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F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream — watch the title decider FREE online

Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes will go head to head for the F1 title in the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream
(Image credit: Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images / Clive Rose/Getty Images)

The F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream will bring to an end the most exciting F1 season in years and you can watch it FOR FREE in some countries.

2021 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream: How to watch live online

The 2021 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix starts at 8 a.m. ET / 5 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. GMT today (Sunday, December 12).
• FREE LIVE STREAM — Watch on Ziggo Sport (opens in new tab) (NL)
• U.K. — Watch on Channel 4.com (opens in new tab)
• U.S. — Watch on ESPN2 via Sling (opens in new tab) or Fubo.TV (opens in new tab)
• Watch anywhere — Try ExpressVPN 100% risk free (opens in new tab)

The big news ahead of the race is that Max Verstappen of Red Bull will be on pole after a thrilling qualifying session yesterday that raised as many questions as it answered.

Though Verstappen was fastest ahead of Lewis Hamilton, he will start on the soft tires whereas the Mercedes man will be on mediums. 

As a result, Verstappen should be able to open up a lead from the start — assuming nothing goes wrong in the first corner — but it also means Hamilton will be able to pit later, and that he'll have the quicker rubber later in the race.

In short, it keeps everyone guessing as to how the race might play out, and that's entirely in keeping with a season that has seemingly been scripted by Hollywood. Since the pair first went wheel to wheel at the opening Bahrain Grand Prix right up until last week's drama in Saudi Arabia, they've traded fastest laps, pole positions, victories and the title lead multiple times. 

Along the way, there's been drama, controversy, rancor and outright hostility. They've collided three times and come close about a dozen more; there have been accusations of cheating and bad sportsmanship. Frankly, it might be more fitting if the title was decided in the boxing ring.

Fortunately, it will instead be decided on the track, with the rivals level on points going into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. And that means whoever finishes ahead here will be crowned champion.

Elsewhere on the grid, Lando Norris will start third after a superb lap, with Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull fourth. But Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas could only manage sixth and may not be able to help out much. Nikita Mazepin, meanwhile, has tested positive and won't take part (not that he'd have finished anywhere other than last anyway).

Honestly, we've not been this excited since that Christmas when we got a Star Wars Millennium Falcon, so we'll be glued to every second of the race today, which starts at 1 p.m. GMT / 8 a.m. ET / 5 a.m. PT.

You'll be able to follow it all live — and in fact there are now several ways you can watch the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream FOR FREE, depending on where you are in the world. Read on for all the details.

Abu Dhabi GP free live streams

How to watch the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream for free

The great news for this title decider is that the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream will be available FOR FREE in the U.K., the Netherlands, Austria or Luxembourg.

That's because the race will be shown on Channel 4 (opens in new tab)  in the U.K., Ziggo Sport (opens in new tab) in the Netherlands, Red Bull's own ServusTV (opens in new tab) in Austria and RTL Zwee (opens in new tab) in Luxembourg. 

If you're usually based in one of those countries but aren't at home for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, don't worry — you can watch it via a VPN instead. We'll show you how to do that below.

Abu Dhabi GP live streams around the world

How to watch the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream from anywhere in the world

It's natural that you might want to watch the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream from your home country, but what if you're not there when the race is on?

Look no further than a VPN, or virtual private network. A VPN makes it look as if you're surfing the web from your home country, rather than the one you're in. That means you can access the streaming services you already pay for, from anywhere on Earth. Or anywhere that has an internet connection, at least.

For instance, a Brit who's currently in the U.S. could watch the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream on Channel4.com (opens in new tab), even though they're not in the U.K. 

They're totally legal, inexpensive and easy to use. We've tested lots of the best VPN services and our favorite right now is ExpressVPN (opens in new tab). It's fast, works on loads of devices and even offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Safety, speed and simplicity combine to make ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) our favorite VPN service. It's also compatible with loads of devices and there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you want to try it out.

Using a VPN is incredibly simple.

1. Install the VPN of your choice. As we've said, ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) is our favorite.

