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Gearing up for new F1 season

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Jake Humphrey | 09:27 UK time, Monday, 14 February 2011

Since that sweltering Sunday sunset in Abu Dhabi almost three months ago where we saw a man who looked about 12 years old being crowned the composed, confident, champion of the world, it's been a case of counting down the days until I can dust off the passport and embark on season three as the BBC's F1 presenter.

And this time, as we take the first steps of the few thousand miles we will be travelling to bring the 2011 F1 season to you, I need your help.

Read on to find out how.

The last three months have been a mix of highs and lows for me. Hosting Sports Personality, but being struck down by a vicious flu bug the following day. Going for a New Year's Day walk with my wife Harriet but inadvertently pulling her into the River Thames up to our waists (don't ask!), and just spending time at home, despite locking myself out of the house on three separate occasions!

And now, the wait for us all is almost over. I'm currently penning this blog in bed, Sunday Love Songs is on the radio, (what an old romantic eh ;-) and it's 13 month to the day and I will be swapping Radio 2 for team radios, my home for hotel rooms, the middle of Richmond for the Middle East.

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel won the 2010 title in the final race of the season at Abu Dhabi. Picture: Getty images

I remember when I first met Martin Brundle, it was winter 2008 and we were at our first meeting ahead of the 2009 season and I asked him what he was doing with the winter. His reply was 'seeing the dentist, going to the doctor, cutting that grass...all the things I can't do during the season' and now I know how he feels.

Mind you, and I mustn't say this too loudly for fear of offending my lovely wife and all the friends I've enjoyed catching up with, I can hardly wait for that first flight to Bahrain.

Flights to grand prix races are usually 80% full of F1 faces from Bernie and team principals at the front with the drivers, to press officers, engineers, and a few fans too who can hardly believe their luck that they've also booked on to the same flight we've all chosen.

The two flights that seem to create the best atmosphere are the last flight home as we all breathe a collective sigh of relief that we've survived another season, and the first, as everyone quietly hopes that this is their season.

And this year, there is a palpable air of excitement. And I place a huge amount of credit for that at the door of 'social media'.

In seasons gone by there would be very little news from testing unless you looked at specialist websites. There was no way for drivers to converse directly with their fans. 'Trending topics' were the kinds of thing you read about in Smash Hits magazine.

These days we have drivers tweeting how their car feels the moment they hop out of the cockpit, teams uploading snaps of their speed directly to the internet, thousands of fans using hashtags to discuss the latest news from Valencia or Jerez, and far from giving us F1 overkill, it merely seems to heighten expectations as Formula 1 unsurprisingly grasps a technological development and makes the most of it.

In the past week alone #robertkubica, #bbcf1, #jerez and #formulaone have been among the most talked about topics on Twitter, most team launches were simulcast online this year, and you may have already topped up Bernie's wallet with the 2011 F1 timing app.

When the BBC got the F1 contract one thing I was really keen to do was bring the F1 fans closer to the sport that ever before. Yes, walking into a garage, touching the cars, unscripted chats with the team members and having a certain effervescent Irishman grabbing anyone he likes in a headlock is the kind of revolutionary approach you all seem to enjoy, but I think blogs, websites, apps and tweets have done just as much.

So, one month to go before we see the 24 new cars roll out into the blazing Bahrain sun. A month until Schumi looks to prove 2010 was just an anomaly, one month until we have three British drivers on the grid with Paul di Resta joining the elite.

So Paul will line up in the Middle East, sadly though, Kubica won't. I heard about Robert's accident while in Wales waiting to host live football and at first it didn't seem too serious. However, as news started to emerge it became clear it had been a very unfortunate, freak accident and his racing future would be in some doubt.

However, almost immediately social media was on the scene as people updated us from the hospital and from within the team. I was really moved by how quickly messages of support started to appear online and I know that Renault will have passed on all your good wishes.

Well this year, for the Bahrain GP in particular I want to use social media to help get the whole of the country watching the first race of the season...and that is where you come in.

The BBC's F1 following is incredible and the viewing figures since the sport returned to what I consider its natural home have been record breaking.

However, F1 is the kind of sport where the more you know the more you want to know. I still get tweets, emails or people stopping me in the frozen food aisle saying 'isn't it just cars going round in circles?'

Well of course it is, but there is the unseen drama of the tactics, the split-second decision making, the mind-boggling physics that keeps the car on the track...and then there is the actual racing.

I honestly can't believe that with the stunning locations, incredible driving talent, danger, bravery and political manouverings on and off the track that the whole country isn't sitting down at 1210 to watch the racing.

So, here's what I'd love you to do. I want you to bring a friend to BBC F1.

Essentially all this means is that you pick a mate or even better a bunch of mates who you know don't normally watch F1. Maybe offer to make Sunday lunch, or host an F1 party. Get them in front of the TV and let us do the rest.

With a Kers boost button and new rear wings to aid overtaking, a brand new tyre manufacturer coming onboard that could result in multiple-pitstops in the first few races, 12 teams and five world champions on the grid, is there a better time to bring a friend to BBC F1?

