The race in Portimao this weekend will be the second new circuit F1 has visitied this year, so it's another reason to watch even if you're not the biggest Lewis Hamilton fan.
Here's what you need to know about tuning in to watch the practice sessions, qualifying and the race itself.
When does the Portuguese Grand Prix start in the UK?
The race will be held on Sunday 25 October starting at 13.10.
- Round 12: Portugal
- Race start time (BST): 13.10pm
- Highlights: Channel 4, 6.30pm
Friday Practice 1 & 2: Sky Sports F1, 11am, 2.45pm
Saturday Practice 3: Sky Sports F1, 10.45am
Saturday Qualifying: Sky Sports F1, 1pm, Channel 4 (highlights), 5.30pm
Sunday Race: Coverage begins at 11.30am on Sky Sports F1. Channel 4 (highlights), 6.30pm
If you're unable to get to a TV or record broadcasts, you can watch them later on Sky and Channel 4's catch-up services. Highlights have been taking a long while to appear on All 4 - four hours or more after broadcast on Channel 4 - so it's worth setting your DVR to record if you can.
The remainder of the 2020 season sees Turkey's first appearance on the calendar since 2011, a double-header in Bahrain followed by the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi.
- Round 13: Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix (Imola)
- Round 14: Turkey - 13-14 November
- Round 15: Bahrain - 27-29 November
- Round 16: Sakhir Grand Prix (Bahrain) - 4-6 December
- Round 17: Abu Dhabi - 11-13 December
How to watch every F1 race for free in the UK
- Sky showing live races
- Extended qualifying, plus highlights on Channel 4 shown 2.5 hours after live race ends
At some point F1 will almost certainly become a pay-to-watch sport. For the moment, however, you have the choice of watching on Channel 4 in the UK or paying for the F1 channel on Sky.
Although Sky has the exclusive rights to show live races in the UK, highlights are available on Channel 4, which is a free-to-air TV channel.
This arrangement runs until 2024, but there’s good news for fans because the latest deal (which has been agreed until the end of the 2022 season) means that extended highlights of both qualifying and races can be shown on Channel 4 only two and a half hours after the race ends, instead of the three-hour delay in 2019. (They won't all be shown this soon - the Australian GP highlights will be broadcast on Sunday afternoon.)
This means the whole show will last 2.5 hours instead of 2, and can cover 70 percent of the action. That equates to about an hour of actual racing rather than 45 minutes.
Better still, this agreement extends until the end of 2022.
You can watch Channel 4 on your TV, of course, but you can also watch using the All 4 app on your phone or tablet, or in a web browser via Channel 4's website.
How to watch F1 races on Sky and NowTV
If you’re happy to pay a subscription fee so you can watch entire races live, then Sky is the only option in the UK. While Liberty operates an online streaming service – F1 TV Pro – you can’t watch it in the UK because of Sky’s exclusive deal.
Because of coronavirus, sports have all been postponed. But we expect Sky will soon bring back some sort of offer when it restarts in July.
You can get Sky Sports F1 for £10 per month (minimum of 12 months) on top of your normal Sky package, or Complete Sports (all the sports channels) for £20 per month. You need to sign up for an 18-month contract for the latter, though. If you're not a Sky customer yet, you can get F1 on top of Sky TV for £35 per month plus a £20 setup fee.
If you'd rather not sign up to Sky TV because you only want F1 then there is an alternative: you can subscribe via Sky’s streaming service, Now TV. That’s available on your phone, tablet, games consoles, via a web browser and also via a Now TV streaming stick.
It isn't much cheaper though: it's £33.99 per month for the Sky Sports Pass, although there is currently an offer which gets you the first three months for £25 per month.
Can you get F1 TV Pro in the UK?
Annoyingly, no, you can't. In case you didn't know, F1 TV Pro is the official streaming service of Forumla 1 but you can't get it in the UK because of Sky's exclusive deal for live races.
