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Button gets 2012 season off to a flier

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Andrew Benson | 10:06 UK time, Sunday, 18 March 2012

Albert Park, Melbourne
Statements of intent do not come much more emphatic than the one Jenson Button made with a dominant victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Crushingly superior in a straight fight with McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton, Button got off to the perfect start in a season that promises to be very different from Sebastian Vettel's one-sided championship win last year.

There were fears after McLaren's one-two in qualifying that they would run away in the race - and they proved to be half right.

Button left Hamilton behind and never looked like losing the race. It was a win as comfortable as any of the six in seven races he took at the start of 2009 to lay the foundations for his championship year with the Brawn team.

Jenson Button

Jenson Button has won three of the last four Australian grands prix. Photo: Getty

Button admitted to BBC Sport after the race not only that he always gets "nervous-excited" before grands prix, but that he was more nervous before this one than perhaps any other.

One assumes it was founded in the knowledge that after starting his first two seasons at McLaren with cars that were off the pace of the Red Bull, he now had a real chance of getting his year off to the best possible start.

Contrary to appearances, that nervousness led to a slight error at the start. After a superb initial getaway, Button went for second gear too early, which delayed his charge to the first corner.

Luckily for Button, Hamilton had also had a bad start, and with the inside line, the corner - and, as it turned out, the victory - were his.

Ironically, the win bore more than a slight resemblance to many of Vettel's in 2011.

Button went off like a frightened rabbit in the first two laps, the aim being to be far enough ahead at the start of lap three - when the drivers are first allowed to use the DRS overtaking aid - to ensure he was out of reach of his pursuers.

Rather than ease off, though, Button just kept going, a succession of fastest laps moving him more than three seconds clear within six laps, after which it stabilised.

So dominant was Button that even had Hamilton converted his lead at the start into one at the end of the first lap, it is difficult to imagine that the result would have been any different.

Hamilton cut a subdued figure after the race, giving short, quietly-spoken answers to questions. He admitted he "didn't generally have great pace" and, after producing a stunning lap in qualifying to take pole, was clearly not expecting Button's demoralising

Hamilton's mood will not have been helped by losing out on second place to Vettel, largely through bad luck.

After leaving the two cars out slightly too long before their first pit stops, McLaren did exactly the right thing in stopping them one after the other for their second.

It was Hamilton's bad luck that he was delayed by the introduction of the safety car on the very next lap, allowing Vettel to sneak ahead.

Vettel said after the race that he would have "had a crack" at Hamilton even without that stroke of good fortune.

But the two cars were evenly matched and if Hamilton, whose car was faster on the straight, was not able to pass Vettel it seems unlikely that Vettel would have been able to overtake the McLaren.

The manner of Button's victory - Vettel described him as "unbeatable" - led to inevitable questions about whether McLaren will now dominate this season in the way Red Bull did last.

But as Hamilton said, it is "too early to tell" if McLaren are comfortably ahead of Red Bull.

"In qualifying we're quite quick and competitive," he said, "but they were massively quick in the race. I think they're still a force to be reckoned with."

Vettel, meanwhile, proved once again how ridiculous it ever was to suggest he could not race - his move around the outside of Nico Rosberg at Turn Nine on lap two was hugely impressive.

Behind the top two teams, an intriguing race has set the season up nicely.

Romain Grosjean made some errors befitting his semi-novice status as he squandered his excellent third place on the grid, but his Lotus team look like they could have the pace to challenge close to the front if they have a clean weekend.

Mercedes' race pace was a disappointment after their impressive form in qualifying - which extreme was the true representation of their competitive position remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso dragged his Ferrari up to fifth place with a typically resilient and impressive performance, although the car's lap times once the race settled down suggested the team still have a lot of work to do.

The mixed-up grid, caused by typical early seasons problems for Red Bull, Alonso and Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen in qualifying, led to some superb battles throughout a race that seemed to confirm the impression of pre-season testing that the grid has closed up this year.

"We all think this is a special year in F1 with six world champions and so many competitive teams," Button said. "F1 is in a special place and it's a great sport to be a part of."

Malaysia next weekend will provide further evidence of what lies ahead. Button and Hamilton, for very different reasons, will be anxious to get on with it.


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  • Comment number 1.

    What a race with superb action throughout the field. Button was peerless today. Feel for Maldonado's mistake so close to the finish but at least it shows Williams are on the way back with a much stronger car, and that is very good to see.

  • Comment number 2.

    I honestly believe Hamilton is no longer the favourite son at Mclaren for whatever reason, the start was a bit surprising to say the least, I can't remember in the last 10/15 years the pole sitter lose out in the first corner to the second guy on the grid, especially when you are starting from the clean side of the track...the tide has definitely change inside the Mclaren camp, this guy is always getting the less favourable calls, even after pitting, he seems to get traffic in front of him all the time, especially in Melbourne where overtaking is painful difficult, these are nibble things which impair anyone's race , nevertheless it was a great race from Jenson, he made no mistakes, looked well after his tyres and controlled the race from the front beautifully, in contrast Lewis struggle for pace, it cannot be only tyre preservation the reason he couldn't get closer to Jenson, 2012 will be definitely be a year to remember, the level of competitiveness between the teams will be amazing for the fans, Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari will not give up easily, but as an Hamilton fan, I think it's time for him to move on, perhaps to Mercedes if a seat becomes vacant in 2013, he needs to grow up outside the Mclaren shade, Jenson is more experienced and intelligent driver these days, he learned a lot whilst racing for other teams and surely fought his demons at one stage in his career, I fondly remember when he was at Renault and was trashed by Alonso under "Don Briatore" watch, that experience made him a stronger and mature driver, but I reckon the turning point in his career was when he paired at Bar/Honda/Brawn with Jacques and Rubens, the experience made him a very complete driver, he learned a lot from them, either Lewis accept this and learn from him as well, or if his pride and ego refuse to accept it, there is no other alternative than move on and improve his race craft elsewhere, difficult times ahead of him I'm afraid...

  • Comment number 3.

    Button drove a great race today which was developed from a brilliant start. I think the jury is still out on Hamilton, personally I still don't think he is firing on all cylinders, yes flashes of brilliance as in qualifying, but it does seem lack lustre compared to the Hamilton of old. - Is it the car or is it him? Anyway a good day for McLaren, but the Bulls are snapping at their heels, and they will need not to put a foot wrong in terms of development to keep them at bay. Ferrari with Alonso at the wheel did better than expected, more to do with Alonso than the car I expect. Mercedes race pace was not really up to it, and Lotus had some bad luck not only in qualifying but also in the race. - I can't wait for next weekend!

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

    Maybe this blog could be written as the majority of uk fans watch F1.
    So from the highlights program just so you understand our frustration?

  • Comment number 6.

    Great performance from Jenson, never looked in doubt in the whole race. Alonso was my driver of the day though.

    Rofl that this blog is out before the highlights show has even been aired!

  • Comment number 7.

    First, and most important, Jenson Button drove a superb race. I disagree with #1 on the calls the McLaren garage made during the race - as far as one can tell from the radio exchanges, there was no favouritism or anything. It is just that the leading driver on the track has priority for pitting. Congratulations to Jenson for a fantastic race.
    Second, with that out of the way, there clearly was something wrong with either Lewis or his car - or both. He was never able to match Button's pace right from the start, and within a couple laps had fallen 2 or 3 seconds behind Jenson. I am not sure that this was Lewis' doing entirely - given the manner he drove during qualifying, it was clear that he had both the temperament and the ability to be very fast.
    Maybe the car had a problem - actually, am pretty sure it did. Lewis fell away from Jenson too fast and to suddenly to have been driving the same machine more or less.
    There were suggestions last season that Jenson appeared to have won the McLaren put crews over, and that the car was now being engineered to suit his style of driving, rather than Lewis'. There might be some truth to that, and the fact that Lewis out-qualified him might be irrelevant because Button was caught up in traffic when making his flying lap during qualifying.
    Whichever it is, it cannot be fun for Lewis - widely regarded as the most talented driver on the circuit - to repeatedly finish behind his teammate, so here's hoping he sorts out his issues - if he has any - and gives his teammate a proper run for the money in the next race. Which is just next weekend.

