F1 start time: What time does Chinese GP qualifying start? How to watch and more

Henry Valantine
Shanghai International Circuit.

The Shanghai International Circuit returns to the F1 calendar for the first time since 2019.

Here is a look at the F1 start time information for Chinese Grand Prix qualifying, which will take place after the first F1 Sprint of the season.

Sprint schedules have changed for 2024 so that Sprint Shootouts will take place on Friday, before the Sprint will be the first session on Saturday, and then Grand Prix qualifying later on Saturday – as has been its traditional slot.

What time does Chinese Grand Prix qualifying start?

Qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix will start at 3pm local time at Shanghai on Saturday 20 April 2024, which equates to these times in the following territories around the world:

United States and Canada*: 12am Pacific Daylight Time, 2am Central Daylight Time [Saturday], 3am Eastern
Mexico: 1am [Mexico City]
United Kingdom: 8am
Central European Time**: 9am
South Africa: 9am
Gulf Standard Time: 11am
India: 12.30pm
Indonesia*: 2pm [Western Indonesia Time]
China: 3pm
Singapore: 3pm
Malaysia: 3pm
Philippines: 3pm
Japan: 4pm
Australia*: 5pm [Australian Eastern Standard Time]
New Zealand: 8pm

*Convert to check locally if you do not live in an area of this territory with these time zones.

**Covers 30 nations and territories: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (except the Canary Islands), Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican City.

How to watch Chinese Grand Prix qualifying on TV

Different nations and territories around the world have their own broadcasting rights deals with Formula 1, and here is a selection of where F1 fans will be able to watch from across the globe, be it through pay TV or free-to-air:

Africa: SuperSport
Australia: Fox Sports, Foxtel, Kayo
Brazil: BandSports, TV Bandeirantes
Canada: RDS (French), TSN (English), Noovo
Central Asia: Setanta Sports
China: CCTV
France: Canal+
Germany: Sky Sport F1
India: FanCode
Italy: Sky Sport F1
Japan: DAZN, Fuji TV
Latin America (except Argentina and Mexico): ESPN
Malaysia: beIN Sports
Mexico: Fox Sports
Middle East and North Africa: beIN Sports
Netherlands: Viaplay
New Zealand: Sky Sport, Prime (highlights)
Pakistan: A Sports
Republic of Ireland: Sky Sports F1, Channel 4 UK (highlights)
South Korea: Coupang
Spain: DAZN
United Kingdom: Sky Sports F1, Channel 4 (highlights)
United States: ESPN, ESPN Deportes

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Chinese Grand Prix qualifying live stream: How to watch online

F1 fans will be able to stream the Chinese Grand Prix through platforms such as NOW and Sky Go in the UK.

F1 TV Pro is available worldwide in selected territories, which offers exclusive features like onboard cameras from all 20 cars, pre and post-race shows and much more.

F1 TV Pro is also able to be live streamed via Apple TV, Chromecast Generation 2 and above, Android TV, Google TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku, without ad breaks and with commentary available in six languages.

Here is a list of all the territories where F1 TV Pro is available.

What is the F1 qualifying format used and how does it work?

F1 qualifying is broken down into three parts over the course of an hour and uses a knockout format to determine the grid, which has proven extremely popular since it was introduced into the sport:

Q1: 18 minutes

Five drivers are eliminated at the end of this period, setting places 16 to 20 on the grid, with drivers able to set as many timed laps as they wish within the 18-minute period.

Q2: 15 minutes

After an eight-minute break, the remaining 15 cars go out for another session before another five drop out at the end of Q2, setting places 11-15 on the grid. The same rules apply, with drivers allowed to set as many timed laps as they like within 15 minutes.

Q3: 12 minutes

After a seven-minute gap, the final 10 cars re-emerge onto the track for the shootout for pole position. At the end of the final 12-minute session, the top 10 places on the grid are decided for the Grand Prix.

For a full look at the intricacies and other rules around F1 qualifying, here is a full breakdown of the current format.

Read next: F1 start time: What time does the Chinese Grand Prix start? How to watch and live stream