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Whether you want to watch F1 in glorious Ultra HD 4K on your phone, tablet or computer, online or off, we round up all the options.

The 2018 Formula 1 season has had its shares of ups and downs in what's been a tightly contested season.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took the championship lead. Then he was overtaken by Lewis Hamilton and now Daniel Ricciardo is making a stab at challenging the top two.

Verstappen has made the headlines with his crashes and we've had the likes of Torro Rosso and Sauber making an impression down the field.

With fewer engines allowed over the course of a season, and relatively stable aero and chassis rules and teams struggling to get to grips with the tyres, its proving to be an unpredictable season.

So whether you're looking to catch the races and trackside action on your new 4K TV, listen on the radio or watch online, read on…

Watch Formula 1 on TV

Sky and Channel 4 share the broadcast rights to F1 in the UK again, the latter taking on the BBC's contract after the broadcaster ended its coverage in 2015.

Channel 4 has ten live races, starting in Bahrain in April, taking in the Monaco and British Grands Prix and concluding with the Abu Dhabi season finale in November.

Steve Jones returns to hosting duties – beside him are 13-times race winner David Coulthard, Karun Chandhok as the technical analyst and Lee McKenzie as pitlane reporter. Special guests include Mark Webber, Susie Wolff and the inimitable Eddie Jordan. All races are broadcast without advertising breaks.

Sky has the rights to all 21 live races through its dedicated F1 channel: Sky Sports F1. Its coverage is headed by ex-racer Martin Brundle and former world champion Damon Hill. Alongside them are Johnny Herbert, Paul di Resta and Anthony Davidson. Sky Sports F1 channel is the only place to watch the entire season live, and Sky customers can get the channel on top of their existing subscription for £18 per month.

Sky customers who own the Sky Soundbox (£250 or £750 for non-Sky customers), can boost their flatscreen TV's sound when paired with the Sky Q box. The Soundbox features exclusive sound modes that automatically refine audio for the Sky Sports F1 channel.

The broadcaster's free-to-air channel, Sky Sports Mix, will also feature a few live races. The British Grand Prix is a free-to-air event and will be joined by two other 'prime time' races.

If you're not a Sky customer you'll have to settle for Channel 4's free coverage (just remember to pay your licence fee). That situation is unlikely to change any time soon, as Sky's period of exclusivity means the sport (on TV at least) will disappear behind a paywall from 2019 to 2024.

MORE: What is 4K Ultra HD TV? Everything you need to know

Formula 1 TV schedule – 2018

F1 races start at 10 minutes past the hour. Times stated are for the UK.

*Free to air

**Night races

  • French GP  22nd-24th June, Sky Sports F1 – 3.10pm
  • Austrian GP  29th June-1st July, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 2.10pm
  • British GP  6th-8th July, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 2.10pm*
  • German GP  20th-22nd July, Sky Sports F1 – 2.10pm
  • Hungarian GP  27th-29th July, Sky Sports F1 – 2.10pm
  • Belgian GP  24th-26th August, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 2.10pm
  • Italian GP  31st August-2nd September, Sky Sports F1 – 2.10pm
  • Singapore GP  14th-16th September, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 1.10pm**
  • Russian GP  28th-30th September, Sky Sports F1 – 12.10pm
  • Japanese GP  5th-7th October, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 6.10am
  • US GP  19th-21st October, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 7.10pm
  • Mexican GP  26th-28th October, Sky Sports F1 – 7.10pm
  • Brazilian GP  9th-11th November, Sky Sports F1 – 5.10pm
  • Abu Dhabi GP  23th-25th November, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 1.10pm**

More after the break

Watch Formula 1 in Ultra HD 4K

If you want to watch F1 races in 4K, your only option is Sky.

Sky Sports F1 broadcasts each practice, qualifying session and race in Ultra HD resolution, and the only way to get 4K is to purchase the Sky Q 2TB set-top box (the 1TB does not output in 4K).