  • Comment number 8.

    Sorry - meant I disagree with #2.

  • Comment number 9.

    Well, seems like a great start for McLaren and Button, however....

    As I and many (...many) others do not have access to Sky for F1 this season, do you not think it might be a little more sympathetic to refrain from reporting on the results until AFTER the 'extended highlights' on the BBC???

    I now wont bother to watch the highlights as I have lost the excitement from knowing the result.

    By the way, I found the result through Firefox 'Latest Headlines' which I presume is populated from a BBC feed.

    Well done Jenson, just a shame many of your english fans wont be watching this year.

  • Comment number 10.

    Im a Mclaren fan. and I believe that Lewis is better driver than Jenson. He's quicker than him, he proves in every qualification. At the same time, YES - Im sure he did take a lesson during winter testing period how to deal with a tyres and avoid the crashes.
    But Im masssively dissappointed how Lewis let Jenson to pass him, and Later he couldn't catch him up? if McLaren is quick a bit why he was strugguling to catch him, besides he couldnt catch the Vettel!
    I dont know , but there should be some reasons.
    I hope he will win next race. Cause its not fair!

  • Comment number 11.

    really wish folk would stop using the blog to have a pop about bbc not having the coverage, the bbc coverage is excellent, jake does a great job, however Sky will take it to the next level, granted not everyone has access or can afford sky (however arent you able to get it using cheapo sat dishes and get the german or french coverage?) regardless i watched it today and it was brilliant, when they are on at same time im likely to watch bbc until grid walk time and switch to sky :-) so in summary stop moaning if you dont have sky, and if you didnt want to know the result why log on to the web!?

    cracking race by JB and hopefully he continues to get the better of hamilton who like most on here moan far too often :-)

  • Comment number 12.

    Hamilton needs to grow up and stop sulking. If he has another season like last year he will probably move on. Wouldn't be surprised if Raikkonen went to McLaren, he looks in superb form. Lewis to become No1 at Mercedes if surely schumi retires at the end of the season. Button is now the most complete driver on the grid, smooth but quick with it and intelligent, reminiscent of Prost in his pomp. This is definitely another golden age in the sport, every bit as good as the late 80's early 90's.

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

    Managed to find a live feed just after the start of the race but had to rely on the (rather boring) Radio5 commentary up till then. I've always rated Jenson as a better driver than Lewis and Sebastian as better than both of them, but there's very little in it so I hope we're in for a good season. I'm really sorry that Mercedes fell away so quickly as it would be nice to have more teams at the front. Ferrari? Who knows what they will do! Kimi's radio feed added the most entertainment to the race.

    I've put in an official complaint to the BBC about them releasing the results before the highlights are shown. They have taken the mammoth headline off their home page now but the damage has been done. At least one of my friends will now not be watching the highlights as she heard the news on Radio 2 this morning.

    I don't know if Mark Thompson has ever heard of the law of unintended consequences but it seems that the BBC will find that their F1 viewers will not watch/listen/read any BBC TV, Radio, Website feed for the 6-8 hours on a Saturday or Sunday in order to avoid spoiling the races.

    How much money does the BBC get for supplying the commentary to SKY in other countries - New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland etc? Do they not think it ironic that these countries get to watch the British national broadcaster whilst the British themselves cannot?

    We're still waiting for answers about how this deal was set up and who benefits - no one at all as far as I can see.

  • Comment number 15.

    Absolutely disgusted with having to just listen to Radio 5. Count your money Bernie the tables will change one day. Mr BBC man in charge, you have let down a great corporation. Jaime alguersuari was appalling, no information technical or otherwise. You need Chandok. Love to all, hugs xxx

  • Comment number 16.

    lol @ #13 surely no one else agrees with that! what utter nonsense! hamilton was easily favourite when against heiki and fernando! what utter nonsense!

  • Comment number 17.

    I noticed that Lewis Hamilton was very dejected after the race.

    He needn't be.

    He should feel positive that might, just might have the fastest car on the grid again, as proved by his pole and Button's win in it. He also got on the podium. OK, he didn't have great luck today, but it's still solid points. It's not podiums he needs to be worrying about, it's the retirements.

    Last year, he came fifth in the Championship, on his own away from the top 4 after a succession of races where he didn't gather a lot of points. Whereas Webber and Alonso finished above him, comfortably, despite just one win apiece, because of consistent 2-3-4 finishes.

    As for Button, he's looking extremely strong, but Hamilton will still outqualify him in most races, and as long as that happens, Hamilton has every chance of winning plenty of races this year.

    He, and McLaren, should feel very excited right now.

  • Comment number 18.

    You people whining about BBC and SKY. If you want to watch F1, go out and buy the tv package that allows you to. Who promised you free stuff forever?
    Grow up - take your "I dont have SKY" whines elsewhere. Go find a donation or a free feed somewhere. !@#$%

  • Comment number 19.

    Very impressive from Button. Can't help but feel that it's benefitted him with there having been no major rule shakeups so he's had a consistent car to work with in pre-season - now he's clearly comfortable with getting it to his liking and as we saw in 2009, if he's got a fast car that's set up to his liking then he's nigh-on unbeatable. Hamilton I feel is still struggling with the tyres whilst Webber seems to have come to terms with them - a decent drive for him after being swamped at the start.

    Poor showing from Mercedes if their car really was eating through the tyres. They did mostly long runs in pre-season so how didn't they see this coming? Shame Schumacher's gearbox went - I doubt he could've held back Vettel but seemed stronger (from what little we saw) than Rosberg and probably would've finished 5th. Big shame for Maldonado - but bodes well for Williams. Senna's race was wrecked from the first corner so it'll be interesting to see whether they can be up with Alonso in the next race.

  • Comment number 20.

    If anyone of the people whining, pathetically, about not having the chance to watch F1 because it's not exclusively on the BBC before, should have a deep hard look at themselves.

    If you love the sport, buy the F1 channel. It's the equivalent to three pints of lager a week. No one has a divine right to free F1 on TV. And you have a choice, stop taking to blogs talking about the race to vent your anger about something that you've had 9 months to contemplate, deal with in and your own minds and ultimately, do something about.

  • Comment number 21.

    Brundle and Crofty made for pleasant listening, pretty happy with the Sky coverage, even if their presenter is unspeakably bad.

    As for the race, really not what I expected. I thought Hamilton would storm it and embarrass Button. I wonder how Hamilton will react next week. Feel really bad for Grosjean and Senna. Torrid times for both. Not to mention Catheram. Webber looks on form, if only he could get a decent start for once. I've seen drivers run the same line as Maldonado at that corner all weekend and not once have they had that sort of misfortune, poor guy, maybe it's karma for him showing zero courtesy towards Grosjean.

    Force India seemed to fade into the background, very lucky to get a point. Torro Rosso impressed me, if the two drivers weren't as inexperienced I could have seen them getting a bigger haul of points- They looked faster than Sauber and not far from the pace of Lotus.

    Hope the remainder of the season can keep up this level of intensity, but i'm worried we'll see some really poor races because these tyres will only get more durable and the likes of Valencia are just woefully boring anyways. I'm a neutral somewhat favouring Raikonnen and Alonso (and Kubica if he makes a return), so i don't mind who wins as long as I see some excitement!

  • Comment number 22.

    Yet more disgraceful behaviour in plastering the result all over the front page of the website before you've even shown the highlights. Publishing an article about the race as well really takes the proverbial.

