Accessing Formula 1 TV Pro streaming video in countries where not available using VPN and a Virtual Credit Card
The Formula 1 series started offering an official video streaming service in the 2018 season. In addition to video the service has interesting extras like unsensored team readio, onboard-cameras, etc. The service works on Windows and Mac-computers, and support for iOS and Android is coming.
There are two versions of the streaming video service: TV Access and TV Pro. A full feature list is displayed below:
- Direct online streaming video in High Definition *
- Access to onboard cameras of all cars *
- Full access to unsensored team radio *
- Live results in leaderboard *
- Highlights of all sessions (practice, qualifying and race)
- Access to an archive of historic F1 Grand Prixes
- Access to Formula 1 documentaries archive
- Access to realtime laptime data
- Live map tracking individual drivers' position on map
- Select access to team radio
The items marked with an asterisk are only available in the TV Pro package.
More information about the service in the press release: Formula 1 to launch F1 TV, a live Grand Prix subscription service
Access Formula 1 TV Pro service where it is not sold
The official Formula 1 direct streaming service is available around the world. Prices vary per country and package. In addition the access to the TV Pro subscription is limited to a certain number of countries, for example France and Germany. The reason are contracts that the Formula 1 Administration / Liberty Media have in place on exclusivity of F1 broadcasts.
Prices in countries like Germany are reasonable, with a monthly fee of 7.99€ or 58.49€ for a year (limited offer until end of May, normal price 64.99€). Even if you are not living in a country where the TV Pro service is not available, it is still possible to gain access to it without too much cost or technical know how needed.
You need two things to sign up for a German subscription: A network connection to Germany and a credit card with a German address. Both services can be bought online for a reasonable price. Here are high level instructions to order a German TV Pro subscription from any country:
- Create a free virtual Visa card at https://www.mycard2go.com/
- Transfer funds to the card (note that the free mycard2go card can be topped up only once)
- Wait until funds are sent to your Visa card (it can take a few working days from Europe)
- Get access toa VPN connection that allows routing traffic through Germany (Freedome, for example has a free trial and works also on Android, iPhone and iPad devices)
- Open your VPN connection to Germany
- Open the TV Pro ordering page: https://www.formula1.com/en/subscribe-to-f1-tv-pro.html
- Create a Formula 1 account and choose Germany as your country
- To credit card details of your mycard2go Visa, and use the mycard2go mail address
- Confirm order
- Enjoy online racing
The example uses Germany, but any country which has access to TV Pro and where you can connect via VPN and have a local credit card will work. Germany is not an exceptional country by any means, even less so when it comes to flexibility or technical progress.
These instructions worked in May 2018, but it is possible that Liberty Media, the Formula 1 series owner, will block this loop hole. It is likely better to order the service on a monthly subscription. Also, if you have funds left on your mycard2go car, you can use the anywhere where Visa is accepted online.