Belgian Grand Prix: F1 race start time, weather, odds and how to watch

Aston Martin's Canadian driver Lance Stroll competes during the qualifying session of the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit in Spa on July 28, 2023

The Belgian Grand Prix takes place this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps

Formula One returns for its final race before the traditional summer break, and it will be the third sprint race weekend of the 2023 calendar, with three more to come.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull come into the race on a incredible run of form. Verstappen has won the last seven and Red Bull have triumphed in the last 12, which includes the final race of last year.

The Dutchman continued that form on Friday, finishing fastest in qualifying for Sunday’s race. He will, however, start the Belgian Grand Prix from sixth as he takes a five place grid penalty for using an extra gearbox outside of his allocation.

That means Charles Leclerc will start from pole with Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez alongside him on the front row.

The sprint weekend means the format is slightly different with qualifying for the main grand prix on Friday afternoon and the standalone sprint events (qualifying and the race) on Saturday.

When is it?

The 2023 Belgian Grand Prix takes place from Friday July 28 until Sunday July 30 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

What time do the sessions start?

All times British Summer Time

Friday, July 28

Practice 1: 12.30pm

Qualifying: 4pm

Saturday, July 29

Sprint shootout/qualifying: 11am

Sprint race: 3.30pm

Sunday, July 30

Race: 2pm

What were the times after qualifying?

  1. Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1min 46.168secs

  2. Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:46.988

  3. Sergio Perez (Mex) Red Bull 1:47.045

  4. Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:47.087

  5. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spa) Ferrari 1:47.152

  6. Oscar Piastri (Aus) McLaren 1:47.365

  7. Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:47.669

  8. George Russell (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:47.805

  9. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Aston Martin 1:47.843

  10. Lance Stroll (Can) Aston Martin 1:48.841

  11. Yuki Tsunoda (Jpn) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:53.148

  12. Pierre Gasly (Fra) Alpine 1:53.671

  13. Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 Team 1:54.160

  14. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:54.694

  15. Esteban Ocon (Fra) Alpine 1:56.372

  16. Alexander Albon (Tha) Williams 2:00.314

  17. Guanyu Zhou (Chn) Alfa Romeo Racing 2:00.832

  18. Logan Sargeant (USA) Williams 2:01.535

  19. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Scuderia AlphaTauri 2:02.159

  20. Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Haas F1 Team 2:03.166

What is a sprint race?

Sprint races were introduced to a handful of events in 2021 but their format has been tweaked in the previous two years to get to what we have now.

This year the sprint events take place on Sunday, with the sprint qualifying (officially the sprint shootout) setting the grid for the sprint race later the same day. The sprint shootout is a shortened version of the three-part elimination qualification that sets the grid for the main race.

The sprint race sees championship points awarded to the top eight finishes (from eight to the winner down to one for the eighth-placed driver). It also means that there is just one free practice session over the weekend.

What TV channel is it on?

Sky Sports F1 have near-exclusive live coverage rights in the UK this year and indeed for the next few with their usual excellent team.

Their qualifying program starts at 3.35pm on Friday. Their sprint shootout coverage starts at 10.30am on Saturday with their sprint race program at 2.30 later the same day.

Their Belgian Grand Prix coverage starts at 12.30pm on Sunday.

Channel 4 also has extended highlights for this round as well as the remaining ones.  Their Saturday coverage is at 7.45pm with their race coverage at 6.30pm on Sunday.

  • Watch the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix through Sky Sports

What is the weather forecast?

Rain affected both first practice and qualifying on Saturday and the outlook is similarly wet on Saturday.

The Met Office are forecasting around a 40-60 per cent chance of heavy rain showers between 9am and noon, with the risk increasing of thundery showers increasing to 70 per cent from noon until 4pm local time. In the hour before the sprint race starts that threat goes back down to a 50 per cent chance of light rain.

Sunday currently looks largely dry (around a 30 per cent chance of rain in the afternoon) though, like the rest of the days, the highest temperatures are around 19 degrees all weekend, with Sunday being the coolest day of the lot.

What do we know about the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps?

  • Circuit length: 7.004km

  • First grand prix: 1950

  • Laps: 44

  • Race distance: 308.052km

  • Race lap record: 1.46.286 (Valtteri Bottas, 2018)

  • 2022 winner: Max Verstappen, Red Bull

  • Number of corners: 19

  • Overtaking chances:  Very good overall. Turn one, a tight hairpin, is tricky but possible. The run through Eau Rouge/Raidillon and the long Kemmel straight presents one too. The final bus stop chicane also presents a chance for the brave. A few other places, too.

What are the current standings?

Drivers: top 10

Constructors:

What are the latest odds?

  • Max Verstappen 1/3

  • Sergio Perez 5/1

  • Lewis Hamilton 12/1

  • Charles Leclerc 20/1

  • Oscar Piastri, Lando Norris 28/1

  • Carlos Sainz 33/1

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