Chinese Grand Prix: Sprint weekend, main qualifying and race times

Home » Chinese Grand Prix: Sprint weekend, main qualifying and race times

The fifth race of the season, and the first sprint weekend of the year, arrives at the Shanghai International Circuit for the Chinese Grand Prix from 19-21 April.

Max Verstappen cruised to a comfortable victory in the Japanese Grand Prix, leading team-mate Sergio Perez to a Red Bull one-two.

The Dutchman secured his third victory in four races this season, while Carlos Sainz passed Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc late on to secure the final podium place.

Why is the Chinese Grand Prix returning to the F1 calendar?

China has been missing from the schedule since coronavirus pandemic in 2020 but makes its return to the calendar this season after a five-year absence.

It was due to be run last year but had to be cancelled because of the uncertainty over the Covid situation in the country in early 2023, when there were riots as a result of continued social restrictions. These have since been lifted.

The race in Shanghai has been grouped with Australia and Japan as part of the F1’s efforts to become more sustainable – it is aiming to become carbon net-zero by 2030.

How to follow on the BBC

There will be live radio commentary of the Chinese Grand Prix on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra (BBC Radio 5 Live for Sunday’s race) and BBC Sounds, plus the BBC Sport website and app.

You can also listen and download the Chequered Flag podcast, which previews and reviews every race of the season, and F1: Back at Base, a podcast which goes behind the scenes at Mercedes and Williams, via BBC Sounds.

What are the changes to the F1 sprint format?

The first of six sprint weekends this season takes place in China, but the format is slightly different to last year’s events.

Qualifying for the shorter sprint race will now be held on Friday instead of Saturday, following the only practice session of the weekend.

The 100km sprint will then take place as the first track action on Saturday, ahead of main qualifying for the grand prix in its regular slot later in the day.

Sunday’s race also remains unchanged.

The other five sprints weekend take place in Miami, Austria, Austin, Brazil and Qatar.

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