Canadian gearheads are surely excited for yet another season of Formula One. The season opens in the Kingdom of Bahrain with the Bahrain Grand Prix this coming weekend.
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When Is the 2023 Bahrain GP?
The whole event runs from March 3 to 5, 2023.
As with most F1 weekends, the Bahrain GP will include media events, practice sessions, a qualifying session, before the actual race. Two practice sessions (one in the morning and another in the afternoon) are scheduled on Friday, March 3, 2023. Each session usually lasts an hour.
On Saturday, there’s a third practice session in the morning that runs for another hour. Qualifying sessions are scheduled in the afternoon, lasting 60 minutes, split into three segments.
When Does the Race Start in Canada Time?
The actual race is scheduled on Sunday, March 5 and starts at 10:00 AM (EST Ottawa GMT-6).
How Can I Watch F1 in Canada?
To watch Formula One in Canada, you can check out the following official broadcasters on cable or satellite TV:
TSN (The Sports Network) – You can watch the races live on TSN or on their online streaming platform TSN Direct.
RDS (Reseau des sports) – RDS is the other official broadcaster of F1 in Canada. The races can be viewed live on RDS or on their RDS Direct streaming platform.
The great thing about Formula 1 is you can also view it online through streaming services. So, you have several ways to watch the race.
If you want a live stream on your device, you can download TSN Go and subscribe to TSN Direct. There are day and month-long passes available for CAD$8 and CAD$20, respectively.
However, if you already have a TSN Direct subscription but happen to be outside Canada at the time of the race, you can use a Virtual Private Network or VPN and access the TSN Go app.
F1 TV Pro can be downloaded and used by Canadians as well. F1’s official streaming service gives Canadians full access to all-things Formula One for CAD$80 a year or CAD$10 a month.
How Long is the Bahrain GP?
The race will be held at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. The track is 5.412 km (3.636 mi) long. The Bahrain GP is 57 laps, totaling over 308 kilometers of racing .
F1 races usually last between 1.5 to 2 hours. Some races can last longer should there be any incident on the track.
What to Look Forward to in the 2023 Bahrain GP?
As the season opener, the Bahrain GP does serve as a good indication of what the entire season can possibly offer fans.
The past months have prompted quite a lot of questions. After a dismal 2022 campaign, everyone is wondering if Lewis Hamilton will see a resurgence. Unfortunately, Mercedes and McLaren teams performed quite poorly in preliminary testing. Alfa Romeo made a splash in pre-season showcasing an exquisite looking car. But fans can only hope that with the new livery would also translate into wins this season.
Last year, we saw Red Bull clinch yet another Constructor’s championship. Its drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez securing 1 and 3 in the driver’s standings, respectively. Pundits are projecting that Red Bull may just continue its dominance in the sport.
That said, it should be noted that Red Bull did have a dismal opening in its season in Bahrain. Fans might remember both Red Bull cars retiring due to faulty fuel systems. The 2022 Bahrain GP was dominated by Ferrari with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. securing first and second place finishes. They were followed by last year’s Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
The season also brings some regulation changes that can affect how teams approach their cars and their strategies. The FIA defined conditions to limit cars’ excessive porpoising. Mirror sizes are also increased to improve visibility.
Who Are Racing in the 2023 Bahrain GP?
With the retirement of Sebastian Vettel at the end of the 2022 season, the driver’s standings would have one less familiar name this year. But that doesn’t mean that there would be less excitement this time around.
The 1-2 punch of Verstappen and Perez are back driving for Red Bull. The Ferrari duo of Leclerc and Sainz Jr. are also intact. The British duo of Hamilton and Russel still race for Mercedes.
Canadians do have a reason to cheer. 24-year old Montreal native Lance Stroll races under the Canadian flag for McLaren. Stroll suffered some injuries from a bike accident that saw him miss out on pre-season testing. He is ruled fit for Bahrain. Fellow North American Logan Sargeant finds himself with a seat, racing for Williams-Mercedes. Decades-long veteran Fernando Alonso is still also racing, driving alongside Stroll.