You might be wondering if you could watch Formula 1 (F1) races for free in your current location. The answer to that question is: Yes!
According to my extensive streaming rights research, I found out various countries where you can watch F1 streaming for free and of course, legally.
If you are in Russia, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, and Luxembourg then you are in luck. In these countries, you can access and watch Formula 1 races live and free without any subscriptions. If you are in another country, just do not worry, I have a workaround for you: VPN services!
Without further ado, let’s learn the power of VPNs, change our virtual location and start streaming Formula 1 races free anywhere in the world.
Let me give you a quick overview of our situation and how a VPN service may assist us in this circumstance.
Analysis: F1 races, like any other sporting event, are subject to streaming licenses. While subscription-based services control the rights in certain countries, it is completely free to watch in others. Russia, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, and Switzerland are among them.
Are you not present in any of these countries? Allow me to virtually transport you there using a VPN service!
Solution: VPN services deploy servers in datacenters from different parts of the world. If you connect to a VPN server from another country, your online traffic gets encrypted and stays secure. In addition to that, you also get the IP address of the connected server.
In other words, we will connect to a VPN server located in one of the nations where watching F1 races is completely free. To accomplish so, we need a VPN that is fast, stable, and reliable.
A quick guide to streaming Formula 1 free and legally:
- Visit Cyberghost VPN provider – it has servers in all countries where F1 is free to watch.
- Grab the deal and choose a plan.
- Enter your e-mail address, and make the payment with a preferred method.
- Cyberghost will deliver login credentials to your e-mail address after a successful transaction.
- Login to the Cyberghost portal by using the credentials, navigate to “Download Hub” and download the VPN app compatible with your device.
- Install the app, launch it, and log in with your username/password.
- Navigate to “All servers”, search for “Belgium” country, and connect to it with a single click-on.
Once the connection is established, you will have an IP address from Belgium. This virtual location will help you browse the internet as a Belgium local and start streaming Formula 1 races free and legally from rtbf.be
Feeling a little perplexed? That is what occurs when you are unfamiliar with VPN services. Allow me to properly guide you. This way, we’ll understand why licensing causes geo-restriction issues and how a VPN service may assist us to address them.
F1 licensing and geo-restrictions
You’ve probably heard on TV or in the press that a firm has secured the streaming rights to Formula 1 races for a certain period of time. ESPN, for example, has broadcasting rights in the United States. TSN and RDS are the official broadcasters in Canada for watching Formula One races.
While these channels operate in English, and all of them are paid services, the TV channel RTBF from Belgium streams the F1 races for free. As understood from the given examples, each country has different broadcasters. Some of them are paid, and some are free to watch.
This is known as licensing, and it requires each platform to operate in certain locations. F1’s limitation requires broadcasters to confine their services to certain IP addresses. Because each country has a unique IP address range, if you attempt to access a free streaming platform from a country other than Belgium, we get the following error:
Translation of the error: This content is only visible in Belgium…
That is called geo-restriction!
How to watch Formula 1 free with a VPN
Now that we know why we’re being geo-blocked, it’s time to fix it.
We will use a VPN to change our local IP address to a country where we can watch all F1 races for free and legally!
Simply said, a VPN will let us encrypt our online traffic and route it via a tunnel. If we wish to encrypt our web traffic in Belgium, the VPN will provide us with the Belgian IP address. This enables us to change our virtual location and trick the channels into believing we are local visitors.
Choosing the right F1 streaming VPN
It is difficult to circumvent geo-restriction. First and foremost, a random or a free VPN would be useless. Second, even some commercial VPN providers will be unable to bypass such restrictions.
At this stage, we want a dependable VPN service with a server in Belgium. Of course, it must also be compatible with the RTBF channel.
In this article, we will use Cyberghost VPN as a comprehensive solution to the criteria listed above.
- Visit the official website of Cyberghost.
- Select a plan by clicking the “Get plan” button.
- Enter your e-mail address and go to the payment page.
Cyberghost will need a few minutes to authorize your account when you buy it. If it is successful, you will get your login credentials by e-mail.
VPN app installation
Are you all set? It is now time to download the Cyberghost app on our device. To do this, you must:
- Go to the Cyberghost page.
- Click on the “My Account” link in the upper right corner and input your credentials.
- The “Download Hub” option, which is located on the left side of the screen, is where you can access the downloadable applications.