    As you did not show the race live I will be cancelling my licence on Monday and I encourage others to do so as you have not listened to the licence payers at all over this whole debacle.

  • Comment number 23.

    Hamilton so unlucky with the safety car otherwise a McLaren top two would have been a great start.

    Going to be interesting to see how the coverage differs between the two when it comes to sharing the live races. Thought Sky coverage was top quality although don't know if it requires 1 1/2 hrs before a race.

    Unlucky having to put this blog up before your extended highlight show beeb and good luck with The Voice...that looks erm really new and interesting. WTF £25 million down the pan! Of course we're still pissed!

  • Comment number 24.

    There is no favoritism at all at mcclaren, lewis just made a mistake at the start. Then lacking still his natural racing instinct (due to lack of confidence) he was unable to make up ground as he would of done in the past to regain the lead.

    I believe that lewis is so worried of causing any upset/contact like last year with others/stewards etc. that he didn't attack the race like he would of done in the past. He simply drove fast but safely to take what ever he could from the race. He knows 3rd is better than no points but that is not the lewis we all know!

    I reckon that it will take him a while to find his groove again, no doubt a steady stream of podiums will give him confidence/relieve some media pressure that will enable him to push on and take some risks again.
    Why would he of wanted to risk putting it into jenson at the first corner today?
    He would never of lived it down.

    Certainly I feel he thinks it's him against everyone now and right or wrong that siege mentality will have either a negative or hopefully positive effect on his approach and results this year.
    No doubt Lewis would have more sympathy from fans of F1 if he never did have the bling lifestyle that he has chased in the recent past and was more like the young lewis at the start of his career. This I feel has led to people to think he is this or that.... But Lewis is a talent still, a very big one BUT at this present time, he is just not on form YET!
    In quali the form/talent and confidence is there as we saw because it's just him against the track. BUT in the race he just isn't on the money yet as I don't believe he has the complete wheel to wheel confidence to pull off moves of old whilst the memories/criticisms of last year are still so fresh.
    Give it a few incident free races and I reckon the smile of old will be back.

    Still with a bit more experience, that slapped bum look when not winning will disappear too hopefully as that does him no favours either!!!!!

    I hope lewis will get back to the top soon as he is a great driver, but experience he still needs so today was a good lesson. I though hope jenson prevails to a 2nd title this year as he deserves another and time is on lewis side.....

    Either way though anything other than a one horse race this year will do it for me.... !

  • Comment number 25.

    That overtake of Rosberg by Vettel wasn't bad for someone who supposedly doesn't know how to overtake...

  • Comment number 26.

    #9 "As I and many (...many) others do not have access to Sky for F1 this season, do you not think it might be a little more sympathetic to refrain from reporting on the results until AFTER the 'extended highlights' on the BBC???"

    So your trying to avoid the results, by coming on the BBC sports website?? If your going to use the blog to moan about the coverage, at least be genuine about it.

    Aside from that, interesting first race. Could be a shoot-out between Vettel and the McLaren boys this season.

  • Comment number 27.

    I do have Sky and have been disappointed with their coverage so far. They don't even have the races, qualifying, or practice sessions on Sky Go. Simon Lazenby looks like he's bored out of his mind & it's clear Georgie Thompson isn't there because she has a working knowledge of F1. Those of us with Sky can only hope things improve soon.

    To those who say "you can't have F1 free forever" - Channel 4, ITV and Channel 5 were interested in the rights (signs of a healthy market for F1 in the free-to-view market) but the BBC shunned them and went running to Sky.

    Next year, Sky are rumoured to move F1 into one of the sports subscription packages. After all, we wouldn't want all those cheapskates with ONLY the Sky HD subscription to get it "for free" would we?

  • Comment number 28.

    "Yet more disgraceful behaviour in plastering the result all over the front page of the website before you've even shown the highlights. Publishing an article about the race as well really takes the proverbial."

    So presumably football results should not be put up until match of the day finished? I was annoyed that the races were going to sky at first, but the reaction of some of the F1 fans is just an embarassment. Toys. Pram.

  • Comment number 29.

    Gavelaa et al you are the ones who should have a good look at yourselves. It is the selfish behaviour of people like you who subscribe to Sky which makes it possible for them to take the coverage of sports away from free to air channels.

    Yes you might be able to afford it but not everyone can. If people like you had a bit of consideration for others and didn't subscribe to Sky then everyone would be able to watch at the cost of the licence fee.

    Furthermore there are plenty of people in this country who will not fund the Murdoch empire due to their behaviour both recently and in the past. I would prefer British people to have an influence on British government policy not foreign media barons.

    As for the 'No one has a divine right to free F1 on TV'; actually I strongly believe that no sport should be allowed to sell television rights full stop. Sports coverage shoudl be open to free to air broadcasters without a premium.

  • Comment number 30.

    As a true F1 fan I have no qualms about paying for the coverage on Sky Tv. The coverage was as in-depth as anything the BBC produced. I agree with the earlier post about Simon Lazenby however, that guy has the personality of a cupboard. Also, I love how Martin Brundle, who makes the coverage work for them, just as he did on the BBC previously, makes Damon Hill seem like a clueless amateur. It seems like he hasnt watched a race since he retired from driving!!!!!

    The race itself couldn't have really gone better as a McLaren fan, aside from Lewis finishing behind pointy finger man. Bodes well for a good season for the boys from Buckinghamshire :-)

  • Comment number 31.

    tom1080. No the Football results should not be plastered all over the front page either.

    Those of us who have been ignored by the BBC over the F1 rights have a duty to complain through any method available including the blogs.

    The BBC needs to start to listen to its viewers as there were plenty of alternatives to going to Sky.

  • Comment number 32.

    Clearly, those of us here fall into mainly two camps. Those who have chosen/can afford Sky and those who do not have Sky or cannot afford it, put a dish up, etc. I fall into the latter but not so bothered that I have to avoid all news until the highlights.

    I must just say that it is a bit lousy of the BBC to put Chief F1 Writer (Chief of what or whom? He seems to be alone....) Andrew Benson's blog up before the highlights have even been shown. We might want to disagree with his assessment of the race but how are we supposed to do that if we have not seen it yet?

    Come on BBC - at least don't hit the publish button on these things until after the highlights have run.

    This whole thing is lousy. F1 is going to die on the BBC and I sometimes think that is actually what they want - oh good, I can't wait for The X Voice Factor to start as I know my money is well spent on that drivel.

    I'll come back with my thoughts on the race once I have actually seen however much they cram into the two hours. I will be very disappointed if it is less than 1.5 hours.

  • Comment number 33.

    If you're fast you're fast and Hamilton is certainly that. However there does seem a worrying lack of race pace that was evident in races last season. Don't think its the tyres becuse this is happening at the start of the race and not towards the end of a stint. My conclusion is there may be a handling or setup problem under heavy fuel. When the cars ran lighter in re-fulling days Hami was always lightning quick - and still is in light quali mode. A heavy fuel problem would also account for the lack of his once blistering starts which on the whole all but disappeared last season.

    Whatever the problem just hope Hami can solve it coz I'd love to see him back at his exciting best winning a second WDC.

  • Comment number 34.

    Button deserves the praise today, he drove a faultless race. Lewis was hampered by his poor start, a bit of bad luck and either he, his car or both were not quite on it as Button was.

