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How to watch Formula 1 for free from anywhere

You want to watch Formula 1 for free from anywhere, and you're just wondering if that's possible? Yes, it is!
You can watch F1 for free if you use a reliable VPN like NordVPN* – the VPN must have servers in Austria, Switzerland or Luxembourg, that can bypass geo-restrictions of the below-mentioned TV channels. How watching Formula 1 in free TV abroad works exactly, I will explain to you in detail in this article. Below is a quick step-by-step guide.

  • ServusTV Austria (German commentary)
  • SRF Switzerland (German commentary)
  • ORF Austria (German commentary)
  • RTL Luxembourg (Luxembourgian commentary)
  • RTL Play (French commentary)

How to watch Formula 1 for free quick guide

Just follow these steps and you can watch Formula 1 for free from any country:

Duration: 15 minutes

Get a VPN with servers in Austria or Switzerland

First, you need a VPN that has servers in above-mentioned countries. It depends on whether you want to watch Formula 1 with German, Luxembourgian or French commentary. It is best to use a VPN like NordVPN* or CyberGhost* that can reliably bypass geo-blocking.

Download the app or client

Of course, you take a VPN that supports as many operating systems as possible. Then you can watch Formula 1 for free on any device you want. The VPNs mentioned here support Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and even Linux. They can also be installed on the Amazon Fire Stick and they can be used as routers. You can even watch for free with your Xbox and your Playstation F1. In any case, you download the right app or client for your device and install the software. Open your VPN app and log in.

Connect to a server in Switzerland or Austria

Connect to a server from above mentioned free TV channels. With a good VPN, any server will work. If it doesn't work, just change the server.

Open the live stream from ServusTV or SRF

After connecting your device to a working VPN server, open the broadcasting Formula 1 for free channels websites and watch the event live. All you really have to do is decide which commentators you prefer to listen to. Of course, you can also switch and watch an F1 race on one channel and the next Grand Prix on the other channel.

5. Have fun!

That's it already. It really only takes these four steps to watch F1 for free. In contrast to Germany, Uk and France for e.g. Formula 1 is broadcast free of charge in Austria, Switzerland or Luxembourg. In any case, you now know how to bypass geo-blocking and move digitally to mentioned countries. Have fun!

Why we love Formula 1

Non-fans of Formula 1 believe that only a few cars go in circles. However, fans know better. There are many exciting races and they strive to make F1 more exciting every year.

Also, the technology involved is really interesting. Many parts originally designed for racing cars end up in regular street cars to make them safer. Formula 1 racing cars are also becoming ever safer. In the recent past, roll bars have prevented fatal accidents - with absolute certainty. Zhou's roll bar may have broken at the 2022 Silverstone race, but the halo still saved his life. Despite this, the FIA ​​​​immediately announced stricter measures for the roll bar.

The acceleration of the cars alone is impressive. Did you know that a passenger plane has roughly the same acceleration as a Formula 1 car? Both manage to go from 0 to 100 km/h in under 3 seconds. Only you feel it less in an aeroplane than the F1 pilots.

Not everyone can drive in Formula 1. In order to be able to drive in the premier class, the drivers need a so-called super license, which is only valid for the current calendar year and then has to be renewed accordingly.

Watch Formula 1 for free? That works with a VPN!

Why you need a VPN to watch Formula 1 for free

You probably want to know why you need a VPN to watch Formula 1 for free in the first place, right? In Germany, UK and France you can't watch Formula 1 for free. In Austria, Switzerland or Luxembourg, however, all races are broadcasted legally for free - even via streaming.

You can't use the streaming, though, because the broadcasters use geoblocking. This means that you can only watch the races if you are in one of these broadcasting for free countries. The broadcasters have to do this for licensing reasons. For example SRF is only allowed to broadcast in Switzerland and ServusTV only in Austria. That's why the channels have to block out viewers from other countries.

The streaming portals check where you are based on your IP address. IP addresses are stored in geo-databases and that's where apps, services, websites and streaming providers can look up which country you're actually in.

With a VPN, you can virtually move to another country. For example, if you connect to a server in Vienna, the streaming provider will think that you are in Austria right now. Then the geographical block is lifted and you can watch Formula 1 for free via ORF or ServusTV.

You can watch Formula 1 for free via ServusTV (Austria) or SRF (Switzerland)

In short, the app, service, streaming provider, or website must think you are in a country for which it has the appropriate broadcasting rights. Then the streaming will also work.

What to do if you still can’t access Formula 1 with a VPN

Disruptions can always occur and there are mutliple reasons for this. Maybe the streaming provider has problems, your VPN is to blame or your device. Let's look at some common problems and what you can do about them.

Streaming Formula 1 or other channels via mobile browsers may not work very well. Watching Formula 1 on your cell phone or tablet is pretty annoying or there is a lot of interference. In this case, your best bet is to get the mobile app for Android or iOS.

In my experience, mobile apps often work better than mobile browsers. They are specially made to catch glitches, adjust stream quality better than browsers and so on.

The live streams of the apps and most content from the media libraries only work if you are in the corresponding country. This means you need a good VPN to be able to use the apps on your smartphone or tablet.

Switch VPN server

Your server has been exposed - it's temporarily not possible to watch Formula 1 for free

Above all, the streaming providers try to block VPNs. They have to do that because they are only allowed to broadcast certain programs in certain countries. Various streaming portals use VPN blocks of different strengths. That's why not every VPN works to successfully bypass geo-blocking.