2. Choose the location you wish to connect to in the VPN app. For instance if you're in the U.S. and want to view a U.K. service, you'd select U.K. from the list.

3. Sit back and enjoy the action. Head to Channel 4 or another website and watch the race.

How to watch the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream in the US

US flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

As with all F1 races this season, the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream will be shown on ESPN2.

But there's more good news on the ESPN front — because the final race will also be streamed live on ESPN Plus, ESPN's standalone streaming service; usually, ESPN Plus is not included in F1 coverage. 

There are several ways you can access ESPN — and two of them are among our picks for the best streaming services

ESPN2 is available through most cable packages as well as cable TV replacement services, including Sling TV, Fubo.TV, YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV. Either way, coverage of the big race starts at 8 a.m. ET today (Sunday, December 12). 

As well as being available through your cable service across the weekend, you can also stream the race via the ESPN app, or on the Watch section of ESPN's website. However, you'll need to authenticate with your satellite, cable or live TV provider credentials to watch any sessions. 

If you don't want to pay for live ESPN in some fashion or another, your best alternative is F1 TV Pro (opens in new tab). This is F1's own official F1 live stream service, and as with ESPN's own coverage, it uses the feed from Sky Sports F1. 

F1 TV Pro costs $10 per month or $80 for the season, which is much better value considering there are set to be 23 races this year. Plus you also get Formula 2, Formula 3 and Porsche Supercup races, and F1's archive of classic Grands Prix.

And remember, if you're usually based in the U.S. but aren't there at the moment, you can still watch the services you already subscribe to via a VPN such as ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) — meaning you can view an F1 live stream from anywhere in the world. 

If you're not already a Sling TV (opens in new tab) subscriber, you'll want Sling Orange in order to watch ESPN. This costs $35/month and includes dozens of other great channels. 

Love sports? Then check out Fubo.TV (opens in new tab). It's got a 7-day free trial so you don't need to pay up front. The channel lineup includes ESPN2, plus other top networks including Bravo, FX and MTV.

How to watch the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream in the UK

British flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The big news in the U.K. is that Channel 4 (opens in new tab) has struck a deal with Sky Sports to show the race FOR FREE today. That means the Grand Prix action will be available to anyone watching live TV or via the Channel 4 website (opens in new tab) or the various C4 apps on smart TVs, Roku, Chromecast, games consoles and other devices. Coverage will start from 12 p.m. GMT, with the race itself at 1 p.m.

Of course you may still want to follow on Sky Sports, and Sky Sports F1 will show all of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix action, and in up to 4K resolution on both Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports F1. There'll also be plenty of build up and analysis beforehand.

You'll need to be a Sky Sports (opens in new tab) subscriber to watch the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream: the Sky Sports F1 channel is available for £18 per month, and there are packages available that give you lots more channels for only a bit extra. 

To follow it in ultra high-definition 4K, you'll need to pay a little more: you'll need a Sky Q set-top box and a package that includes both Ultra HD and Sky Sports F1. In total, that'd come to £45 a month, plus a £20 one-off payment if you're not an existing subscriber.

A far cheaper option is to buy a Now Sports Pass (opens in new tab). This will give you all 11 of the Sky Sports channels for a limited time, with pricing starting at £9.99 for a Day Pass and £33.99 for one month. There's no 4K available here though.

Again, if you're usually based in the U.K. but are elsewhere at the moment, you can still watch the services you subscribe to, by using one of the best VPN services.

How to watch the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream in Canada

Canadian flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

TSN airs all Formula 1 races in Canada in English, while RDS has coverage in French. F1 TV Pro (opens in new tab) also remains an option for fans looking for an F1 live stream. 

All sessions are broadcast on TSN, and if you receive the network through your cable or satellite provider, you can use TSN Go by signing in with your TV service credentials. Cord-cutters will want to check out TSN Direct (opens in new tab), which comes in day- and month-long passes for $8 or $20 CAD, respectively. The TSN app (opens in new tab) will allow you to live stream the race from your phone, streaming box or supported device.

Not actually in Canada at the moment? ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) and other VPN services can help you access the services you already subscribe to.

How to watch the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream in Australia

Australian flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Fox Sports has the rights to the F1 live streams in Australia, which means you can watch the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix online via Foxtel (opens in new tab)

Kayo Sports (opens in new tab) is another option. This service offers new subscribers a 14-day free trial, while one-month subscriptions start at $25. 

You can also use one of the best VPN services to follow the action from your home country even when you're elsewhere.

F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix starting grid

POS

DRIVER

CAR

1

Max Verstappen

Red Bull Racing Honda

2

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

3

Lando Norris

Mclaren Mercedes

4

Sergio Perez

Red Bull Racing Honda

5

Carlos Sainz

Ferrari

6

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

7

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

8

Yuki Tsunoda

Alphatauri Honda

9

Esteban Ocon

Alpine Renault

10

Daniel Ricciardo

Mclaren Mercedes

11

Fernando Alonso

Alpine Renault

12

Pierre Gasly

Alphatauri Honda

13

Lance Stroll

Aston Martin Mercedes

14

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari

15

Sebastian Vettel

Aston Martin Mercedes

16

Nicholas Latifi

Williams Mercedes

17

George Russell

Williams Mercedes

18

Kimi Räikkönen

Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari

19

Mick Schumacher

Haas Ferrari

F1 Abu Dhabi GP schedule

F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live stream: Practice, qualifying and race weekend schedule

Max Verstappen of Red Bull

(Image credit: Red Bull / Getty)

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend started on Friday with practice 1 and 2. Third practice and qualifying were on Saturday, and the race is today (Sunday, December 12).

Friday, December 10

  • Practice 1: 4.30 a.m. – 5.30 a.m. ET (1.30 a.m. – 2.30 a.m PT / 9.30 p.m. – 10.30 p.m. GMT)
  • Practice 2: 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET (5 a.m. – 6 a.m PT / 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. GMT)

Saturday, December 11

  • Practice 3: 5 a.m. – 6 a.m. ET (2 a.m. – 3 a.m PT / 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. GMT)
  • Qualifying: 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET (5 a.m. – 6 a.m PT / 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. GMT)

Sunday, December 12

Race: 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. ET (5 a.m. – 7 a.m PT / 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. GMT)

Title permutations

Who has the advantage in the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?

Max Verstappen, in the Red Bull, has had the advantage for much of the season and was 21 points ahead as recently as three races ago. But each time Hamilton has pulled him back and they go into this final contest level on points and with all still up for grabs.

What happens next is anyone's guess — although we do know for sure that whoever finishes ahead in Abu Dhabi will be crowned 2021 F1 champion.

Although actually, that's not quite true; if one finishes ninth and the other tenth but takes fastest lap, they would still be level on points. Any other season we'd dismiss that as outlandish, but you never know… 

More likely is that both crash out while grappling for the lead, and if that happens Verstappen will win the title based on having scored nine victories to Hamilton's eight. That would be somewhat unfair, given that Verstappen's extra victory came in the Spa race-that-wasn't-a-race, but it's what the rules say.

The most likely scenario of all, though, is that they finish first and second after yet another thrilling race to the flag. And in that case, it really will be a matter of winner takes all. Just don't ask us to predict which order they'll cross the line in. 

F1 standings, line-ups, calendar

F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix — current driver standings

POS

DRIVER

NATIONALITY

CAR

PTS

1Max VerstappenNEDRED BULL RACING HONDA369.5
2Lewis HamiltonGBRMERCEDES369.5
3Valtteri BottasFINMERCEDES218
4Sergio PerezMEXRED BULL RACING HONDA190
5Charles LeclercMONFERRARI158
6Lando NorrisGBRMCLAREN MERCEDES154
7Carlos SainzESPFERRARI149.5
8Daniel RicciardoAUSMCLAREN MERCEDES115
9Pierre GaslyFRAALPHATAURI HONDA100
10Fernando AlonsoESPALPINE RENAULT77
11Esteban OconFRAALPINE RENAULT72
12Sebastian Vettel

