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Heikki Kovalainen - Classic F1

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Andrew Benson | 06:00 UK time, Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Heikki Kovalainen is the driver picking his five favourite all-time grands prix for the penultimate edition of BBC Sport's 2011 classic Formula 1 series.

The Finn has re-established his reputation with Team Lotus in 2010-11 after two years at McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton that were, by Kovalainen's own admission, "disappointing in terms of results".

So it is appropriate he has chosen five of his own races, as they remind us that he is a race winner in his own right and not simply one of F1's top drivers.

Heikki Kovalainen

Kovalainen is trying to re-establish his F1 career at Lotus. Photo: Getty

In chronological order, the 30-year-old talks through his choices, starting with the race that stopped him getting the sack after a shaky start to his debut season with Renault:

Canada 2007

"A very difficult weekend. One of the low points of my F1 career. I think Flavio [Briatore, the Renault team boss] was very close to getting rid of me. His patience was running out. I crashed the car on Friday and it didn't look good in the first part of qualifying. I honestly think he would have sacked me after that race if I hadn't come through the field and finished fourth, fighting actually for a podium with [Williams driver] Alex Wurz

"After that, I finished a strong fifth in Indy, beating Kimi [Raikkonen of Ferrari]. From then on, things started to work in the right direction. I probably didn't realise at the time that it was that much on the line. I just thought: 'It's not working, let's try again tomorrow.' But looking back now I think my career was at stake. Some other people have told me that. Luckily, he [Briatore] gave me some more races and things started to go well. 

"In Canada, Robert Kubica had a big accident. I was just exiting the hairpin and I saw the accident to my side and thought: 'That's going to be a safety car.' I was just coming up to a pit stop and I decided to go into the pits myself. I called the team and said: 'There's going to be a safety car.' And they were like: 'No, no, no.' I said: 'Yeah. I'm sure there will be.' And as soon as I left the pits I saw the safety car, so I jumped a lot of people. If I had stayed out I probably wouldn't have been able to finish fourth."

Japan 2007

"It was my first podium in F1 and with Renault. It was raining a lot, quite difficult conditions. We started behind the safety car, then [I was] coming through [the field] all the way through the race. I found I was in second place and fighting with Kimi on the last lap. He passed me, I passed him back, and I was able to keep him behind me. 

"Of course, it mattered that it was Kimi and a Ferrari. Kimi was at that time one of the big names, one of the guys fighting for the championship. To be able to beat him as a rookie, in a car that wasn't as good as his car, was a great moment. 

"Obviously, the circumstances worked out very well for us. The strategy was good and the rain maybe it evened out a bit. It was a tricky race and Kimi was also coming through the field. Maybe a few more laps and he would have got me."

Australia 2008

"My first race at McLaren and I came very close to winning it. [Team-mate] Lewis [Hamilton] had done his second pit stop, I was coming up to mine. I had just done the fastest lap of the race and I was catching him. 

"He was on full fuel and I had a few extra laps before the end of my stint, so I was actually gaining a couple of seconds a lap on him. The team thought about stopping, but we decided to go to the planned end of my stint. Then the safety car came out. 

"I remember being behind the safety car at the head of the queue. Most of the guys behind me had stopped, so I dropped to 10th and eventually fought back to fifth. I overtook Kimi and Fernando [Alonso's Renault]. It was good. But imagine starting your McLaren career with a victory; it would have been quite cool.

"At the time I was annoyed, but what can you do? It was the right choice to stay out to fight for a win. If we had taken the conservative approach and stopped earlier, I would have been second, but we had good pace and going quicker and quicker. It was just unfortunate the safety car came out."

Hungary 2008

"My first win. I was in a good position all the way through the weekend. After Lewis had a puncture, I was running second all the way through the race. Then at the end I was catching Felipe Massa's Ferrari by two seconds a lap. 

"I knew he was in trouble. We were running out of laps. Then I saw his engine go. There are no style points in F1. It was a great moment. I knew now was a good chance to win the race. I had a good cushion behind me to Timo [Glock's Toyota]. I didn't have to push. I was able to ease off a little bit and finish the job. It was nice to win a race.

"It was a good part of the season [for me]. I was on pole at Silverstone and I didn't finish off that race. Hockenheim was a little bit unfortunate - I was in a position to be on the podium and then it didn't work out for me with the safety car. Then to get the victory just before the summer break was great."

Monaco 2010

"Looking at the performance of the [Lotus] car, I think I got everything out of it. I remember fighting with [Renault's Vitaly] Petrov and some other guys in better cars for quite a long time, knocking on the [door of the] top 10. But then the power steering broke five laps before the end and I had to stop. It was a good race - I was able to build a big gap to the other new teams and join the back of the [midfield] queue."

Kovalainen has chosen Hungary 2008 as his favourite race. The highlights are embedded below, with short and extended highlights of last year's title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix underneath to whet your appetites for the weekend's action. 

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The classic races will also be available on digital television in the UK. On Freeview, they will be broadcast between the two free practice sessions on Friday 11 November, from 1035 and 1255 GMT. On satellite and cable, they will be available from 1500 GMT on Wednesday 9 November to 1000 on Thursday 10 November, from 1030-1430 and 1830-2000 on Thursday, and from 1035 -1255 on Friday.


