Formula 1: Sky says this is the ultimate TV setup for F1 Grand Prix viewing

First on the grid: a curved UHD TV and, to watch every race in 4K, a Sky Q 2TB box

Formula 1: Sky says it has the ultimate F1 viewing package

With Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull all looking in great shape after F1 pre-season testing, thoughts move to the big question about Formula 1 2018: what are you going to watch it on?

Sky Sports has some thoughts on this and has put together an 'F1 Ultimate TV Viewing Experience'. As you would expect, its 'formula' is heavily focussed on Sky products, but then Sky Sports is the only place to watch all the race action this season, and the Sky Q box is rather tasty. 

The Formula 1 2018 season kicks off in Melbourne on Sunday 25, so there's still time for petrol heads to go shopping and get their new setup installed. 

You may not need Bernie Ecclestone's riches to afford it, but be warned: for the ultimate Formula 1 setup, you will have to scoop rather a lot of pennies out from down the back of your living room sofa…

Sky Q 2TB

Sky Q 2TB: perfect for Formula 1 action in 4K

The whole F1 season, including qualifying and race days, can be seen in 4K with Dolby surround sound (though not Atmos... yet) on Sky Sports. 

But only if you have the 2TB box. 

That's not just because recording whole weekends of race action in 4K UHD would very rapidly fill up the lower-spec, 1TB box's storage space. It's also because only the 2TB box can handle 4K UHD content.

Add Multiscreen viewing for £12 per month extra and you can watch the action on other TVs in your house via Ski Mini boxes (although that will not be in 4K), as well as downloading to tablet and mobile for viewing later.

• Sky Q 2TB is £65 with a Sky Q Multiscreen subscription, £199 without. The cheapest bundle with Sky Sports F1 that we could find was £85 up front and £55 per month for 18 months

Sky Soundbox

Sky Soundbox has its own Formula 1 setting for extra-throaty engine roar

The Sky Q 2TB box also supports Dolby Atmos, but F1 broadcasts do not come Atmos’d up, and so Sky is pushing Formula 1 sound via its Soundbox, er, soundbar. 

This puts out convincingly immersive sound without any setup hassles, or the need for festooning your lounge with multiple speakers. 

 It also has a special setting just for Formula 1. 

This, "picks up specific notes and noises from the engine, as well as enhancing the overall listening experience." We found that it gave an impressively throaty engine roar, without drowning out the commentary.

The Soundbox is made by high-end French hi-fi types Devialet and costs £299 for Sky subscribers, or £249 if you have a Multiscreen subscription. Non-Sky owners can pick it up for a slightly less enticing £799.

There are, of course, numerous other best soundbar and soundbase options out there, including ones with Dolby Atmos. For F1-lovin' Sky subscribers, however, the Soundbox is an exceptional deal.

Sky Q F1 Race Control

Sky's F1 Race Control lets you view the action how you want

The must-have Formula 1 viewing accessory for the last 4 seasons, Race Control is available via red button on your telly, and on Sky Sports' iPad app. 

Mercifully not adding anything further to your rapidly mounting costs – hey, F1 is a rich man's game – Race Control lets you choose what action to watch, with in-car cameras, split-screen viewing, a pit-lane camera and highlights feed. 

A big, curved, 4K UHD TV

Samsung's Q8C: a truly grand prix telly

Curved TVs have fallen out of fashion a tad, but there's no denying they come into their own with Formula 1, giving an incredibly immersive experience with everything from in-car cameras to aerial shots.

The current state of the bendy art is Samsung's Q8C, which takes the high-octane, glossy world of F1 and adds its own extra layer of high-octane, 4K HDR gloss. 

Employing Quantum Dot screen tech, Samsung's tastefully curved panel serves up an incredibly vivid picture with a high maximum brightness of 1,500+ nits. Sky's F1 coverage is in 4K but isn't yet broadcast in HDR, but the Q8C will do a decent job of 'upscaling' the dynamic range of what you see.

The Q8C is available in 55-, 65- and 75-inch versions, with pricing ranging from very reasonable to, uh, not quite so reasonable.

Duncan Bell
Duncan Bell

Duncan has been writing about tech for over a decade and has seen more than any man should see, tech-wise. He used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with taking selfies and going up to complete strangers and saying, "I use to be on the TV, you know." He is widely regarded as the best-dressed man ever to work for T3, but accepts that is not saying much.