The first qualifying session of the 2021 season was a doozy.
A few spins, some spacing issues and lots of speed factored into the starting grid for the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen continuing his climb into the F1 elite, taking pole on Saturday.
BREAKING: VERSTAPPEN TAKES POLE IN BAHRAIN!!
Hamilton and Bottas line up behind!#BahrainGP 🇧🇭 #F1 pic.twitter.com/wYtHEOBpJn
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were prevented from a front-row lockout, much to the joy of F1 fans everywhere — even if the cries of Mercedes’ dominance ending over the sport a bit more than premature.
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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen took home the first pole of the 2021 F1 season, outpacing Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
Somewhat surprisingly, Ferrari is off to a strong start, too, with Charles Leclerc in the top five, and new driver Carlos Sainz in eighth.
Elsewhere, Sebastian Vettel had a string of bad luck in qualifying, with two yellow flags slowing down his run, ultimately finishing in 18th for new team Aston Martin. Here’s the starting grid for Sunday’s race:
The ESPN family of networks will broadcast all 2020 F1 races in the United States using Sky Sports’ feed, with a few races heading to ABC later in the season.
In addition, ESPN Deportes serves as the exclusive Spanish-language home for all 2021 F1 races in the U.S.
The 11 a.m. ET start time for Sunday’s race means the Bahrain Grand Prix will start at 7:00 p.m. local time. The on-the-hour start time means lights out will likely take place at 11:10 a.m. ESPN’s pre-race show usually airs in the hour prior to the start of the race.
Below is the complete TV schedule for the weekend’s F1 events at the Sakhir Grand Prix. All times are Eastern.
For those who don’t have a cable or satellite subscription, there are four major OTT TV streaming options that carry ESPN — fuboTV, Sling, Hulu, YouTubeTV and AT&T Now. Of the four, Hulu and YouTubeTV offer free trial options.
Below are links to each.
For those who do have a cable or satellite subscription but are not in front of a TV, Formula 1 races in 2021 can be streamed live via phones, tablets and other devices on the ESPN app with authentication.
Formula 1 returns in 2021 with a zaftig 23 race schedule, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28, and concluding with the costomary Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 12.
The Portuguese Grand Prix returns for its second-consecutive running after a 22-year absence. Also making its debut this year is the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix taking pace on the Jeddah Street Circuit, scheduled for December.
All times Eastern.