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Fair play to Heikki for being selfish and making it about him!

  • Comment number 3.

    Don't think he's being selfish.
    It says on the BBC F1 homepage he was asked what his 5 favourite races are.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm sure there'll be plenty of comments like @Dave's, but to be fair to Heikki, he's chosen 5 races we haven't had this year yet. He hasn't chosen Brazil '08, Japan '89 etc, so at least everyone can't complain about that for a change.

    No To Sky!

  • Comment number 5.

    I dont think he's been selfish - It's better then watching donnington '93 for the 15th times this year - i can't wait to watch them and (try) and remember what happened!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    I think it needs to be made clear to the drivers the races are not necessarily their own best and favorite but their favorites of all time. Because like Vettel, Heikki chooses his own races probably because he didn't understand the question correctly.

    Yes to RTL & 5 Live

  • Comment number 7.

    I like Heikki, having had the pleasure of seeing him beat all-comers in RoTC (including Schumi) in France back in '04 I had high hopes for t'lad, alas, some bad luck and supreme team mates meant he never got those breaks. His trashing of the R* in another RoTC at Wembley, sums up his bad luck.

    No2 F.5
    Yes2 RTL+R5L

  • Comment number 8.

    Saw Heikki at the Goodwood FoS a couple of years ago - I couldn't believe how tiny he was - subsequently got Lewis to sign my 2008 WDC shirt and he wasn't much bigger.

    So here we are the penultimate race and still no further forward with this BBC fiasco.

    Yes to BBC F1 full live coverage next season. No to Sky or BBC F.5.
    May add a German Language course to my Xmas list this year.
    Shame on the BBC or should that be BBC Sham ?

  • Comment number 9.

    i was extremely disapointed with heikkis results driving for mclaren,in monza was the biggest shocker of all,beaten by a inferior torro rosso.even his win was lucky to the extreme hamilton,massa having problems.i like him but he should of done better with the car he had in 2008.people can see now it hamilton was not lucky in 2007,he is dam good driver

  • Comment number 10.

    Not sure these chosen races could be called "Classic" maybe the title should be "My Favourite Races"

    No to Sky
    No to Edited Highlights.
    No to Sky

  • Comment number 11.

    I had high hopes for Heikki when he joined F1, however I feel he has not achieved what I expected him to so far.

    No to Sky, No to Sky, No to Sky

  • Comment number 12.

    I saw every one of these races live on BBC, watching the action unfold as it happened! Such a shame that that choice has been taken away from me by the Sky/BBC deal fiasco.


  • Comment number 13.

    Max Mosley headlined on F1 homepage ? Give us a proper headline ! Who cares about him ? I most certainly don't.
    Yes... This blog should have been called ''My own races''


  • Comment number 14.

    Good choices Heikki, and great to see some different races.

    No to SKY, yes to FTA and when exactly are we to be told of what reduced coverage is in store for us next year?

  • Comment number 15.

    Cant really fault Heikki's selections this week, some good races for him and a fair reflection of his ability and talent, surely its only a matter of time until he gets back towards the front?

    No to people saying no to Sky - come on guys, put your hand in your pocket for a few quid every month, its not THAT expensive. Support your sport. You dont have to agree with the choice to move to Sky TV but you WILL have to pay to watch F1 live, you'll even get the premiership football for free if you do!. Consider yourself lucky its not gone to Pay-per-view like the boxing has!.

  • Comment number 16.

    @ 15 "Consider yourself lucky its not gone to Pay-per-view like the boxing has!."

    What do you think will happen next?

  • Comment number 17.

    Moving to BSB is just the first step in taking F1 away from the normal viewer. Once the BBC get fed up with the rubbish viewing figures watching their edited highlight program and drop F1 all together Sky will have full control over how F1 is watched and I am sure will make each race PPV just like boxing.

    The BBC has a lot to answer for in making this deal and answer they will.


  • Comment number 18.

    Dreadful, dreadful choices. I hope classic F1 continues next season, but drivers must NOT be allowed such senseless self-indulgence.

    And - oh yes - no to Sky.

  • Comment number 19.

    From "reliable" sources, I have been led to believe that the announcement on coverage for next season will be announced in early December. This leaves a month to get as many signatures as possible for the petitions and to contact as many people in the industry as possible to possibly try and acquire some backing.

    This saga is not over, and in all fairness, it has just entered the last furlong.

    Keep the pressure on and write to people again, even if you have already done so.

    This deal stinks, and it might be illegal. Granted the BBC legal team will be prepared for this, but as we all know there are loopholes that can be explored.

    On topic (so i don't get moderated/censored)

    Heikki has some good choices there, although maybe a little self-indulgent. But I do like watching some of the modern era races as well as the classics from the 70's, 80's and so on. So it makes a nice change to see some modern classics.

    Yes to RTL with 5Live, but I shouldn't have to.

  • Comment number 20.

