I’ve been watching F1 on RTL since 2000. I’m relatively satisfied with their coverage. I’ve always preferred it to the Latvian TV coverage (for those who believe Jonathan Legard & RTL are terrible – believe me, it IS possible to be worse than that); what is more, now Latvian free-to-air channels don’t show F1 live anymore.
RTL show some commercials between qualifying sessions and during the race but I don’t think that they’re too long and that you miss much because of them. But there are other things that I don’t like. The crew has remained the same for many many years and imho needs some new blood. They are very focused on the German drivers, particularly Vettel and it gets annoying if you are not a fan of them / him. Pre-race ‘analysis’ mainly consists of interviewing all German drivers and showing Vettel’s face / car from all possible angles. It’s unlikely you’ll ever see an interview with di Resta or Kobayashi. The analysis part is pretty weak although Lauda is sometimes interesting to hear. The commentators are tolerable but definitely not as good as Martin Brundle (from what I’ve heard). The lowlight of the season was the moment when RTL interviewed Rowan Atkinson while everyone else was observing a moment of silence to remember Simoncelli and Wheldon.
Sport1 shows quite many commercials during Friday practice sessions. The early morning FP1 sessions (Japan, Australia etc.) are usually delayed but otherwise it’s OK.
I think that the combination of RTL and Sport1 is certainly better than illegal web streams, delayed races or nothing at all, particularly if you can combine it with 5Live commentary. However, if I was living in the UK and if I could afford to pay the fee, then I would probably choose Sky.