Click on the VPN app that is compatible with your device and install it according to the instructions.
When prompted, grant the VPN software all permission. Otherwise, it may not function correctly.
Connecting to the VPN server
If everything went well, your VPN should be ready to use.
We are expected to connect to a server in Belgium territory since we are attempting to access a platform that is only accessible in the Belgium region.
Please follow the instructions below to change your IP address to Belgium:
- Start the Cyberghost VPN software.
- Expand the server list by clicking the arrow in the VPN’s upper left corner.
- Connect to one of the accessible servers by typing “Belgium” into the search field.
Now that we’re connected to the VPN server, let’s check to see whether our IP address has changed.
Streaming formula 1 races live
Now that we have a Belgian IP address, we are now virtually a Belgian resident and we can watch F1 streams directly.
All you have to do is visit RTBF.be and enjoy Formula 1 to the fullest.
You might be wondering why you have to get a Belgian IP address. Well, the RTBF website only operates in the Belgian territory and it airs all of the F1 matches for free. You do not even have to create an account with the website.
Are we done yet? Of course not!
We have a long way to go to fully digest the F1 streaming article.
Free to watch F1 channels
As an overall view of the free F1 streaming channels, I have decided to create a list for you. This way, you can learn the alternative channels in different languages. Even F1 is all about engine sounds, you might not like the mother-tongue of the commentator.
Right before the details, please take a look at the whole list and what they offer.
|Language||Luxembourgish||French||German||DE, FR, IT||Russian|
|Races||All races||All races||12 races*||All races||All races|
1. Match TV
Note: The streaming service is not available temporarily.
Match TV is the largest Russian streaming network, with over 18 leagues from across the globe available for less than $3 per month. Unlike its premium counterpart, Match TV chooses to broadcast F1 races for free. The best thing is that you don’t even need to register an account with them.
- Official website: matchtv.ru/on-air
- Required VPN location: Russia
- Recommended VPN: Cyberghost
- Broadcasting language: Russian
- Races: Full season
After signing up for a CyberGhost account for as little as 2.25$ per month, you may change your IP address to Russia and begin watching F1 races for free and legally.
RTBF is a Belgian streaming network that provides free access to the whole Formula One season. If you have a deep bond with the French language and cannot watch the races without it, then RTBF TV is for you. French-speaking F1 fans all around the globe will enjoy it.
- Official website: www.rtbf.be/auvio/direct
- Required VPN location: Belgium
- Recommended VPN: Cyberghost
- Broadcasting language: French
- Races: Full season
Unlike Match TV, RTBF has a habit of blocking VPN services. However, Cyberghost is still a viable alternative, and its Belgium server will allow you to stream RTBF in the highest possible quality.
Servus TV is an Austrian streaming network that provides the finest possible quality for F1 races. You do not need to register an account to visit the platform’s official website. Just visit their official website below, and start streaming F1
- Official website: www.servustv.com/sport/
- Required VPN location: Austria
- Recommended VPN: Surfshark
- Broadcasting language: German
- Races: 12 races: Abu Dhabi, Azerbaijan, Belgium, United Kingdom, Italy I, Austria, Japan, Mexico, France, Saudi Arabia, USA I,
According to the available races, Servus TV only broadcasts half of the season, and the platform is notorious for blocking VPN services. You may now use Surfshark to avoid Servus TV geo-restrictions.
ORF TV, another Austrian streaming provider, fills the Servus TV’s missing races. The platform is completely free to view without registering. However, we have a major issue.
ORF TV may only be accessed if you are physically present in Austria. Unfortunately, ORF bans all VPN services and detects encrypted traffic.
In other words, if you are outside of Austria, you cannot use a VPN to watch ORF. The easiest option to watch the whole F1 season is to either watch the races in other languages or to check out the next channel from Switzerland.
4. SRF TV
SRF works in three distinct languages in Switzerland. There are three of them: German, French, and Italian. SRF TV attracts a larger audience than other networks due to its multicultural population.
Because it is a multilingual platform, you need to visit separate web pages for each language.
- Official website: SRF.CH (German), RTS.CH (French), RSI.CH (Italian)
- Required VPN location: Switzerland
- Recommended VPN: SurfShark
- Broadcasting language: German, French, Italian
- Races: Full season
To view SRF in the best possible quality, we need a reliable VPN provider with fast servers in Switzerland. SurfShark stands out as an excellent option for SRF, RTS, and RSI live streams based on such requirements.