    As he's been racing since 91 (in karts) i'm fairly sure he peobably hasn't watched much F1 on TV and he's picked for himself HIS classic F1 races, they might not be to everyones taste but his reasons for picking them make them more interesting to watch.

    No to Tony Jardine

  • Comment number 21.

    Dear Andrew, can you please get someone at BBC Sport to answer the questions:

    1) Which of the ten F1 races will the BBC not be covering live or showing in full later that day?

    2) Due to the cuts who will BBC have commentating on half the races?

    3) Do BBC managment plan to make further year on year cuts to the F1 coverage throughout the duration of the deal?

    4) Are BBC doing red button F1 forums and classic races next year?

    Again, I look forward to a response at your earliest convenience.

    Yours sincerely, StevieBBC.

    Yes to RTL with 5Live, but I shouldn't have to either.

  • Comment number 22.

    Wow, time flies, forgot Heikki won in 08. Wonder if I'll ever see a Button or Hamilton or Alonso win again on the BBC from next year?

    Cue the piano...
    "Imagine there's no F.One
    It's easy if you try
    No BeeBeeCee below us
    Above us only Sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for RaceSunday...

    Imagine there's no Murdoch
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to hate or die for
    And no Bernie Ecclestone too
    Imagine all the people
    Watching grand prix in peace...

    You may say that I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will all be able to watch F.One

    Imagine no Brundle and D.C.
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    We have a brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the World...(Championship)

    You may say that I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someone can undo this mess
    And the world will all watch F.One "

  • Comment number 23.

    @1 HCumber

    Wonder if your comment would have been moderated/referred if you'd written

    Nice choices Heikki, No To Sky instead of just No To Sky ;)

  • Comment number 24.

    Some good choices from Heikki there - one of F1's nice guys. No problem at all with him choosing his own personal races, just a shame that we can't actually watch the one he won!

    @15 HCumber: As someone who has literally spent thousands in the past following F1, but who has now lost my job and can't afford any extra outgoings then this move to Sky is one that is alienating another genuine F1 fan. That is, unless you would like to pay for my subscripription. Oh come on - 'its only a few quid!'

    Thanks BBC!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    Hungary 2008 is a great reminder of the Massa of old

  • Comment number 26.

    sorry..that should have read @15 Bestyboy

  • Comment number 27.

    Not the best races but can see why Heikki went for them.
    Andrew is it true that half the bbc's f1 tv talent have gone over to sky I saw nothing in the gossisp coloum(an oversight im sure) just wondered if the bbc wanted to let the fans know(would be a first lol).

    Rtl here we come:)

  • Comment number 28.

    Sacrificing F1 for 2 weeks of tennis? Some people at the BBC should be asked to clear out
    their desk and shown the exit.

    What are the BBC doing ? They have totally lost the plot and have completely lost touch with
    their viewers and what they want to see on the BBC.

    Get a grip BBC, listen to those that watch the BBC and fund it.


    BBC you are an embarrassment.

  • Comment number 29.

    Iam afraid that his lack of sucess when he was with McLaren was very disappointing, imo at that time Kovalainen was in one of the best seats on the track, but failed to perform.

    No to edited highlights of non live races in 2012.

    Yes to terristrial TV.

  • Comment number 30.

    @25 Very true nice to see massa of old.
    I dont think we will ever see him on that type of form again.

    Sorry to go off topic again but is there any truth in tyhe rumor that Tony Jardine might be taking martins roll for next year or is it just a bad joke on the part of my friend(I dont think hes telling the truth but with the bbc you never know:)

  • Comment number 31.


    Dear BestyBoy

    Every blog you say the same thing - no to no to sky people, just buy sky etc and this blog 'it's just a few quid'. Maybe you are lucky enough to have that extra disposible income, maybe your mummy and daddy pay it for you, maybe you're a WUM, trolling for a rise or just really don't have a clue about everything.
    I'm a 35 year old recent widower with a 3 year old daughter and small business to look after. I pay my mortgage, utility bills, taxes, tv license, nursery fees and since my wife passed away, need to pay for extra staff to work as I can't work much myself anymore (the business is 24/7 and I need to look after my daughter now during every night and morning and weekends). For the last few months I've been falling short and needing to borrow money from relatives to make ends meet. I may now need to sell my house and downsize (even with 50% of the mortgage paid off by my wife's life insurance policy) I may be forced to try and sell my business.


    Myself and everyone else who is sick of your stuff.

    Loved watching Canada '07 again. Not Lewis' best win, but I just really enjoy watching an awful drive from Alonso!

    No To Sky

  • Comment number 32.

    The races chosen made a change from the usual suspects

    No2 Bestboy!!

    And of course No2Sky, PPV F.5
    Yes2 BBC-F1, FTA
    or RTL+R5L

  • Comment number 33.

    I have to say that I agree with the users that praise HK for his choices as opposed to selecting the unfortunately over viewed (but utter classics!) of Brazil 08, Monaco 84, Donington 93, Japan 89 and 90 etc. Good luck over the weekend HK!

    No to Sky. Poor, poor, poor decision.

  • Comment number 34.

    @31 BlossomsF1 - I'm deeply sorry for your loss and if i caused any offence i sincerely apologise.