    Unless as suggested by others, McLaren's default position is to favour Button over Lewis when they are faced with difficult decisions, it is way to early to read anything into each drivers chances of who will be top dog at the end of the championship. However, if Buttons great start does however evolve into dominance over Lewis then this can only be the result of a pragmatic favouritism, which reflects the fact that Button is seen as the driver most likely to win the championship within a sport that favours creating artificial overtaking through DRS and tyre degradation. Lewis and Alonso are still the quickest drivers over a single lap and more often than not, Button will always be in Hamilton's wake in qualifying. Beyond qualifying, the sport has now created a situation on race day where perhaps the quickest driver on the track finds it twice as hard to win due factors which have nothing to do with out and out pace. This may attract more excitement and viewer numbers but for the purest it is completely at odds with what this championship should be about. Which car and driver is the quickest over the race and not who can manage 2,3 or even 4 sets of tyres better in a race. Question, how would Ayrton have got on with these Pirelli's. I say create a highly durable tyre again and then see who dominates who in the McLaren camp.

  • Comment number 35.

    Congrats to Jenson complete domination. As a massive Hamilton fan I’m gutted about the result, but for me the team and the strategy was a disaster, pitting 2 laps after Jenson for the 1st stops losing around 6 seconds on finished tyres, then for the stop itself was around 7-8 tenths slower than jensons. This is an issue that they have plagued Lewis with since 2010.the safety car was bad luck but Vettel was around a second behind and would of jumped him at the stops anyway I think. I personally think Lewis won’t beat Jenson with the current set up for tyres there is that for me was the most frustrating thing about him today was, he would put 2 good laps together then they were finished while Jenson was doing similar times for longer equalling to a win. I think that is how the season will work, Lewis domination in qualifying and Jenson edging him in the races. I didn’t like the attitude of Lewis after the race, very childish, the guy is 27 years old, he isn’t 22 anymore. He seemed annoyed with the team, rightly so but smile for the public at least, it left a sour taste to be honest.
    On the rest, great for RB they are not as far back as they and everyone thought. Likewise for Ferrari but they need to ditch Massa imo to go forward, Alonso is carrying the team which is embarrassing for a team like Ferrari. Man I love Kimi such a character, great races from Pérez, Maldonado but he chucked it away, kobayashi, great again and di resta to my surprise finished in the points. I think it will be a tough season for him to be honest hulkenberg is good
    On sky coverage, I watched it online and I will die before shelling out my hard earned money for those greedy so and so plus the dwarf. But I didn’t see anything special about it, it was like watching the BBC the last 3 seasons but worse, BBC lite, lazenby is a train wreck, JH has no competition with him at all. Plus martin Brundle is a mercenary and adds nothing new to sky because we have all heard it at the BBC, sky is for the people who would waste their money and complain about the BBC at the same time. They are attracting the football fans, good luck. The BBC transformed f1 coverage attracting a new generation of f1 fans, with clear and digestible info amounts about the whole f1.i listened to the coverage on bbc5live when the internet went belly up at the start and they were great, very clear and informative. I would rather have EJ, DC and JH these guys had a bond from the first show having a laugh at their own expense which was hilarious and the after show forum was incredible and importantly the drivers like them, the sky people are awkward (though croft was good he deserves his shot in the spot light) and lazenby was all over the shop, very timid, weak and made oblivious errors and pauses when being told what to say and what questions to ask, he’s even trying to copy JH with the iPad. I would love to know the viewing figures for sky and the BBC by the days end.
    The race was pretty boring all in all 6/10 being kind, saved itself a 5 because of the frantic end which we didn’t see, Malaysia from here. Good luck McLaren

  • Comment number 36.

    Whilst one can understand a degree of frustration over the BBC "giving up" half the live races to Sky, it strikes me as faintly absurd to complain about blogs and reports coming out before the highlights show.
    Since when did (global) internet reporting kow-tow to the sensibilities of one TV audience ?
    If you don't want to know the result, its pretty obvious what to do - don't switch on the computer.
    As far as the GP was concerned, it wasn't the most exciting up front, but there was plenty of good action down the order, and clear indications this season won't be a one sided walk-over like last year. Top drive from Button, and the demeanour of Hamilton post race said it all - how do you respond to that ?

  • Comment number 37.

    Found a friend who let me watch the race on Sky at their house as they're away for the weekend, so wasn't put out by the BBC reporting the result EVERYWHERE!!! Would be very annoyed about it otherwise.

    Re the sky coverage: pre-race is crap, no flow and the swoopy noises with the tacky graphics are just annoying. Race itself was fine once the FOM feed was used, Martin and Crofty are a really good pairing. Post-race same as pre-race. Crappy graphics, too many sound effects and the talk was no different to the BBC but broken up with ads, which destroyed any natural flow. Now just got to see how much of the race is missed by the highlights.

    I can't get the sky coverage at home, so the hiding under a rock on highlights weekends is going to seriously try my patience. If the BBC don't sort the results announcements out, a lot of people are gonna get angry. It's bad enough with all my non-f1 friends texting me the result!! 97 texts 10 minutes after the race had finished!!

  • Comment number 38.

    Can't believe the saddos still whining about the coverage, then moaning about the result being on the website before the highlights.... How old are you! Get over it you muppets

  • Comment number 39.

    are you people being serious? moaning about sports results being posted on a SPORTS SITE?! i cannot understand how you are all saying the BBC should not report from a race that has just happened, because they do not show the highlights until 2pm. think about match of the day, that is shown at 10.30, yet the BBC show the results straight after the match has finished. the people are moaning are frankly pathetic and if they want to watch the race, should just pay for the sky sports package...

  • Comment number 40.

    At 13:10 18th Mar 2012, Bob wrote:

    Gavelaa et al you are the ones who should have a good look at yourselves. It is the selfish behaviour of people like you who subscribe to Sky which makes it possible for them to take the coverage of sports away from free to air channels.

    Yes you might be able to afford it but not everyone can. If people like you had a bit of consideration for others and didn't subscribe to Sky then everyone would be able to watch at the cost of the licence fee.

    Furthermore there are plenty of people in this country who will not fund the Murdoch empire due to their behaviour both recently and in the past. I would prefer British people to have an influence on British government policy not foreign media barons.

    As for the 'No one has a divine right to free F1 on TV'; actually I strongly believe that no sport should be allowed to sell television rights full stop. Sports coverage shoudl be open to free to air broadcasters without a premium.


    Grow up, frankly.

    No one is happy about paying for Sky, but people do it because they want the product.

    It's like many things: car insurance, gas & electricity, we're all getting fleeced and the money goes to the most insipid organisations, but we make a choice that we'd rather have something than not.

    People can spend their money on what they want, it isn't selfish paying for Sky. Sports fans do it all over the country, the rest can always stream illegally. I have no moral objection to either, but people like you need to realise you have no moral high horse to sit on, because a) you're a hypocrite, and b) it makes you sound incredibly bitter.

  • Comment number 41.

    Really miss the live coverage on the BBC. You can watch it live on french channel TF1.

  • Comment number 42.

    At 18 and 20, People pay their yearly TV licence. We do not get F1 for free, so your argument is void. People have the right to complain about a service THEY PAY FOR!

  • Comment number 43.

    I was expecting a lot better from Sky, in all honesty. With the amount of money they've pumped into it and the fact they've even given F1 its own channel, it was disappointing.

    The main thing is the action, which was great, as always.

    But Simon Lazenby was a qualified disaster with his smarminess, and Georgie Thompson doth have a clue about the sport. They've be better off getting their reporter girl who's done motor sport for a while to do that bit. Damon Hill as well, perhaps he was nervous, but barely coherent.

  • Comment number 44.

    I am laughing so hard reading the comments section... As people have commented, why go on to a sports news website and complain you have seen the sports news! Imagine if they never put the results up, the vast majority would go to another website.

    Anyway, I am now settled down to watch JB win the GP.

  • Comment number 45.

    I have to hand it to Jenson he beat Lewis fair and square. Thats near the best I've seen him ever.

    Usually he gets ahead by strategey or the weather or by others making mistakes that he capitalises on but today I saw raw pace.

    Very impressive!!!

  • Comment number 46.

