Formula 1 Season Launches This Week on ESPN After Four-Month Delay

Formula 1 on ESPN (Photo/ESPN Images)

After a delay of nearly four months, the 2020 season of the FIA Formula One World Championship will launch this week with the first of two consecutive weekends of racing in Austria.

ESPN begins its third consecutive year of coverage with expanded offerings, a new availability for Spanish-speaking fans and a continuation of commercial-free race telecasts.

The Formula 1 Rolex Austrian Grand Prix from the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. will air Sunday, July 5, at 9:05 a.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. The Grand Prix Sunday pre-race show (formerly On the Grid, now expanded to one hour) will precede the race at 8 a.m. on ESPN. Live coverage of the weekend’s three practice sessions and qualifying also will air on ESPN or ESPN2.

On the heels of double-digit television viewership growth in the United States over the past two seasons, ESPN and Formula 1 forged a new agreement last fall that will keep the Championship on ESPN and ABC through 2022. F1 returned to the ESPN networks in 2018.

As an additional element of the new deal, ESPN Deportes is now the exclusive Spanish-language home for all Formula 1 races in the U.S. Spanish-language coverage of F1 races, qualifying and practice sessions will be made available to fans on the ESPN Deportes television network and other ESPN platforms all season.

Once again in 2020, the race telecasts will be presented commercial-free with sponsorship from Mothers Polish, which signed a new, three-year agreement with ESPN. The expanded new deal also includes presenting sponsorship of practice and qualifying telecasts.

ESPN is again teaming with Sky Sports and Formula 1 to bring Sky Sports’ award-winning presentation of Formula 1 racing to American viewers. Sky’s Welcome to the Weekend program, which will air on ESPN2 for both Austria events leading into the weekend’s first practice session, returns this year with a race preview, driver interviews and commentary and analysis from the Sky team. The Austrian edition of the program airs on Friday, July 3, at 4:30 a.m. with replays available on the ESPN App.

After the Formula 1 Rolex Austrian Grand Prix, Formula 1 will return to the Red Bull Ring for the Formula 1 Pirelli Styrian Grand Prix July 10-12.

Formula 1 returned to its original U.S. television home in 2018 – the first race ever aired in the country was on ABC in 1962. F1 races also aired on ESPN from 1984-1997.

ESPN’s coverage of Formula 1 also includes a dedicated website that reports on the championship year-round.

Formula 1 Rolex Austrian Grand Prix

Date Program Start Time Network
Friday, July 3 Welcome to the Weekend 4:30 a.m. ESPN2
  Practice 1 4:55 a.m. ESPN2
  Practice 2 8:55 a.m. ESPN2
Saturday, July 4 Practice 3 5:55 a.m. ESPN2
  Qualifying 8:55 a.m. ESPN
Sunday, July 5 Grand Prix Sunday 8 a.m. ESPN
  Spanish language telecast 8:30 a.m. ESPN Deportes
  Race 9:05 a.m. ESPN

 

Formula 1 Pirelli Styrian Grand Prix

Date Program Start Time Network
Friday, July 10 Welcome to the Weekend 4:30 a.m. ESPN2
  Practice 1 4:55 a.m. ESPN2
  Practice 2 8:55 a.m. ESPN2
Saturday, July 11 Practice 3 5:55 a.m. ESPN2
  Qualifying 8:55 a.m. ESPN
Sunday, July 12 Grand Prix Sunday 8 a.m. ESPN
  Spanish language telecast 8:30 a.m. ESPN Deportes
  Race 9:05 a.m. ESPN

(all times Eastern) (All telecasts also streaming live and available for replay on the ESPN App)