5. RTL LU
Recently added to our F1 streaming list, RTL is a Luxembourg-based streaming platform offering all F1 races free in the Luxembourgish language.
- Official website: www.rtl.lu/tele/live-2
- Required VPN location: Luxembourg
- Recommended VPN: VeePN
- Broadcasting language: Luxembourg
- Races: Full season
Unlike some other streaming services, RTL is not a well-known website. As there will be less demand for the platform as well as VPN servers, you can watch the F1 races with RTL with the finest quality possible.
However, less demand makes the VPN services ignore their server quality in Luxembourg as well. According to my latest streaming experience, VeePN is the best solution RTL.LU.
F1 VPNs to watch races free and legally
In terms of server coverage, streaming compatibility, and speed performance, not all VPN services are the same. Let’s look at the VPN services available in these three subcategories and choose the best one for a smooth F1 streaming experience.
To begin with, VPN services vary greatly in terms of the number of countries they cover. While the preceding providers offer extensive coverage, the new VPN services aim to gradually grow the number of their servers.
Second, just having a server in a given country is insufficient. Because streaming companies take geo-restrictions so seriously, they may sometimes block VPNs. As a result, we want a VPN that can adapt its servers to the constant changes in streaming as well as blocking.
Last but not least server speed plays a crucial role. Without a decent speed performance, we cannot watch F1 races with good quality.
So! Considering the subcategories above, let’s find out which VPN service can meet our ultimate expectations.
Cyberghost is our main recommendation in this article. First of all, it is one of the rare VPN providers having a server in Russia. This makes the VPN compatible with Match TV streaming. Moreover, you can also watch Servus TV and RTBF channels without any issues.
Considering the supported streaming services, check out how Cyberghost servers perform in required locations.
- Russia: 66.97 Mbps
- Belgium: 72.25 Mbps
- Austria: 79.94 Mbps
While streaming F1 races through the servers above would not be a problem at all, unfortunately, Cyberghost fails to unblock ORF and SRF channels.
Surfshark used to unblock Match TV. However, in order to protest the war between Russia and Ukraine, the company decided to shut down its servers in Russia. Now, it is unable to offer any Russian IP address.
On the other hand, the company has optimized servers that can unblock ServusTV and SRF with the best streaming quality possible.
- Austria: 87.45 Mbps
- Switzerland: 80.43 Mbps
Last but not least, SurfShark is not compatible with RTBF and ORF channels.
VeePN is a brand new VPN in the market. Even if the server coverage is not as good as other VPN providers, it has crucial servers in the countries where F1 is free to watch.
If you choose VeePN as your VPN provider, you can start watching Match TV, RTBF and ServusTV without any issues. Let’s see how VeePN performs in the required VPN locations.
- Russia: 79.38 Mbps
- Belgium: 73.05 Mbps
- Austria: 70.73 Mbps
- Luxembourg: 52.42 Mbps
These values mean the best quality F1 streaming around the world. Yet, keep that in mind, VeePN fails to unblock ORF and SRF.
So, overall, here is what we get. You can decide where you want to watch the F1 races and pick the VPN service that can unblock that channel.
Summing up the free F1 streaming
Why pay excessive fees when you can watch all F1 races for free? In this post, I discussed some of the local streaming networks through which we could watch Formula 1 live and for free.
First and foremost, we encountered a difficulty known as “geo-restriction.” Due to licensing and streaming rights, free-to-air F1 broadcasters like Match TV, RTL, Servus, RTBF, ORF, and SRF are only able to provide their services in the countries where they have F1 broadcasting rights.
We used reputable VPN services to disguise our IP address in order to get around this limitation. As a result, we were essentially in the service region of the specified networks and were able to watch F1 races live and for free as locals.
Last but not least, we discovered that not all VPNs were created equal. That’s why I made a table of VPN providers to test which of them could unblock certain channels.
Well, that is it! Save some bucks, and happy streaming!
I am a privacy advocate excelling in cybersecurity and VPN services. Along with my 8 years of experience, I will teach you how to enhance your online privacy and enjoy the ultimate freedom anywhere in the world. On VPNxD, I am responsible for privacy guides, and how-to-do articles.