F1 TV Pro is only available the US where it costs $79.99 per year. You can also buy it in a few other countries including the Netherlands where it is €7.99 per month.
In the UK, all you can access is the live timing service which costs £2.29 per month. We don't advise using a VPN to buy the service from the US or Netherlands: it's likely your VPN will be detected and Liberty Media, which runs F1, says your subscription will be terminated with no refund.
Can I watch F1 online in 2020?
Indeed you can. Coverage is available using the following apps:
- All 4, available for Android and iOS
- Sky Go for Android or iOS (requires Sky subscription)
- Now TV, for Android and iOS, Xbox One and PC (requires subscription)
Note that you cannot watch live on the All 4 app. Unlike BBC iPlayer, you can't join a live broadcast (much less restart it from the beginning) and you may have to wait hours for the race highlights to appear in the app. That's certainly the case this year, with the programme appearing over four hours after broadcast.
To watch races on Sky you need to subscribe to its TV service. Sky will be broadcasting practice, qualifying and races in Ultra HD, but they're also in HD depending upon your subscription. You can find out more on Sky’s website.
As we said above, you can still watch Sky Sports F1 without being a Sky customer as the channel is also available on Now TV. This is sky's streaming service, which you can watch via the Now TV Player app on a laptop, PC, Mac, phone or tablet, or Sky's own Now TV Stick which connects to an HDMI input on your TV.
Is there really no way to watch F1 races live for free?
Officially, no. But there is a way. And it's free if you have a satellite dish and receiver which can pick up RTL Germany. That's because F1 races are still shown there on the free-to-air channel. Unless you're fluent in German the commentary isn't going to mean much, but you can get English commentary by tuning into Radio 5 Live (you can use the iPlayer Radio app on your phone if you don't have an actual radio).
If you haven't already got a suitable dish and set-top box, there's little point in investing in one as you'll pay around the same price to watch F1 on Now TV. But it could work out to be cheaper if you plan to watch F1 for the next few years and RTL continues to broadcast it.
2020 F1 schedule
Here's the confirmed 17-race schedule. All times are British Summer Time (GMT+1).
|Round 1: Austrian GP||5 July||Sky, 2.10pm|
|Round 2: Styrian GP||12 July||Sky, 2.10pm|
|Round 3: Hungarian GP||19 July||Sky, 2.10pm|
|Round 4: British GP||2 August||Sky, 2.10pm|
|Round 5: 70th Anniversary GP||9 August||Sky, 2.10pm|
|Round 6: Spanish GP||16 August||Sky, 2.10pm|
|Round 7: Belgian GP||30 August||Sky, 2.10pm|
|Round 8: Italian GP||6 September||Sky, 2.10pm|
|Round 9: Tuscan Ferrari 1000 GP (Mugello)||13 September||Sky, 2.10pm|
|Round 10: Russian GP||27 September||Sky, 12.10pm|
|Round 11: Eifel Grand Prix (Nurburgring)||11 October||Sky, 2.10pm|
|Round 12: Portuguese Grand Prix||25 October||Sky, 2.10pm|
|Round 13: Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix (Imola)||1 November||Sky, 1.10pm (TBC)|
|Round 14: Turkish Grand Prix||15 November||Sky, 12.10pm (TBC)|
|Round 15: Bahrain Grand Prix||29 November||Sky, 4.10pm (TBC)|
|Round 16: Sakhir Grand Prix (Bahrain)||6 December||Sky, 6.10pm (TBC)|
|Round 17: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||13 December||Sky, 2.10pm (TBC)|
How to watch F1 with a VPN
If you're not in the UK when a particular race is shown, you can watch it using the Sky Go app on your phone or tablet, but that's only if you have the right level of subscription in place with Sky. And if you're not with Sky, then you can still watch highlights on the All 4 app if you use a VPN with a UK server, such as NordVPN, ExpressVPN and Surfshark.
- Also read our guide to the best VPN services.