    However, i still have the right to air my opinion - just as you do - and will continue to do so, whenever, however and wherever i feel like doing so, as is my right.

    oh, and just so you know, I'm also a 35 year old with bills to pay - it's just that i manage to find the £75 a month for a full sky subscription (and enjoy it) - if you dont like that or any other statement i make, feel free to scroll past it and move on.

    I hope that all of you who insist on turning this blog into an anti-Sky tv rant every single time, have all signed the petition (as i have) and are adamant about boycotting Sky Tv and are willing to forego the pleasure of watching F1 at all if need be, because if you havent, and you insist on constantly hijacking this forum - then you're all hypocrites.

  • Comment number 35.

    @34 I will not be boycotting F1 next season, I will be going through any means necessary to watch it free to air.

    Whether that be through our German counterparts or as I have just found out recently, through a very good Japanese streaming site. These are my options and it does not make me a hypocrite, it makes me skint, like most.

  • Comment number 36.

    Nice to see some variation from Kovalainen this week, not classics by any means but as people have said before, it makes a change from Japan 89, Brazil 08, Donnington 93, etc.

    @34 Bestyboy
    I think it was the wording of your post 15 that was the issue rather than the Sky issue. £75 to me is almost a week of pay at the moment so it's all relative, as to me it's about 20% of my monthly income, whereas for you it sounds like it's not alot. Not attacking you as how you spend your own money is your choice and if you want Sky then it's your decision, just saying I think the offence was at the wording.

  • Comment number 37.

    Worth checking out too:

  • Comment number 38.


    I already have Sky Sports so it will not affect me in anyway. Plus, the budget will be insane so actually the coverage will probably be better!

    I wonder if most of the "No to Sky" detractors are just people who don't have Sky Sports. My advice to you would be: 'Earn more money and treat yourself.'

  • Comment number 39.


    'it's just that i manage to find the £75 a month for a full sky subscription (and enjoy it)'

    That's not opinion, that's your financial situation, if your opinion is that everyone can afford sky then you are rightly deserving a bashing every week as your opinion is flawed in so many ways. I used to have cable TV a while ago and the amount I actually watched didn't really make it worth the money (the only sports I watch are tennis and F1 so no point buying a sports package for just those, and lets be fair most US TV shows are either not good or readily available legally online)

    'if you dont like that or any other statement i make, feel free to scroll past it and move on.'

    I have been doing since July / August but I'm so sick of your 'I can afford it, stop complaining' type comments now, it was time I had my say.

    'I hope that all of you who insist on turning this blog into an anti-Sky tv rant every single time, have all signed the petition (as i have) and are adamant about boycotting Sky Tv and are willing to forego the pleasure of watching F1 at all if need be, because if you havent, and you insist on constantly hijacking this forum - then you're all hypocrites.'

    I'm glad that even though you do have a full sky package already, you have at least done something to keep F1 FTA, as have I and most other no to sky people. So thank you!

    No To Sky

  • Comment number 40.

    @ point 12: sorry to be a pedant but I doubt you saw all these races live on the BBC at the time as they were being broadcast by ITV!

    Except Monaco 2010, of course...

  • Comment number 41.

    I'm happy enough to see drivers pick their five best races, rather than five all-time classics, because otherwise we'd see more or less the same races every time.

    And as a big fan of Heikki, I enjoyed reliving some of his finest moments. I think he's done admirably well with Lotus, and would surely deserve a drive at one of the midfield teams if Lotus still haven't made sufficient progress by the end of next year. Of course, most of those teams are employing pay drivers nowadays, so his opportunities might be limited.

  • Comment number 42.


    I too won't be boycotting F1 next year, I'll simply be boycotting (not that I've had one since 1995 when they started charging too much) Sky.

    My local pub will be showing F1 via RTL thanks to the recent European Courts ruling that it is legal. It's run by a polish guy who already shows Premier League through German and polish TV channels.

    @38 Your last comment is highly degrading to so many people, myself included.

  • Comment number 43.

    Nice to see some different races up there from HK. I respect the fact the drivers are asked to choose thier 5 favourite races, but it can get a little boring when they all pick the same races!

    With regards to the BBC/Sky deal. I DONT condone the deal in any way and I am totally against it! But it wouldnt be so bad if sky announced it would be on Sky 1! That would surely win the hearts of a lot of people. Sky would be more likely to gain new subscribers if new subscribers could watch F1 on Sky's basic package.

    I have Sky myself and did have the sports package up until last year when we had to make some cuts to our outgoings. I realised I was paying an extra £30 a month just so I could watch a game of football in HD. Its not that I wont be forced into subscribing to the sports again, I just CANT afford it.

    I love the idea of getting RTL+R5L if there isnt a FREE/CHEAP alternative next year

  • Comment number 44.

    @38 ''My advice to you would be: 'Earn more money and treat yourself.' ''

    I wish I could, unfortunately I am a full time carer looking after my disabled wife night and day. I do this because both she and I hate the idea of her being ''cared'' for by some total stranger. She enjoys F1 too (or should I say enjoyed ?) Please think before making such remarks. Even if I was lucky enough to be in a position to work full time I would stil refuse still to line the pockets of those in control.


