With just days to go until the first race in Melbourne, Formula 1 (and the FIA) decided to cancel the event and announced that the 2020 season is now expected to start at the end of May

The next two races in Bahrain, Vietnam - the first ever held there - and the third in China have been postponed. 

It's unknown when the rescheduled races could take place, but the usual summer break in F1 has now been officially brought forward in a bit to fit them into the calendar.

Here are all the races which were due to happen up until the end of May. It could be that the Dutch and Spanish GPs will also be postponed and the season could start in Monaco. The organisers are in talks with F1 and the FIA about what the current situation will mean for these races.

Australian Grand Prix Cancelled (was 15 March) Sky, 5.10am
Bahrain Grand Prix Postponed (22 March) Sky, 3.10pm
Vietman Grand Prix Postponed (5 April) Sky, 8.10am
Chinese Grand Prix Postponed (was 19 April) Sky, TBC
Dutch Grand Prix 3 May (TBC) Sky, 2.10pm
Spanish Grand Prix 10 May (TBC) Sky, 2.10pm
Monaco Grand Prix 24 May Sky, 2.10pm

This is obviously hugely disappointing news for all concerned, but the decisions have been made for the safety of fans and everyone working in F1. F1 boss Chase Carey said, “The global situation regarding COVID-19 is fluid and very difficult to predict and its right we take time to assess the situation and make the right decisions," he said.

"We are taking this decision with the FIA and our promoters to ensure the safety of everyone involved in Formula 1 and our fans. The Bahrain Grand Prix is an exciting race in our schedule, and we look forward to being back there as soon as we can. We are also looking forward to Vietnam’s inaugural race and bringing the spectacle of F1 to one of the most exciting cities in the world.”

At some point the season will start and here's which TV channels will be showing races this year.

Watching F1 races for free is becoming increasingly difficult and – at some point – it will almost certainly become a pay-to-watch sport. However, for now at least, you have the choice of watching on Channel 4 in the UK or paying for the F1 channel on Sky.

How to watch every F1 race for free in the UK

Although Sky has the exclusive rights to show live races in the UK, part of the deal it struck with Bernie Ecclestone before F1 was sold to Liberty Media was that highlights must be available on a free-to-air TV channel that’s widely available.

The deal runs until 2024, but there’s good news for fans because a new arrangement with Sky 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.

Also, as before, one race will be shown live on Channel 4: the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 19 July.

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.

Currently, there’s an offer where you can get Sky Sports F1 for £10 per month (minimum of 12 months), or Complete Sports (all the sports channels) for £20 per month. You’ll have to sign up for an 18-month contract for the latter, though.

There’s no requirement to have Sky TV: 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.

And there’s a special deal where you get access to all F1 races via Now TV for £198.

That works out at £9 per race weekend. (After 9 months, the subscription renews at £33.99 per month, so watch out for that.)

When is the Australian Grand Prix start time in the UK?

  • TBC; Race postponed. (Original scheduled date Sunday 15 March, 5.10am race start on Sky Sports F1).

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.

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:

Note that you cannot watch live on the All 4 app. Highlights are made available at some point later in the day after the race.

Sky

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.

Now TV

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.

How to watch F1 2019 UK

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 schedule as published, and we'll update it once we know when the postponed races are have new dates.

Australian Grand Prix Postponed (was 15 March) Sky, 5.10am
Bahrain Grand Prix Postponed (22 March) Sky, 3.10pm
Vietman Grand Prix Postponed (5 April) Sky, 8.10am
Chinese Grand Prix Postponed (was 19 April) Sky, TBC
Dutch Grand Prix 3 May Sky, 2.10pm
Spanish Grand Prix 10 May Sky, 2.10pm
Monaco Grand Prix 24 May Sky, 2.10pm
Azerbaijan Grand Prix 7 June Sky, 2.10pm
Canadian Grand Prix 14 June Sky, 7.10pm
French Grand Prix 28 June Sky, 2.10pm
Austrian Grand Prix 5 July Sky, 2.10pm
British Grand Prix 19 July Sky & Channel 4, 3.10pm
Hungarian Grand Prix 2 August Sky, 2.10pm
Belgian Grand Prix 30 August Sky, 2.10pm
Italian Grand Prix 6 September Sky, 2.10pm
Singapore Grand Prix 20 September Sky, 1.10pm
Russian Grand Prix 27 September Sky, 12.10pm
Japanese Grand Prix 11 October Sky, 5.10am
United States Grand Prix 25 October Sky, 7.10pm
Mexican Grand Prix 1 November Sky, 7.10pm
Brazilian Grand Prix 15 November Sky, 5.10pm
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 29 November Sky, 1.10pm

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 Hidden24.