    Just watched Quali...(working yesterday)after seeing...sorry HEARING one lap of the helium laced shouty bloke with Martin on Sky this morning, nope epic fail Sky settling down to watch the race now. Thank god for the BBC and F1

  • Comment number 47.

    I have commented on the race so now I will add my 2p worth to the other topic.... !

    Isn't it just sad really when you stop and think about it all?

    Is it not just a sad state of affairs?

    If it ain't broke, why fix it? - Well that's what I was always told....

    I think it's a shame that we only had one season of Brundle & Coultard
    I think it's a shame that we lost Crofty & Davidson as P1 & P2 were always a relaxing start to fridays of past...
    I think it's a shame RTL is 15 seconds behind 5 Live!
    I think it's a shame Gary Anderson is camera/microphone shy(he could do these blogs instead!) - poor chap just does not have the screen presence of others(although I don't dislike him)
    I think it's a shame all this has done is taken something that worked and now produced two things that don't quite work and I feel sorry to say will NOT 100% EVER work!

    That is really what it all boils down to, that is why everyone is really mad(that and the perceiving view that the beeb have FAILED in their PUBLIC SERVICE by not FULLY explaining the FULL decisions of WHY this outcome was chosen).

    Basically something that was not not broken has tried to have been fixed. I'm sad because we are ALL missing out.

    Yes I cannot afford sky and even if I could I'm not sure I would out of principle, I have gone the RTL route, but this is not perfect, but I am not here to knock/root for those who have nor am I going to knock/root for those that choose not too.

    It's sad that F1 fans are now pitted against each other over coverage rather than racing incident!

    No we are ALL loosing out because no-one is getting everything. It is true the BBC brought life back into the coverage over the last few years and really did it well. Sky will no doubt do a good job too, but from what I have read about the only things going well for sky are blanket coverage, brundle, crofty & davidson!
    Well we know where they came from! - That's the point, it's just a shame that it has all been broken up. Personally I will not miss Ted and wish they took Eddie with them! But that's just a personnel point!

    Be it right or wrong about this or that, if I could afford Sky or not, nothing has shown me that either side IS BETTER!
    That's the main point, Sky viewers are missing bits & beeb viewers are missing bits... bits = broken!
    Like another poster said I believe ALL sport should be free to watch, BUT that is not our decision and for that reason I don't waste my time complaining either way.
    I feel it's sad that Some sky viewers mock some for not being able to afford it/moaning etc. & sad that Sky viewers are called scum etc. by the ones who don't/won't suscribe.
    Each to their own, but I won't moan either way I just want to comment that NO-ONE is a winner, even brundle et al! - Doubt anyone feels that comfortable with what they got including us!

    So what do we get as fans?
    Nothing.... well no.... But it aint what it was and isn't that just.... a shame!

  • Comment number 48.

    Quite apart from Jenson's genuinely stunning pace, Hamilton lost the chance to compete with him when only three or so seconds adrift and way before the safety car allowed Vettel to sneak ahead of him. Thanks to McLaren pitting him way too late – and after his tyre performance had fallen off a cliff – it dropped him into traffic and allowed Button to pull out substantial lead. Why this was allowed to happen from a team of such experience is, I would imagine, one of the questions Hamilton would like an answer to.

  • Comment number 49.

    Just checked the lap times on Plus, Jenson was consistently two tenths per lap faster than Lewis the all race, even the bulls lap times were faster than him...humm, interesting

  • Comment number 50.

    I've still got a headache from David Croft's commentary!

    As for the BBC daring to actually publish the result of the race before the highlights package - get a life people. Just how difficult is it to avoid the media?

    And as #11 wrote, yes you are easily and 'relatively' cheaply able to get German coverage. A mate of mine thoroughly enjoyed their coverage this morning!

  • Comment number 51.

    I have no problem with the result being on the front page of the BBC Sport website it should be obvious that this is to be avoided.

    I do however have a problem with it being a banner ad on the BBC News site because really, knowing the result before you've seen the coverage they WANT you to watch, does put a bit of a dampener on things.

    It does seem like if the BBC want people to use their services, they need to a be a little bit smarter, otherwise in order not to not find out the result people are going to have to avoid everything the BBC offer which isn't going to look good for them.

  • Comment number 52.

    At 14:11 18th Mar 2012, Its-only-a-game-sport wrote:

    I have commented on the race so now I will add my 2p worth to the other topic.... !

    Isn't it just sad really when you stop and think about it all?

    Is it not just a sad state of affairs?

    If it ain't broke, why fix it? - Well that's what I was always told....


    It was broke, the BBC are potless.

    I know that sounds weird given their £4bn endowment every year, but they had to make severe cuts.

    Perhaps they should never have moved to Salford, but that probably isn't the issue, for what, 10 races not live?

  • Comment number 53.

    The BCC should hang their heads in shame. The worlds top sport spoiled for money!
    facebook is alive with complaints, everyone is so fed up with this suitation.
    We've all been waiting for yet another great season only to be expected to go into a sound proof bunker for half a day to avoid hearing the result> i tried, had to keep my finger on the remote to watch the news this morning, just managed to turn the TV off, then went online to check the times and the damn result was plastered all over the website, then, i take a trip in the car, turn the radio on and.... this is just crazy. BBC you have totally wasted the money you spent on covering this event. i won't be watching any highlights, whats the point. Made me so angry this morning, especialily when we can't do anything about it. this comments section won't make one bit of difference, they just don't care one bit!

  • Comment number 54.

    Yeah, it's just a shame that the BBC and Bernie Eccelstone sold out to that crooked wretched wrinkly Rupert Murdoch.

    It's a shame nobody will give two hoots about this sport when BBC will inevitably concede all to Sky and there will be absolutely no F1 coverage on free to view TV, instead opting to invest millions of pounds in some trash TV like The Voice.

  • Comment number 55.

    just had to reply to the guys on here telling us to stop moaning, it was'nt the internet that was the prob, it was everywhere, you can't speand half the season in hiding, its on radio, tv, people.... i pay my licence, i expect to see it. there's no way i would buy Sky just to watch one program, its crazy and from what I've read the Sky coverage was terrible anyway. is this the way its going to be. :-(

  • Comment number 56.

    Firstly a message to two sets of whingers and whiners:

    1. As others have said, you do not have a divine right to watch F1 on terrestrial television. You can have a years SKY coverage for less than the price of a ticket at one Grand Prix. If you're so fanatical about the sport spend some money like the rest of us!

    2. And to all those who bang on about Hamilton being a superior driver to Jenson... get over yourselves. For the third season, Hamilton is finishing behind Jenson and today they were head to head in identical cars. They might be close but Hamilton is NOT superior to Jenson.

    Excellent Grand Prix with a near perfect drive from Jenson who looked sheer "class". Excellent coverage from SKY who remained true to the BBC template for F1 coverage with a superb commentary team. Not so sure about the anchor, and Damon Hill needs a "mate" to liven things up away from the track.

    One final comment... at the end of the race it was fascinating to see the difference in attitude between Lewis and Vettel. Vettel was smiling and congratulating Jenson whilst Lewis was morose and miserable.

  • Comment number 57.

    @14 Misty; @15 The Man; @22 @29 @31 Bob; @23 Darles; @32 Adtrad; @27 Martin Alonso and all the rest of you spot on.

    For all those Whiners, Whining on about us whining, you will get over it. (@1; @11; @18; @20; @38 amongst others).

    It's not illegal to Stream, in fact it is free, so why pay Murdoch a penny? Also do not switch on the commputer, so that goes for the TV & Radio as well I assume. The bbc used to always use the look away or switch the sound off now choice, butfor some reason choose not to. Shoot & Foot spring to mind. What with a British Team 1 & 3 in the first race, in an Olympic Year.

