When and Where: The lights go out for the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix at 8 a.m. ET on Sunday. Live coverage of the race will be provided by Speed. Live detailed timing and statistics will be available at Formula1.com.

If you're in the U.K., a live stream will be available via SkyGo.

Preview: After a week full of headlines about protests and safety concerns off the track surrounding Formula One's controversial presence in Bahrain, the sport will be desperate for a thrilling race on Sunday to attract some positivity back.

Though, in truth, all concerned will surely breathe a huge sigh of relief when the equipment gets packed up and the Formula One circus can roll out of the Gulf State.

None the less, on the line on Sunday will be vital world championship points. It is a championship that Sebastian Vettel will hope to firmly launch his campaign for after getting his first pole of the season on Saturday.

The double-world champion has had a disappointing start to the year so far in a Red Bull that has struggled to match the dominance of the past two seasons.

But Red Bull has found some serious pace in Bahrain, to the surprise of even the team itself.

It feels great and I completely owe this one to the team, said a gracious Vettel afterward, according to Formula1.com.  The car felt better all weekend, it wasn't the smoothest qualifying session, I nearly went out in Q1, but it's good to get the pole.

Vettel beat McLaren's Lewis Hamilton into second on the grid, with Red Bull team mate Mark Webber in third.

The start could be key--we've had good launches all season so I expect us to be able to challenge Seb down to Turn One, said Hamilton, according to Formula1.com. This season is shaping up to be very interesting: it's anyone's for the taking, at the moment

Hamilton will have his team mate Jenson Button starting behind him in fourth, while performance of the day may have been Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo a further row back in sixth.

But with the Red Bull having looked much stronger in their race trim than in qualifying so far in 2012, Vettel will feel confident of getting his first win of the season.

Tire wear will be crucial on Sunday, though, with several drivers sacrificing qualifying performance in order to preserve a set of tires for the race.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, Force India's Paul Di Resta-in ninth and 10th, respectively--as well as Kimi Raikkonen, who failed to make it into Q3, back in 11th, all left something in the bag for the race.

The day may be remembered for Red Bull's return to form, but there was equal surprise in the poor performance of Mercedes. Despite showing good pace in practice, the winner last time out in China, Nico Rosberg, could only manage fifth on the grid.

That was a whole lot better than Michael Schumacher managed, however. The seven-time world champion had the DRS on his car fail as he failed to make it past Q1. Starting from 17th on the grid, there could be much fun provided in seeing Schumacher make his way through the field.