Formula 1 returns after a second unscheduled break of the season for the glitz and glamour of the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.
The iconic Monte Carlo race was initially pencilled in to be the middle track of a triple header before the Emilia Romagna GP was cancelled.
F1 schedule in FULL with UK start times for every practice session, qualifying, and race
The Imola event – which was scrapped due to safety concerns and a lack of resources following heavy flooding in Italy – became the second race to be removed from the 2023 calendar following F1’s continued absence in China.
But now the ‘crown jewel’ of Monaco gets racing back underway ahead of successive European weekends, with Spain still to come.
Sergio Perez is chasing back-to-back wins in the Principality to close the gap to championship leader and Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen.
The two are in a league of their own this season, and ‘Checo’ has hit back at criticism of Verstappen’s sportsmanship whenever he comes out on top.
“He’s a good loser, I’ll say,” Perez told PlanetF1.
“He has a fame of [a] bad loser, but honestly whenever I beat him he’s like, he’s really like, ‘Well done’ and it’s not very normal in Formula 1 to have that sort of teammate.
“He really comes and [says], ‘Well done mate’ – and you can see that he feels it. I appreciate that.”
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton has dismissed any rumours suggesting he could join Ferrari when his deal with Mercedes expires this year.
Instead, the Brit revealed he is close to penning a new contract with his current team.
Speaking ahead of race weekend, Hamilton said: “My team is working closely behind the scenes with [Mercedes team principal] Toto [Wolff], and we are almost at the end of having a contract ready.”
Monaco Grand Prix: Date and UK start time
The race weekend at the Circuit de Monaco is scheduled for Friday, May 26 to Sunday, May 28.
Two practice sessions will kick off Friday’s action starting from 12:30pm UK time, with the second later at 4pm.
A third practice is set for 11:30am on the Saturday, before qualifying, the most important of the entire season, takes place at 3pm.
Lights out for Sunday’s Grand Prix will be at 2pm.
Monaco Grand Prix: TV channel and live stream
Coverage will be on Sky Sports F1 throughout the weekend and their build-up to Sunday’s race will begin at 12pm.
Sky Sports customers can live stream this via the app using their mobile, tablet or computer devices.
If not, you can purchase a Sky Sports Day Pass from NowTV for £9.99 while Channel Four will broadcast highlights later in the evening.
talkSPORT’s Fern Buckley will also have live updates from Monaco.
To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream.
You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.
Monaco Grand Prix: What has been said?
Verstappen has previously hinted he could quit F1 if they continue to change the race weekend format – but his bluff has now been called by head honcho Stefano Domenicali.
“I don’t want a society in which people cannot say what they want,’ the Italian told Mail Sport.
“But drivers sometimes need to remember that they are part of a broader picture. We don’t need to be selfish.
“I discussed the issues with Max (before the last race in Miami). He said he loved the sport and what he was doing. He is world champion and is fighting for a third title.
“He was born in a car. I would say he is likely to stay longer than me. It’s not a problem.”
Monaco Grand Prix: Driver standings
Driver / Car / Points
- Max Verstappen / Red Bull Racing / 119
- Sergio Perez / Red Bull Racing / 105
- Fernando Alonso / Aston Martin / 75
- Lewis Hamilton / Mercedes / 56
- Carlos Sainz / Ferrari / 44
- George Russell / Mercedes / 40
- Charles Leclerc / Ferrari / 34
- Lance Stroll / Aston Martin / 27
- Lando Norris / McLaren / 10
- Pierre Gasly / Alpine / 8
- Nico Hulkenberg / Haas / 6
- Esteban Ocon / Alpine / 6
- Valtteri Bottas / Alfa Romeo / 4
- Oscar Piastri / McLaren / 4
- Zhou Guanyu / Alfa Romeo / 2
- Yuki Tsounda / Alphatauri / 2
- Kevin Magnussen / Haas / 2
- Alexander Albon / Williams / 1
- Logan Sargeant / Williams / 0
- Nyck De Vries / Alphatauri / 0
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