F1 LIVE: Lap times and stream in Free Practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton on track

Can Mercedes challenge Red Bull in new F1 season? | You Ask The Questions

Lewis Hamilton has hit back at Damon Hill and Jenson Button by telling them he is a “fighter” – and insists he will not retire from Formula 1.

Speaking on the eve of the opening round in Bahrain on Sunday – where Hamilton has already admitted that Mercedes will start on the back foot – the seven-time world champion scoffed at suggestions that this could be his 17th and final campaign on the grid.

Elsewhere, Aston Martin has confirmed that Lance Stroll will contest this weekend’s Formula 1 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, having failed testing last week due to a wrist injury.

First practice starts on Friday at 11.30am (GMT), with VT2 later at 3pm (GMT) as the first race weekend of the 2023 season kicks off – see race weekend times here.

Follow live updates from practice during the Bahrain GP with The Independent


F1 Practice – Bahrain Grand Prix: F1 2023 Season Predictions – World Champion, Surprising Star, Best Race and more

The 2023 F1 season kicks off this weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix, the first of a record 23 races this year.

There are three rookies this year – in Oscar Piastri, Nyck de Vries and Logan Sargeant – as well as another race in Las Vegas, the penultimate meeting of the season ending November 26 in Abu Dhabi.

Here are some seasonal predictions from Formula 1 correspondent Kieran Jackson – do you agree?

Kiran JacksonMarch 3, 2023 09:29


F1 Practice – Bahrain Grand Prix: What are the weekend times?

What is the match schedule?

  • Free Practice 1: 11:30
  • Free Exercise 2: 3 p.m
  • Free Exercise 3: 11:30
  • Qualifying: 3 p.m

How can I watch it online and on TV?

The full race schedule from Friday through Sunday will be broadcast live Sky Sports F1, with qualification live on Sky Sports main event also, like most of Sunday’s race.

Highlights are broadcast Channel 4; for qualifying at 19:30 (GMT) on Saturday and for the race at 21:00 on Sunday.

If you don’t Sky customer, you can grab a NOWTV day pass here to watch without a subscription.

Kiran JacksonMarch 3, 2023 09:14


F1 news: Lewis Hamilton defiant in response to retirement talk

Former world champion Hill and Button have questioned Hamilton’s future as the Mercedes driver enters the final season of his £40 million-a-year contract.

But speaking on the eve of the opening round in Bahrain on Sunday – where Hamilton has already admitted that Mercedes will start on the back foot – the seven-time world champion scoffed at suggestions that this could be his 17th and final campaign on the grid.

“Not at all,” said Hamilton when asked if he is going into the new season thinking it could be his last.

“Ultimately, it’s people who create rumors without facts, and that never helps. You’d think they (Hill and Button) would both know me by now. I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13 and last year we had a tough year, but I’m still here, and whether we have a tough year or not, I’ll still be there.

“I am a fighter and we fight as a team. I like the challenge of finding solutions and I still believe I can put the car in places that others may not be able to. I like that challenge.”

Kiran JacksonMarch 3, 2023 8:59 am


F1 LIVE: George Russell gives honest assessment of Mercedes’ chances at Bahrain Grand Prix

George Russell fears Max Verstappen’s Red Bull will be in a “class of its own” at the opening race of the Formula 1 season in Bahrain.

Verstappen will start the new season on Sunday as the overwhelming favorite to take his third consecutive world title after he and Red Bull impressed in testing.

Mercedes finished third in the constructors’ standings last year, but despite resolving their Porpoise issues, there are few expectations of them being able to battle at the front this weekend and possibly this season.

Indeed, Russell, who is gearing up for his second year at Mercedes, thinks his team may have even slipped behind a rejuvenated Aston Martin in the pecking order. However, the 25-year-old Englishman has not given up hope that the Silver Arrows can drag themselves back into contention during the year.

“It’s going to be a challenging weekend if we want to fight for that win,” said Russell.

“It is absolutely fair to say that Red Bull is in a league of its own this weekend. It will be a nice fight for second place, probably between Ferrari and Aston Martin.”

Kiran JacksonMarch 3, 2023 8:53 am


F1 LIVE: Good morning!

Welcome to The Independents live coverage of Friday’s practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix – the first race of the 2023 F1 season!

The excitement is palpable as after a three-day test last weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit, we see the 2023 cars on a race weekend for the first time. Will Max Verstappen be as strong as last year? What about Ferrari’s challenge? Can Mercedes be there again? And are Aston Martin now also participating?!

Today’s first practice starts at 11:30am (GMT) before FP2 kicks off at 3pm – and you can follow the in-depth build-up and coverage here!

Kiran JacksonMarch 3, 2023 8:50 AM

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