Lewis Hamilton says he wants one more win for the season to top off his sixth Formula One World Championship-winning year but Alex Albon might have other ideas for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
Red Bull’s second driver has had his spot confirmed for the 2020 season and has been driving hell for rubber at Interlagos through practice. Sure the British-born Thai spun out but so have Verstappen and Leclerc and it’s Albon who was fastest in both the wet and the dry of the mixed conditions in first session. Are these the three with something to prove at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace?
The answer is a solid 'yes'. For Albon, a finish ahead of Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly (the man he replaced at Red Bull) would ensure a top-six placing. Verstappen and Leclerc, however, have Sebastian Vettel to contend with for third and must be well aware that Ferrari’s four-time champion is the only driver on the track with more than two wins in Brazil. That said, with Ferrari’s technical issues at the last outing in the US and Leclerc’s 10-place grid penalty, could it be Verstappen who brings home the bacon?
Conditions for the race are often mixed and the high altitude location adds a tricky twist but, luckily for the drivers, if not the fans watching from home, it’s looking dry from 5.30pm GMT on Sunday 17th November when the race begins.
As for the champ, Hamilton may have his mind on other things. His contract is up at Mercedes at the end of 2020. He’s said he feels joined at the hip to the team after so long but admits that there’s always the danger of going stale - just the kind of talk his agent would want to hear.
Still with one more title to win to equal the great Michael Schumacher, it’s a decision the Brit will not make lightly, particularly with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff tipped for a role at the head of Formula 1.
Until them, of course, there’s some racin’ to be done and if you want to get your stream on and tune into the Brazilian Grand Prix, then here’s how you do it in engine-growling surround sound and 4K style.
Watch Formula One anywhere in the world using a VPN
We'll look at the TV and live stream options for UK and USA-based F1 fans below, but even after spending all that money on a subscription you're still not going to be able to watch the Grand Prix from another country.
There are certain territories where some or all of the races are free to air – so if you're away in Albania, Azerbaijan, Brazil, China, Russia, Slovenia, USA, the Middle East or North Africa, you may just need to tune in on your hotel TV or find a local bar.
Anywhere else and you might want to get yourself a VPN instead. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) can spoof an IP address which is local to the server you’d like to access. That way your service provider will think that you’re in the correct country to do so and allow you to watch the F1.
VPNs are also as useful for banking as they are at trying to watch video content or access websites that people in your location are not supposed to do. They encrypt the data passing between you and the server, so that the information remains private.
So, whether you want to watch live motorsport, enjoy another country’s Netflix library or just keep your browsing data private, then a VPN is well worth considering.
There are many VPN providers out there, with some more reliable and safe than others. As a rule, we’d suggest a paid-for service and would recommend the following:
You can get three months free when you sign up to a year-long plan, bringing VPN access to smart devices including the Amazon Fire TV Stick, laptops, TVs and both Android and iOS mobiles and tablets. Express also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Which comes in at as little as $2.99 (£2.29) per month and features 24/7 assistance
Once you’ve made your choice, all you need to do is sign in to your VPN service through whichever device you’d like to use to watch the race. When prompted to select a server, you need to pick one which is based in the country whose content you’d like to access. Then navigate to the relevant video streaming app or website and you’re in.
You can find a full list of the world's broadcasters with rights to show live Formula 1 here.
Watch Formula One live in the UK
Sky is the only place for UK users to watch the Formula One racing, practice and qualifying sessions all live in 4K resolution, on the company’s Ultra HD service. You’ll need to receive the Sky Sports F1 channel to enjoy all the coverage.
That comes bundled in with all the other sports channels as part of the £23 per month Sky Sports Complete Pack. If the F1 is all you care about, Sky is currently offering a deal to pay £10 (usually £18) per month instead to add just Sky Sports F1 to your contract.
The Sky Sports F1 HD channel is also available on Virgin Media as part of the Bigger + Sport TV bundle. It's £72 per month but it comes with all the other Sky Sports channels and all the BT Sports ones too, including BT Sports Ultra HD. All of that brings access to just about every televised sports action you'd care to mention including Premier League, Champions League and Europa League football.
If you're already a Virgin Media TV subscriber, then it may be a case of upping your package by just a few pounds per month.
It’s not all a dead loss without Sky in the UK. Channel 4 has the rights for the highlights of the F1 race and the F1 qualifiers which air a few hours after the end of the sessions. It’s also licensed to show the British Grand Prix live and in full. You can tune into the coverage in HD on Channel 4 and on the Channel 4 website.
Better, if not free, though, is the pay-per-view option from Now TV. Sky’s on-demand service offers a Sky Sports pass with access to live Sky Sports coverage of the Formula 1. You can choose between a day, week or month-long pass and it’s worth keeping an eye on just how many races each one might scoop up at any one time in the F1 calendar.
A day pass for sports on Now TV costs £8.99, with a weekly pass coming in at £14.99 for those after qualifying as well. A monthly pass is £33.99 if you want to cover two or three races.View Deal
Watch Formula One live in 4K
To watch in Ultra HD, you’ll need a Sky Q 2TB set-top-box and as well as the Sky Experience multi-room subscription. That totals out at £55 per month, with a one off payment of £70 if you’re not already a Sky subscriber. It’s a fair whack but it’s the only way to watch the F1 live and in 4K.
Watch Formula One live in the USA
Formula 1 fans in the States are lucky enough to be able to watch the some of the top class motorsports action for free. ABC has the rights to air the US, Mexico and Canadian Grand Prix live, with the Monaco Grand Prix shown in full but after the event.
For complete, all-season access to F1, Americans will need to sign up to the EPSN paid channels or Univision for the Spanish language coverage.
Live Formula One race calendar
The Formula One season runs from March to December 2019 with 21 races in all. Below you'll find the dates for each of the remaining Grand Prix on the 2019 Formula One calendar.
17th November – Brazilian Grand Prix
1st December – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix