Channel 4 gets the go-ahead from Sky Sports for Lewis Hamilton’s highly-anticipated showdown with Max Vertappen over world titles live on free-air – similar to deals made for England’s Cricket World Cup win, and Emma Raducanu winning the US Open.

  • Formula One’s Abu Dhabi finale will air on Channel 4 free of charge
  • Sky hold exclusive live rights to F1 having paid over £1bn for a five-year deal
  • On Sunday, the world title-deciding race begins at 1pm UK Time  
  • A broadcaster saw the benefit of making major events easily accessible for all.
  • Sky Sports has agreed to live-broadcast coverage of England’s World Cup Cricket win 
  • Channel 4 reached an agreement with Amazon to host Emma Raducanu’s US Open final.

Channel 4 have reached an agreement with Sky Sports to make Sunday’s dramatic Formula One title showdown between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen available live on free-to-air television in the UK. 

Channel 4 usually only has the rights to highlight shows in the evenings after races, but they have reached a deal that will allow live coverage from Abu Dhabi. Sunday’s race starts at 12:01 PM UK time.

Sportsmail earlier revealed that Channel 4 and Channel 4 were discussing similar deals. They are looking to air England in the Cricket World Cup final, as well as Emma Raducanu’s US Open final match against Leylah Florandez. 

Lewis Hamilton's title showdown with Max Verstappen will be shown live on free-to-air TV in the UK after Channel 4 agreed a deal with Sky Sports

Following a Sky Sports deal, Lewis Hamilton will face Max Verstappen in a title match. This is free-to-air television.

Rivals Verstappen (pictured) and Hamilton will go head-to-head in Abu Dhabi on Sunday

Rivals Verstappen (pictured) and Hamilton will go head-to-head in Abu Dhabi on Sunday

Sky’s coverage on the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix was viewed by 2.66 Million people, the highest audience ever recorded in Sky’s F1 coverage. 

Stefano Domenicali, President of Formula 1, said that he was excited about Sky making the Grand Prix available for Channel 4 viewers. This will allow everyone to tune in to the exciting finale to this thrilling season. 

Sky is passionate about Formula 1 and this kind gesture shows how much they care for the sport. All of us look forward to Sunday’s race and we hope that all fans are glued to their screens. 

Hamilton’s win in Jeddah means the bitter rivals are level on points with one race remaining, creating unprecedented interest as the English driver seeks a victory that would give him a record eighth championship. 

Hamilton (back) crashed into the back of Verstappen (front) during Sunday's Saudi Arabia GP

Hamilton (back), collided with Verstappen’s back during Sunday’s Saudi ArabiaGP

Channel 4 previously delivered major sporting events via free-to-air television. 

Channel 4 agreed to a last-minute deal for live broadcasting of England’s World Cup Cricket win over New Zealand. Last year’s European Championship qualifying games were free-to-air on the BBC’s channels in lockdown.

Channel 4 secured live streaming rights to Raducanu winning the US Open Final in September 2017. This was after Channel 4 approached Amazon Prime. 

The deal stipulates that Channel 4 will broadcast Sky’s live race coverage, with the presenting team Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button, Martin Brundle (Nat Pinkham), David Croft, Karun Chaudhok, Simon Lazenby, Ted Kravitz, as well as its presenters, Ted Kravitz, Martin Brundle, Martin Brundle, Nat Pinkham and Nat Pinkham.

Channel 4’s crew of Steve Jones and Mark Webber, Mark Webber, and Lee McKenzie will be providing build up to Sunday’s race. Then, they will switch over to Sky to provide live and pre-race coverage.

Channel 4 struck a deal with Amazon in September to show Emma Raducanu's US Open final

Channel 4 reached an agreement with Amazon to air Emma Raducanu’s US Open final in September.

The podium ceremony will be followed by an immediate reaction from Channel 4 before the highlights program airs at 5.30pm.

Alex Mahon is the Chief Executive Officer of Channel 4. He stated: “We are thrilled that all of America will have the opportunity to see what Lewis strives for as the World Champion.

“After making Test cricket available for free on television, and giving millions the opportunity to witness the excitement of Emma Raducanu winning the US Open, we are thrilled to partner with Sky in order to allow the greatest possible number to enjoy this momentous sporting event.”

Stephen van Rooyen, EVP & CEO UK & Europe Sky said: ‘Sunday’s Grand Prix is one of the biggest sporting events in the last decade, and could be an historic moment for British sport. The race will be given to everyone at Christmas by Channel 4’s partnership. This allows for all to enjoy this historic moment in national history as Lewis Hamilton competes to claim the eighth World Championship title.

“The Sky Sports Formula 1 Team will offer viewers on Channel 4 or Sky Sports unparalleled insight, commentary, and analysis about every turn in this season’s most anticipated last race. Additionally all Sky TV customers will have live coverage of the important qualifying session on Saturday, and the race on Sunday – which we will also show live on Sky Showcase.’