As true F1 fans know, it’s anything but easy to watch Formula 1 when you’re abroad, due to geographic restrictions enforced by streaming services. Fortunately, there is an easy way around this issue: using a VPN.
Simply subscribe to a good streaming VPN (we recommend ExpressVPN), download and install the right VPN-app on your device, connect to a server in the country where your stream is based and navigate to an F1 stream of your choice! Your stream should no longer be geo-blocked. Enjoy your race!
Formula 1 is a sport that attracts viewers from all over the world. Because it’s such an international sport, with Grand Prix races taking place all over the world, most countries televise the races. There are still countries where the races don’t get broadcast, however. If you want to watch Formula 1 online in one of those countries, you’ll need a foreign website that streams Formula 1 racing and a VPN (Virtual Private Network). The VPN will give you access to the foreign streaming site in case it is blocked (which often is the case).
Similarly, if you’re in a country where your usual F1 live stream is unavailable, a VPN will help you circumvent this geo-restriction. Alternatively, you might prefer using a free foreign stream (which isn’t accessible without a VPN) instead of one of the paid options available in your region. You’ll find more information on these (free) streams and other matters, such as the F1 calendar, later on in this article. But first, we will explain how to use a VPN to watch Formula 1 using a stream of your choice and wherever you are.
A Five Minute Step-By-Step Guide: How to Watch Formula 1 Anywhere
- Subscribe to a decent VPN provider. An excellent provider for watching every Grand Prix is ExpressVPN. This VPN offers over 3000 fast (streaming) servers in 94 countries. It even offers manual server selection – unlike many VPNs – meaning you’ve still got a fighting (or rather racing) chance if your server happens to be blocked by your stream.
- Very easy to use VPN
- Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
- Download the VPN app on your device (laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.). You’ll be able to find the right download on the official website of your VPN provider. If you choose ExpressVPN, this process is easy peasy. Simply click on the orange button above and follow the steps.
- Once downloaded, open the app, log in and choose a VPN server in the country where your stream is based. The ExpressVPN apps are very easy to use, so you won’t have to worry. If you do feel like you need a bit more guidance, you can find more information in our ExpressVPN review.
- You’ll be connected to the server in a matter of seconds. Now you can browse the web as if you’re actually in the country of the server you’ve chosen. This means you should be able to access the F1 stream you want to watch and cheer on your favourite F1 driver!
Note: a VPN offers many benefits, even apart from being able to watch Formula 1 worldwide. Nevertheless, if it turns out ExpressVPN is not for you, don’t worry. After all, they’ve got a 30-day money-back guarantee and many other providers do too. However, when you find out what watching crystal clear F1 streams anywhere in the world is all about, we doubt you can go without!
Why do You Need a VPN to Watch Formula 1?
The reason you (might) need a VPN to watch a specific Grand Prix or Formula 1, in general, has everything to do with geographic restrictions and broadcasting rights. Broadcasting companies have to pay to broadcast or stream content in different regions and countries of the world. If they want to show a certain type of content in more regions, they generally have to pay a greater amount to the party that owns the rights.
As a consequence of this, streaming services (are forced to) block users who try to access their content from a region or country which is not covered by their broadcasting licence. They do this by checking your IP address. This is a unique address that shows websites, amongst others, in which country you are.
However, a VPN can change your IP address and make it seem like you’re in another country than you actually are. This way you can get access to any F1 stream you desire, regardless of your location! This might be useful in the following situations:
- You’re on holiday or away on business but want to watch a Formula 1 broadcast from your home country (e.g. because of the commentary).
- You find yourself in a country where you don’t have the right tv package or where they don’t broadcast Formula 1 at all.
- You don’t like the commentary provided by the broadcasters in your country and want to watch a Grand Prix race on a different channel.
Can you use a free VPN to watch Formula 1?
We don’t recommend using a free VPN to watch Formula 1 or stream any sport for that matter. The reason is simple: free VPNs (usually) either enforce strict speed limits or suffer from slow speeds because their limited number of servers are very crowded (because they are free).
Moreover, many free VPNs even have a maximum amount of data or bandwidth you can use. This, of course, is anything but desirable as far as streaming is concerned. As such, we recommend checking out some good cheap VPNs instead.
Channels and Races
Now that you know exactly how to watch Formula 1 worldwide, you obviously want to know where and when to watch it! Check out the list below that mentions a few well-known providers of F1 live streams. Some of the paid F1 live streams below even offer free trials, so you can try them out first. Not sure when the next Grand Prix race is? We’ve got you covered: below the list of broadcasting companies, you can find an overview of every race in this F1 season still to come.
