilton since Mercedes installed a new power unit and made their final tweaks on his car.

The constructors championship is also a tight-run affair with Mercedes ahead by five points but Red Bull ace Sergio Perez has shifted up through the gears in recent weeks and looks poised to finish the season strongly.

All eyes will rightly be fixed on the front pair, but there's still plenty to soak up from the next rung of drivers with in-form Perez bearing down on Valtteri Bottas for third place in the driver championship.

Behind them, McLaren ace Lando Norris is currently beating Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in a bid to become best of the rest.

RadioTimes.com brings you the complete guide to the Saudi Arabian 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.

Saudi Arabia F1 date

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 5th December 2021.

Check out our full F1 2021 calendar for the list of dates and upcoming races.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix start time

The race begins at 5:30pm on Sunday 5th December 2021. 

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

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix schedule

Friday 3rd December

From 1pm on Sky Sports F1

Practice 1 – 1:30pm

Practice 2 – 5pm

Saturday 4th December

From 1:45pm on Sky Sports F1

Practice 3 – 2pm

Qualifying – 5pm

Sunday 5th December

From 4pm on Sky Sports F1

Race – 5:30pm

How to watch Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on TV

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will air live on Sky Sports F1.

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.

Live stream Saudi Arabian 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.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix preview

With Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft

Who has the advantage going into Saudi Arabia: Verstappen or Hamilton?

DC: Whatever happens this year, Red Bull has taken the fight to Mercedes. A challenger has emerged. And in Max a challenger that has, you know, consistent excellence as well. You always say in football you'd rather have points on the board than the games in hand, but this isn't like football because the pitch changes, doesn't it? It's not always the same playing field. And this weekend we go to a track we don't know how it's gonna be.

On paper it should be a good weekend for Mercedes, the Brazil engine that works so well for Lewis is going to be back in his car come Saturday. And you know, on paper, it should be their weekend but we don't race on paper. We race on asphalt and it's a very different thing when the lights go out.

I think Lewis will win this weekend, I think Max will be second, I think we will go level into Abu Dhabi, but I don't know if I'm saying that because that's what I truly believe, or that's what I want to happen. I'd love them to be level going to Abu Dhabi. That would be absolutely magnificent for the lights to go out in Abu Dhabi for Max and Lewis to be on the front row, scores level and the winner takes all!

This feels like a huge moment for the sport. How significant is this title battle?

DC: Isn't it great that Formula One is capturing people's imaginations to the extent that everyone wants to know what the answer is, and they can't wait to find out the answer? I think this season has done a lot for F1 and enhances its reputation. For me, it has stopped being the best kept secret around and it's now a sport that you can enjoy whether you've been a fan of it for 40 years or 40 minutes. And I like that. That makes me happy.

Tell us about the track.

DC: We've never been to Saudi before. We've never raced on this track. No one's raced on this track. We don't know the characteristics inside and out. But we do feel it's going to suit Mercedes and their straight line speed. And we certainly feel that's going to play into their hands when it comes to Abu Dhabi. You're also racing on a track this week, where the walls are very close, and where one mistake can put you into the wall and can absolutely ruin your race, or your weekend, or even your championship. There's that to contend with as well. The last time we were on a street track in Baku and Max didn't finish, and Lewis didn't finish in the points. We actually don't know.

I can tell you that there are 27 corners – that's a lot of corners – but unlike Singapore, where there's also a lot of corners, there's also quite a few straights, three DRS zones in Jeddah. It's fast, it'll be the second fastest lap in terms of average speed behind Monza, which for a street circuit is fairly awesome. I think it's going to be spectacular under the lights. I think they've done an excellent job to get the track ready, albeit some of the infrastructure around the track might not be quite as finished as the the local authorities would like it.

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

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