The 12th Grand Prix of the 2018 Formula 1 season will pit Vettel and Hamilton against each other once again, with Hamilton currently sitting at the top of the season standings. All eyes will be locked on Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday, August 26 at 3 p.m (2 p.m. UK time) to watch the Belgian Grand Prix, with many viewers tuning in through Kodi.
Kodi is software that allows you to create your very own home theater system without breaking the bank. There is a wealth of additional software (called add-ons) which goes even further and provides access to content which is hosted online as well. Better yet, some of this includes live coverage of some of the world’s biggest sporting events, which is an area we’ll be discussing today.
We’ve included some streaming methods through the Kodi media player on this list. At this time of writing, the Kodi add-on options we’ve recommended on this list provide some legal streaming methods. Our list does not promote any add-ons that either provide only pirated streams, or that do not offer legal streaming methods for the Grand Prix.
Comparitech does not condone or encourage any violation of copyright restrictions, including illegal streaming through Kodi. Kodi can be used for many excellent, legal online streaming purposes. Please consider the law, victims, and risks of piracy before downloading or streaming copyrighted material without permission.
Before we start: Using Kodi safely and privately
Before you begin using Kodi, it’s important that you know how to keep yourself safe. There is no way of knowing what some of the less scrupulous internet service providers (ISP) intend to do with your data. Additionally, you may find that certain content is inaccessible from your country, or that your network speeds are considerably slowed down whenever you stream video.
Luckily, there’s a nice simple way around these problems. A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts all incoming and outgoing data from your computer, anonymising your identity. Essentially, it stops your ISP from seeing what you’re doing and even what country you are in. Since they don’t know that you’re streaming video, they have no reason to throttle your bandwidth, which in turn allows you to have a better viewing experience.
Additionally, whether you’re using official or unofficial add-ons, any Kodi plugin can carry security risks. Kodi add-ons have been hacked in the past to create DDoS botnets. Meanwhile, it is easy for hackers to hijack an add-on and use it for man-in-the-middle attacks, allowing them to steal your private information and spy on your streaming activity.
We recommend ExpressVPN, because it’s fast, doesn’t slow you down, and has a 30-day money-back guarantee. ExpressVPN will prevent both ISP spying and Kodi add-on hijacking that can leave you exposed and give others access to your data. This means that you can try it risk-free and cancel after the race for a full refund if you don’t want to keep it.
Reader deal: Use this offer to get three months extra free with ExpressVPN, in case you do decide to keep it for watching future Grand Prix races for the rest of the season and other sporting events not broadcast in your location. You can still cancel within 30 days and receive a full refund if you don’t want to keep it; there’s no strings attached so you really can try it risk free.
How to watch the Belgian Grand Prix on official channels
There are a number of ways to watch the Belgian Grand Prix online, including two good free options which allow you to view the practice, qualification, and race in HD. You can stream the race online in HD for free on TenPlay from Network 10. You will need an Australian IP address for this to work, although if you have a VPN installed you can just spoof an Australian location and it should work nicely. Cable subscribers in Australia can watch the race on Channel 10 or Fox, too.
For British users, Channel 4 will broadcast the Belgian GP live. The live race will be streamed free online for viewers in the UK. If you’re not in the UK but have a TV license, you can still access the stream by connecting to a VPN server in the country.
If you’re in the UK and have a cable subscription that includes Sky Sports F1, coverage of the Belgium Grand Prix can be found on the Sky Sports website or Sky Go app. If you have a cable subscription but are outside of the UK, then check out our tutorial for watching Sky Go abroad using a VPN or smart DNS. NOW TV offers a Sky Sports week-long pass and is available on a NOW TV Box, Chromecast, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Roku, LG Smart TV, PC or Mac, and selected mobile and tablet devices.
Viewers in Canada can catch the race on TSN 3 or RDS 2 with a cable subscription. Online streaming via TSN 3 or RDS 2 is also possible but you’ll still need a subscription in order to access it.
Viewers in the U.S. can live stream F1 races via ESPN‘s WatchESPN or the ESPN App on smart devices, but you’ll need to log in with through your cable provider. ESPN’s race coverage can also be viewed on any streaming service that includes ESPN and ESPN2, including SlingTV and fuboTV.
If you’re not traveling and need to connect to a service in your home country you can do so with ExpressVPN, which will change your IP address to the country of your choice.
All times are Belgium local time (GMT+2).
- The main event begins Sunday, August 26 at 3:10 p.m. local time (2:10 p.m. UK time)
- Qualifying begins on Saturday, August 25 at 3 p.m.
- Practices start Friday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Saturday at noon
Below we’ve listed the broadcasters for Australia, the UK, Canada, and the US along with their respective streaming options. If you want to watch in a web browser, the best option looks to be Network 10’s tenplay from Australia. The race is a “free to air” event so no subscription is necessary. You will need an Australian IP address to view it on tenplay, so be sure to connect with a VPN to a server in Australia.
- tenplay – free, no subscription required
- Sky Sports F1 – subscription required
- Channel 4 – free, no subscription required
- Sky Go – cable subscription required
- NOW TV – subscription required
- TSN 3 – cable subscription required
- TSN 3 Online – cable subscription required
- RDS 2
- RDS 2 Online – cable subscription required
- ESPN2 – cable subscription required
Official Kodi Add-ons for Grand Prix Races
Below, we’ll be listing only add-ons which are available from the official Kodi add-on repository. Since these add-ons are created and maintained by an official organization, they’re completely legal to use. It is worth noting that even official add-ons can suffer from Kodi buffering, as ISPs can dislike bandwidth heavy applications and choose to throttle your connection. A VPN will protect your privacy so your ISP can not snoop on your online habits, slow down your connection or spy on which sites you visit. A VPN also guards against a type of hack called Man in the Middle Attacks which can target Kodi users.