Channels and websites that broadcast Formula 1 Grand Prix races
- ESPN (the USA and many other countries mainly in the Americas)
- Channel 4 (UK)
- Sky Sports F1 (UK)
- Sky Deutschland (Germany)
- Sport Telenet (Belgium)
- RTBF (Belgium, French)
- F1 TV or F1 TV Pro (Multiple countries: F1 TV is a new, interactive (paid) service which allows you to select your favourite camera angles. F1 TV Pro also includes Formula 2 and 3 races)
Watch Formula 1 For Free With a VPN
In some countries, people get exclusive access to free F1 streams. These streams are only available if you’re in the country for which the F1 live stream is intended. With a VPN, however, you can access these streams no matter where you are. ExpressVPN and Surfshark are good picks (you’ll get a 30 days money-back guarantee and substantial discounts if you use the links on our site).
Simply select a VPN server in the country of the live stream you wish to watch (for instance, a Swiss VPN server if you want to watch SRF). This way you get access to the streaming services and websites of that country, without restrictions. Free F1 live streams can be found on the following channels, among others:
- SRF (Switzerland)
- TF1 (France)
- MatchTV (Russia)
- ORF (Austria)
- TV8 (Italy) (5 selected races)
- Tenplay (Australia)
- RTSH (Albania)
- Globoplay (Brazil)
The websites above are all official, safe and legal F1 live streams. In addition, there are also illegal websites that offer completely free streams. So, make sure you’re using the correct legal website.
2021 F1 Grand Prix Calendar
Now that you know exactly how and where to watch every Formula One Grand Prix, wherever you are, you’ll obviously want to know when all the F1 races take place! That’s exactly why we included a handy table below, which includes all 23 Grand Prix races that are confirmed for the 2021 Formula 1 season and their respective dates. Usually, the races will take place on a Sunday (local track time). However, keep in mind that there are always some practice laps and a qualification race on the days leading up to the actual Grand Prix.
|March 28||Bahrain||Bahrain International Circuit|
|April 18||Italy||Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari|
|May 2||Portugal||Autodromo Internacional do Algarve|
|May 9||Spain||Circuit de Catalunya|
|May 23||Monaco||Circuit de Monaco|
|June 6||Azerbaijan||Baku City Circuit|
|June 13||Canada||Circuit Gilles Villeneuve|
|June 27||France||Circuit Paul Ricard|
|July 4||Austria||Red Bull Ring|
|July 18||United Kingdom||Circuit Silverstone|
|September 5||Netherlands||Circuit Zandvoort|
|September 12||Italy||Autodromo Nazionale Monza|
|September 26||Russia||Sochi Autodrom|
|October 3||Singapore||Marina Bay Street Circuit|
|October 10||Japan||Suzuka Circuit|
|October 24||United States||Circuit of the Americas|
|October 31||Mexico||Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez|
|November 7||Brazil||Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace Interlagos|
|November 21||Australia||Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit|
|December 5||Saudi Arabia||Jeddah Street Circuit|
|December 12||United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi)||Yas Marina Circuit|
The only question that remains is, who will you support in these 2021 F1 Grand Prix races? Will it be Max Verstappen with Red Bull Racing? Or do Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have your support? One thing is for sure: with the many live streaming options mentioned in this article and a good VPN to reach all of them, you won’t have to miss a single F1 race ever again!
Disclaimer: stick to your user agreement
Now that you’ve everything you need to – legally and responsibly – watch Formula 1 worldwide, we want to tell you a little bit about different VPN providers and their benefits when it comes to streaming Formula 1.
The Best VPN Services for Streaming
Picking the right VPN service can be quite a hassle. Luckily, there are certain aspects that you can focus on if you want to watch F1 online with a VPN. In this case, the most important aspects are speed, server locations, price and user-friendliness. Below, you’ll find a list of three VPN services that are well-suited for watching Formula 1 online. Looking for a more extensive list? Check out our list of tier 1 VPN providers.
ExpressVPN for Formula 1
ExpressVPN is a very well-regarded VPN that is fast, has a lot of servers in a lot of countries and is very user-friendly. This makes it one of the best, if not the best for watching F1. On top of the great specs, this VPN provides great customer support and has a 30-day money-back guarantee. All of this makes ExpressVPN the preferred VPN for most Formula 1 enthusiasts.
- Very easy to use VPN
- Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
NordVPN for Formula 1
NordVPN is an excellent, very popular VPN that does its job very well if you want to use it to watch the Grand Prix. This provider doesn’t keep any logs and has special servers for both streaming and P2P traffic. When it comes to unblocking live streams, NordVPN is arguably the best provider you could pick.
Moreover, NordVPN is incredibly secure and reaches high speeds with its servers. Therefore, you won’t have to wait for a live stream to buffer. You can try out NordVPN for just a couple of dollars a month. Aside from that, you’ll also have a 30-day money-back guarantee you could make use of if the provider isn’t to your liking.
