2023 Austrian Grand Prix: Start time, how to watch, Sprint format explained

The second Sprint weekend of the 2023 F1 season awaits at the Red Bull Ring – so, here is the start time and other useful info to make sure you do not miss the Austrian Grand Prix action.

Max Verstappen hit a historic milestone last time out in Canada. The Dutchman reached 41 career wins, matching Ayrton Senna on the all-time victories list.

Once again, his win at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve was a lights-to-flag victory. Incredibly, the last time Verstappen was not leading a Grand Prix was the Miami GP – round five of the championship. Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton rounded out the podium in Montreal.

Round 10 brings the paddock to Austria, and Red Bull’s “home” race at the track bearing their name. The Red Bull Ring should suit Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez’s RB19, due to the three straights in the first half of the lap which boast DRS zones.

However, Aston Martin and Mercedes looked a bit closer to Max in Canada, so we will have to wait and see. Who knows? Maybe the returning Sprint race will throw a spanner in the works this weekend.

F1 Sprint: the format explained upon its return

Formula 1 management gave their Sprint format a refresh ahead of the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. So, rather than impacting the Grand Prix itself, “Sprint Saturdays” serve as further racing entertainment for fans during a race weekend.

On a Sprint weekend, Fridays have just one practice session. Following this, qualifying for Sunday’s GP also takes place on Friday.

Saturday then hosts all the Sprint shenanigans. Firstly, “Sprint Shootout” determines the grid for the shorter race. A few hours later, the Sprint race gets underway, which is roughly a third of the GP distance. First through to eighth receive points from the Sprints – which of course is less than in a traditional GP.

The Sprint result has no impact on the grid for the Grand Prix. The GP is the last and most crucial element of any race weekend, and the format is untouched.  

Now that we know how the weekend in Austria will work, there is now the question of the start time for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Austrian Grand Prix: start time

Cars will first take to the Red Bull Ring’s undulating course on Friday 30 June, for the one and only practice session. FP1 begins at 12:30pm UK time and will run for an hour.

Shortly after, Grand Prix qualifying will see all 20 drivers go head-to-head to determine the grid for Sunday at 4pm on Friday.

On Saturday 1 July, “Sprint Saturday” begins with the shootout. This is a 45-minute session and starts at 11am for British viewers. The Sprint race is on the same day, with lights going out at 3:30pm.

Finally, on Sunday 2 July, the Austrian Grand Prix has a UK start time of 2pm.

We are sure you know the drill with regard to how to watch the action – but here is a reminder just in case.

How to watch the Austrian GP in the UK

You can catch all the coverage from the picturesque Styrian mountains on Sky Sports this weekend. Unfortunately, though, the Ashes coverage dominates Sky Sports Main Event, meaning their F1 broadcast is on the designated channel.

Friday’s practice and the GP qualifying are both on Sky Sports F1. This is the same case for all of the Sprint coverage on Saturday, which is exclusively on the F1-specific channel.

Even the Grand Prix – which Sky typically squeezes onto Main Event – will only be on Sky Sports F1 this Sunday.

You need a paid Sky Sports subscription in order to have access to their various channels. A differing option is a NOWTV pass, where you can access Sky content for either a one-off day fee or by buying a monthly pass.

Free TV viewing arrives courtesy of highlights on Channel 4. Their Austrian GP highlights come in two separate shows. Firstly, the qualifying and sprint lowdown is on at 7:30pm on Saturday 1 July. Grand Prix highlights then feature on the broadcaster at 6:30pm the following day.

But remember, if you want to watch the Austrian Grand Prix live, you need to tune in to your provider for the 2pm (UK) start time.

Featured image credit: Getty