I'll be tweeting about my campaign too, so feel free to add the #bringafriendtobbcf1 hashtag to your tweets, tweet me and let me know what you are organising for 13 March and let's see what we can achieve together.

Time to induct a whole new legion of potential F1 fans. We know the sport we love is amazing. Are you ready to spread the word?


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    "...pulling her into the River Thames up to our wastes(don't ask!),"

    I can only assume either this should read 'up to our waists', or Jake is employing a slang word for bottom of which I was not previously aware.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Jake

    Like you I am eagerly awaiting the start of what promises to be a great F1 season. Cannot believe that Robert Kubica was rallying so close to the start of the season but wish him well and a speedy return to racing.
    Thought Hulkenburg might have been given a test by Renault but I am sure that Nick if he gets the seat will do well.

  • Comment number 3.

    The wait is almost over. The buzz of F1 now compared to 5 years ago is just surreal.
    I think its a great idea to get other people involved with F1, and as you stated, there's a lot more to it than just going round in circles.
    I will be certainly getting my mates over on a sunday, get some munch on the go and wait for those 5 lights to go out...

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm not one for Twitter, it gets on my nerves, to be honest. I have, though, enjoyed contributing to the BBC's 606 which, as I understand it, is soon to be shut down. It's hard for me to see how this is improving the BBC's coverage of F1.

  • Comment number 5.

    Thats it Jake, turn the screw another turn, get the expectation even higher .... a whole month until bahrain? How will I possibly survive.

    Anyway, the 'friend' I shall be bringing will be my first child - my wife is due on 16th, so baby may miss the first race but will definitely be watching with Dad for the rest. (And will probably watch a recording of bahrain anyway ...) Hows that for getting them started early :)

  • Comment number 6.

    "...Bernie and team principles..." I am not sure you mean principles here! Especially so close to the name, Bernie. Try principal.

  • Comment number 7.

    Getting a bunch of mates to watch F1 for the first time is a great idea , Or it would be if the first race didnt have such a hugely dull , boring lifeless track , Not really the ideal one to enthuse anyone new . .

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi Jake
    It's quite refreshing to see /hear /read a commentator with so much passion about the sport since the demise of our beloved Murray.
    Excellent job, well done, we look forward to watching you at every race.
    How on earth does EJ manage to get friends in headlocks, does he carry a small step?
    This introduce a friend system could actually work, good idea.
    Its just a shame that Bernice won't allow the rights to cover the testing even just a little, so BBC could have put on a weekend roundup on the red button, theres so much rubbish on there at the moment. Maybe next year.When you have rounded up another 5 million followers, supporters and viewing figures... have fun this year, we will.

  • Comment number 9.

    I can see a potential flaw in your plan here Jake. Getting new people to F1, yes. Getting new people to watch Bor-rain. Not so good.

    Last years event I enjoyed because I wanted to see where every team started the year, who had done what, who was quick, who was slow etc. I am a fan of f1 for as long as I can remember. However, even I found the opening race dull.

    "Just cars going round in circles" is a totally accurate description of last years season opener.

    Lets all host Monaco parties, or better still all go to Silverstone!

  • Comment number 10.

    The BBC has an obligation not to unduly promote or endorse the services or products of third party companies.

    Why then has this rule been completely ignored in respect of Twitter?

    Twitter is a profit making company - every new user the BBC sends their way makes them money - at the expense of its competitors. There is nothing that Twitter offers that the BBC's own websites could not be easily modified to do. And as someone has already pointed out, the closure of 606 is a huge step away from this direction.

    If a viewer sends a text message to the BBC, they don't say "this message is from John using his Orange mobile" and if they call they don't say "we've had a call from John using his Virgin Media phone".

    I'd like to see the BBC review its policy of promoting Twitter (and Facebook) as it seems completely at odds with everything the corporation has been about since it was founded.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Jake.
    I'm Looking forward to the new season more than ever, especially as you rightly point out with the social media involvement that now brings every second of action from pre-season testing, news and updates on the teams direct to us. The BBC coverage has been superb from the start, and now we have Martin and DC in the commentary box for the new season. Keep up the good work Jake, you and all your colleagues at Auntie Beeb. It may sometimes be 'cars going round in circles' but it's really down to what you make it. Bring it on.

  • Comment number 12.

    Myself and a group of mates have been hosting Sunday F1 Race Lunches for about 5 years now, taking turns to "host" a race and cooking a dish from the country where that particular race is held. Over the years the group has grown from a couple of blokes who are mad about F1 to a far sized number of +1s and other-halves. The day is usually rounded off with some mutiplayer Rock Band on xBox 360, shame there aren't any "Eddie & The Robbers" tracks available for the game! (Or maybe that's a good thing..)

  • Comment number 13.

    I remember the same incredible level of excitement last year. In fact, I can't remember there ever being more excitement or hype about a race than the first race in Bahrain. We all awaited the start of the season - 2 British world champs at McLaren, 4 teams expected to have competitive cars, the return of Schumacher etc. etc.

    And then came almost instant disappointment. Bahrain was a snooze-fest. I fear Bahrain is likely to be just as tedious this year, not least because the teams are testing there pre-season, and so will have their cars dialled perfectly into the track. Don't get me wrong, the rest of the season was a corker, but Bahrain may not be the best race to introduce people to the sport.