  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    Its not in the description whether drivers pick their best 5 races, or their favourite races, and to be honest I dont mind either way.... at least we have new choices this time. Those that have the opportunity to pick the races are picking them because the BBC has asked them to on merit of the job they do. If you dont like it...become an F1 driver and you too will be able to pick Donnington 93! (a great race but I know what happened off by heart now!)

    Shame Heikki is not in a great car anymore, but he is doing a good job of beating his team-mate and getting the Lotus (or Caterham) into some good positions in races.

  • Comment number 47.

    @45 ConscientiousF1Observer ''(Gas Handjobson or whatever!)''

    Nicely put sir, Very quick witted ! :)

  • Comment number 48.

    Silverstone next year will be interesting...

  • Comment number 49.

    Its a nice change to see some different choices, I like when they drivers choose some of their own memories, and not the obvious ones. Fed up of seeing Brazil 2008.

    Just in posts in ref to the Sky deal - I have Sky sports mainly because my bf insists on watching all/any football matches being played. So I probably wont boycott F1 on Sky just because its already there, but I do think Sky is a complete rip off, and I sympathise with those who wont pay it, because if it wasnt for my bf I wouldn't either.
    I would rather it stayed on BBC just because the coverage is so good, better than its been in years and there are no adverts either, which I am sure there will be on Sky. And I will be watching the 10 races the BBC cover on the BBC rather than Sky.

  • Comment number 50.


    The BBC are again moving F1 highlights to BBC1 in another attempt to placate the F1 fans, but the last attempt failed with only 750,000 tuning in, OK 750,000 is more than are likely to watch the races live on Sky, but it's a big drop from 5 million+

    Sky team announced Thursday or Friday, but the leaked Sky Bet riddled coverage looks very CBBC, but then that's Sky Sports target audience.

  • Comment number 51.

    No to Sky.

  • Comment number 52.

    F1 should be kept a million miles away from Tony Jardine, that guy is like an anti Midas, i agree in part with @43 at least on the basic package its more managable.

    Its a real shame that Massa hasn't returned to the form he displayed before his accident, and it must be right ball ache to drive around in the Lotus at the moment,

    I'm hoping that the engine rule changes will attract Porsche into F1

  • Comment number 53.

    I wonder if any pubs will take the initiative to start showing live race days instead of football on a sunday lunchtime.
    Sunday lunch and a pint for half the price of a monthly sky sports subscription

  • Comment number 54.

    @53 - there's not a prayer that pubs will forego the massive audience of football for the (relatively) niche viewer market of Formula 1.
    The best you can hope for in these instances is an extra screen or a quiet corner somewhere, but you can guarantee you'll be fighting to hear the commentary over the roaring of the huddled masses watching the local derby or the "super sunday big four" games - i wish you good luck !!!

  • Comment number 55.


    I will ask one of the local landlords if they can show F1 if nothing worthwhile is on next year.

    At least I'll have a pint and Sunday lunch at their premises.

    Heikki Kovalainene was entitled to pick one of his races as one of his best five, after all, he worked hard to win that race, and got great satisfaction from doing so.

    Well done Heikki, show them how to do it !!

  • Comment number 56.

    @52 Kris: Porsche has better thing to do than to waste its money and talent on F1. They did it once many years ago and have nothing left to prove. Anyway, they might need permission from VW who now own Porsche. This is a really interesting saga in its own right!
    SkY? F1? I couldn't give a sparkplug.

  • Comment number 57.

    Guys, I think it shows what a state the BBC is in if it can't even keep exclusive coverage of "Mickey Mouse" BDO world darts!! Look on the positive side, they have managed to secure half of The Masters and they still exclusively show the Potters World Indoor Bowls Championship!!! Very well done BBC!!!

  • Comment number 58.

    Nice to see some different choices than the norm ... nice one Heikki.

    NO to Sky ...

  • Comment number 59.

    just like to say no to sky f1 should stay on bbc its a con ive got sky but will not pay to watch f1 on sky sports cos its a rip off. for as long as i can remember f1 has been free to watch why should it change not fair on people like me who watch every practice n quali sesions n race, all these people think about is money money money we pay for tv liecence as it is so why pay more to watch f1 i know i wont hope next year is goin to be a closer championship n hope bbc have full rights

  • Comment number 60.

    Nice choices, yeah it doesn't have to be old races, the same races all crop up time after time.

    As for Sky? @15 Bestyboy, believe me, if I had the money I'd pay for Sky in a flash. I love F1, and don't agree with the move, nothing but money nowadays. In my lifetime, it has always been FTA, and I am deeply disappointed in it moving. I am a student, living in my own flat in Glasgow, and I can barely afford the cheapest Virgin package never mind the £28 a month for 4 sports channels.

    No to Sky!

  • Comment number 61.

    Lovely seeing the BBC's committment towards the sport declining already with the sorry updates we get now on the BBC F1 website. At times it's not updated for 3-5 days. With you selling all us fans short rather than give the rights to Channel 4, the Beeb are doing a fine job in putting the cherry on top for this fine farce/scam.

