Sky has today announced a partnership with Channel 4 that will see Sky Sports’ live coverage of the thrilling Formula 1 season finale shared with the whole country right before Christmas, on what could be an historic occasion for Sir Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton stands on the brink of history – victory in Abu Dhabi would clinch an eighth world title and confirm him as the greatest F1 driver ever. This unique final race will go lights out with the two leading drivers on equal points, the Yas Marina track providing a ‘winner takes all’ close to an epic season.
Sky Sports has enjoyed record viewing from the opening GP in Bahrain, to the penultimate race in Saudi Arabia which was watched by a peak audience of 2.7m viewers. Sky’s decision to deepen its partnership with Channel 4 further will ensure the maximum possible audience across the UK and Ireland for a once in a lifetime moment for the sport – Lewis v Max: Decider in the Desert.
Hamilton is already one of the greatest drivers the sport has ever seen, but victory would move him above Michael Schumacher’s seven titles and into unprecedented territory. For Verstappen it would be a first title for the exciting 24-year-old Red Bull driver. Either way it will be a magical occasion, with the Sky Sports F1 team of experts analysing every single lap of a race the whole country can now experience.
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. We’ve chosen to gift the race to the whole country at Christmas through our partnership with Channel 4, so everyone can be part of a huge national moment as Lewis Hamilton goes for a historic eighth World Championship title.
“The brilliant Sky Sports Formula 1 team will give viewers on Channel 4 and Sky Sports the best insight, commentary and analysis of every twist and turn of this most eagerly anticipated final race of the season. 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.”
Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “We are excited that Sky will make the Grand Prix on Sunday available to Channel 4 viewers so everyone can tune in live for the thrilling finale to this epic season. Sky’s passion for Formula 1 is incredible and this generous gesture shows their love of the sport and the millions of fans in the U.K. We are all looking forward to Sunday and hope all the fans will be glued to their screens.”
Sky Sports F1 will show every aspect of the build up, including practice and qualifying as both drivers aim to gain a crucial advantage before the chequered flag. Additionally, every Sky TV customer will be able to watch everything from qualifying on Saturday to the race on Sunday, with the broadcast shared across Sky Sports and Sky Showcase. All the action from this iconic head-to head will also be available to NOW members with either a NOW Entertainment or NOW Sports membership.
Sky Sports F1 will carry live build up on Sunday from 11.30am in UHD with the ‘Sports Recap’ function available throughout the race, which is due to start at 1pm. The live race will then see Sky Sports’ coverage aired across Sky channels and Channel 4, including the Sky commentary team and expert analysis.