HDR support is still unresolved, so you'll be watching in plain old 4K (captured at 50fps). Sky is said to be looking into support for Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG), but hasn't specified a date for its integration.

With the BBC committed to a 4K HDR/HLG World Cup through its iPlayer platform, we assume Sky aren't far behind in sketching out their plans.

MORE: Hybrid Log Gamma explained – the new HDR TV broadcast format

Watch Formula 1 online, on mobile and in VR

Liberty Media, the owner of F1, is developing its own streaming service for 2018 – but the service is initially being developed for countries where F1 does not have existing TV deals, so an appearance in the UK looks unlikely for now.

Online viewing is again limited to Channel 4 and Sky. For its ten races, Channel 4 has live broadcast rights to practice sessions, qualifying and full races – all of which can be streamed on its All 4 catch-up and on-demand platform. Get the free All 4 app and you can download the content on various mobile devices. Like BBC iPlayer, programmes stay on the service for 30 days.

Alternatively, there's Sky Go (free to Sky customers), which allows streaming across a range of compatible Android, iOS and Kindle Fire devices. For another £5 you can get Sky Go Extra, which allows downloads.

For those onboard with Virtual Reality, Sky has developed its own VR app which features a range of immersive experiences for F1 fans. These included exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the McLaren and Mercedes teams in pre-season testing in Barcelona. The VR experience can be enjoyed without a headset, but to get the best out of it either Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR or Occulus Rift is preferable.

Android smartphones running Lollipop 5.0 (and above) or iPhones with iOS 8 (or more) can be used. The mobile devices will also need to be compatible with whatever headset you intend to use.

If you have no interest in a Sky contract, you can opt instead for Now TV. Available across a range of devices, purchasing Day, Week or Month passes will allow viewers to dip in and out of Sky's sporting line-up at their leisure. It's available on a number of platforms including iOS, Xbox One and PS4.

F1 has its own official YouTube channel featuring bite-size highlights of every session across a GP weekend, as well as archival footage, behind the scenes action and interviews with prominent members of the F1 paddock. Simulcasts of events – such as last year's London Live in Trafalgar Square – will be shown on the channel too.

MORE: 29 BBC iPlayer tips, tricks and features

When and where can you watch Formula 1 highlights?

Both Channel 4 and Sky have highlight packages to go with their broadcasts.

Highlights appear on Channel 4 several hours after the qualifying/race has taken place (morning races tend to appear in the afternoon, afternoon races in the evening and evening races at night), followed by an appearance on Channel 4's on-demand service.

On Sky you can watch videos and highlights on the Sky Sports website, although these tend to be skewed to a more news and promotional angle.

For actual F1 highlights, you'll need access to Sky Sports F1 or Sky Sports Mix, which will show highlights of qualifying and the race after each event.

Listen to Formula 1 on radio

Despite ending its TV contract early in 2015, the BBC continued with its radio coverage, with BBC Five Live extending its deal to 2021.

You can listen to races on your radio or the internet, or you can catch the action on your tablet, smartphone or smart device using the BBC iPlayer Radio app (UK only).

If you're a fan of podcasts, there's the BBC's Chequered Flag Formula 1. It's available to download twice a week during the season and features interviews and previews, as well as a review of the action from a Grand Prix weekend. Preview shows tend to be made up of Five Live broadcasts that have been reformatted for the podcast.

MORE: Best internet radios 2018

Lights out and away we go…

And there you have it. There aren't many options, but the BBC/Channel 4's free offering and Sky's paid-for programming each has its own distinct flavour.

Whether it's on TV, online, mobile or radio, it's easy to keep in touch with the goings-on in the world of F1. Even if you miss the race, you can still catch up elsewhere on various platforms.

With the season unfolding in unexpected ways with Hamilton, Vettel and Ricciardo each with two wins to their name season, this closer tussle will hopefully continue throughout the season.

As we get into the main bulk of the European-based races, we could be in for an exciting time.

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