The first race of the 2018 Formula One World Championship roars into Melbourne this weekend giving us our first glimpse of Aussie heartthrob and shoey-loving Red Bull racer, Daniel Ricciardo, and his tilt at the title.
If you're looking to follow the local boy and want to watch qualifying through to the big event, we've got you covered. Here's how to watch the F1 Australian Grand Prix live, online and free!
What Is The F1 Australian Grand Prix?
The Australian Grand Prix is the opening race of the Formula One (F1) Championship and takes place at Melbourne's Albert Park. Formula One is the marquee class of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and has been in operation since 1950. The French word 'Grand Prix' means "great prizes" but speak to most Aussies and we'll call it a 'GROM PREE' which means 'bloody great race ey, cobber'
The event has been run in Melbourne since moving back from Adelaide in 1996. Adelaide is, I believe, still salty.
10 teams of two drivers compete for points in races throughout the year. Who should you look out for? Daniel Ricciardo, the Aussie boy, races for Red Bull Racing, but Ferrari and Mercedes are sure to have strong seasons too with Sebastian Vettel at the former and current champion, Lewis Hamilton, at the latter.
Curiously, this is the first season that the 'halo', a device that protects the driver in the cockpit, will be added to the vehicles.
When Is The F1 Australian Grand Prix 2018?
The Australian Grand Prix runs from March 24 to March 26 with practice, qualifying and the Grand Prix running at different times over the weekend. If you want to catch every minute of the event, you'll need to tune in from 10:30am AEDT on Friday March 23. The first practice is at midday that day, the second at 3:45pm.
On Saturday, March 24, a third practice session will take place at 1:45pm AEDT but what you're probably here for is the Qualifying session and Big Race.
The Qualifying session begins at 5pm AEDT on Saturday, March 24.
Here’s that time in all capital cities:
- Perth, WA: 2pm
- Darwin, NT: 3:30pm
- Brisbane, QLD: 4pm
- Adelaide, SA: 4:30pm
- Sydney, NSW: 5pm
- Canberra, ACT: 5pm
- Melbourne, VIC: 5pm
- Hobart, TAS: 5pm
The Australian Grand Prix will begin at 4:10pm AEDT on Sunday, March 25
Here’s that time in all capital cities:
- Perth, WA: 1:10pm
- Darwin, NT: 2:40pm
- Brisbane, QLD: 3:10pm
- Adelaide, SA: 3:40pm
- Sydney, NSW: 4:10pm
- Canberra, ACT: 4:10pm
- Melbourne, VIC: 4:10pm
- Hobart, TAS: 4:10pm
How To Watch The 2018 F1 Australian Grand Prix Live, Online, Free
Channel Ten have the rights to broadcast the Formula One Championship across the year and will broadcast Formula One across the weekend. Friday's practice sessions will be broadcast on Channel ONE, while TEN and TEN HD will have the broadcast on Saturday and Sunday. Coverage will start from 10:30am AEDT on Friday and 10am AEDT on Saturday and Sunday.
Can't get to a TV? No problems. Channel Ten and ONE will have coverage across the weekend too. Just head over to Tenplay to livestream on your desktop or devices, totally for free.
Of course, you need to live in Australia to access this service for free - if you don't, you will need to invest in a VPN. If you need help doing that, we've also got you covered, but there is likely to be a small fee associated with signing up to one of these services.
Second to Ten is Foxtel, with Fox Sports covering all the races from March through to November as well. I don't usually recommend subscribing to Foxtel and getting a box in these guides because that'll take to long to set up so you have to look at Foxtel Now. If you already have Foxtel, the broadcast will be on Channel 506.
Foxtel Now is definitely an option if you go with the sports package and want to watch on your desktop or mobile devices. If you jump onto the service, you can sign up for a FREE two week trial, provided you're a new user means. However, after the two weeks are up, the cheapest way to stream via Foxtel is to pay for a $10 starter pack and add the $29 sports pack. This will set you back $39 a month. Granted, if you're looking to catch the entire Championship, which finishes in November, then you're looking at around $240 a year - expensive! There are no ads in the coverage though, perhaps that's a good trade-off?
Plenty of revheads hang out on Reddit too, providing a nice, full commentary of the race. That community is worth looking to as well.
Where Can I Get Tickets To The Australian Grand Prix?
If you're in or around Melbourne and want to attend the event, then you just need to head to the official website. Click here if you're interested in attending.