Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2021

F1 title-decider to get free live TV coverage in Britain as well as Netherlands

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Formula 1 fans in Britain and the Netherlands will be able to watch this weekend’s championship-deciding race live on free-to-air television.

Dutch broadcaster Ziggosport previously announced it will offer a free live feed of the race which could see Max Verstappen become the first driver from the Netherlands to win the world championship.

Now subscription channel Sky has agreed a deal for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to air live on Channel 4. The free-to-air broadcaster ordinarily shows delayed highlights of F1 races and only airs the British Grand Prix live.

“The whole nation will be able to watch what is set to be one of the most thrilling finales to an F1 season in living memory as Lewis strives to become the most crowned World Champion of all time,” said Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon.

Channel 4 will screen a 15 minute build-up to the final round of the season featuring their regular broadcasting team, after which they will air Sky’s coverage of the race – including commentary by David Croft and Martin Brundle – then return to their own team.

Earlier this year Channel 4 struck a deal with Amazon to show the US Open tennis final live after British player Emma Raducanu reached the deciding match. Over nine million people watched the 18-year-old win the tournament.

Lewis Hamilton is bidding to make history by becoming the first driver in the history of the world championship to win the title for an eighth time.

Verstappen and Hamilton go into this weekend’s final race at the remodelled Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi tied on points after 21 of 22 races.

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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20 comments on “F1 title-decider to get free live TV coverage in Britain as well as Netherlands”

  1. Great news! Now I’ll have another excuse to delay the putting up of Christmas lights a bit longer.

  2. Great news to bring in more casuals but shame that the deal with C4 forces them to use sky’s “global feed” with buffoonish SHOUTY David croft with his fake excitement and awful cringe commentary that only appeals to 12 year olds.
    “remember sky Q and sky glarrrrse customers press red button brought to you by aws haha switch-a-roooo “.

    Don’t forget this is the same clown whilst working at BBC radio doing F1 commentary didn’t know Lewis won the 2008 wdc when he crossed the line. Replace him with Alex Jacques next year sky

    1. Totally agree about Croft. I turn the sound off for the first lap and the checkered flag. I’ve been using F1TV and have found it to be very good, especially with the ability to get in car camera for any of the cars. The ability to watch later has been really nice here on the west coast of the US of A.

    2. I agree he’s a bit ordinary, last race he was pushing the sky Q nonsense when a team radio started and he just spoke over the top it.

      1. Yup – Croft’s quick enough to tell Ted Kravitz (etc) to stop talking because the Team Radio graphic is on screen or the Team Radio has started, but wouldn’t stop talking himself on this occasion.

        Also noticed – some F1TV graphics are removed from the screen when the dreaded ‘lower third’ Sky red bar appears or when they use split-screen

      2. Let’s be fair. I was annoyed by this as well but it was literally the first time I remember that he actually talked over the team radio. Quite the contrast to our german presenters, who talk over it every single time.

      3. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        9th December 2021, 9:04

        I suspect some of the stuff is a recording started on a button push. Some nit wit pressed the button at a stupid time during the race.

    3. I agree…Crofty is insufferable.

      Brundle-Button could be a partnership that works, or Brundle-Chandok, or Brundle-Di Resta?

      I’ve been quite impressed with both Di Resta and Chandok when they do FP commentary.

      1. Nothing will make me cancel by sky subscription faster than Di Resta being a permanent commentator. His blatant anti Lewis bias is just cringeworthy at this point.

        I’d actually like Rosberg to get more chances, he is knowledgeable, doesn’t have any bias and isn’t afraid to correct Croft when he is talking absolute nonsense.

    4. It is indeed inhumane to be subjected to Croft’s commentary on the global feed. Always have to turn down the volume by couple of notches everytime there is any action because the shouting is insufferable.

      Also, the global feed feels very odd during the Sky intermission with either silence or odd music preludes. Why F1 management can’t set up their own feed and commentary is beyond me.

      1. i wondered about the odd music preludes. also some times when they’re analyzing replay footage between the the qualifying sessions (Q1, Q2, Q3) , we are still stuck with the live feed

    5. Pretty much every one of your posts is a rant!

      Why do you hate the world so much?

      Lighten up! 😜

    6. All you have said is true. i think the ‘switcheroo’ is my personal unfavourite. But a showdown without him is a bonus though i will miss Brundle

  3. Until Channel 4 announce this themselves, I ain’t buying…

    1. Why not? It’s even been reported on the BBC!

      1. At the time I posted (22:01) it was not confirmed by any source, only rumoured

  4. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    9th December 2021, 1:14

    F1 has a mega opportunity to market itself to new audience this weekend by streaming the race for free on YouTube. The closest interteam fight in a decade, 2 drivers gunning for history, th last race before the new era. I don’t know how it’ll play out contractually though.

  5. Time to lobby my landlord to show C4 on Sunday…

  6. It will be good to show Liberty’s advertising customers just how much audience coverage they are loosing by making Sky the sole live broadcaster in the UK.
    I do not like the Sky F1 presentation format or atmosphere so will probably watch with the sound turned down. Being deaf ~I am reliant upon the subtitles to a degree and still cannot understand why Whisper/Red Bee stick them over the top of the leader/time board instead of moving then to the right a bit, they obscure the first two or three places. I hope that Sky are not going to do the same.

  7. Do we know that C4 will be using Sky’s live feed/commentary i.e. Croft, etc. C4 have there own commentator who must be commentating on the race live when they use it for their edited highlights programs. Then they commentate live on the British GP. Has this been officially confirmed?

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