    Wooden performance from the $KY Team as expected....especiallly Thompson, (I'll have a drink), Lazeby, (Carboard Cutout/Cue Cards) and Hill, (what was I talking about). As for 'Blundel & Son' and 'Two Meals Crofty', enough said.

    We will not go away, so live with it. If not then go to a $KY blog and talk them up to your hearts content, do not tell us not to whine, when you are the biggest whiners of all. Own Goal and also 40 - Love, your serve.

    No F1 on $KY and yes to F1 on FTA.

  • Comment number 58.

    Again, us license fee payers have no say in it - instead some ditzy controller at the BBC thinks they know better. Instead, they invest millions of OUR pounds into something which is pretty dire (The Voice). I couldn't care if it gets millions of viewers (will probably flop though). F1 easily attracts the majority viewers when it is on prime time TV (Canadian GP last year for example) and we're actually watching real talent on show - yes BBC, REAL talent, not a pea-brained shelf stacker singing Lionel Ritchie's Hello in front of a whooping and hollerin audience.

    The BBC have got its priorities all wrong - they are slowly taking all sports of the service, and instead replacing them with rubbish like The Voice, or yet another detective drama. How original and inspiring. I pay my license fee for this? Public service? You're having a laugh!

  • Comment number 59.

    Maybe Lewis knows more that he is wiling to transpire to the cameras, don't you guys be so naive, formula one is a very complicated "business" these days, certain insights are known to come out after a driver ends his career in Formula 1, if you speak too soon you may hinder you career prematurely, as you are seen as a non team player especially from future prospective employers, he did shot himself in the foot last year with comments of being black and alike, I remember a comment Lewis made at end of last year, he would be glad to be fighting for the 2012 WC if Mclaren aloud him to do so...

  • Comment number 60.


    personal highlight lol
    "Wooden performance from the $KY Team as expected....especiallly Thompson, (I'll have a drink), Lazeby, (Carboard Cutout/Cue Cards) and Hill, (what was I talking about). As for 'Blundel & Son' and 'Two Meals Crofty', enough said"

    im happy for croft he is good,but he can tone it down a bit,its f1 he isnt in bed with georgie thompson.lazenby as i said in comment 35 is a train wreck,"blundel & son" i a i think they can use gary anderson more he actually is qualified to talk about the technical side of f1 he has designed race winners,ted kravitz has gone to uni,i cant wait for the bbc live race in china they will wipe sky of the map.

    i agree with most viewers idiotic putting post before his employers have actually showed their coverage.but what can you do.interent sky for me,i will die before paying for it,i pay my licence

  • Comment number 61.

    The phase "had a crack" has always been one that was a little disturbing to me on some subconscious level. I'm glad you made it extra-creepy by putting it in quotes.

  • Comment number 62.

    @60 Adrenilene Potato

    Well said, but see this link on Crofty's latest gaff:

    Try one of these streams out. Some of them work ok, but others you have to play around a bit with to get the exact feed that you want. - (Channel 1)

    And of course
    If you want a decent commentary, (far better than $ky’s), then listen to Radio 5 Live whilst watching one of the above.
    Here are a few more that have been supplied by some others friends on this group & other F1 groups:
    Sky Sports F1 Live Stream Online

    mms:// - Works…???

    Some of them are repetitive, but choose 2 or 3 that suit you and bookmark them. Some work better than others depending on your internet speed etc. It may not be the best, but it has worked for quite a lot of F1 Fans. Why pay $KY enjoy F1 for free.

    On the £20m+ spent on the 'Voice' and the hundred of thousands spent on Expenses, £15m paid to $KY by the bbc on their EPG and all the other Fubars. As I said Shoot & Foot.

  • Comment number 63.

    Did anyone else notice Red Bulls mechanics make it harder for Button to rejoin after his Tyre Changes, by coming out of the garage and standing right he front, once when their car wasn’t even coming in.
    The Officials need to take a close luck at that.

  • Comment number 64.

    Sky pre-coverage was poor, brundle and croft are a good match and ted in the pit lanes are the saving graces.

    People need to stop moaning sports need money to grow and succeed. Teams are businesses, i doubt people come to your work place and tell you that its "devine right" to have your services for free?

    Button had a great race, he was leading so he gets a choice on when to pit, its not the teams fault button was ahead, so all those hamilton supports who claim he should have had the option to pit should rewatch any number of races from any season where the car 2nd in the team was forced into later spots due to their position on track.

    If your ahead you make the calls, button was ahead and was quicker so ultimately he was going to get the rub of the dice in the pits.

    Good race, nice to see the maclarens competting well at the start of the season.

  • Comment number 65.

    Oh and by the way, to those wondering where the BBC money is going, the answer is that they use it so spy on other countries through their 30 flavours of World Service, costing upwards of 250 million GBP.

  • Comment number 66.

    Jake,DC and Eddie you have nothing to fear from the Sky team. Their presentation is way below what we were promised! I found it all a bit too wooden and stilted - Simon Lazenby is far far away from Jakes standard (see session he did with Lewis round the track in a car - not substance to it ), Damon Hill was OK the only thing saving them was Martin. They were chucked out of the McLaren GArage after the race - that wouldnt happen to the BBC guys!!! and Simon doesnt seem to be able to ask probing questions of the team bosses - he looks grateful they've stopped to talk to him!! Also Sky seem to be going for quantity rather than quality - loads of ads for the F1 channel and lots of programmes on but a lot of its re-hashed stuff. 2 hours after the race they were already replaying the whole race again - how many times will this be shown over the course of the week? I have SKY sports but not impressed with them so far - maybe time will tell. I will stick to the 90 mins of quality BBC coverage.

  • Comment number 67.

    Watched Sky and BBC coverage and both were very poor! The BBC still have it over Sky because of Jake, DC and Eddie, but to be fair that's its! But both companies should feel ashamed of themselves. I am not gonna say anything about paying for TV because I am just gonna use my good friends website LSHunter :D

  • Comment number 68.

    Please mention to the Formula 1 commentators to please refer to Sergio Perez as Sergio Perez, I for one am getting a little tired of them refering to him as the Merican. He has a name..Use It !!
    They do not refer to any of the other drivers as the German, the Australian, the Indian, the Japanese etc. Get my Drift??
    Ok..I will jump off the soap box now..Thanks..
    I am pleased that Jenson won & Sebastian came in 2nd, I am really excited to see
    Kimi Raikkonen back ! Good Show. It was a great opening race starting off the 2012 season. Ciao ... Marina

  • Comment number 69.

    I'm sorry to sound like another whining person who won't fork out for Sky, but would someone explain to me, if the BBC is SO broke, why they have spent so much money flying presenters, camera men, sound men, Uncle Tom Cobbly and all, out to Melbourne for a highlights show? Presumably they have also paid Bernie for the privilege of showing this after plastering the result over each news bulletin!!! I say again, delayed full races and keep it off the news, internet until after the replay has been shown.

  • Comment number 70.

    why do people think F1 should be on free to air..... when alot of sports are not?

    and people saying the BBC coverage was much better? i prefer sky as they dont spend half their time talking about what colour shirt EJ or DC is wearing.

    and keep the results of the internet before the highlights package? what? do people realise how stupid that sounds..... should we keep news of the internet before the 10oclock news is shown?

  • Comment number 71.

    What a totally fantastic race!

    Opening credits are awesome, Ben Edwards enthusiasm keeps you focused (even on lap 50 odd) and throughly left feeling excited throughout... totally gutted for Williams however great to see MS up there - so exciting, BRING IT ON !!!

    Jake and the whole BBC team should feel very proud indeed.

    Heads in the clouds? ...that would be the other team.

  • Comment number 72.

    Thanks to good ol' Auntie Beep......better know as The BBC, I have given up on the Grand Prix as of last year. I wish all the F1 teams success, which is more than I can wish the BBC.

  • Comment number 73.

