F1 is back in action this weekend at Baku City Circuit for the 2023 running of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The race is scheduled for Sunday morning, but unlike previous races, qualifying will take place on Friday instead of Saturday.
This weekend will feature qualifying on Friday and a sprint race on Saturday. Historically, Friday qualifying set the starting grid for Saturday’s sprint race and that race set the starting grid for Sunday’s full race. In between qualifying and the sprint race there would be a Saturday early morning practice.
This year, it’s different. Qualifying will run on Friday at 9 a.m. ET and air on ESPNU. The Friday run will set the starting grid for Sunday’s race. On Saturday, the sprint race will happen, but instead of Saturday practice, there will be a “sprint shootout” to determine the starting grid for the sprint race. All that is to say, Saturday’s events will have no bearing on Sunday’s race. Instead, Friday will set up Sunday, and Saturday will operate with effectively an unrelated event schedule.
The Friday qualifying will run the same as traditional Saturday qualifying. There will be three sessions, running 18 minutes, 15 minutes, and 12 minutes, respectively. The five slowest drivers will be eliminated after Q1, five more after Q2, and then the top ten will be set in Q3.
Max Verstappen is installed at -300 to be the fastest qualifier at DraftKings Sportsbook. Sergio Pérez follows at +350 and Fernando Alonso is +1000.
How to watch qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Date: Friday, April 28
Time: 9:00 a.m. ET
TV channel: ESPNU
Live stream: WatchESPN
2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix starting grid
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