GER

ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES

43
13Lance StrollCANASTON MARTIN MERCEDES34
14Yuki TsunodaJPNALPHATAURI HONDA20
15George RussellGBRWILLIAMS MERCEDES16
16Kimi RaikkonenFINALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI10
17Nicholas LatifiCANWILLIAMS MERCEDES7
18Antonio GiovinazziITAALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI3
19Mick SchumacherGERHAAS FERRARI

0

20Nikita MazepinRAFHAAS FERRARI0
21Robert KubicaPOLALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI0

F1 2021 car and driver line-ups

Team

Driver 1

Driver 2

Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen (7)

Antonio Giovinazzi (99)

Alpha Tauri

Pierre Gasly (10)

Yuki Tsunoda (22)

Alpine

Fernando Alonso (14)

Esteban Ocon (31)

Aston Martin

Sebastian Vettel (5)

Lance Stroll (18)

Ferrari

Charles Leclerc (16)

Carlos Sainz (55)

Haas

Nikita Mazepin (9)

Mick Schumacher (47)

McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo (3)

Lando Norris (4)

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton (44)

Valtteri Bottas (77)

Red Bull

Max Verstappen (33)

Sergio Perez (11)

Williams

George Russell (63)

Nicholas Latifi (6)

Full 2021 F1 calendar

DATE

GRAND PRIX

CIRCUIT

COUNTRY

26-28 March

Bahrain Grand Prix

Bahrain International Circuit

Bahrain

16-18 April

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Autodromo Imola

Italy

30 April 2 May

Portuguese Grand Prix

Portimão Circuit

Portugal

7-9 May

Spanish Grand Prix

Catalunya Circuit

Spain

20-23 May

Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Circuit

Monte Carlo

4-6 June

Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Baku street circuit

Azerbaijan

18-20 June

French Grand Prix

Circuit Paul Ricard

France

25-27 June

Styrian Grand PrixRed Bull Ring

Austria

2-4 July

Austrian Grand Prix

Red Bull Ring

Austria

16-18 July

British Grand Prix

Silverstone Circuit

Great Britain

30 July - 1 Aug

Hungarian Grand Prix

Hungaroring

Hungary

27-29 Aug

Belgian Grand Prix

Spa-Francorchamps Circuit

Belgium

3-5 Sept

Dutch Grand Prix

Circuit Zandvoort

Netherlands

10-12 Sept

Italian Grand Prix

Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Italy

24-26 SeptRussian Grand PrixSochi International Street Circuit

Russia

8-10 OctTurkish Grand PrixIntercity Instanbul ParkTurkey

22-24 Oct

US Grand Prix

Circuit of The Americas

United States

5-7 OctMexico Grand Prix

Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez

Mexico

12-14 Nov

Brazilian Grand Prix

Autodromo Interlagos

Brazil

19-21 Nov

QatarDohaTBC
3-5 Dec

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Jeddah

Saudi Arabia

10-12 Dec

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Yas Marina Circuit

UAE

VPN statement

(Image credit: Future)

As Editor in Chief (U.K.) on Tom’s Guide, Marc oversees all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment, how-to and cameras coverage, and is also responsible for the site’s U.K.-focused output. He previously edited the tech website Stuff and has tested and written about phones, tablets, wearables, streaming boxes, smart home devices, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, games, TVs, cameras and much more. He also spent years on a music magazine, where his duties mainly involved spoiling other people’s fun, and on a car magazine. An avid photographer, Marc likes nothing better than taking pictures of very small things (bugs, his daughters) or very big things (distant galaxies). When he gets time, he also enjoys gaming (console and mobile), cycling and attempting to watch as much sport as any human can. He's also fallen in love with Wordle over the past six months and is the author of our today's Wordle answer column, in which he supplies hints and strategy tips for the mega-popular word game. Given he's completed every single Wordle so far and only lost once, and analyzed every Wordle answer in search of patterns, he's well qualified to help you safeguard your streak.