British F1 viewers can watch every race live on Sky Sports F1, or catch the highlights on Channel 4.
This arrangement is the result of several years of evolution of F1 broadcasting rights in the UK. The BBC used to show 10 races live each season, but ended its deal three years early in 2015 due to budget cuts.
Channel 4 took over from the BBC until the end of the 2018 season, but since then only the British Grand Prix has been broadcast live on free-to-air in the UK. Sky Sports has exclusive rights to all other F1 races, although Channel 4 still shows the highlights from qualifying and each grand prix.
F1 coverage in the UK will stay this way for 2021. Existing Sky TV customers can buy Sky Sports F1 for £18 per month, while new customers have to pay £43 for both services. Purchasing Sky Sports F1 on its own is not an option for new customers.
The only other way to watch F1 live in the UK is via NOW TV. A monthly Sports Membership subscription gives access to 11 Sky Sports channels – including Sky Sports F1 – or there’s a Sports Day package costing £9.98: this is a one-off payment and will allow you to watch any of Sky Sports’ channels for no more than 24 hours.
Separately, F1 has a digital ‘over-the-top’ service called F1 TV Pro which allows fans in certain countries to stream races online. In the US this costs $9.99 (£7.22 approx.) per month, although the service is not available in the UK yet.
This means British fans will get their F1 coverage from one of two broadcasting teams in 2021. Both Channel 4 and Sky Sports F1 employ experienced teams, with first-rate broadcasters and former drivers (some of them world champions) bringing insight and knowledge from inside the paddock.
Presenter David Coulthard, Channel 4 F1, and Steve Jones, Channel 4 F1
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Steve Jones has fronted Channel 4’s F1 coverage since 2016. Jones rose to fame on Channel 4’s weekend programme T4 between 2003 and 2010, and has hosted numerous entertainment shows for the BBC, ITV, Sky1 and others. Born in Wales, Jones began his career as a model and has also dabbled in acting.
Alex Jacques will act as Channel 4’s chief F1 commentator for 2021, replacing Ben Edwards in the role after the veteran decided to step down at the end of last season. Jacques is already an established figure in the motorsport community having commentated on F2, F3 and Esports in recent years, in addition to working for BBC Radio 5 Live.
“As an avid Formula 1 fan since the age of nine, I know how much the broadcast means for everyone’s weekend,” he said when his appointment was announced. “It will be hugely exciting to share races with so many fans and join a team which commands such respect in F1 and TV circles alike. I can’t wait to get started in 2021.”
David Coulthard is one of the most recognisable F1 figures in the world, having raced for Williams, McLaren and Red Bull in a 15-year F1 career that brought him 13 grand prix victories and 62 podiums between 1994 and 2008. Since then he has worked as a commentator and pundit, starting out at the BBC before moving to Channel 4 in 2016.
Along with sports broadcaster Jake Humphrey, Coulthard is a co-founder of Whisper Films, the production company that produces Channel 4’s F1 coverage. Alongside his punditry he is Channel 4’s co-commentator, and occasionally conducts post-race interviews in the aftermath of the podium ceremony.
Mark Webber is another former driver turned pundit. His F1 career included nine race wins and 42 podiums, narrowly missing out on the world title in 2010. He moved to the World Endurance Championship with Porsche in 2014, where he became world champion in the following season.
His media career began with Channel 4 in 2016, and he’s been a regular on British screens ever since. Webber has also worked for Channel 10 in his native Australia, and since 2020 has mentored Renault junior driver Oscar Piastri.
Billy Monger, Channel 4 TV Pundit, speaks to Sergio Perez, Racing Point
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
Billy Monger is a 21-year-old racing driver who became a household name when an accident in a British F4 race at Donington in 2017 resulted in both of his legs being partially amputated.
Although still racing single-seaters and with an ambition to compete in F1 one day, Monger began a broadcasting career with Channel 4 in 2019, providing in-depth analysis in his role within the team.
More recently, Monger completed a 140-mile triathlon to raise money for Red Nose Day. The challenge was broadcast on BBC One in the UK in March 2021.
Lee McKenzie is a journalist and broadcaster who has covered a variety of sports and events in her career, including the Olympics, Wimbledon, the Six Nations and horse racing.
In 2009 she became an F1 pitlane reporter for the BBC, moving to Channel 4 when the BBC dropped the broadcasting rights in 2016. She has also presented highlights of the World Endurance Championship for Channel 4, and was the main host of W Series in its inaugural season in 2019.
Eddie Jordan made his name in F1 as owner and team boss of Jordan Grand Prix. The team entered F1 in 1991 and gave Michael Schumacher his debut that same season, later winning its first grand prix with Damon Hill at Spa in 1998.
Since selling up in 2005, Jordan’s media career has included F1 punditry for the BBC and Channel 4. He also enjoyed a stint as a presenter of Top Gear.
A sporadic member of the Channel 4 team, his role is similar to that of David Coulthard and Mark Webber, providing insight, opinion and conducting interviews with key figures in F1.
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault F1 Team, is interviewed by Simon Lazenby, Sky TV, and Anthony Davidson, Sky TV, on Sky Sports F1
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Sky Sports F1
Sky Sports F1’s coverage has been fronted by Simon Lazenby since the channel’s creation in 2012. In that time only two grands prix have not been presented by Lazenby, with Natalie Pinkham leading coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix in 2020 and Rachel Brookes taking charge of the Russian Grand Prix a few weeks later.
David Croft – often referred to as ‘Crofty’ – is Sky Sports F1’s lead commentator, having held the position since Sky began broadcasting F1 in 2012. Prior to that Croft had commentated on F1 races for BBC Radio 5 Live, and he has spent the best part of two decades commentating on darts, firstly for the BBC and more recently for Sky.
Croft’s voice has featured prominently in Codemasters official F1 game since 2010.
Making his first start in 1985 for Tyrrell, Martin Brundle also raced for Zakspeed, Williams, Brabham, Benetton, Ligier, McLaren and Jordan in an F1 career that ended in 1996. Although he never won a race he came close on a number of occasions, finishing second at the Italian Grand Prix in 1992 and at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1994. In 1990 he won the Le Mans 24 Hours with Jaguar, swapping cars mid-way through the race after his own had been forced to retire.
Brundle’s commentary career began alongside the late Murray Walker at ITV in 1997, later working with James Allen from 2002 onwards. Brundle moved to the BBC when it acquired the rights to F1 coverage in the UK in 2009, and became the lead commentator for the broadcaster two years later with David Coulthard stepping into the co-commentary role.
Brundle moved to Sky Sports F1 in 2012, where he has been a co-commentator alongside David Croft ever since. Brundle is known for his pre-race grid walks, in which he interviews drivers and team principals in the frantic few minutes before the lights go out.
Ted Kravitz has worked in F1 for nearly 25 years, starting out as a producer for ITV in 1997. He then became a pitlane reporter in 2002, and fulfilled the same role for the BBC between 2009 and 2011.
Kravitz was one of Sky’s headline signings when the broadcaster began covering F1 in 2012, developing a large fanbase with his show Ted’s Notebook, in which he investigates and explains various technical aspects of F1.
Karun Chandhok has developed a reputation as one of the most well-respected analysts working in F1, deriving his expertise from a varied racing career that included 11 grand prix starts in F1 between 2010 and 2011. Prior to F1 he raced in British F3, GP2, A1 Grand Prix and various other series, and has since competed in Formula E, the World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Chandhok has worked as a pitlane reporter for the BBC and Channel 4, moving to Sky Sports F1 in 2020. As well as contributing analysis, he commentated on the Russian Grand Prix that same season.
Johnny Herbert, Sky TV, interviews Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
Johnny Herbert’s F1 career began in 1989, the year after a crash in a Formula 3000 race at Brands Hatch had left him with permanent mobility issues that forced him to adapt his driving style. Despite being hindered by injury, Herbert won three grands prix – including a famous home victory at Silverstone in 1995 – having won the Le Mans 24 Hours outright with Mazda in 1991.
Herbert is a regular on Sky Sports F1, and often presents packages and features with drivers in the build-up to qualifying and races.
Paul di Resta
Paul di Resta is a British racing driver who won the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in 2004, later winning the DTM championship in 2010. He then spent three years in F1 with Force India and made a single appearance for Williams at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2017 after Felipe Massa fell ill prior to the race.
Di Resta has been a regular in the DTM since leaving F1, and has also competed in the World Endurance Championship for United Autosports. In 2020, the team earned a class victory in the LMP2 category at the Le Mans 24 Hours, with di Resta sharing driving duties with Filipe Albuquerque and Philip Hanson.
When his racing calendar allows, di Resta is a regular on Sky Sports F1 as an analyst, and has occasionally stood in for Martin Brundle in the commentary box.
Anthony Davidson made two appearances for Minardi in F1 in 2002, but retired from both grands prix. After spending much of the next three seasons as a test driver, he secured a full-time drive with Super Aguri in 2007. However, he failed to score any points and early in 2008, the team pulled out of F1 due to financial difficulties.
Davidson has been far more successful away from F1, winning the World Endurance Championship with Toyota in 2014 and collecting 10 WEC victories across five full seasons racing in LMP1. The Briton joined the Sky Sports F1 team in 2012, and filled in for Paul Di Resta in the commentary box when the Scot made his one-off appearance for Williams in Hungary in 2017.
Natalie Pinkham joined Sky Sports F1 in 2012 as a pitlane reporter, having done so for BBC Radio 5 Live in 2011. In 2013 she became a host of The F1 Show, a role she has held ever since. Prior to F1, Pinkham’s broadcasting career saw her work at the Isle of Man TT and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, with two years spent presenting for The Poker Channel. In 2009, she co-hosted the Goodwood Festival of Speed alongside fellow motorsport broadcaster Steve Rider.
Pinkham led Sky’s coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix in 2020.
Rachel Brookes is a reporter for Sky Sports F1, conducting interviews with drivers and other key figures. She’s a host of The F1 Show, and she stepped in for Simon Lazenby as the main presenter for Sky’s coverage of the Russian Grand Prix in 2020.
Craig Slater reports on F1 for Sky Sports News, with his interviews also featuring on Sky Sports F1’s coverage on race weekends.
Son of two-time F1 world champion Graham Hill, Damon Hill followed in his father’s footsteps in 1996 when he won the world title with Williams. Statistically one of the most successful F1 drivers ever, Hill won 22 grands prix and was a podium finisher 42 times over eight seasons, before calling it a day in 1999.
Hill joined Sky Sports F1 in 2012 and has been a frequent presence in a punditry role ever since.
Nico Rosberg won the 2016 F1 world championship after a fraught title battle with Lewis Hamilton. He promptly retired from F1 a few days later, having accumulated 23 grand prix wins and 57 podiums in his time with Williams and Mercedes.
Rosberg has pursued a number of endeavours since retiring from F1, including as an owner of an Extreme E team. He first appeared on Sky Sports F1 as an analyst in 2018, and has also worked for broadcasters in Germany and Italy in a similar role.
Jenson Button was at the centre of a fairytale story in 2009, when he became F1 world champion racing for Brawn GP; an outfit that was hastily formed at the beginning of the season when previous owner Honda announced its shock departure. Along with his world title, Button’s 15 wins and 50 podiums rank him as one of the most successful British F1 drivers in history, and he’s one of only five drivers to date to feature in more than 300 grands prix.
Like Rosberg, Button has developed a number of interests in life after F1, and he occasionally appears on Sky Sports F1. He made his debut for the broadcaster in 2018.