Formula One is back, and F1 is driving again. It's a shorter season but it's packed with races, so there should be plenty of action as 20 cars battle it out for the 70th FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Lewis Hamilton currently leads the driver's championship with 63 points but can the British driver extend his lead? Watch this weekend's 2020 British Grand Prix to find out!
Those in the UK can watch the British Grand Prix in HD for free on Channel 4 and the All4 streaming service. Practice sessions, qualifying and the race will all be free-to-air. (British TV license fee payers abroad will need to use a VPN to be able to watch when outside the UK). US race fans can the whole F1 season for $80.
Round four of the championship takes place over 52 laps of the legendary 5.891-kilometre Silverstone Circuit on Sunday, August 2nd. Practice 1 starts at 10am on Friday, followed by qualifying at 2pm on Saturday and the race at 2.10pm on Sunday.
So far, Formula 1 has announced a total of 13 races, including a double-header at Silverstone. In July, F1 officially announced the addition of three more circuits to the 2020 F1 calendar. F1 will now go racing at the Nürburgring in Germany, Imola in Italy and Portimao in Portugal (F1's first ever trip to the Algarve International Circuit).
Barring a second wave of COVID-19, the 2020 F1 championship will reach its finale in mid-December. Most races are expected to take place behind closes doors but there's talk of the Portimao circuit throwing its doors open to the fans. Watch this space.
Despite empty grandstands, the action on track is as fierce as ever. Mercedes currently dominate constructor's championship with 121 points, while Valtteri Bottas is just five points behind rival Lewis Hamilton in the driver's championship. Max Verstappen is in 3rd place with 33 points.
In other F1 news, Silverstone is abuzz with talk of Sergio Perez's absence. The Racing Point driver has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the race. Reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez get his first F1 start since his last appearance for Haas at the end of the 2016 season.
Meanwhile, Lando Norris has proved that not F1 drivers jump in private jets after the end of the race. The rising star was snapped helping his mechanics strip down his McLaren after the Hungarian Grand Prix. "The only other thing I'd be doing is going back, lying on my bed and watching Netflix," joked Norris. "And I prefer to take apart a Formula 1 car than to do that.”
We'll be treated to at least 10 more races this year, including next weekend's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, the Belgian Grand Prix and the Russian Grand Prix on 27th September.
Drivers, team personal and other F1 staff are being screened and tested before, during and after each race, so fingers crossed that the rest of the season gets underway smoothly.
Revved up for the (belated) start to the F1 season? If you want to get your stream on and tune into the F1 Grand Prix wherever you are, then here’s how you do it in engine-growling surround sound and 4K style...
Formula One F1 TV Pro season pass
Formula 1 itself offers an on-demand and live streaming service to race fans everywhere. Exactly what you get depends on what country you're in, so it may be a case of making sure you're signed up to a VPN if you're away from home.
Those in the US, for example, can sign up to a $79.99 F1 TV Pro season pass with live streams of every track session for all Grands Prix, access to all driver onboard cameras and team radios and live streams of F1, F2, F3 and Porsche Supercup races.
There's also on-demand access to full race replays and highlights, the F1 onboard cameras, all F1, F2, F3 and Porsche Supercup replays and F1's historic race archive too - an excellent package for petrol heads.
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. You can find a full list of the world's broadcasters with rights to show live Formula 1 here.
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.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps you get around this obstacle. A VPN creates a private connection between your device and the internet, such that the servers and services you’re accessing aren’t aware of what you’re doing. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.
ExpressVPN three months free with a year-long plan
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.View Deal
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 match. 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.
Watch Formula One live in the UK
The British Grand Prix practice, qualifying sessions and live race are all free-to-air for UK viewers on Channel 4 in HD. Sky is the only place for UK viewers 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 £18 per month Sky Sports pack or on its own for £10 per month.
If that all sounds a bit much, then anyone can enjoy the F1 using Sky's pay-per-view platform, Now TV. Now TV is available on all good smart TVs and set-top-boxes 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.
Now TV Sports day passes from £9.99
A day pass for sports on Now TV can cost as little as £9.99, 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
The Sky Sports F1 HD channel is also available on Virgin Media as part of the Bigger + Sport TV bundle. 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.
Watch Formula One live in 4K
To watch in Ultra HD, you’ll need a Sky Q set-top-box and a package with Ultra HD and Sky Sports F1. That starts at £45 per month, with a one off payment of £20 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 2020 Formula One race calendar
The Formula One season usually runs from March to December 2020 with 22 races but that's all changed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Below you'll find the dates for each of the Grand Prix on the 2020 Formula One calendar so far:
19th July – Formula 1 Aramco Magyar Nagydij, Hungaroring, Hungary
2nd Aug – Formula 1 Pirelli British Grand Prix, Silverstone, UK
9th Aug – Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, Silverstone, UK
16th Aug – Formula 1 Aramco Gran Premio de Espana, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain
30th Aug – Formula 1 Rolex Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
6th Sept – Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken d'Italia, Monza, Italy
13th Sept – Formula 1 Gran Premio Della Toscana Ferrari 1000, Monza, Italy
27th Sept – Formula 1 VTB Russian Grand Prix, Sochi Autodrom, Russia
11th Oct – Formula1 Aramco Grosser Preis der Eifel, Nurburgring, Germany
25rd Oct – Formula 1 Heineken Portuguese Grand Prix, Portimao, Portugal
1st Nov – Formula 1 Emirates Grand Premio Dell'Emilia Romagna, Imola, Italy