2023 Spanish Grand Prix: UK start time, how to watch, new track layout

The second leg of back-to-back European races sees the F1 grid travel to the Circuit de Catalunya and Barcelona. Here is the start time – plus other useful info – about the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen put clear breathing room between himself and teammate Sergio Perez following a clinical Monaco GP performance. The reigning world champion decimated the field to win around the streets of Monte Carlo by 27 seconds.

In contrast, Perez’s incident-filled race saw him finish well outside of the points.

Joining Verstappen on the podium in Monaco were Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon. Alonso and Aston Martin had quiet hopes of pulling off a victory in the principality. Sadly, a botched call for dry tyres in increasingly wet conditions scuppered their slim hopes of beating Red Bull.

Ocon and Alpine, meanwhile, will be thrilled at their first podium since the 2021 campaign.

After the glitz and glamour of Monaco, the paddock now returns to a more traditional racing circuit. Previously a common pre-season test venue, the Circuit de Catalunya typically presents teams with one issue: tyre wear. Given how robust the Pirelli compounds appear to be in 2023, it will be interesting to see whether the problem occurs this weekend.

So, what time does the Spanish Grand Prix start?

Spanish Grand Prix – UK start time

Thanks to the shorter time differences between the UK and Europe, the Spanish Grand Prix has a comfortable afternoon race start. The lights will go out at 2pm UK time on Sunday 4 June for round eight of the 2023 championship.

Prior to this, though, we have practice and qualifying to deal with. There are no sprint races this weekend; therefore, the Spanish GP has a traditional format.

FP1 gets underway at 12:30pm UK time on Friday 2 June. Following this, FP2 will see the field do some running from 4pm on the same day.

Saturday 3 June hosts the qualifying session that will determine the grid. However, FP3 precedes this at 11:30am on Saturday. Qualifying then comes after at 3pm.

How to watch live – and where to find highlights

Sky Sports’ coverage of the 2023 F1 season continues with the Spanish GP. As ever, you will need to be a Sky customer with Sky Sports in order to watch the races live in the UK.

Alternatively, NOWTV allows you to pay for a day pass, or even a monthly pass. Using this, you can have access to the Sky Sports channels on a range of devices.

Friday’s sessions are on Sky Sports F1 – their designated channel for the sport. This is also the case for Saturday, where the channel will broadcast FP3 and the crucial qualifying session.

However, Sunday’s race is available on both Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event. Pre-race build-up begins from 12:30pm, after which the Spanish Grand Prix will start at 2pm UK time.

Channel 4 will be showing free-to-air highlights of the action from Spain this weekend. The broadcaster will put on qualifying highlights at 7.40pm on Saturday night. Then, on Sunday, all the best bits from the race will be available to see at 6:30pm.

The Circuit de Catalunya has made some modifications to its layout for 2023. But what exactly will be different for the drivers to take on this year?

Spanish GP: the layout changes explained

The Circuit de Catalunya has undergone numerous changes in the last few years. For example, turn 10 was opened up and given a gentler angle in 2021. Now, management has made further adjustments in sector 3.

But, rather than a redesign, the Spanish Grand Prix track has reverted back to its original layout. Instead of taking on the chicane before the last corner, the 2023 F1 field will just sweep downhill out of turn 13 all the way to the last turn.

Beforehand, turn 13 was a ninety-degree right-hander that led into an awkward chicane. Organisers introduced this format in 2007, and it has been the norm up until this year. However, for 2023, F1 is going back to its original look.

Taking out the chicane and leaving the short straight between the two last corners will, inevitably, spell a faster lap time here. Additionally, these should create a slingshot effect for the long start/finish line. DRS overtakes could become easier down the main straight as a result of this.

Will this modification translate into an entertaining race? You will have to tune into the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday (2pm UK start time) to find out.

Featured image credit: Getty