    Post 63.
    By the way that should be

  • Comment number 74.

    I was highly disappointed with the quality of the BBC's formula highlights progamme. In the pre-race coverage, there were a number of videos, showing slow motion shots of the car, but there was very little information presented, in particular, they never once gave a run-down of who had qualified where, a staple of F1 coverage since the 70's, a ridiculously glaring omission. With regards to the commentary of the race, whils DC maintained has high standard as a 'colour' commentator, the individual brought in to replace Martin Brundle as the 'lead' commentator because of the SKY debacle was very poor. He managed to talk constantly at a rapid pace, whilst conveying virtually no information at all, It wasn't until about lap 30 that I had managed to work out the present running order, as he never once gave a positions rundown. Also, to be frank, his tone of voice was irritating. Though this is clearly no fault of his own, it does make him unsuitable to be a lead commentator on national television. He constantly seemed exicted about every single moment of the race, and this monotany ended up being as dull as the infamous Legard drone. This aspect as well made the race quite difficult to follow, as you were unable to detect key moments in the action, as everything was being presented as 'amazing.'
    In a similar vein, the Irishman in the pits, replacing Ted Kravitz, unfortunately has a voice with a similar pitch to the engines, which made him incomprehensible. The one saving grace is that the post race analysis was still excellent. I think from now on I might just watch the last half hour of the highlights package, I might be able to work out whats go on then.

  • Comment number 75.

    It is not about free to air sport - it is the manner in which this "deal" was struck - Ch4 matched Sky - why did this go to Sky??

    News is different - we don't know what's going to happen next - good or bad- most sports start at a certain time and are over by a certain time, so the comment about not putting "news" on the internet before the 10 o'clock news is totally uncalled for.

  • Comment number 76.

    You have to laugh at the remarks on here about Hammilton. He is a superb driver, this weekend perhaps him and his part of the Mclaren team got their set up slightly wrong with gearing ratio's and down force set up. Hamilton and his team will look at the data and address this as per the next race set up as it's better to give a little in qualification to make sure you have the correct package for the main day.

    To say that Mclaren have shifted their focus to Button and Hamilton isn't focused/missing his driving mojo is questioning the intelligence of the people who write such things.

  • Comment number 77.

    Exciting race! To think Bernie would consider dropping Australia off the schedule is ludicrous, I'd take off Valencia. Button looks the golden child at McLaren and continuing to outshine Hamilton who can't do anything else but sulk. Webber looks on form. Middle of the pack looks like a great battle also between Ricciardo, Vergne, Di Resta etc I think we are in for some great racing this year!

  • Comment number 78.

    I think there should have been a communications blackout from Australia so that I could sit down at a time of my convenience to watch the race in the sure and certain knowledge that no one knows the result. Then I could really enjoy it.
    OR I could be intelligent enough to know that the result would appear somehow when I am using my computer, listening to the radio or watching the TV. So if I wanted the pleasure of watching without knowing the result I should have avoided all media and taken the dog for a walk.
    For those of us who are old enough - remember the episode of Whatever happened to the Likely Lads?

  • Comment number 79.

    Well done to JB very good race, FA done well in the arkward Ferrari and PM in the williams was so unlucky. Mercedes had a shocker and need to get a lot of work to do and Force india was quiet today as well. Exciting start to the season but I can see the Red Bulls taking over the next race SV still got a second place and from experiance from last year he will be a happy man with that. I wont whinge about the coverage as Im interested in the sport and not the politics of broadcasting and who coverage is best. Sorry Folks :)

  • Comment number 80.

    I too do not have Sky. I have Virgin for every other comms, so not going to put myself out. Besides, can't stand Murdoch, just look at the last six months.......but I hated him years ago.
    I can cope without hearing qualy or race results until I watch later in the day, what I can't cope with is watching, say BBC Breakfast on Saturday, then suddenly the sports presenter comes on, and his very first comment, with no warning is; 'So it's a British front row at The Australian GP'...........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    They did exactly the same on Radio 5 Live, but of course I already knew by then.
    If they are serious about this 'package', they have to give warnings before broadcasting the result. They did with the winner of Masterchef on Friday morning, so why not the same with F1?
    I too have fired off an official complaint, but anyway, I'll stick to my iPod or Dave TV if I really need some entertainment while waiting for qualifying or the race.
    My son has a bet on Mercedes, following winter testing.
    He's just gone to New York, so I had great delight in telling him about Schumy's DNF and Rosberg's 12th!!
    Brilliant by Jens. He's not the quickest, but he's the most complete. Experience counts for so much these days. A few years ago, you just ragged the arse off the car, and with plenty of fuel and tyres, it didn't really matter. Now you coax the car round....hey, I'm sounding like Swiss Toni, in the Fast Show, lol!
    Going to be a great season, with Jens first, and Lewis second, if he get's his head together.

  • Comment number 81.

    Well I managed to find a really high quality stream of Sky and I will keep using this method as I can't get Sky or cable due to the odd positioning of my house. That said I did enjoy Sky's coverage and if they had Jake it would be pretty flawless.

    Really pleased to see Jenson drive so strongly , calmly and smoothly. Lewis did not look a happy bunny and I think he's going to really screw up his year if he slides back into the cleb life style with Nichole.

    Was surprised to see Vettle and Webber drive through the traffic to get 2nd and 4th , I just hope we can see Schumacher get some strong finishes so all his critics can eat their hats about him not being good enough any more.

    After the pathetic driving of the HRT's yesterday , I was really glad they were not allowed to race and screw up any ones race today.

  • Comment number 82.

    Frankly I cannot see why the BBC is bothering to broadcast the events. If you are a true fan you are forced to buy Sky, otherwise suffer the non live view and run the gauntlet of all the spoilers on the news etc. AND who wants to see edited highlights, as who knows what the editors subjective cuts are.

    Just to make it worse the commentator has changed for the worse - just shouting a "commentary" with few useful comments is no commentary at all. So this F1 fan is no more. I am NOT prepared to subscribe to Sky and not prepared to suffer the second rate BBC.

  • Comment number 83.

    @ Ferdyhater:
    A few years ago, you just ragged the arse off the car, and with plenty of fuel and tyres, it didn't really matter. Now you coax the car round....hey, I'm sounding like Swiss Toni, in the Fast Show, lol!

    That's how I feel! I coax my "old car" round everyday hoping it won't die...!
    It's not what I want to see in f1...
    Wish we could go back to refueling, that might put a bit more ragging/pitstops into it? I think racers like hamilton, webber, alonso etc. miss out against the other "tyrewear drivers". Yes it is all talent in a way, but to me ragging a car is what it should all be about... no?

  • Comment number 84.

    Where is the F1 Forum? It says this on the page about you commentary team:

    "The F1 Forum will continue on the red button for about an hour of comment and analysis after the programme. It will also be available on the red button and the website after the non-live races. "

    Where did it go?

  • Comment number 85.

    I spent all morning carefully avoiding all forms of media because I knew that I would learn the outcome of the race if I didn't do so. I did the same in previous years when some of the races were broadcast at an early hour, so it's no different really. If you can't work that out for yourselves there isn't much hope for you.

    And I reckon those who signed up for Sky have wasted their money. As long as you can curb your impatience to see the race the BBC coverage is as good as ever. I enjoyed it as much as ever.

  • Comment number 86.


    i agree 100% with the old pre 2010 tyres hamilton would crush button,you could be agressive and fast,it is boring watching drivers drive like they are on ice,"manageing" the tyres are you kidding me,f1 is speed and who dares push it to the edge not managing the tyres with smooth gentle driving going and pushing 80%,the great senna will turning in the grave.the aggressive drivers ham,alo,web and rai are brilliant to watch and wouldnt think twice about a move it is instict and bottle,but people want degrading tyres for what someone to be going 6 seconds slower than the pole lap and waiting for someone to dramatically say they are "falling of the cliff".

  • Comment number 87.

    Hi, Not normally driven to comment, but I feel that I have to!
    Although I enjoy FI and there is a necessity for commentary what we had today was inane! This guy Edwards seems to talk and then talk..and talk some more. I do NOT need him to tell us the placings; it's on the bloody screen! I want insight, not waffle! F1 is not a horse race for God's sake! So someone get a grip on this guy and get him a to take a large dose of whatever is necessary to shut up and allow the race to do the work. So BBC please get a grip of the aforementioned Mr Edwards before you show a live race...
    Moreover, it's great to occasionally see the 'race' for 7th or 12th, but NOT when Hamilton is fighting off Webber and trying to catch Vettel for 2nd!

  • Comment number 88.

    I agree with its only a sport's comment, drivers are now a bunch of tyre managers, the hell for leather element has gone. Makes me wonder how Senna would have coped ?

  • Comment number 89.

    Just watched BBC highlights show and I quite enjoyed it - was still quite exciting and think they did a pretty good job. Obviously its not as good as having the full race live but until SKY crash and burn (which I hope they do) I'll make do with the Beeb's coverage.

    Good opening race, brilliant performance by Jenson and looks like it might be quite close between the McLaren and Red Bull guys this year. Hope to see Kimi get a better qualifying which should get him up challenging nearer the front. Also, mid-field battles look like they'll bring some excitement.

    Here's hoping this is the start of a brilliant season.

  • Comment number 90.

    Shame on BBC Sport. A great product once again lost, by short term reasons. When will they learn.

    Motorsport is one of UK PLCs success stories and all races should be on Live and comprehensively on the BBC. End of story.

  • Comment number 91.

    What is Hamilton whining about?
    Surely he cannot claim that a no 2 driver should finish on the podium - and he did!
    That is great!
    He even beat one of the Red Bulls - Fantastic!
    Button and Vettel fighting for first, and Lewis and Mark picking up the race for third - what a year in the making!

  • Comment number 92.

    Awesome race from JB, hardly put a tyre wrong the whole 58 laps and if thats what we can expect from him FANTASTIC. Lewis looked a bit down and disappointed but I don't think he was matching JB's times and was always going to come into Vettels grasp, unlucky with the safety car but thats racing. It was priming itself to be a great season I think it's going to be magnificent.

    The McLarens were classy and look fantastic, the platypus noses are horrible and on the basis of todays you have to wonder who got their aerodynamics right. Red Bull coming from behind for a change, be interesting to see how they progress through the season but I have no doubt they will, Ferrari better than expected and I love the thought of the battles we are going to get between Sauber, Williams, Torro Rosso and Force India. Mercedes seem to be in a slot of their own but on race pace closer to the mid field than the leaders...

    Okay....Elephant in the room time.

    Highlights shows are NEVER going to match the live coverage we've become used too and I did miss the depth of the normal build up. Ben Edwards is good but needs to drop the shouty bit or we'll just compare him to the very shouty squeaky bloke on Sky. The rest of the gang....miss Ted and Martin; Brundle has proved himself the best in the business and DC has really come into his own behind the mic lose that is probably the biggest blow. Give Gary Anderson time and I think we'll see much better of him as time progresses. The symbiosis that the three amigos have built up over the last couple of years has been fantastic and that you can't change. I did note online somewhere that despite everything else the drivers tend to veer towards Lee first as well......Sky have a mountain to climb to gain anywhere near the credibility BBC have or the respect from the fans. I have the ability to watch both....I'll watch the highlights shows where neccesary rather than watch Sky...F1 should be in terrestrial TV...Ecclestone and the BBC authorities should be ashamed

  • Comment number 93.

    Well - For the first time in 20 years, I didn't watch a Grand Prix. I just couldn't be bothered. In past years I always got up, at whatever hour, to sit with the BBC coverage, BBC website and F1 live timing - but now there is no point! The results are on the webpage, hours before the opportunity to see a snippet of the race. There's no Martin Brundle [I guess he saw the BBC ship sinking!] and there's no live coverage with Red Button on Freeview - so much for the BBC being the leading broadcaster for those of the British public who cannot afford Sky/satellite. Pretty sure that this year will be a milestone for F1 in UK - most likely the last one, and all thanks to the BBC, who appear to put a fortnight's sport every four years, before the highest annual spectator sport of Formula 1 [Does anyone actually care about the Oympics? - or are we just being told that we do?]

  • Comment number 94.

    I think Button has well and truly vindicated his decision to move to McLaren. Before he joined nobody would've considered him in Hamilton's league, now he's showing he's more than a match.

  • Comment number 95.

    Fantastic race. well done Jenson.. Sorry for Lewis the car seemed just to not have the pace. I watched this on bbc., ducking every news bullitin on tv and radio until the bbc coverage was over. I think sky will ruin F1 as it did boxing. i will not subscibe as many other older F1 fans won't. Would love to know the sky viewing figs. compared to BBc.

  • Comment number 96.

    Almost unwatchable with Edward's hyperactive drivel over everything. Give him a pill or I'll have to get a bloody dish.

  • Comment number 97.

    Cmc good comment I totally agree with you. I think the UK audience will shrink.. Why on earth did'nt the main sponsers chuck in a few million to help the bbc keep this avent. Therefore keeping the uk audience at the max.

  • Comment number 98.

    Gavelaa you simply don't know what you are talking about.

    Car insurance is a legal requirement if you have a car so you don't have a choice not to have it if you own a car. By the way I don't have a car.

    Gas & electricity. Both are necessities if you want to avoid dying of either starvation or hypothermia.

    Do not call people hypocrites when you can't provide evidence.

    People have a choice over whether to pay for Sky or not and every single person who does regardless of how many is wrong to do so for two reasons.

    1. You deny others the chance to watch when they previously had the right to and didn't need to pay for Sky. So yes it is selfish because if you and the others didn't pay for Sky then it would not be financially viable for Sky to exist then everyone would still be able to watch..

    2. By paying for Sky you support a media empire whose owners are very influential to the government and continue to lobby for policies that are not in the interests of the British people. A lot of the reasons why we are in an economic crisis in the first place is because of policies that have been lobbied for by the Murdochs which the government has implemented and have failed.

    As for those criticising people for complaining about the results being up. Yes the internet is full of it but people should be able to access the BBC website to see the times that the highlights are on without seeing the result. The BBC has decided to give the coverage away without any consultation with the public and has ignored millions of complaints. Not displaying the results would have shown some respect by the BBC for those who do not have Sky. It is the least that they could have done but they failed to even do that.

  • Comment number 99.

    A cracking start to the F1 season, but please pass on my and others' request to Ben Edwards to calm down, it's not a football match and to crank up the hysterics into the first corner is unnecessary and annoying. Great feedback in race from Gary Anderson, he really knows his technical stuff and can put it over succinctly. Looking forward to the next one - the competition is so close!

  • Comment number 100.

    well i wont pay for sky so was happy to wait for the bbc coverage, even though i knew the result! in fact the first thing i did when i finally woke this morning was to check the bbc website

    i never got up in the middle of the night for the night races so was used to watching the rerun later in the day

    what i particularly liked was the fact that it wasnt a 100% re-run as the boring/lack of action laps (e.g. behind the safety car) were not included (similarly during the quali 'highlights')

    i loved ben edwards and david coutlhard as the new commentary team, far fewer mistakes especially. and ben edwards still thinks he is on r5 as his commentary was breathless! this made it much more exciting and edwards had tremendous foresight throughout the race, much better than brundle

    for those who are moaning, remember that the majority of the audience for the fly-away races at the beginning of the season will only ever watch the re-run

    it will be interesting to see the overnights for the quali programme (up against both rugger and footie) and the today's re-run compared to 2011


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