Reader deal: Get 3 months free here with ExpressVPN, there’s a 30 day money-back guarantee included so you can try it risk free.
NBC Sports is one of the biggest providers of legal on-demand sporting content, and there’s a reason why they’re so popular. They cover a wide range of sport, and although you’ll require a subscription to see full matches or live content, you can watch highlights and featured content for free.
NBC region locks their content, however, so you’ll need an American IP address in order to watch the Grand Prix. This is simple enough: just connect your VPN to a server in America.
NBC Sports Live Extra can be found within the official Kodi add-on repository.
Sky Go is a Kodi add-on that allows you to watch all of the content available with your Sky subscription. This includes any on-demand content that your package provides, as well as live content. To live stream the Belgian Grand Prix, you’ll need to be subscribed to Sky Sports as well, since Formula 1 has a dedicated channel that the standard Sky subscription doesn’t provide access to.
The Sky Go Client can be found within the SuperRepo repository which can be downloaded here: http://srp.nu/krypton/all/
TENPlay Kodi add-on
TENPlay is an add-on which provides free access to all content on Network TEN in Australia. While their sporting coverage is fairly basic, they will be live streaming the Belgian Grand Prix, making the TENPlay Kodi add-on one of the only ways to watch the event without any kind of subscription.
Before you can watch any of TENPlay’s content, you will need an Australian IP address. If you’re outside of Australia, one can be obtained by connecting your VPN to an Australian server, at which point you should be able to start streaming.
The TENPlay add-on can be found within the SuperRepo repository which can be downloaded here: http://srp.nu/krypton/all/
Alternative options you should avoid
We urge our readers to always use legitimate streaming sources. You may see other sites recommending various third-party Kodi add-ons to access Grand Prix races for free. These add-ons are often unofficial and offer that content without proper rebroadcasting rights. We’ve listed a few of these below so that you can be made aware of what they are and the risks that they pose.
What is it? cCloud TV is an add-on that primarily focuses on delivering pirated content. It works by scraping links from various different websites and collecting them all in one place for easier access.
Why should you avoid it? cCloud TV doesn’t have a huge selection of legal content and is a prime example of what an illegal add-on looks like. Out of all the hundreds of content sources, it has just one which can legally allow you to watch the Belgian Grand Prix: the UK’s Channel 4. We do not recommend this add-on because it provides access to illegally streamed material. Considering the large number of legitimate streaming options, it just doesn’t make sense to use this.
UK Turk Playlists
What is it? This add-on provides access to a wide range of content in multiple categories including film, TV, and sport. It’s one of the more well-known illegal add-ons, and has recently moved from the TVAddons repository due to their unexpected outage.
Why should you avoid it? First and foremost, UK Turk Playlists is focused on providing access to pirated content. Considering that the Italian Grand Prix is available legally from several other sources, there’s no real benefit to using this add-on. We do not recommend this add-on because it provides access to illegally streamed material.
What is it? Rising Tides is another piracy focused Kodi add-on. It mostly focuses on coverage of sporting events, but there are also movies and documentaries available.
Why should you avoid it? We do not recommend this add-on because it provides access to illegally streamed material. Even so, there’s no guarantee that the event you want to watch will be available, or that the stream will be of a high quality. Further, when people don’t pay to watch sports, the networks don’t make as much money, which makes them less likely to cover them in as much detail. Instead, you can support the networks and athletes whilst watching legally by subscribing to NBC or Sky Sports.
What is it? Quantum is the new name for the Kodi add-on previously known as Sanctuary. It offers access to live streams and on-demand content, both legitimate and otherwise, spanning a number of different categories.
Why should you avoid it? We do not recommend this add-on because it provides access to illegally streamed material. Quantum also includes several other add-ons like Cerberus and Midnight Society. While there is always a risk of malicious code running in the background, this increases proportionately with the number of add-ons you run. Another disadvantage is that several of these add-ons no longer function in the first place, so they just take up storage space without providing any function. If you’re looking for a wide range of content, you’d be better served by something like SkyGo or TENPlay.
What is it? Falcon Sports is one of the simpler piracy-based Kodi add-ons. It provides access to Sky Sports, BT Sports, and Bein Sports streams without the need for a subscription.
Why should you avoid it? The most obvious reason is that these are illegal streams, which is justification enough. Worse still, this add-on requires another, called SportsDevil, in order to function. This begs the question: why bother installing Falcon Sports at all? None of these subscription services are particularly expensive, and you can rest assured that they aren’t doing anything malicious with your data.
What is it? Goodfellas 2.0 is another Kodi add-on which scrapes links from elsewhere on the internet. It provides access to a mix of legal and illegal content, including everything from publically accessible webcam streams to currently airing TV shows.
Why should you avoid it? We do not recommend this add-on because it provides access to illegally streamed material. Also, as with all link-scraping add-ons, there’s no way to be sure that the links provided will work when you want them to. Additionally, the content is strangely grouped. For example, audio books and newspapers are in the same category, but the “Outdoor cooking” category is found under “Outdoors” and not “Culinary”. The fact is that if you’re looking for something specific, there are better alternatives out there which are wholly legitimate.
As you can see, the United States Grand Prix was a shining example of how easy it can be to find legitimate sources of content online. Whilst the options for Kodi users were somewhat limited, in time, more and more content providers will warm to it and provide official add-ons. This is something that the Kodi team have discussed in the past, and something that they are very interested in making possible, so we’ll be keeping you up to date with more on that as it develops.