The long wait is almost over: the 2019 F1 season is about to start. With drivers changing teams and Red Bull switching to Honda power, will anyone be able to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari's current dominance? We'll find out a lot in the first qualifying session of the year on Saturday in Melbourne. 

But how can you can watch the action live in the UK? Sky has the exclusive rights to show live races here, so you'll need a subscription (or to buy a Now TV pass) which includes the Sky Sports F1 channel. Channel 4 will show highlights of races this year, which is one way you can keep up with the action for free, albeit after the fact. Channel 4 will only show the British Grand Prix live (including practice and qualifying). Scroll down for more information on other ways to watch F1 races.

When is the Australian Grand Prix on?

  • Sunday 17 March, 05.10 race start (UK time). That's 16.10 local time in Melbourne. Highlights on Channel 4 at 2pm.

If you're unable to get to a TV or record it, highlights of the race will subsequently be available to watch via the All 4 app.

Can I watch F1 online in 2019?

Yes. But not via the F1 TV Pro service in the UK because of Sky's exclusive deal for live races. That's only in the US and a few other countries. In the UK, all you can access is the live timing service which costs £2.29 per month. However, you can watch races using these apps, if you have an appropriate subscription where necessary:

Note that you won't be able to watch live on the All 4 app. Highlights will be available at some point later in the day after the race.

Sky

To watch races on Sky you need to be a subscriber to its TV service. For 2019, Sky is offering a discounted price for the dedicated F1 channel of just £10 per month for the next two years (usually £18 per month). 

Sky will be broadcasting practice, qualifying and races in Ultra HD. You can find out more on Sky’s website.

Now TV

If you'd prefer not to switch from another TV supplier the alternative is to watch Sky Sports F1 on Now TV. This is sky's streaming service, which you can watch via the Now TV Player app on a laptop, PC, Mac, phone or tablet, or Sky's own Now TV Stick which connects to an HDMI input on your TV.

Currently there's an offer to get the entire F1 season on Now TV (the equivalent of 9 months of Sky Sports) for a one-off payment of £195, which works out at £21.67. That's a lot less than the usual £33.99 you'd pay for a monthly pass for Sky Sports.

How to watch F1 2019 UK

Is there really no way to watch F1 races live for free?

Officially, no. But there is a way. And it's free if you have a satellite dish and receiver which can pick up RTL Germany. That's because F1 races are still shown there on the free-to-air channel. You can get English commentary by tuning into Radio 5 Live (you can use the iPlayer Radio app on your phone if you don't have an actual radio).

If you haven't already got a suitable dish and set-top box, there's little point in investing in one as you'll pay around the same price to watch F1 on Now TV. But it could work out to be cheaper if you plan to watch F1 for the next few years and RTL continues to broadcast it.

F1 race calendar 2019

Here are the dates to put in your diary so you don't miss any races.

Australian Grand Prix 17 March Sky (live at 05.10)
Bahrain Grand Prix 31 March Sky
Chinese Grand Prix 14 April Sky
Azerbaijan Grand Prix 28 April Sky
Spanish Grand Prix 12 May Sky
Monaco Grand Prix 26 May Sky
Canadian Grand Prix 9 June Sky
French Grand Prix 23 June Sky
Austrian Grand Prix 30 June Sky
British Grand Prix 14 July Sky & Channel 4
German Grand Prix 28 July Sky
Hungarian Grand Prix 4 August Sky
Belgian Grand Prix 1 September Sky
Italian Grand Prix 8 September Sky
Singapore Grand Prix 22 September Sky
Russian Grand Prix 29 September Sky
Japanese Grand Prix 13 October Sky
Mexican Grand Prix 27 October Sky
United States Grand Prix 3 November Sky
Brazilian Grand Prix 17 November Sky
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 1 December Sky

If you're not in the UK when a particular race is shown, you can watch it using the Sky Go app on your phone or tablet, but that's only if you have the right level of subscription in place with Sky. And if you're not with Sky, then you can still watch highlights on the All 4 app if you use a VPN with a UK server, such as Hidden24. See also: Best VPN services.

Reader Poll

TVCatchup for Channel 4

If you don't want to use the All 4 app for some reason, you can use TVCatchup. This lets you watch live free-to-air UK television on your computer, phone, tablet or games console. Versions of the site optimised for iPad and iPhone are available at ipad.tvcatchup.com and iphone.tvcatchup.com, and there's also a TVCatchup app available in the Apple Appstore and Google Play Store.

If you have Windows 10, you can install the ToView app to watch Channel 4.