    BBC - shameless morons.

  • Comment number 62.

    Enjoyed watching those highlights and as others have said makes a nice change from 'the usual' ones.
    I have Sky Sports because of the Cricket so it's not going to affect me personally but my sympathy goes to those who don't have it. As for commentary I shall do what I always do and stick with Crofty on R5.
    & YES TO FTA

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    Now I see Dave is back on this blog again. I am the original Dave and to distinguish myself call me Dave-BSR. Surprised that the Beeb's software is so bad to allow two people using the same name but still that'll be down to the cuts I expect.

    Now my greatest F1 races were before Heikke was born in a time when men were men and sheep were careful. As people have said they will as group all come up with a slight variation on the same theme.

    One other thing these blogs are closing down faster than pork butcher in Tel Aviv of a Friday evening. Why? Are we afraid of the written word now?

    Bernie is in court giving testimony after he was given immunity, funny when giving immunity that smacks of having done something contrary to the laws of the land. Now he doesn't think that the Inland Revenue will investigate him and his finances and I ask why not? Why do we put up with wealthy people not paying their fair share of taxes in this country? Wonder what they would find?

    Not content with his money now he gets his offspring on the telly showing off the wealth he has bestowed on them. Now not against a dad giving money to their offspring but don't rub our noses in it, especially during these trying times.

    I expect this will be censored for being off topic but surely Bernie Ecclestone is very much on topic.

    Now to Sky and their offering, how will it be better they will use the same feed the Beeb get so no difference there and with all the ads they will cram in before and after the race I am at a loss as to how this can be achieved. One thing bet their is a betting odds strip running along the bottom of the screen obscuring the F1 running order.

    The Beeb should realise that paying £22 million for a concept (The Voice) that they stated with in 1922 prior to their charter days (1927) does beggers belief and also draws into question senior management's ability to organise a drinking party in a brewing establishment. This ability is a pre-requisite for any business as it is the simplest of tasks to perform.

    I do have a confession to make, I have stopped watching so much of F1 on the Beeb because of this. I find the programmes do not have the same verve they had prior to the announcement to bring Sky into the equation. This is probably due to people not knowing or knowing what's happening after Brazil. The sparkle has gone and once again the Beeb have given away something great to deliver more LCD rubbish to the masses.

    I do object to a body that is dependant on our licence fee entering into a deal with a company that is run by a family that is under so much investigation. I find News International and companies involve with them to be shy of a moral compass but then I'm showing my age, when I was young politicians who transgressed resigned immediately. Obviously the first casualties of today are honour and integrity.

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 67.

    Nice choices Heikki, good luck on Sunday!!

    Thanks for the wiki link Bal.... Oooh look, RTL-HD, 14:00 Sunday: Formel 1: Großer Preis von Abu Dhabi
    I wonder if I can get santa to get me a dish for christmas.

  • Comment number 68.



  • Comment number 69.

    Ouch, the mod's have got itchy trigger fingers today. I'll try again with changes, good to see Hungary 08 Heikki, the Ferraris look so different all red!

    @50 Czar-Orac
    I agree with the shoddy SkyBet previews. Tony Jardine appears to have been told to dumb down his F1 comments and ensure he is bigging up the UK boys Jense and Lewis, and then there's the 'Fernandez' driving the Ferrari mistakes. Plain boring is bad enough but boring and dumbed down F1 for the football audience even more intolerable.
    Jardine aside F1 is a perfect SkyBet promo machine. So simple, bet on drivers, bet on teams, you don't even need to know anything about F1, bet on the red team, bet on the silver team etc. Already they are targeting other areas like the planetF1 site, what's the first thing you see when you go there.

    It'll certainly lead to a drop in quality over the current coverage and the buildup and forum/analysis will be riddled with ads and place your bets nonsense. Of course the audience will collapse from the current 5 million. When something becomes 6 times more expensive less people will be interested. We've already got many die hard fans not signing up so the casual F1 viewers recently attracted to the sport will vanish. So many F1 fans are not into football and other sports on SkySports so £60 per race to continue with HD F1 is unacceptable. RTL with BBC 5Live is the way to go, you can even watch it on TF1 and get the DTM Touring Cars as well, all above board and free as it is for the French and German audience.

    Imagine petrol going from £1.40 up to £8.40 next year but you knew a guy who could still get you it for £1.40 ...

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    Firstly, I like Heikki's selections. As mentioned already, they make a change from the (admittedly 'classic') repeat choices we have seen so far and the Renault days do remind me of his potential - I was quite sorry to see him struggle at McLaren. Hope the Lotus / Caterham team do make tangible progress next year.

    On the subject of Sky I do not subscribe and have no desire to. This is driven largely though my finances but not insignificantly on my viewpoint on the Murdoch empire and Sky itself. I am disappointed that the BBC has dealt in the manner that it has and, yes, I have signed the e-petition against the deal. However, I am prepared to live with (extended!!!) highlights on the assumption that I am unable to find a way to stream for free! I just hope the allbeit limited coverage is of the quality I have enjoyed over the last couple of years.

