F1 news: Austrian Grand Prix session timings and preview

The 2020 Formula 1 world championship will finally get underway with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 3-5, having been delayed by several months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s all you need to know about the season opener.

F1’s 70th anniversary season was originally due to begin at the Australian Grand Prix in March, but the race had to be cancelled prior to first practice after a member of the McLaren team tested positive for coronavirus.

Since then the entire calendar has been reshuffled, while a number of high-profile events such as the Monaco Grand Prix and the returning Dutch GP at Zandvoort have been called off entirely.

As per the latest calendar, the championship will kick off with two races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria in consecutive weeks, followed by six more rounds in Europe – including another double-header at Silverstone in the UK. More races, including those outside Europe, will be announced in due course. 

This weekend’s Austrian GP will be the first championship race to take place since the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, marking the end of a seventh-month long break.

The race will take place behind closed doors, with no fans allowed access at the track. There is also a restriction on the number of members each team can bring to a grand prix, and those present at the track must follow social distancing and other guidelines issued by the FIA.

Several procedural changes have also been made, with the traditional podium ceremony and the drivers’ parade being dropped altogether. 

However, there are no changes to the long-running weekend schedule. As usual, two 90-minute practice sessions will be held on Friday, followed by another 60 minutes of running on Saturday morning. A three part-qualifying session will take place later on Saturday, followed by the race itself – run to the same length of roughly 305km – on Sunday afternoon.

F1 had considered running reverse grid qualifying races to determine the starting order for the main event, but the proposal was shot down by Mercedes because it didn’t want the sport to introduce “gimmicks” to spice up racing.

As with previous seasons, F1 will be broadcast via a wide variety of Pay TV and free-to-air channels all around the globe. Find the TV listings below. Can’t find your country or region in the list? Check the schedule page for the broadcast times in your local timezone.

2020 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix session timings in Europe 

Friday 11th October 2020

  • Free Practice 1: 11am – 12:30pm CEST 
  • Free Practice 2: 3pm – 4:30pm CEST

Saturday 12th October 2020 

  • Free Practice 3: 12pm – 1pm CEST  
  • Qualifying: 3pm – 4pm CEST  

Sunday 13th October 2020

  • Race: 3:10pm CEST 

2020 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix session timings in the UK 

Friday 11th October 2020

  • Free Practice 1: 10am – 11:30am BST 
  • Free Practice 2: 2pm – 3:30pm BST

Saturday 12th October 2020 

  • Free Practice 3: 11am – 12pm BST 
  • Qualifying: 2pm – 3pm BST

Sunday 13th October 2020

  • Race: 2:10pm BST

2020 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix session timings in the US

Friday 11th October 2020

  • Free Practice 1: 5am – 6:30am ET / 2am PT – 3:30am PT
  • Free Practice 2: 9am – 10:30am ET / 6am PT – 7:30am PT

Saturday 12th October 2020 

  • Free Practice 3: 6am – 7am ET / 3am PT – 4am PT
  • Qualifying: 9am – 10am ET – 6am PT – 7am PT

Sunday 13th October 2020

  • Race: 9:10am ET / 6:30am PT 

2020 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix session timings in Australia

Friday 11th October 2020

  • Free Practice 1: 7pm – 8:30am AEST
  • Free Practice 2: 11pm – 12:30am AEST

Saturday 12th October 2020 

  • Free Practice 3: 8pm – 9pm AEST 
  • Qualifying: 11pm – 12am AEST

Sunday 13th October 2020

  • Race: 11:10pm AEST

2020 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix session timings in India

Friday 11th October 2020

  • Free Practice 1: 2:30pm – 4:00pm IST 
  • Free Practice 2: 6:30pm – 8:00pm IST

Saturday 12th October 2020 

  • Free Practice 3: 3:30pm – 4:30pm IST 
  • Qualifying: 6:30pm – 7:30pm IST

Sunday 13th October 2020

  • Race: 6:40pm IST

2020 Formula 1 calendar (first eight rounds only)

July 5Red Bull Ring, Austria
July 12Red Bull Ring, Austria
July 19Hungaroring, Hungary
August 2Silverstone, Britain
August 9Silverstone, Britain
August 16Barcelona, Spain
August 30Spa, Belgium
September 6Monza, Italy


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