The 2018 Formula 1 season is on the horizon - the first race weekend commences on March 23rd in Melbourn, and winter testing is about to begin in Barcelona ahead of what could be a tightly contested season.
2017 saw Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel lead the championship only to come unstuck via engine unreliability and driver error, paving the way for Lewis Hamilton to triumph.
With fewer engines allowed over the course of a season, and relatively stable aero and chassis rules, the rest of the grid will be hoping this is the year they close the gap on reigning constructor champion Mercedes.
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
Channel 4 and Sky share the broadcast rights to F1 in the UK, the former taking on the BBC's contract after the broadcaster ended its coverage in 2015.
Channel 4 has 10 live races, starting in Bahrain in April, stopping in at the Monaco and British GPs along the way and concluding with the Abu Dhabi season finale in November.
Steve Jones returns to hosting duties - joining him are 13-times race winner David Coulthard, Karun Chandhok as technical analyst and Lee McKenzie as pitlane reporter. Special guests will include Mark Webber, Susie Wolff and the inimitable Eddie Jordan. All races are broadcast without advertising breaks.
Sky has the rights to all 21 races through its dedicated F1 channel: Sky Sports F1. Its coverage will be headed by ex-racer Martin Brundle and former world champion Damon Hill. Joining them are Johnny Herbert, Paul di Resta and Anthony Davidson. Sky's F1 channel is the only place to watch the entire season live, and Sky customers can get the channel on top of their existing sub for £18/m.
Sky Sports Mix is the broadcaster's free-to-air channel and will feature a few live races. The British Grand Prix is a free-to-air event and it'll be joined on the channel by two '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). It's a situation unlikely to improve 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.
Formula 1 TV schedule – 2018
F1 races start at 10 minutes past the hour. Times stated are for the UK.
*Free to air
- Austalian GP - 23-25th March, Sky Sports F1 – 6.10am
- Bahrain GP – 06-08th April, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 4.10pm**
- Chinese GP – 13-15th April, Sky Sports F1 – 7.10am
- Azerbaijan GP – 27-29th April, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 1.10pm
- Spanish GP – 11-13th May, Sky Sports F1 – 2.10pm
- Monaco GP – 24-27th May, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 2.10pm
- Canada GP – 08-10th June, Sky Sports F1 – 7.10pm
- French GP – 22-24th June, Sky Sports F1 – 3.10pm
- Austrian GP – 29th June-1st July, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 2.10pm
- British GP - 06-08th July, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 2.10pm*
- German GP – 20-22nd July, Sky Sports F1 – 2.10pm
- Hungarian GP – 27-29th July, Sky Sports F1 – 2.10pm
- Belgian GP – 24-26th August, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 2.10pm
- Italian GP 31st August-2nd September, Sky Sports F1 – 2.10pm
- Singapore GP – 14-16 September, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 1.10pm**
- Russian GP – 28-30th September, Sky Sports F1 – 12.10pm
- Japanese GP – 05-07th October, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 6.10am
- US GP – 19-21st October, Sky Sports F1/Channel 4 – 7.10pm
- Mexico GP – 26-28th October, Sky Sports F1 – 7.10pm
- Brazilian GP – 09-11th November, Sky Sports F1 – 5.10pm
- Abu Dhabi GP - 23-25th 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 options are limited to Sky.
Sky's dedicated F1 channel 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 already trialling HLG broadcasts with Blue Planet II, we assume Sky aren't far behind in sketching out their plans.
Watch Formula 1 online and on mobile
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 10 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 afterwards. 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.
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 lineup at their leisure. It's available on a number of platforms including iOS, Xbox One and PS4.
F1 has its own official YouTube channel - it features 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.
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 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 skew to a more news and promotional bent.
For actual F1 highlights, you'll likely need access to Sky's F1 channel 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 GP weekend. Preview shows tend to be made up of Five Live broadcasts that have been reformatted for the podcast.
Lights out and here 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.
You'll be hard-pressed to miss out on the goings-on within the world of F1, whether it's on TV, online, mobile or radio. Even if you miss some GPs, you can catch up elsewhere on various platforms.
Hopefully this season will be the toughest tussle in recent years, with Ferrari's Vettel likely to be Hamilton's main challenger. If that rivalry can keep developing until late into the season, we could be in for a tumultuous time.