    One or two have implied that Sky coverage should be much improved on the BBC. Based on the football coverage I have seen (mainly in pubs as I am not a subscriber!) I very much doubt it. I would like to hear genuine arguments against this though.

    Have a blinder, Heikki, and... how about joining the No to Sky campaign?

  • Comment number 72.

    One other thing, it's the hypocrisy that I really cannot comprehend... There is Newsnight getting all morally rightious about certain (alleged) activities and the sports department are all on their Christmas card list..............

    And we're supposed to be happy to pay their wages.

    Sorry, rant over for another blog.

    On topic... Charlie Whiting reckons this weekend should be pretty exciting with the double-DRS.

  • Comment number 73.

    Seb, don't pay their wages, simples

  • Comment number 74.

    Oooo some new races to watch, nice one Heikki :)
    I think he's been doing really well this year in the Lotus, not whinging he just gets on with it ;)
    I supose on the choice front the old saying about not pleasing all the people all time suits well here or maybe damned if he does damned if he dont, where's the rolling eyes smilie when you need it? i'll make do with a tut.

    No To Sky

  • Comment number 75.

    TF1? Yup it's there too, starts five minutes earlier and it's in French.
    This could actually be a massive plot to get 6 Million Brits speaking French and German.
    Can we run a little challenge and see if we can get all of the EU languages. If they're not on Astra, we need to know the satellite that they are on, and they must be viewable in the UK and MUST be FTA.

    Let's see how long this lasts??? ;o)

  • Comment number 76.

    Allez, I may have to contribute to the Salford Express, but Murdoch will never get a penny from me. I even scowl at my wife when she occasionally buys the Times at the weekend. The only time I touch it is to put it in the recycling.
    I'm actually looking forward to learning all of these new languages.

  • Comment number 77.

    Allez, just read your post 68. I would love to, unfortunately I live in one of those places that the other 'champion of the people' BT do not deem worthy of anything beyond medieval levels of bandwidth so although I can watch it in freeze frame, it doesn't convey the feeling of excitement that well.

  • Comment number 78.

    Yes, but free sky is like taking something back from Murdoch, not only are you watching what you love, but there is a warm glow in your heart knowing this.

    Hell I've even starting watching football and cricket games I would have ordiniarily had no interest in just for that alone!

    BBC - run adverts or die.

  • Comment number 79.

    Hmmm BT, another backwardly run company as a result of being given an almost default large customer base, whom they also take for granted...

    Bad luck on that, wonder what mobile broadband is like in your area, it has come a long way recently,

  • Comment number 80.

    Some good races here, it's nice to see some different ones from usual. Also, it's good to hear what the drivers have to say :-)

    Looking forward to the race this weekend - good luck Heikki!

  • Comment number 81.

    You can also connect to internet via sat

  • Comment number 82.

    @69, StevieBBC

    First good luck to Heikki at Abu Dhabi,

    "Already they are targeting other areas like the planetF1 site,"

    This may surprise you Stevie, but take a guess who owns planetF1

    Here is a clue, it begins with S and ends with Y and now you will realize why them advertisements are plastered all over it.

  • Comment number 83.

    Hmmm, might have to investigate mobile BB a bit more then.... Dunno how long it would stay visible, but got any site recommendations?

  • Comment number 84.

    I cant help but to notice the similarity between BBC and politics in general. Both keep you in the dark, both dont want to know you 99% of the year, but when it comes to voting time or license paying time, they're ALL over you. Well thats fine, but as in politics, the BBC will find out that you can decide to treat people that way and thats fine - they'll even take it for a while....but when that treatment becomes the norm, you've seen this year how people eventually explode.

    You can only treat someone like a mushroom for so long - and then you start to reap the fruits of the policy. Anger.

    I have no big problems with Heikke's choices. There are quite frankly more important things in life to worry about.

    No to corporate greed, no to sky and definitely NO to underhanded back room dealing between corporations that stitch people up.

  • Comment number 85.

    I am adding my voice to those saying No to Sky.

    Why should you want the BBC to have it back when they got rid of it? Thank god its gone from the BBC, we've seen how Mr Gallop and Mrs Slater have just shafted it from BBC onto Sky, why give it back??

    I mean, the BBC have decided to keep 10 Minutes of Prem League Football yet get rid of Live Sport such as F1 and the Football League, Live Sport they dont want, they want it all recorded!!!!!!!!!


  • Comment number 86.

    OMG people are so emotional on these comments sections! Get over yourself already, if you were a real F1 fan you'd have no issue getting Sky to watch it and if you understood economics you'd understand why it's happening!

    Comment 38 sums it up perfectly ... 'Earn more money and treat yourself' and if your going to boycott things because you disagree with past behaviours or whatever, add nestlé and esso to your list, stop reading newspapers, sell your vehicle and become a hermit.

    Seriously, you lot are hella entertaining to the rest of us, thank you for the laughs!

  • Comment number 87.

    For the bestboys, Gusjohansens and the other muppets who think that EVERONE can afford sky.

    Some people do not earn enough to subscribe to SKY, some have lost their jobs and in many areas will not have a hope in hells chance of getting a job.

