Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race both live at 3pm only on Sky Sports F1 as new era kickstarts with eagerly-anticipated Bahrain GP from Sakhir; are Red Bull leading a three-way fight at the front?; who will start fastest in their all-new cars?
Last Updated: 13/03/22 9:23pm
New cars. New rules. New driver line-ups. And potentially an all-new pecking order, with all-new rivalries. Formula 1 is back this weekend – and it all starts with a Bahrain GP where simply anything could happen.
Three months after an epic 2021 season ended in hugely-controversial circumstances as Max Verstappen ousted Lewis Hamilton for the title, the sport’s grid of star drivers and teams are gearing up for the first of a planned 23 race weekends this year, all live on Sky Sports F1.
We will have build-up right through the week before covering all the action live from the Bahrain International Circuit, from Friday’s first practice session through to Sunday’s season-opening Grand Prix.
A new era starts here. F1, at long last, is back.
Setting the scene for F1’s big opener
It is fair to say a lot has changed since that Abu Dhabi chequered flag.
F1 has embarked on a revolutionary new era with a rules overhaul leading to much-changed cars, aimed at spicing up the on-track action and improving overtaking. And the early signs are that they will also rip up the form book.
Mercedes, F1’s world champions for the last eight years and the team who marched ahead of the pack following the last major regulation change, appear to have slipped slightly behind at the start of 2022, with both Red Bull and Ferrari seemingly usurping them at the two three-day tests.
Red Bull, in particular, came on strong at the end of the final Bahrain test to suggest Verstappen has a strong chance of retaining his maiden drivers’ crown, although – while Hamilton has pessimistically suggested his team are “not in contention” – the intense rivalry between F1’s biggest stars is certainly expected to return given the bad blood of last year.
Who is driving for which team?
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||George Russell|
|Red Bull||Max Verstappen||Sergio Perez|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc||Carlos Sainz|
|McLaren||Lando Norris||Daniel Ricciardo|
|Alpine||Fernando Alonso||Esteban Ocon|
|AlphaTauri||Pierre Gasly||Yuki Tsunoda|
|Aston Martin||Sebastian Vettel||Lance Stroll|
|Williams||Alex Albon||Nicholas Latifi|
|Alfa Romeo||Valtteri Bottas||Guanyu Zhou|
|Haas||Kevin Magnussen||Mick Schumacher|
Hamilton is joined by a new team-mate in George Russell for 2022, the Briton finally getting his chance after three dazzling years ‘on loan’ at Williams, while Ferrari’s talented young driver line-up, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, could also become stars if their package is as competitive as it seems.
And it is not just the rivalries at the front pointing towards an unmissable Bahrain GP opener, for the clean slate of new regulations also seems to have closed the gap right up, with the likes of McLaren also in the hunt.
The Bahrain GP is simply impossible to predict as a first race weekend in all-new cars awaits.
Follow the Bahrain GP live
Sky Sports F1 is your home of all live Formula 1 this season, starting with the opening race from the Middle East.
Our extensive build-up starts with our new Monday night show Any Driven Monday, debuting at 6pm on Sky Sports F1’s YouTube as hosts Matt Baker and Naomi Schiff review testing and preview Bahrain.
There will be updates through the week on Sky Sports News and all our digital and social platforms before our live coverage from Bahrain gets under way on a new-look Friday.
In a 2022 twist, the drivers’ press conference will take place in the morning before both practice sessions and our live F1 Show, recapping the action.
Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race – both live at 3pm – will be followed by Ted’s Notebook, while there is also the added boost of the Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships kicking off in Bahrain.
As always, you can also follow the action online and on the Sky Sports app.
Full live schedule on Sky Sports F1
Monday, March 14
6pm: Any Driven Monday (Sky Sports F1 YouTube, repeated at 9pm on TV)
Friday, March 18
8.30am: Drivers’ Press Conference
11.30am: Bahrain GP Practice One (session starts 12pm)
1.20pm: F3 Qualifying
2.45pm: Bahrain GP Practice Two (session starts 3pm)
4.20pm: F2 Qualifying
5pm: The F1 Show: Bahrain
Saturday, March 19
9.55am: F3 Sprint Race
11.45am: Bahrain GP Practice Three (session starts 12pm)
2pm: Bahrain GP Qualifying Build-up
3pm BAHRAIN GP QUALIFYING
4.35pm: F2 Sprint Race
5.35pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook
Sunday, March 20
8.55am: F3 Feature Race
10.35am: F2 Feature Race
1.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Bahrain
3pm: THE BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX
5pm: Chequered Flag: Bahrain
6pm: Ted’s Notebook
7pm: Bahrain GP Highlights
Many of our shows will also be simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Mix.
All of Friday’s live action can be watched on Sky Sports Main Event, while Saturday’s qualifying will be on the channel from 2.45pm, as well as the F2 Sprint Race (4.35pm) and Ted’s Qualifying Notebook (5.35pm).
On Sunday, Grand Prix Sunday (from 2.30pm) and the race (3pm) will be on Sky Sports Main Event, until the first Super Sunday game at 4.30pm.
Friday’s F1 Show, meanwhile, can also be watched on Sky Sports Mix.