Sky Sports “unlikely” to make the 2021 Formula 1 final in Abu Dhabi in clear
Despite the epic showdown witnessing Formula 1, Sky has no plans to allow unencrypted UK coverage of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
After several seasons of domination for Lewis hamilton, the seven-time world champion has met one of the toughest challengers of his career this season with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Twenty rounds have passed, with a catalog of thrilling wheel-to-wheel moments in between, including a few major crashes, in a season that will go down as one of the greatest Formula 1s ever produced.
And with Verstappen at the head of Drivers’ Championship With just eight points ahead of Hamilton before the penultimate round, there is every chance that this battle will rage until the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
If so, it will be the first time since 2016, when Nico Rosberg beat his Mercedes Hamilton teammate for the title on the final day of the season at the Yas Marina circuit.
In the UK, it has happened on several occasions that a major sporting event which would normally be available on pay TV is also shown on free TV.
Recently, Amazon Prime allowed Channel 4 to broadcast live the US Open tennis final, which featured Britain’s Emma Raducanu winning the match, achieving one of the sport’s greatest performances.
However, Sky, which owns the exclusive rights to broadcast Formula 1 live in the UK, has no plans to allow Channel 4 to offer live coverage of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Instead, the system is expected to remain the same, with Channel 4 showing the qualifying and race highlights delayed.
Speaking to Motorsport Broadcasting, a Sky spokesperson said: “The race is unlikely to be broadcast for free on December 12. Highlights will be available on Channel 4 as always.”
Before Formula One travels to Abu Dhabi, Verstappen could win his first drivers’ championship at the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, if he extends his current eight-point lead over Hamilton to 26 points or more.