F1 2018: everything you need to know about the Qatar Grand Prix

Formula One Here’s everything you need to know about the Qatar Grand Prix Qualifying will take place early on Friday morning with the race starting at 0800 local time on Sunday

F1 start time: When is Qatar Grand Prix qualifying and what TV channel is it on? Racing day kicks off on the same day as the Asian Tour Championship at the WGC-Doha Desert Classic in a fortnight’s time. The 2018 season takes its new venue at the Sakhir circuit on Saturday 25 March, when the team’s have to decide whether to leave early or stay until the night

The Formula One race at Sakhir circuit in Qatar, which was second in time of completion on Saturday, is the 11th race of the season – if the 2018 race were being held today, it would be the seventh in qualifying on Friday morning. Although qualifying has been taking place earlier this year, the activity will not appear on television until over the weekend.

The Italian Formula One Grand Prix has traditionally been the team’s top choice of qualifying venue over the years – but the decision this year was taken to move the race down towards the end of the season so as to avoid another clash with the season-opener in Australia. The importance of qualifying in terms of grid slots will not be the same as in the past as there will be many more races in order to ensure that all teams have opportunities to finish inside the top six and secure a place in the season’s two races in China and Bahrain. There have also been attempts made to reduce the time taken to secure a pole position following criticism of the time taken in qualifying this year.

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The entire 2018 season will have only 10 tracks. The first race is in Australia on 26 March and there are then two further meetings in Russia, Mexico and China before the slow-burning Spanish GP in May.

Formula One season season starts in Melbourne – 03-08 March

When does qualifying start on TV?

Qualifying on the television coverage is a complex process, as each country dictates which races will air on which channel – so it can be as much as two weeks before the race. For this reason, the focus of F1 qualifying coverage will be those early run-outs between Thursday and Saturday morning. Coverage on Sunday will not start until the pre-race shoot-out of the teams on Friday evening, which kicks off at 1830, when three drivers will be having their grid positions confirmed.

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