It’s all change for Formula One broadcasting in the UK as Channel 4 take on the rights following the BBC’s decision to drop the sport. Fans will be able to watch all 21 races of the 2016 season live on Sky Sports F1 with Channel 4 showing ten live, with the rest available in comprehensive highlights packages as was the case with the BBC.
Channel 4 will broadcast their live races advert free.
March 18th – 20th – Australian Grand Prix
April 1st – 3rd – Bahrain Grand Prix
April 15th – 17th – Chinese Grand Prix
April 29th – May 1st – Russian Grand Prix
May 13th – 15th – Spanish Grand Prix
May 26th – 29th – Monaco Grand Prix
June 10th – 12th – Canadian Grand Prix
June 17th – 19th – European Grand Prix
July 1st – 3rd – Austrian Grand Prix
July 8th – 10th – British Grand Prix
July 22nd – 24th – Hungarian Grand Prix
July 29th – 31st – German Grand Prix
August 26th – 28th – Belgian Grand Prix
September 2nd – 4th – Italian Grand Prix
September 16th – 18th – Singapore Grand Prix
September 30th – October 2nd – Malaysia Grand Prix
October 7th – 9th – Japanese Grand Prix
October 21st – 23rd – US Grand Prix
October 28th – 30th – Mexican Grand Prix
November 11th – 13th – Brazilian Grand Prix
November 25th – 27th – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
The races in bold indicate the races that will be shown live by Channel 4. Their live broadcasts will start at the second race of the year – the Bahrain Grand Prix – and will also include the inaugural race in Azerbaijan on the Baku Street Circuit. They will also show the British Grand Prix, the Malaysia Grand Prix and the season finale at Abu Dhabi all live.
The Channel 4 coverage will be fronted by Steve Jones and the line-up includes a wealth of knowledge from current and former drivers, as well as experienced Formula One broadcasters.
David Coulthard has made the move to become Channel 4’s lead expert analyst and commentator, a role he had at the BBC previously. He will be joined in the commentary box once again by Ben Edwards who will be the lead commentator. Former Formula One driver Mark Webber and Williams test driver Susie Wolff will be on hand to offer their own analysis over race weekends.
Another former Formula One driver Karun Chandhok will join Lee McKenzie in the pit-lane. Throughout the season there will also be contributions from Alain Prost, Eddie Jordan, Alex Zanardi, Nic Hamilton, and Bruno Senna. Murray Walker will interview stars of the sport while British rookie Jolyon Palmer will have a regular column on the channel’s website.
“This is the dream team,” Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer Jay Hunt said. “We’ve brought together the very best in screen and off screen talent to make Channel 4’s coverage unmissable.”
“I’m very proud to be a part of this exciting line-up which will give F1 fans who choose to watch the most creative and innovating free-to-air coverage of the season a totally fresh perspective,” David Coulthard explained. “This season promises to be the most competitive for years and viewers can look forward to extensive coverage of all the races, expert punditry, unrivalled paddock and pit access as well as exhilarating stunts and features throughout to bring the audience right into the heart of the race action.”
Ahead of the season, Channel 4 will broadcast a special programme on Thursday 17th March at 9pm. It will see road racing star Guy Martin go head-to-head with David Coulthard on their respective machines.
Sky Sports F1
It is business as usual for the Sky Sports F1 team as they continue to be the only broadcaster to show all 21 races live in the UK.
Their coverage will continue to be lead by Simon Lazenby alongside Damon Hill, Johnny Herbert and Anthony Davidson. Martin Brundle will commentate alongside David Croft with Ted Kravitz in the pit-lane getting all the latest news.
“This season offers everything,” Sky Sports Head of F1 Martin Turner said. “More races, more stories and more drama and only on Sky Sports F1 can viewers enjoy the complete story live. All eyes will again be on Lewis Hamilton while Mercedes and Ferrari will go head to head for the Constructors title. Our award winning coverage will be there from the opening grid to the final chequered flag on our dedicated F1 channel and across our digitial platforms.”