    The answer is.

    Stream, stream and stream again, it is all there, worldwide football, cricket, tennis F1. In fact it is harder to find a sport that you cannot stream.

  • Comment number 88.

    Dear bbc scroungers my tv licence bill came in the post today please feel free to take me to court for yer money as I wont pay it till Im forced too:)

    You have my email adress ill send you my home adress to help you get the ball rolling.

    Good luck in the race heikki:)

  • Comment number 89.

    Good news that Nico Rosberg has extended his stay at Mercedes, but he was always going to do that.

    Hope he gets the opportunities to get on the podium again next year, like last year, and I hope that Brawn gives him a competitive car.

    Also hope Shumi shows us that he has still got it, as I feel it could be his last season if he doesn't compete at the top.

    I know I may anger a lot of fans in saying this, but I hope to see the downfall of Ferrari, I hope to see Mercedes, Renault (Lotus), Toro Rosso and Force India overtake them in the constructors championship next year. And I would like to see a massive improvement from Lotus (Caterham) as they have been the best of the new ventures.

    Hispania and Virgin (Marussia) are not going to be competitive, and Williams and Sauber seem to have gone backwards this year.

    Any thoughts.....?

  • Comment number 90.

    Nice choices as theyre not the same old same old classics.

    No to Bernie, No To Murdoch, No to Sky and No to paying my TV licence next year as the BBC will not be showing me anything useful. Im not interested in paying toward rubbish like Eastenders and Wimbledon which will last just two weeks.
    @15 just shy of 500 quid is a lot of money particularly in these difficult times.
    Keep F1 on FTA where everyone can see it and the sport reaps the real benefits.
    No F1 for me next year which means I wont just be saving nearly 500 quid but a further 350 quid as I wont be going to Silverstone either. I dont do things by halves so I wont be doing it at all.

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    *myself and *thought of course :)

  • Comment number 93.

    Lets hope there'll be more head-to-head confrontations in the last two races of the season.

    F1 just isn't the same without one-on-one challenge.

    Hamilton and Schumacher showed us our to do it, and so did Webber and Hamilton.
    They are the reasons why I watch F1 racing....certainly not the boring procession.

    Massa for some reason cannot pick up the gauntlets when thrown down by Hamilton, instead takes it as a slight on his driving ability, hence the constant blocking.

    I hope he banishes the devil from his mind and lets see some spectacular racing.

  • Comment number 94.

    The best of f1 on twitter,
    with tweets from players, teams,journalists and fans all on one website.

  • Comment number 95.

    @89. I too now believe that a Ferrari downfall could do F1 a power of good. Recent comments from Ferrari demonstrate their continued belief that F1 is Ferrari and vice versa and that F1 would fail without them.

    Pride comes before.......... as they say. It may take a couple of years to come about but, just as with Bernie, the BBC and SKY et al, nothing will last for ever.

    Would be great to see more young teams like Red Bull moving in and up :)

    ps I wonder exactly when the BBC will let viewers us know precisely what dregs of F1 coverage they intend to grace us with next year?

    No to SKY, yes to fta or RTL.

  • Comment number 96.

    Nice to see ALL of my comments are being censored by the BBC, I was starting to worry the BBC weren't reading these comments.

    " Mr Murdoch you must be the first mafia boss in history who didn't know he is running a criminal enterprise" - 10/11/2011 Tom Watson to James Murdoch.

    Just another reason to say, NO TO SKY!

  • Comment number 97.


    "Mr Murdoch you must be the first mafia boss in history who didn't know he is running a criminal enterprise"

    Yeah, I saw that on BBC News 24, a brilliant response to James Murdoch's evasive replies to straight forward questions.

    I wonder if he learnt his evasive skills from a certain complaints department, who love just sending out bland auto-replies.

  • Comment number 98.

    @96 and @97 Indeed, one might be led to think he has something to hide, or at least has more knowledge than he might be letting on.

    And yes it does sound quite familiar. Corporations make silly and underhanded deals and decisions but yet do not want to be held responsible when something hits the extraction.

    It seems such a shame that people have to be caught before admitting any wrong doing.

    On topic - Nice choices (in the hopes I won't be censored)

  • Comment number 99.

    Firstly, I must say Heikki, new races nice choices.

    After the shameful F1 TV deal, it's a tiny bit satisfying to know that Murdoch and Ecclestone are having to squirm a bit lately. Can't help but wonder if Milly's parents are watching Murdoch as well.

    Good article, and certainly on topic for F1, on the background to the BE story on pitpass from 10/10 titled The Question Of Why Ecclestone Paid Gribcowsky here:

  • Comment number 100.

    @99 That seems to stink more than the coverage deal, and that smells pretty bad.

    This week's choices are brilliant. I love watching last year's climactic race, it was what F1 is all about, but unfortunately we haven't been spoiled in the same way this year with the sheer dominance by Vettel.

    Interesting to hear in 2007 when he was in the Toro Rosso, he was called Ve-tell, as DC still likes to call him. Surely when someone new appears in F1, the commentary teams should be briefed on how to pronounce his name.


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