Formula One Schedule 2019: Bahrain GP TV Guide, Live Stream Info and Odds

The Formula One returns for its second weekend of the season but for once politics take center stage over strategies and team orders.

That is because the second round of the World Championship takes place in Bahrain. The event has been subject to protests since 2011 and last year Bahraini activist Najah Yusuf was imprisoned for criticizing the grand prix and the country's regime on Facebook.

Yusuf remains in jail and 15 human rights groups have written to the International Automobile Federation and Formula One calling on both to take a stand to defend the activist.

In this charged political context, a Formula One race is scheduled for Sunday and here's everything you need to know about it.

When and where is the race?

The Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir hosts the second round of the championship. The circuit became the first track in the Middle East to host a Formula One race in 2004 and has been part of the calendar ever since.

However, the race was cancelled after mass protests in 2011 and went ahead despite huge opposition the following year.

The race is scheduled to start at 4:10 p.m. local time (11:10 a.m. ET) on Sunday, March 31.

The race will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday from 11:10 a.m. ET. The race will also be available on ESPN+ and via WatchESPN.com, while Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV and PlayStation Vue will all offer a live stream.

What's the story of the season so far?

Ferrari went into the first weekend of the championship buoyed by a strong performance in the pre-season tests, but were left disappointed as Mercedes secured a one-two finish in Melbourne.

However, it was Valtteri Bottas, rather than Lewis Hamilton, who climbed on top of the podium, while Red Bull's Max Verstappen finished third.

The Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc had to make do with fourth and fifth place, respectively, which means the prancing horse team is already playing catch-up this season.

What do the bookmakers say?

According to Oddschecker, Hamilton is the favorite to win in Bahrain, followed by Sebastian Vettel.

The Briton is 7/4 with most bookmakers, while the German is 9/4 and Bottas and Leclerc are at 3/1 and 5/1, respectively.

Bottas has never been out-qualified by a teammate in Bahrain, while Ferrari has reasons to be optimistic ahead of this weekend as Vettel has triumphed in Bahrain in the last two seasons.

The German has won four times in Sakhir, while the second of Hamilton's two wins at the circuit came in 2015.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 on track during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 29 in Bahrain. Clive Mason/Getty Images
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