It happens that a server of a VPN provider is exposed and ends up on a blacklist. In this case, the server's IP address is burned (at least temporarily) and even if you are virtually in Austria or Switzerland, you cannot watch F1 for free.

The solution in this case is pretty simple. The best VPNs operate on more than one server in many countries and all you have to do is switch servers. Most of the time, it's enough to simply disconnect from the VPN and then reconnect.

Try the VPN browser extension

The best VPN providers also provide browser extensions in addition to the clients. But these are mostly proxies and not real VPNs. However, proxies are often faster and they also change your IP address, but only for the browser that has the extension installed.

Let's assume you're using Chrome and have the VPN extension installed. Now you connect to Austria via the extension to unblock ServusTV. That should work and you can watch F1 for free. In this case, however, only Chrome's Internet traffic is connected to Switzerland and the rest of your computer's data traffic runs via the normal Internet connection.

Change VPN protocol

Most VPN providers offer multiple VPN protocols. These protocols are all secure, but some are better suited for certain tasks than others.

If the streaming doesn't work and watching Formula 1 for free doesn't work the way you want, open the settings of your client or your app. Find and change the log settings.

Image: vpn-protocols.png

Caption: If F1 doesn't work, try a different VPN protocol

Many apps these days use the fast and lean WireGuard. If that doesn't work, switch to OpenVPN, which is also offered by reputable VPN providers. It doesn't take long and with such a simple fix you might be able to watch Formula 1 for free without having to solve any other problems.

Contact customer support

Do you want to watch F1 for free and all the tips and tricks don't help? With a premium VPN, you’re paying for a service, so you can always contact support. Often the support staff will know the best servers for streaming.

That means they can probably tell you the best servers in Switzerland and Austria so you can watch Formula 1 for free.

The best VPNs for watching Formula 1 for free from anywhere

In principle, you can use many VPNs to watch Formula 1 for free. However, only a few work reliably and permanently because they change IP addresses regularly and operate many servers.

All I can tell you is that I use NordVPN* and CyberGhost*. Watching F1 for free works great with these providers. You don't have to commit right away either, both come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you can try risk-free because you can ask for a refund during the trial period.

NordVPN is the best universal VPN and the new meshnet is attractive to people who want to create a vLAN in a few clicks. NordVPN supports Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and also Linux. So it's no problem to watch Formula 1 for free on your PC, Mac, mobile phone or tablet. You are allowed to connect six devices at the same time and use on a router is allowed.

CyberGhost is a cheap alternative that is definitely worth checking out. They allow simultaneous Connections as well. Use on a router is also permitted so that you can watch Formula 1 for free with your Playstation or Xbox. CyberGhost offers clients and apps for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS and Linux.

The best VPN can not only bypass geo-blocking, but also protect you when travelling and so on. The services are no longer expensive and protect your devices and your privacy. Your data protection should definitely be worth less than a few bucks per month.

FAQs - frequently asked Questions and answers about F1 for free

When it comes to watching Formula 1 for free, the same questions often arise. Here are a few answers that will make your life easier.

How can I watch Formula 1 for free?

You can watch F1 for free if you stream via ServusTV (Austria), SRF (Switzerland), ORF (Austria), RTL Play (Luxembourg), RTL (Luxembourg). However, all channels are geo-blocked. You can unblock them if you use a good VPN like NordVPN or CyberGhost that operate servers in Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Watching Formula 1 for free is then no problem at all.

Can I use a free VPN to watch F1 for free?

Probably not. I don't know any free VPN provider that has do servers in the needed countries. Others don't offer enough data to even watch an F1 race. In any case, it would be quite annoying if you start having streaming problems halfway through the Grand Prix. Better use NordVPN or CyberGhost with all the premium features. Then you can certainly watch F1 for free.

Is it legal to bypass geo-blocking and then watch Formula 1 for free?

At this point we need to consider two points of view. First off, VPNs are legal in most countries around the world. This also applies to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg. However… just because you're anonymous with a VPN doesn't mean you can't engage in illegal activities with it.

If you circumvent geo-blocking and watch F1 for free, you are most likely violating the streaming provider's terms of service. But you don't have to register with SRF, ORF, RTL or ServusTV. Even providers like Netflix don't usually punish you when they detect a VPN. However, they advise you to deactivate your VPN.

Why do I need a VPN to watch F1 for free?

Streaming providers usually detect which country you are based by your provided IP address. With a VPN, you virtually move to another country when you connect to a server there. So if you need an Austrian IP address, you connect to a server in Vienna, Austria. ServusTV then thinks that you are in Austria and you won't be geo-blocked from the service. Equivalent works with Switzerland, SRF and the other channels.

Why can't I watch Formula 1 for free with mentioned channels?

You most likely live in a country where mentioned channels are excluded due to geoblocking. In that case, you need a reliable VPN that has servers in above listed free F1 broadcasting countries. However, not all VPNs work, even if they offer servers in these countries. I would recommend NordVPN or CyberGhost because I know both providers work very well.

By: Michael Miller
Michael is the CEO of VPN Online, one of the fastest-growing media companies in the cyber-security space. VPN Online was started in 2019 after Michael consulted with many Fortune 500 companies and saw the lack of understanding about cybersecurity many of their employees had.