Every Formula 1 Grand Prix event is like a Super Bowl, All-Star Game, and championship party rolled into one. If that doesn’t sound exciting enough, you merely need to remember there are 20 of them each year, scattered across some of the most vibrant and affluent cities in the world. From Australia to Abu Dhabi, you won’t want to miss even a tenth of a second when it comes to engine roars and tire squeals.
Thankfully, if you’re ready to tune in, there are a number of ways to stay up to date on one of the few driving sports that actually gives NASCAR a run for its money. Read on for everything you need to know.
National streaming options
If you want unfettered access to F1 footage, who better to seek out than the source? In 2018, F1 launched its own subscription streaming service, F1 TV, which offers fans a banquet of videos and features to gorge themselves on. F1 TV comes in two tiers: Access, which grants the ability to watch replays, highlights, and F1 documentaries, among other features, and Pro, which offers all those same features plus live video, dashboard footage, “unedited” team radio, and more. In addition to video, F1 TV also offers users live data and leaderboards, so fans can keep track of what’s happening with every racer. Access costs $3 a month or $27 annually, while Pro costs $10 per month or $100 annually.
As of 2018, ESPN holds the television broadcast rights for F1 in the United States. The network broadcasts different events on different channels (ESPN2 and such), so your ability to watch races may depend on your specific cable or streaming package. If you don’t have cable or satellite, however, you can always watch replays of various sports events through ESPN’s official app, and you can get ESPN through SlingTV’s Orange package or via PlayStation Vue. You can also can view the full schedule for the 2018 season on ESPN’s site, regardless of which method you choose.
International streaming options
Those of you living in the United Kingdom have two good options for streaming. The first is Britain’s live television broadcast. Channel 4’s C4F1 will show 10 live races, including the Monaco Grand Prix. The remainder of the races will be shown in delayed highlights. Although Channel 4’s race coverage is rather limited in comparison to some of the other offerings on our list, you can pick up a free-to-air (FTA) broadcast if you have the proper receiver equipment, making it one of the most affordable ways to catch F1 coverage.
Sky Sports gives you three ways to watch every Formula 1 race: On live TV, the “Now TV” pass, and Sky Go. Unlike Channel 4, Sky Sports doesn’t have any gaps in live coverage — every race is shown. If you have a cable or satellite TV package, you can watch the races on their dedicated channel. If you don’t want to pay for a monthly TV package, you can purchase a Now TV pass for the day, week, or month. If you prefer to watch on your mobile device, just download the Sky Go app or go to the live streaming page.
Like ESPN, Channel 4, and Sky Sports, Antenna 3 is a domestic TV channel for Spanish viewers. Antenna 3 has shown live F1 races since 2012. Like the other TV providers, Antenna 3 requires a cable or satellite TV package.
While the Formula 1 subreddit offers a few streaming options that are further from the beaten path, it mainly serves as a great resource for discussion and information regarding the world of Formula 1 racing. The user-curated news and updates provide an excellent backdrop for arguing about which constructor brought the best sidepods to the show, or which driver exhibits the best consistency. On top of that, each Grand Prix features a dedicated thread for discussing the event, one in which users from every fanbase squabble and root for their team while chiding others.
Even if you don’t typically watch Formula 1, you’ll find Reddit’s active user base eager to bring newcomers into the fold, along with a wealth of non-F1 related topics you can easily spend an entire afternoon perusing — if you can find the time.
Don’t have cable or satellite? Don’t want to watch on your smartphone or tablet? Thanks to Playstation’s Vue, you can stream live F1 coverage from your PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 console directly to your TV. Both ESPN and ESPN 2 are included in every PlayStation Vue package, the lowest of which starts at $45. Moreover, because of the service’s DVR-like capabilities, you can watch races you missed later and skip around like you would with any other piece of on-demand content. The drawback is that the app might stop coverage abruptly and jump forward if your internet is slow.