  • Comment number 14.

    With regards to the dull season opener last year, people should keep in mind that there were a number of factors contributing to that snore-fest which should be less of an issue this year.

    It was the first race without refuelling, and the teams and drivers were extremely cautious over how much life they could get out of the tyres. The pace from the cars was much much slower than the qualifying pace, as everyone managed the tyre life. This turned out to be needless, as later races demonstrated - the tyres could have lasted the whole race. This year we have different tyres which we know will only have a short lifespan, meaning there will be a real spread of tactics through the teams - some choosing to eat up the tyre life and do several stops, and those hoping to minimise tyre wear to take the minimum number of stops. This spread of strategies was sorely missing from last year's race, and should be a much more entertaining factor this year.

    Another thing which really harmed the race in 2010 was the way the track had been changed from previous years, adding chicanes in the main overtaking spots. With these chicanes, it effectively rendered overtaking impossible, only serving to further highlight the above. The decision was taken fairly swiftly after last year's race, to return the track to its original configuration. This, in addition to the return of KERS, and the new adjustable rear wing, should mean that we get a lot more overtaking than we saw last year.

    I also feel that, with such a tight finish to the season hanging over the heads of a lot of the teams and drivers, there will be an added emphasis on making the best possible start to the season, with more risks being taken and less people playing the 'long game'.

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi Jake
    Having been an F1 fan for 25 years, I think the BBC coverage since regaining the broadcast rights has been superb. Some interviews are still a little "adoring reporting" but I suppose last year Eddie J tried to rock the boat a few times, particularly with Horner, Webber and Vettel.
    As a recent avid user of the social media, both to share and glean information, I believe your comments regarding this sphere of communication to be most insightful, but this is still embryonic and I believe both the F1 teams and the BBC are only just beginning to grasp its importance. As yet, they are not maximizing the opportunities offered by this unique media to engage the fans further.
    There is a great diversity of approach, for example, to twitter. Red Bull are almost non-existent in the twittersphere and I think this is a mistake. Their absence in this space appears a little arrogant, almost as if they have far more important things to do than tweet.
    Mike Gascoigne on the other hand makes you feel as though you are part of the Lotus team. Even so, he is a very busy man and at times goes hours/days without being able to twitter to the fans.
    Having just returned from all 4 days Jerez testing, the one thing struck me was the express disappointment each day I was there (on twitter #bbcf1) of the omission by the BBC of the text service they had offered during the Valencia test.
    The hunger by the fans for information and immediate information is stunning. Seeing Eric Boullier looking happy, laughing and joking in the Hotel bar following the relief of Heidfeld’s successful test is not classified information, but the huge response to this tweet surprised me.
    On Saturday, it was apparent when sitting at the end on the back straight that Heidfeld was the only driver using the adjustable rear wing. He then posted the quickest time of the day. Having shared this on twitter, the gratitude for divulging this morsel was incredible from F1 fans. So for the rest of the time I was there I wanted to get the feel of what was going on out to others as best as possible.
    I’m sure the evolution of the social media will bring a greater commitment for those in possession of knowledge and information to share it with those whose support is fundamental to their existence.
    Of course you, Sarah Holt, Martin Brundle and Ted Kravitz et al are all very busy for extended periods of time, but there is surely a role for someone at BBC F1 to co-ordinate the dispersement of information via the social media regularly and consistently.
    If you’re recruiting and need any ideas, give me a shout. Lol.
    Still, a “Good morning fans” from Red Bull would be a start.

  • Comment number 16.

    Hello everyone!
    I am and have been a F1 fan for many many years and been reading BBC F1 for about 2-3 years but this blog actually made me register so I can share my views. Good job Jake. Hope you guys will have me here.
    Want to say that last season was amazing. Jake, Eddie, David, Martin, Lee and Ted, you were all amazing and made me wake up early in the morning to watch even practice sessions. Thank you for that and please do it again this year.

    As for the bring a friend to BBC F1, I'm game. I'll do my best.

    I'm a Ferrari fan since Schumi was there and will probably never go with any other teams, but I do accept and appreciate when other teams are better. Well done Red Bull and well done Ferrari for an unforgettable second half of the season.

    In regards to what's happening at the moment, I am a bit disappointed by McLaren and Mercedes -even tho' we can't read too much into performance pace yet- and pleased with the times and reliability shown by Ferrari.
    Can't say much about Red Bull, but I am sure they will be right up-there at the top. I can only imagine about a fight between at least 4 teams for the top spots.

    Looking forward to Friday's Barcelona testing session.

    Bogdan V

  • Comment number 17.

    The big countdown is on let's hope that this season is closer than ever by the cars being able to overtek on the circuit

  • Comment number 18.

    Hi Jake !

    Just like you and many others I can't wait for this incredible season to begin ( 5 world champions in contention what a beautiful prospect).
    Unfortunately I have left UK this winter to relocate to France and I will be missing BBC coverage. It's a shame as its by far the best you can get when it comes to F1 coverage. Therefore I have question for you and anyone out there : Is there a way to watch the 2011 F1 season online and the forum while living outside of the UK ? Don't wanna miss out on an amazing season.

    Thanks folks !

  • Comment number 19.


    Great blog as always. Can't wait for the start of the new season.

    Firstly, I'd like to wish Robert Kubica a full speedy recovery, he'll be missed this season.

    Secondly, I'd like to wish Jonathan Legard all the best, it was a tough call by the BBC, but the right one.

    Finally, the BBC's coverage of F1 on all platforms has been fantastic, my only gripe would be the lack of testing coverage, particularly last week at Jerez were there seemed to be no reporters out there providing regular updates.

    Jake, I know you and your colleagues see Bernie regularly, so can you please ask him to provide live camera feeds for the testing sessions which the BBC can put on-line and via the red button. This would give extra sponsorship exposure for not only the team sponsors but also the track sponsors, while also giving training experience to cameramen and editors etc. I'm not asking for commentary, just the chance for us keen F1 fans to see the new cars being rolled out on track for the first time, and to help a boring day in the office go much faster. I know that very little can be read into the testing times and sessions and that the cars my look different when they arrive at the first race, but it would be a great preview to the start of the season to see the cars in action, whizzing around the track, rather than reading the odd update every couples of hours or so. Please, please can you arrange for some feeds for next year?

  • Comment number 20.

    I have followed F1 now for 42 years and every year the excitement gets more and more. When I think about the early years, the searching for info and the waiting for results (no TV coverage!) - how lucky we are that that there is so much coverage now. Predictions for this year? Ferrari to be in the hunt, Red Bull clearly favourites, McLaren, gut feel not quite there (car too revolutionary?), Renault and Lotus to surprise, Kobayashi to carry on as before and Schumacher to have a much better season than last year.

    Roll on Bahrain, is there a better sporting spectacle than F1? No way - if it still excites after over 40 years then there isn't. Will be at Silverstone again (36 years and counting)and will still have the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as the Red Arrows finish, the National Anthemn plays and the engine notes rise. Sounds stupid I know but me and my mate will crack open a lager and shake hands as the start approaches. What other sport does that! Lets all have a good year - somehow I think we will.

  • Comment number 21.

    Well, we've just bought a great apartment in sunny Torquay and it just so happens that the weekend of March 12/13 will be our first weekend there - so, BBC 1 HD, a 50" Pioneer on the wall c/w surround sound - and our LFC-supporting next door neighbour invited to attend the Bahrain GP - it'll be a party!

    Yes! We'll #bringafriendtobbcf1

    My beautiful partner is Polish, so we both support Robert (as well as the Jenson & Lewis show, obviously - go, boys, go!) and we really hope that he is back before the end of the season. What a racer.

    And doesn't that new Macca look the business? Can't wait ....

    Follow me! @tonywonderfire

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm sooooooo looking forward to this season and now I know its shortly upon us because of your column, normality will shortly be restored in my house again when the next F1 race arrives......and about blimmen time too is what I say :0) Really looking forward to Coulthard joining Martin in the commentary box on a permanent basis now - and I'll wonder how you'll cope Jake having to look after Eddie on your own? :0) I love the guys they're just brilliant - and watching the pre-race build up makes up for not actually being at the races themselves. Well here's to another great season, Get well Robert, and your audience awaits you Jake..

  • Comment number 23.


    I used to watch almost all last season online. You get a link to live coverage on BBC F1 website. It used to be live an hour before the start of the grand prix, when the BBC F1 team started with the paddock interviews. I hope it will be available again this season, but I don't know if it's accesible from outside the UK.

    Hope this helps!

    Bogdan V

  • Comment number 24.

    @ #16

    Although Red Bull, Ferrari and Renault have all looked strong in testing, it's really important not to read much into the times being set. The cars will be run wiht anything between 15 and 150kg of fuel in the tank, and the impact that will have on laptimes means that a lap which is 2 or 3 seconds slower than the fastest set, can potentially be the most impressive on the day.

    While speed is always at the heart of anything done by an F1 team, setting the fastest possible laptimes is not the purpose of testing. Remember, for McLaren, last week's test was the first time out for their new car, so they'll have been working mostly on setup and installation testing. At that point, it's more about developing an understanding of teh car and ironing out any teething problems, rather than doing race or qualifying simulations. I wouldn't be surprised if we see McLaren carrying out longer runs at the next test, and we'll see their car in something closer to the 2011 race trim. At the moment they're still running last year's front wing on the car, which suggests that they're not only working solely on reliability and setup, but also that they're eager to keep their cards close to their chest in terms of the outright pace of the car.

    Remember that last year, Sauber set fastest lap after fastest lap in the pre-season testing, but when it came to the first race, they were at the bottom end of the mid-field. Their supposed killer pace in testing turned out to be little more than low-fuel glory runs to impress potential sponsors.

    There are certainly lots of things you can learn from watching the pre-season testing, but generally speaking the outright pace of the car is something you won't see until Q3 on the Saturday before the first race.

  • Comment number 25.

    Mistake - "the sport that ever before" - should be than..

    I notice that Lewis Hamilton is wearing Invisalign braces, closing up the lucky gap - Hope he's getting paid for it:

    I think Twitter is great, don't listen to the haters here, well you can't stop it - 606 isn't as popular, Fact! Does seem strange how you can promote Twitter but there we go, I don't care - its helped to get me though the break. Looking forward to the new season.

    @rotfil !!

  • Comment number 26.

    Whilst I whole heartedly agree with your bring a friend sentiments Jake, I am not sure the Bahrain Grand Prix is the one to be introducing new fans to the sport to.
    Was last years race not the worst of the season? and by a country (sandy) mile.

  • Comment number 27.

    Great idea to try get more people watching F1!

    I write a lot about F1 on my blog, and it so intrigued one of my friends in California that she asked me to help her watch a race. Pretty difficult to do from Ireland but we managed it, and got to watch Korea, Brazil and Abu Dhabi 'together'. It was fantastic!

  • Comment number 28.

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

  • Comment number 29.

    It's one thing to Twitter about cars, teams and drivers, but it's about time the BBC put a stop to Tweets about bed, food and football on the F1 page. Twitter may have it's place during race weekends, but let's have less of it between GPs.

  • Comment number 30.

    Can someone please remind me what time (as in GMT) Bahrain will be on? I'm all for sharing the F1 love but I object to cooking a full english at 5am! Hubby is even going to invest in HD for this season...ooooh, sand so real looking you can almost feel it between your toes!?

  • Comment number 31.

    I'm happy to introduce a friend to F1, but imagine we did this 12 months ago. All new veiwers would have switched off in droves after Race day 1 in Bahrain.

    Personally, I cannot wait!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    @30 qualifying at 1100GMT and race at 1200GMT

  • Comment number 33.


    Thanks Bogdan.
    I used to watch it too. But don't think it works from outside UK. Looking for alternative here.

  • Comment number 34.

    I am moving to Germany end of July and even though they have fantastic coverage (especially now with the grown number of Germans in F1) I have requested my partner go on a week ahead of me to ensure I get BBC over there, purely for the F1 commentary.
    As for bringing a friend, I have regular texts to my brother and his mate during race weekend (even the early morning ones) but I am looking forward to get a new host of German friends to share BBC F1 experience with.

  • Comment number 35.

    My friends would flatly refuse to watch a grand prix because they find it boring even when I'm talking about F1. Love the blog though. Can't wait for the F1 season to start. I'm going to Spa I'm so excited!

  • Comment number 36.

    Sad thing is, I reckon the biggest reason so many people are reluctant to engage with F1 these days, is because of how tedious F1 got in the nineties and noughties, thanks to the domination of Ferrari and Michael Schumacher. Even I found it hard to justify devoting nearly two hours of my weekend to watching a guy predictably trounce the whole field. Don't get me wrong, Schumacher is undoubtedly one of the greatest drivers ever to sit in an F1 car, and was lucky to be part of the 'perfect storm' of factors which allowed him to shine so brightly for so many years. But it was ultimately to the detriment of the sport as a whole. I still can't hear the German anthem without expecting it to launch immediately into its Italian second verse.

    But the sport has moved on so much from those bad old days, with a new breed of teams and a new breed of champions. While there will always be the naysayers, determined not to enjoy the sport, no matter how much excitement there is on track, I think F1 has now reached a point where it is accessible and enjoyable even to the layperson. And it's the proliferation of new media such as Twitter, Facebook and internet forums which is contributing to much to this. F1 is, by nature, an extremely complicated and finely nuanced sport, making it difficult for someone without a deep knowledge of the sport to understand. The BBC has found absolutely the right balance of technical information in a user-friendly format, to allow people to understand everything from team orders to tyre compounds. It's something that ITV never quite got right, and probably has needed the web 2.0 style media to catch up with the demand for knowledge and information before this can be achieved.

  • Comment number 37.

    I can't help wondering if the BBC has insider knowledge of the dispute regarding the Lotus name- "Lotus Renault GP" is consistently referred to as "Renault", whereas "Team Lotus" are referred to as "Lotus". This is even carried through to the test time postings. My understanding is that the dispute is due to be heard in court on the 21st March, and a quick scour on the internet has failed to reveal any out of court settlement. Am I missing something? (Even the official F1 website does this, so maybe B.E. has decreed something behind the scenes and Auntie is following their protocol on this one)

  • Comment number 38.

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

  • Comment number 39.

    JAKE, please can you advise when the bbc Formula 1 2011 pre-season show/build up will be on air?
    -You know when you guys get together and discuss the up and coming season?

    -Also a massive request to the bbc f1 team:
    Please can all you guys tone down the jenson button spooning. It is so obvious that he is your all gets a bit OTT & sickly the way you all drool over him constantly. And at the same time...hope you all treat Lewis as an equal as there were many times last season when you had little sly digs at Lewis for no reason (remember when you critisized his english).

    It all comes across as wrong....unpatriotic and quite unprofessional when the favouritisms of the presenters are blatant.

    In my opinion, the biased views is the only thing which ruins the otherwise great coverage.

  • Comment number 40.

    Great Blog Jake.

    For those who are questioning Kubica's (and Renault's) sanity by rallying so close to the F1 season, I agree. He is one of the brightest talents in the sport, he gets paid millions...surely Renault should have prevented him from rallying. It's not as though he has a boring life in F1 is it?

  • Comment number 41.

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

  • Comment number 42.

    BBC Gravy!(38) Get off your soapbox. If you don't want to enjoy the chit-chat amongst the F1 family then read something else. Probably The Gaurdian I would wager.

    People like you make me sick!!

    Great blog Jake. Enjoy the insights into what covering F1 is like for you and the team. Keep them coming.

  • Comment number 43.

    BBC Gravy's comments were better than the actual blog! Most brilliant bit of writing I have read for a long time - even if I don't agree with all of it.

    However, thejudge13's (15) comments about Red Bull not tweeting caused me some amazement. They are bang in the middle of testing, trying to get a car up and running that is going to match or do better than last years. I think it would be remiss of them to take a break to tweet just so that Bob from Wolverhampton can be assured that they are as fast as everyone else.

    For those missing live text feeds of the test, there are other specialist websites that do it better than the Beeb. Unfortunately the BBC HAS to dumb down the reporting because of the breadth of the audience they cover. I don't care for twitter-patter much but many people do and so they have got to refer to it. Most of the coverage is excellent so I don't complain if it's not all to my liking.

    My girlfriend and I enjoy watching F1; we won't be inviting anyone else whose interests are luke-warm. It's bad enough being drawn into reading asinine opinions of others on websites before and after races, let along having to listen to stupid questions during the race too!

  • Comment number 44.

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

  • Comment number 45.

    ...and all in HD too (?) on BBC1; lets hope they don't over-run and switch to BBC2!

  • Comment number 46.

    Jake, you do a great job on the TV screen but I have to agree with some of the comments about your self-indulgence on the blog and twitter.

    Its obviously quite a tough time for most people and reading you talk about your 'downs' as falling in a river and getting locked out of your house is not really appreciated - we get it, you have a perfect life but considering we all waited so long for this blog in anticipation of the new season it would have been nice if you had just stuck to the sport.

  • Comment number 47.

    Hi Jake,

    Looking forward to the start of the new 2011 F1 Season albeit without Robert Kubica.

    Looking forward to seeing F1 in HD too.

    I have a feeling this year may be as close/tight as last season and even at this stage its hard to say who will win the 2011 title.

    Before his accident I throught this year may have been Kubica's year especially after the new Renault getting so much attention during the first test in Valencia.

    As I'm a huge Lewis/McLaren fan I would love to see Lewis to take the title again and McLaren take the constructors.

    The ones to watch would have to be Alonso, Webber, Vettel, Button and maybe Schumacher if they can get his car right.

    I do feel that Vettel will find it hard to keep his Championship title as all eyes will be on him, especially at the start of the season.

    Just over 20 days to go until start of Bahrain race, bring it on.

    Who will win the season...have to watch every race to find out!

    Come on!

  • Comment number 48.

    Nice to see a sports presenter who really has some passion for the sport he presents. Nice one Jake, hope the campaign catches on.

  • Comment number 49.

    Yep, can' wait. In HD too, brilliant. I must admit I am concerned about the Bulls. I'm sure that they will be too quick again and that won't be good.

    Lets hope that there isn't the car advantage again as we got lucky with the failures that Seb had and the mistakes will be less this year.

    Not long to go!

  • Comment number 50.

    Hi Jake
    I am so looking forward to f1 this year with the new tyres and the return of kers, there are some fantastic teams out there with some astonishing looking cars. I hope eddie has some wicked looking shirts lined up for this year I'be got a full hd Tv just incase our best wishes go out to Robert k get well soon, all the best to you David Eddie Martin and the rest of the crew let's hope it goes to the wire this year : )

  • Comment number 51.

    Enjoyed the blog Jake and despite what others have said on here your enthusiasm for the sport we all love shows and long live Twitter, Facebook etc for keeping us the fans up to date (Though some do it better than others)

    Keep up the good work.

    @ No 38 I read your comments and found it so boring mate because you used such big words sometimes smaller IS better.

  • Comment number 52.

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

  • Comment number 53.

    For all you F1 fans out there who are excited about the new season, sign up to and start making your predictions for the 2011 season. Entry is free and prizes go to the winners, it's all good fun. Bring the hype

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi Jake.I enjoyed the blog,not long now.

  • Comment number 55.

    Spiritual home of F1??
    Is that why Dear Old Aunty Beeb is shutting down the 606 Forum.

    Here's a thought, leave Jake and Eddie out of it, that would save £60K in air fares and £30K in hotel fees, not to mention thier wages, and use the money to keep something useful open.

  • Comment number 56.

    @ 38
    BBC Gravy - well said.
    What utter rubbish. If you think about this for a sec, you can see which way the BBC is going with this. Less need for any thoughtful insight and anything resembling programme production - simply online ramblings from people that really ought to grow up.
    606 is going - again to be replaced w ith Twitter. A sure abdication of BBC responsibility (and one of it's raison d'etre's, contact with it audience).
    The answer is easy. If you want more people to watch F1 on the BBC (and don't forget that the BBC ISN'T all about viewing numbers), make better programmes. Get better people. Actually think about your programming before hand and START PRODUCING.

    All that currently happens is that you turn up (at great expense), think it’s funny to have a 'couple of real characters' making jokes and generally mucking around and we the audience (and NEVER underestimate the intelligence of your audience, especially when they are paying your salary)get a pretty poor show for our investment.

    All that currently happens is that you pitch up, do top and tail with all images taken from the host broadcasters and manage to provide very little or no insight into the bigger picture.

    Someone in a position of authority (David Bond) really ought to get a grip of this now before it's gets out of hand.

    Please BBC, start doing what you’re supposed to do or hand the programme onto someone who is able and willing to produce the quality programming that this sport deserves.

  • Comment number 57.

    I can’t believe some peoples comments on here. If you don’t like people’s tweets on the BBC page why are you reading them? I actually enjoy hearing about other things that the presenters, drivers etc get up to. I like the slightly informal approach to the presenting as well, I want to feel the presenter enjoying what they are doing rather than just delivering lines.

    Anyway, I can’t wait for the start of the new season! Sky HD box is winging its way to me now 

  • Comment number 58.

    Hi Jake,

    Good luck in your mission, i try to recruit people to F1 every year. As a female i have often been branded crazy for being so passionate about the sport for the past 30 years since childhood. I already have my 2 year old son glued to every race, and i'm looking forward to introducing my 6 month old to it next month!

    I try to get to 1 race every year & hope that my boys will follow me in their love for the sport.

    Have a great season- I'm very jealous that you get to be in the thick of the action!


  • Comment number 59.

    Hi Jake
    This is my first comment on your blog, one I enjoy reading, so I'm sorry it's a moan. After several jibes at the expence of Lewis Hamilton last year, you now seam set to start on Sebastian Vettel.(a man who looked 12 years old) In the past being an F1 World champion commanded respect. Poking this questionable form of fun at the likes of Senna or Piquet would have probably got you a smack on the nose. Just because drivers today have to be media kittens is no reason to loose respect. Remember if they stop talking to you, we stop hearing from them, and that is why your there.
    As EJ says this is our sport. Have a good season everybody. x

  • Comment number 60.

    #37 - regarding the Renault/Lotus thing, the reason people (not just the BBC, but Autosport, and plenty others) are referring to Lotus Renault GP as Renault, is that the team is called Renault. Lotus isn't the manufacturer, and they don't own the team. They are a title sponsor, in the same way that Marlboro sponsor Ferrari and Vodafone sponsor McLaren. 'Renault' is the correct shorthand way of referring to this team. On the other hand, Team Lotus is the team itself. Their chassis is a Team Lotus chassis, built by themselves.

    The legal dispute refers to the rights to call the team Lotus, rather than simply being a title sponsor. Currently, Team Lotus are the only team called Lotus on the grid, while Group Lotus (sponsors of Renault) are intending to buy out the Renault team next year and rename it Lotus. Unfortunately, in doing so, this would mean that the existing Team Lotus would have to change their name, which would mean sacrificing the rights to the money they earned by securing tenth place last year (a not-insignificant sum of money) as well as potentially losing a large amount of sponsorship which would have been secured under the name of Team Lotus, who may no longer wish to sponsor the team if it were renamed. Effectively, forcing Team Lotus to rename their team would bankrupt them, leaving them sponsorless and without the money they rightfully earned last year. Which seems a bit harsh to me, especially when Group Lotus were only able to pull out of their agreement with Lotus Racing through the flimsiest of contract clauses, specifically with the intention of instead putting their badges on another team's car.

    But yeah, basically, Renault are still Renault, and that's how they'll be referred to this year to avoid confusion.

  • Comment number 61.

    "There is a great diversity of approach, for example, to twitter. Red Bull are almost non-existent in the twittersphere and I think this is a mistake. Their absence in this space appears a little arrogant, almost as if they have far more important things to do than tweet."

    All this Face Ache, MyFace, Twitbox stuff does my head in. I have staunchly avoided it. I think its cheesy as hell to tell the whole world you've just had a cup of tea or your just about to go to the loo, or whatever. Knowing that Red Bull havent taken to it (and I havent been the biggest fan of Red Bull) only serves to make me respect them more.

  • Comment number 62.

    Please can someone tell me if this years F1 season will be shown on BBC HD?

  • Comment number 63.

    Looking forward to Bahrain in March and the whole 2011 season in general!!

    Hope that all the hype about having 5 world champions on the grid is met and the season will be an exciting one.

    I have a feeling Schumacher will outperform Rosberg this season and Mclaren will have a much better season with Hamilton hopefully winning the drivers championship.

  • Comment number 64.

    @ Riggadon

    That's really just focusing on one side of it though, and I'd definitely suggest you don't knock it 'til you've tried it. For all the Tweets you see about what someone's having for lunch, you also get fascinating insights you wouldn't have had otherwise. During testing, teams have been reporting their progress live throughout the day on Twitter, covering everything from the details of their testing programme, to detailing what kind of problems they're experiencing. In addition to what the teams individually put out, there are a number of people who have a great deal of technical knowledge who regularly tweet the most amazing technical information, linking to blogs, and answering technical questions you may pose. Look up Craig Scarborough's amazing F1 technical blog for an example of the kind of stuff that's out there.

