The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the finale of the 2019 Formula One season and, while the clean sweep for Mercedes has already been confirmed, it’s the Ferrari side show that’s stealing the headlines.
All is not well with the Prancing Horse and the season-long grumbling between its two drivers seems to have peaked with their coming together in Brazil. Their taking each other out of the race has all but confirmed Max Verstapen’s third-place finish in the championship, which leaves it between the Ferrari drivers to play for fourth but, more importantly, pride.
Youngster Charles Leclerc laid blame at the wheels of both he and his teammate at a pre-race press conference which, conveniently, Sebastian Vettel was unable to attend owing to the birth of his third child. It’s all very easy to be mature about these things off the track but we’ll see how their rivalry pans out once the two step into their cockpits.
Both drivers have come a cropper in practice. Leclerc took a swipe at the barrier, while Vettel spun and crashed at Turn 19, damaging the wheel and suspension of the rear left of his car. Elsewhere, it’s been the year’s second best driver, Valtteri Bottas, who has topped the day. Nonetheless, the Finn will start at the back of the grid on Sunday with an engine-related penalty.
As ever, though, the real test at the Yas Marina Circuit is when the sun goes down and the track cools off. The 55 laps of the 5.554km loop take place on Sunday 1st December 2019 and we’ll see who has the last laugh as the season comes to a close.
Until then, of course, there’s some racin’ to be done and if you want to get your stream on and tune into the Abu Dhabi 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.
1st December – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix