F1 FAQ

I know nothing about F1. Where do I start?

Welcome! Our yearly Preseason Primer episode is designed to be the perfect introduction to the F1 newcomer (if we do say so ourselves)!

How can I watch F1 in the United States?

Two ways:

1) On ESPN.

Every race in 2018 will be broadcast on ESPN, EPSN2, or ABC, with practice and qualifying sessions drifting onto ESPN3 and ESPNEWS. Here's the full broadcast schedule.

This means you can also watch live using the ESPN app on various supported devices by logging in with the account you have through your TV provider. The app also allows replays, so you can watch at your leisure.

Caveat: neither the TV broadcast nor the app show the full, uncut sessions, live or in replay. There is no way to see the full sessions on ESPN.

2) With F1 TV.

F1 TV is Formula 1's official, soon-to-be-launched subscription service. There are two tiers:

  • F1 TV Pro ($12 per month, $100 per year)
  • F1 TV Access ($3 per month, $20 per year)

F1 TV Pro provides full, live sessions with no commercial breaks. It also allows you to switch between the live feed and any of the 20 cameras onboard the cars. Full race replays are available if you want to watch later.

F1 TV Access is a lower tier that provides live timing and radio commentary, but not live video. According to Formula 1, "extended highlights of each session from the race weekend" will be available, as well as "archive video content from the amazing historic archive owned by Formula 1." It's unclear whether this means F1 TV Access subscribers will get access to full race replays from the current season.

F1 TV is slated to come out in early 2018. It will be in "nearly two dozen markets" at launch, including the US. "Access will initially be available through desktop and web, with mobile apps and TV apps being phased in on Amazon, Apple and Android, enabling users to watch on a range of different devices at no additional cost."

How can I watch F1 outside the United States?

For television, RaceFans.net has a crowdsourced list of methods here.

F1 TV is slated to be available in 40 countries. This does not include the UK, due to a conflict with Sky Sports. However, Sky recently reduced its rates for the year in response to F1 TV.

What if I don't want to pay anything?

The official Formula 1 YouTube channel uploads "highlight" versions of each session (practice 1-3, qualifying, and race). They'll also occasionally pull particularly juicy segments from the races. It's not as exciting as watching the full sessions, but they are well edited, free, and give a good sense of most of the things that happened.

If reading words is more your thing, Motorsport Magazine does exhaustive race-weekend recaps in excellent prose.

When are the races?

You can find all the session times in your timezone at F1Calendar.com. There you can also add all the sessions (or just the races) to your personal calendar.

How do you tell who is who on track?

The "primary" driver of a team has a black camera pod (positioned on top of the intake above the driver's head), while the "secondary" driver has a fluorescent yellow pod.

Here's a visual guide to the cars and helmets of the 2018 season (via reddit).

I have a technical question about rules, cars, etc.

F1's official Inside F1 guide is great for that!

Who is Pastor Maldonado?

A legend.