SAKHIR, BAHRAIN — After the season of all seasons, and the controversy of all controversies, Formula 1 is finally back with Charles Leclerc on pole position in the 2022 season opener.
The Bahrain Grand Prix kicks off proceedings for the second successive year, with 2021 having produced a nail-biting showdown between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, which contentiously saw the Dutchman having to give a place back to his rival and ultimately finishing there.
Of course, that moment turned out to be just a small appetiser when it came to much-debated race-control decisions on Hamilton and Verstappen in the Middle East last year, thanks to the infamous final lap in Abu Dhabi last November.
Since then, F1 has entered a new era via a huge car redesign and various regulation changes. With the generational update, Mercedes opted for a bold rethink of its side-pods (or, indeed, lack thereof) that got the whole paddock talking, with Red Bull emerging from testing with the fastest vehicle on the track.
MORE: Leclerc claims Red Bull are championship favorites
Ferrari also drew praise for what looks to be a more reliable and well-tested F1-75 – and that preseason hype translated into a fantastic performance in qualifying on Saturday.
Leclerc took pole position, ahead of the reigning champion in 2nd. Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez followed, ensuring Ferrari and Red Bull control each of the top four grid positions, with Hamilton next in line.
Follow the action from the Bahrain Grand Prix below, with Sporting News bringing you live coverage from Sakhir.
MORE: Watch the Bahrain Grand Prix live with fuboTV (free trial)
Formula 1 live updates, highlights from Bahrain Grand Prix
10:10am: Spare a thought for Sebastian Vettel. His attempt at usurping Rubens Barrichello’s consecutive F1 race entries record of 326 is over. The German misses the Grand Prix weekend through Covid, meaning his streak ends at 280. Coincidentally, Lewis Hamilton’s streak also came to a halt in Bahrain, and also due to Covid, back in 2020.
10:00am: Welcome to Sporting News’ coverage of the 2022 Formula 1 season opener. We are live from the Bahrain International Circuit, with an hour to go until lights out.
All Times Eastern
What time does the F1 race start today?
- Date: Sunday, March 20
- Start time: 11am ET (6pm local time)
How to watch the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix
- TV channels: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ABC
- Live stream: FuboTV
For US-based viewers, every race in the 2022 Formula 1 season will be available on ESPN’s family of networks.
For those who choose to live stream, FuboTV carries ESPN, and also offers a free trial.
Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying results
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism