Important: due to the current corona crisis, the Formula 1 schedule has been changed. There will be a shortened season, with 8 races between the 3rd of July and the 6th of September in 2020.
Many people wish to watch Formula 1 online, no matter where they are. Sadly, this has proven to be quite difficult. The rights to broadcast F1 aren’t in the hands of one company. Instead, different streaming services own those rights for specific countries and locations. This means you can’t watch the Formula 1 via your preferred stream everywhere in the world. However, with a VPN people have been able to get around these internet restrictions. A VPN enables them to watch F1, even if the race is not being broadcast in their country.
To watch the Grand Prix live, fans take the following steps:
- Subscribe to a good VPN service, such as ExpressVPN
- Download the ExpressVPN software on your smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop
- Connect to a VPN server in a country where you have a subscription to a streaming-service
- Log in to that streaming service and enjoy Formula 1!
Note: in most cases, you’ll only be able to watch F1 this way if you’re already subscribed to the streaming platform you’re trying to use.
Formula 1 is a sport that attracts viewers from all over the world. Because it’s such an international sport, with 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 in one of those countries, you’ll need a foreign website that streams Formula 1 and a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
Use a VPN to Watch Formula 1 Online
Why would you need a VPN to watch Formula 1 online? In short: because of viewing rights. As the sport is very popular, Formula 1 has pretty expensive television rights. This means that a broadcasting company has to pay a lot of money in order to show a race. This wouldn’t usually be a problem, but these broadcasting companies only buy the rights to show a race in their own country. If you don’t live in this country, you will not be able to watch the race, not even online.
It’s very easy too for these broadcasting companies and their websites to block you from watching their F1 content if you are abroad. They simply use a so called geo-block to block foreign IP addresses. A VPN, however, will help you get around these restrictions so you can watch the content anyway. This increases your online freedom.
When Do You Need a VPN for F1?
You will need a VPN to watch Formula 1 in certain situations. Some examples of these situations are:
- 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 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 the race on a different channel.
A Five Minute Step-By-Step Guide: How to Watch Formula 1 Anywhere
If you’re reading this article, chances are you just want to watch a Formula 1 race as quickly as possible. That’s why we’ve got a simple step-by-step guide to help you get started in less than five minutes, no matter where you are in the world. Here’s what you need to do:
- Subscribe to a decent VPN provider. Having trouble choosing? An excellent provider for watching Formula 1 is ExpressVPN. This VPN is trustworthy, fast and cheap. Moreover, if you aren’t happy with your VPN, you can use the money-back guarantee during the first 45 days of your subscription. Get started right away by going to ExpressVPN’s website.
- After getting an ExpressVPN subscription, you download the VPN app on your devices (laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.). You’ll be able to find the right download on the official website of your VPN provider.
- Once downloaded, start the app, choose a VPN server in the country you want to stream from and connect. 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. The VPN will keep up the secure connection in the background of your computer. Now you can watch Formula 1 streams.
The way you get access to a Formula 1 stream differs per country. In some countries, you’ll need a subscription to the service that provides the streams. If you pick a British server, for example, you can use streams provided by the British Sky Sports to watch races.
ExpressVPN isn’t the only provider that can help you reach all of these streams for Formula 1 races. We’ll give you more suggestions for different VPN’s you could use.
The Best VPN Services for Streaming
Picking the right VPN service can be quite a hassle. Luckily, there are certain aspects on which you can focus if you want to watch Formula 1 with a VPN. In this case, the most important aspects are: speed, server locations, price and ease of use. 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-days 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 Formula 1. This provider doesn’t keep any logs and has special servers for both streaming and P2P traffic. When it comes to unblocking 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 often have to wait for a stream to buffer. You can try out NordVPN for just a couple of euros 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 for watching Formula 1. Not sure if CyberGhost is for you? No worries, CyberGhost has a 45-days money-back guarantee on all subscriptions.
- 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 Formula 1 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 Formula 1 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
- Installing a VPN on your Smart TV
- Installing a VPN on your Amazon Fire TV Stick
- Installing a VPN on your Android TV
- Installing a VPN on your Google Chromecast
Channels and Races
As mentioned before, you need two things if you want to watch Formula 1: a website that broadcasts the race and a VPN to change your IP address to the right country in order to unlock the website’s content.
Looking for a website or broadcasting company that broadcasts Formula 1? Check out the list below that mentions a few well-known providers of Formula 1 streams. Not sure when the next race is? We’ve got you covered: below the list of broadcasting companies, you can find an overview of all the races in this F1 season.
Channels and websites that broadcast Formula 1
- ESPN (USA)
- Channel 4 (UK)
- Sky Sports (UK)
- RTL+ (Germany)
- Sport Telenet (Belgium)
- RTBF (Belgium, French)
- F1 TV (Multiple countries. This is a new, interactive service which allows you to select your favorite camera angles.)
Watch Formula 1 for free with a VPN
In many countries you need a paid subscription to watch Formula 1 matches, but others have free streams available. These are only available if you’re in the country for which the stream is intended. With a VPN, however, you can access these streams no matter where you are.
Simply select a VPN server in the country of the stream you wish to watch (e.g. a British server for Channel 4). This way you get access to the streaming services and websites of that country, without restrictions. Free Formula 1 streams can be found on the following channels, among others:
- RTL.de (Germany): with the German RTL almost all F1 races are broadcast for free. By connecting to a VPN server from Germany, you can get free access to this F1 stream worldwide.
- Channel 4 (United Kingdom): F1 matches with English commentary. By connecting to a VPN server in the United Kingdom you can watch these streams for free.
There are also websites that offer free illegal streams, which we’d advise you to stay away from. Since these illegal sites often simply broadcast streams from Sky Sports or Channel 4, it can be difficult to see whether you’re on a legal site or an illegal copy. Make sure you always use legitimate streams, such as RTL.de or Channel 4.
Disclaimer: stick to your user agreement
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. 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 1 sites. Additionally, this allows users to view the American version of Netflix, which has more to offer than most other local versions.
Formula 1 Calendar 2020
Now that you know exactly how and where to watch Formula 1, wherever you are, you’ll obviously want to know when all of the races take place! Unfortunately, many Formula 1 races of this season have been cancelled. This is due to the corona crisis that currently has the world in a stranglehold. Therefore, a lot of Grand Prix races had been postponed.
The table below shows all races that are planned in the new F1 schedule. Any new dates will be added as soon as they are officially confirmed.
|3-5 July 2020||Austria||Red Bull Ring|
|10-12 July 2020||Austria||Red Bull Ring|
|17-19 July 2020||Hungary||Hungaroring|
|31 July – 2 August 2020||United Kingdom||Silverstone|
|7-9 August 2020||United Kingdom||Silverstone|
|14-16 August 2020||Spain||Circuit de Catalunya|
|28-30 August 2020||Belgium||Spa-Francorchamps|
|04-06 September 2020||Italy||Monza|
Disclaimer: Please be aware this article only aims to provide tips on how to watch Formula 1 worldwide and what to do in case of a geo-restriction or censorship. However, it is always your own responsibility to take account of the latest user agreement of any (streaming) services you use and act in accordance with these agreements.
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.
The Formula 1 season has been shortened due to the corona crisis. The new calendar consists of 8 races between 3 July and 6 September, with only races in Europe.