The long wait is almost over: the 2019 F1 season is about to start. With drivers changing teams and Red Bull switching to Honda power, will anyone be able to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari's current dominance? We'll find out a lot in the first qualifying session of the year on Saturday in Melbourne.
But how can you can watch the action live in the UK? Sky has the exclusive rights to show live races here, so you'll need a subscription (or to buy a Now TV pass) which includes the Sky Sports F1 channel. Channel 4 will show highlights of races this year, which is one way you can keep up with the action for free, albeit after the fact. Channel 4 will only show the British Grand Prix live (including practice and qualifying). Scroll down for more information on other ways to watch F1 races.
When is the Australian Grand Prix on?
- Sunday 17 March, 05.10 race start (UK time). That's 16.10 local time in Melbourne. Highlights on Channel 4 at 2pm.
If you're unable to get to a TV or record it, highlights of the race will subsequently be available to watch via the All 4 app.
Can I watch F1 online in 2019?
Yes. But not via the F1 TV Pro service in the UK because of Sky's exclusive deal for live races. That's only in the US and a few other countries. In the UK, all you can access is the live timing service which costs £2.29 per month. However, you can watch races using these apps, if you have an appropriate subscription where necessary:
- 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 won't be able to watch live on the All 4 app. Highlights will be available at some point later in the day after the race.
To watch races on Sky you need to be a subscriber to its TV service. For 2019, Sky is offering a discounted price for the dedicated F1 channel of just £10 per month for the next two years (usually £18 per month).
Sky will be broadcasting practice, qualifying and races in Ultra HD. You can find out more on Sky’s website.
If you'd prefer not to switch from another TV supplier the alternative is to watch Sky Sports F1 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.
Currently there's an offer to get the entire F1 season on Now TV (the equivalent of 9 months of Sky Sports) for a one-off payment of £195, which works out at £21.67. That's a lot less than the usual £33.99 you'd pay for a monthly pass for Sky Sports.
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. 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.
F1 race calendar 2019
Here are the dates to put in your diary so you don't miss any races.
|Australian Grand Prix||17 March||Sky (live at 05.10)|
|Bahrain Grand Prix||31 March||Sky|
|Chinese Grand Prix||14 April||Sky|
|Azerbaijan Grand Prix||28 April||Sky|
|Spanish Grand Prix||12 May||Sky|
|Monaco Grand Prix||26 May||Sky|
|Canadian Grand Prix||9 June||Sky|
|French Grand Prix||23 June||Sky|
|Austrian Grand Prix||30 June||Sky|
|British Grand Prix||14 July||Sky & Channel 4|
|German Grand Prix||28 July||Sky|
|Hungarian Grand Prix||4 August||Sky|
|Belgian Grand Prix||1 September||Sky|
|Italian Grand Prix||8 September||Sky|
|Singapore Grand Prix||22 September||Sky|
|Russian Grand Prix||29 September||Sky|
|Japanese Grand Prix||13 October||Sky|
|Mexican Grand Prix||27 October||Sky|
|United States Grand Prix||3 November||Sky|
|Brazilian Grand Prix||17 November||Sky|
|Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||1 December||Sky|
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 Hidden24. See also: Best VPN services.
TVCatchup for Channel 4
If you don't want to use the All 4 app for some reason, you can use TVCatchup. This lets you watch live free-to-air UK television on your computer, phone, tablet or games console. Versions of the site optimised for iPad and iPhone are available at ipad.tvcatchup.com and iphone.tvcatchup.com, and there's also a TVCatchup app available in the Apple Appstore and Google Play Store.
If you have Windows 10, you can install the ToView app to watch Channel 4.