Australian Grand Prix: Start time, qualifying result and how to watch

The race, which will make for early morning viewing in the UK on Sunday, is typically one of the harder to predict on the F1 calendar given the street circuit’s unique characteristics.

That said, Red Bull are once again tipped to dominate after Sergio Perez won the second grand prix of 2023 in Saudi Arabia a fortnight ago.

Max Verstappen leads the world championship by a fine margin after recovering from a breakdown in qualifying to finish second, ahead of Fernando Alonso despite the Spaniard’s post-race penalty saga.

Verstappen was quickest in first practice on Friday before Alonso topped a rain-hit FP2.

Ferrari could have a good record in Melbourne, having won three of the last four Australian Grands Prix, while not much is expected out of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in the Mercedes yet as they plot an extensive range of upgrades.

In fact, this is a circuit Red Bull have not won at since 2011, so set those alarm clocks and prepare for what should be a fascinating weekend.

When is the Australian Grand Prix?

The F1 Australian Grand Prix takes place on Sunday, April 2, 2023.

What time is the Australian Grand Prix?

The session schedule for UK fans is as follows (all times BST):

  • First pratice: 2.30am, Friday
  • Second practice: 6am, Friday
  • Third practice: 2.30am, Saturday
  • Qualifying: 6am, Saturday
  • Race: 6am, Sunday
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Who is on pole position for the Australian Grand Prix?

Max Verstappen took pole position for Red Bull. Mercedes driver George Russell joins Verstappen on the front row at Albert Park after making the second-fastest lap, with Lewis Hamilton to start third.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez will start from the back of the grid after skidding off track and beaching himself in gravel in the first session of qualifying.

Australian Grand Prix prediction

If Red Bull are going to come unstuck anywhere, it is here. Reliability issues hit in Saudi and also here in Australia a year ago, meaning they may be hesitant to throw everything out there at a track they are not particularly good at.

Whether Aston Martin or Ferrari capitalise remains to be seen, but given the Scuderia’s success around this circuit let’s go with a rare Ferrari win (before Red Bull hegemony resumes).

1st: Charles Leclerc, 2nd: Max Verstappen, 3rd: Fernando Alonso

How to watch the Australian Grand Prix

TV channel: The whole weekend will be shown live on Sky Sports with coverage of the race starting at 4.30am on Sky Sports F1 and Main Event. Free highlights are on Channel 4 at 12.30pm.

Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers can watch live via the Sky Go app.

Live blog: You can follow all the action on Sunday with Standard Sport’s race blog.

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