- Excellent protection and a large network of servers
- Nice and pleasing application
- No logs
CyberGhost for Formula 1
CyberGhost is the preferred VPN for any viewer that is looking for good value, without having to sacrifice much in performance. This provider is an extremely user-friendly VPN that performs well overall. This, combined with one of the lowest prices of any premium VPN, makes CyberGhost a good VPN to use to watch F1 online. Not sure if CyberGhost is for you? No worries, CyberGhost has a 45-day money-back guarantee on longer subscriptions. CyberGhost’s monthly subscription has a 14-day money-back guarantee.
- Very user-friendly
- High quality for a low price
- Torrents and Netflix possible
How Do I Set Up a VPN for Streaming?
Setting up a VPN to watch the Grand Prix isn’t that difficult. Most VPN software is installed in the same way as other software. On desktop and laptop PC’s you download a program and install it. On tablet devices and smartphones you download an app from the official app store.
Are you unsure how to use a VPN on your computer? Simply follow these steps:
If you’d rather install the VPN on a different device that isn’t your phone or computer, you’ll have to take a different route. This will allow you to watch Grand Prix races on your television, for example. We wrote some useful guides to help you install a VPN on different devices:
- Installing a VPN on your router
- How to install a VPN on your Smart TV
- Installing a VPN on your Amazon Fire TV Stick
- How to install a VPN on your Android TV
- Installing a VPN on your Google Chromecast
- Installing a VPN on your Apple TV
What Does a VPN do?
VPNs give users back their online privacy and protect their data from hackers. Because a VPN encrypts your data and sets up a secure connection, hackers and internet criminals can’t just walk away with your data. A VPN, in other words, has plenty of security features to help you stay safe on the web. For more information, check out our extensive article on VPNs right here.
In addition to privacy and security reasons, one of the most important reasons VPNs are used today is to bypass geographical blockages. Because the connection to a VPN runs through the VPN provider’s servers, you’re assigned a different IP address when you access the internet. Many VPN providers have servers all over the world, so you can select a server from the United States, for example, so that anyone who checks your IP address will think you’re accessing the internet from the US. This is then used to unblock content, such as foreign Formula One sites. Additionally, this allows users to view the American version of Netflix, which has more to offer than most other local versions.
Now that we have told you all there is to know about watching Formula 1 with a VPN and VPN usage in general, we want to give you a bit of a bonus recap with some alternative ideas as well, apart from just using a VPN to unblock your favourite stream. Now race off to your F1 stream/broadcast and enjoy your Grand Prix!
Bonus Recap: How to Watch Formula 1 Online All Over the World
If you want to watch all Grand Prix races live, you have several options:
- Use a local stream. Depending on where you are, different online streams will be able to show you the F1 races. In the UK, for example, Channel 4 has a great stream. Some of these local streams are completely free, while others require a subscription. Whatever F1 live stream you choose, make sure it’s a legal one.
- Watch the Grand Prix via local television. If you are on holiday and you can’t watch your usual channels, chances are that the race you want to watch is also available live on television. Perhaps the Grand Prix is playing in the pub around the corner.
- Watch your usual stream with a VPN. If you’re abroad and can’t access your usual F1 live stream, you can watch it with a VPN. You can also use a VPN to watch free streams from other countries if your own country doesn’t offer any.
Are you looking for a quick answer to a question? We’ve created a short FAQ below filled with questions regarding watching the Formula 1 online. Simply click the question you’re interested in and the answer will appear below.
Depending on your location, there are a lot of online streams available that show the Formula 1. In the USA, for example, Grand Prix races are usually broadcasted by ESPN, while in the UK this is done by Channel 4 and Sky Sports. If you wish to get access to a stream, you often need a subscription to that service. Once you’ve got that, you can access the right stream from their official website.
Many online streams and channels that broadcast Formula 1 races are able to do this because they’ve bought the local broadcasting rights. These rights usually are sold per country. Therefore, if you’re in a country where your usual service doesn’t own the broadcasting rights, your stream won’t work any longer. The website you watch the race on will most likely determine your location by your IP address. Do you want to watch your regular stream regardless of where you are in the world? This is possible with a VPN.
There are countless free streams to be found online. However, many of these aren’t legal. Therefore, it’s important to always make sure you’re using the right platform. Have you found a free stream? Check whether it isn’t an illegal copy of an official stream, such as the British Sky Sport or the American ESPN.
There are several VPN services that will allow you to watch Formula 1 online, wherever you are in the world. We would personally recommend ExpressVPN if you want to have a secure connection with great speed. Both NordVPN and CyberGhost also offer great services, although those might not be quite as consistently good as ExpressVPN. They are, however, cheaper.