    It's also worth considering that a lot of people use Twitter for non-work purposes. While Jake may use Twitter to occasionally mention his blog, or an upcoming TV event, he's also a human being who has a life beside presenting sports shows. The same goes for those directly within the sport. The PR guys for the individual teams may not post anything personal, but I love the information you can get from the F1 drivers themselves, with the likes of Button talking about his latest sporting venture, or Kovalainen enthusing about his latest pair of driving boots.

    It also makes these individuals accessible in ways which would never have been possible in the past, allowing you to converse with experts who you'd never be able to talk to otherwise.

    So yes, while I agree that there's a load of social media stuff that's frankly, a complete load of old guff, there's also loads out there for the budding F1 enthusiast. And to deny yourself the opportunity to increase your understanding and enjoyment of the sport just because of your preconceptions about social media, seems a real shame.

  • Comment number 65.

    Cant wait for the season to start now. Im counting down the days, and its going slowly...

    A few years ago I would not have been interested in the F1, let alone be counting down the days until it starts, but I must you have made it a nuch more enjoyable experience and I now regularly watch F1.

    So to sum up, im just saying thanks to you and your team for making it a lot more enjoyable!

    I shall be watching!

  • Comment number 66.

    Gearing up for a new F1 season, and I read today that Ferrari are already up to their usual tricks, this time having an extra day's testing in the guise of promotional activities...

  • Comment number 67.

    @ mazdachris. 64

    Some good points.

    However, my point is that, as far as I'm concerned, Jake can write whatever he wants. However, the BBC should ONLY publish relevant info. As you'd have picked up, I'm all in favour of picking up inside info and pit lane politics.

    However, what the BBC should restrict itself to is serious journalism. I really couldn't care what colour of trousers a presenter is wearing or if someone's wife fell into a puddle. Don't forget, you and I are paying for this and the BBC F1 site really shouldn't be used as someone personal fiefdom.

    I guess one of the main reasons for me objecting to Jake is that I don't rate him - in fact, the reverse. His attempt last year to interview Bernie was farcical. If he is unable or unwilling, there are plenty other people out there would can. All he seems concerned about is coming across as 'Jack the Lad' and being a good laugh and one of the boys.

    When the BBC does something well, it's excellent. When it does it badly, it is dreadful. At the moment, F1 coverage (mainly as a result of Jake) falls squarely in the latter.

  • Comment number 68.

    But I liked the fact that inter season testing was something you had to look for and twitter gets on my wick (lets be honest Jake it isn't the drivers tweeting is it .. its their PA's)
    I think last year was a prime example of the first race of the season falling flat on its face after being completely overhyped by the 'we need to create 24/7 news on our website/app/social network to justify sponsorship' media.
    I know the BBC needs the waves of fairweather fans that tune in every couple of races or so but these 'passing' fans are often the ones you lot try so hard to please which leads to the constant stream of 'not really news' which pervades the internet.
    minus brownie points and minus loads more for the BBC axing 606 .. David Cameron got his feet under the table upstairs now?

  • Comment number 69.

    @ Fast Pete

    I've seen a couple of people mentioning the BBC publishing stuff on Twitter, but as far as I knew there wasn't an official twitter feed for BBC Sport or F1? I follow Jake on Twitter, but it's his own personal feed and not a BBC thing. Are his tweets being retweeted by an official BBC feed?

    God, if I say Tweet or Twitter one more time I think my head's going to burst.

    With regards to your personal misgivings about Jake, I support it's a matter of opinion. Personally, I think his presenting style is fine, and suits the programme very well. I also know plenty of casual F1 fans, some of them female, who really enjoy the way he presents the show. So I can see that he's a guy who has broad appeal.

    With regards to interviews, well he's no Jeremy Paxman, that's for sure, but then the F1 show isn't newsnight. And it's always worth remembering that as the commercial rights holder, it's Bernie who ultimately decides who gets to broadcast F1. Beign antagonistic towards the person who is indirectly responsible for you having a job is seldom a wise move.

    I really don't have a problem with the content of these blogs, especially during the off season like this. Jake isn't being employed as a journo, contracted to write articles. This is merely a blogspace he's been given, to give another insight into the world of F1 and the presenting side of it. While there's no F1 for him to cover, there's very little to write about, and naturally the time's going to be filled with fairly irreverent content. Of course, if the content of the show itself was ever filled with tales of people mending their garden shed or getting wet feet, then there'd be some cause for concern. But as far as I've ever seen, the show has had a solid focus on the F1 action, while blogs like this one show the other side of F1 presenting.

    I suppose in the end, we all have the choice over what we consume from new media such as this. Jake's blog might not give you what you're after, in which case it's probably better simply to skip it in favour of one of the articles written by the likes of Benson or Brundle and co. There's certainly plenty of top notch F1 reporting going on at the BBC, so I'd disagree that the more irreverent content is being promoted to the detriment of the more traditional sort of factual stuff.

  • Comment number 70.

    as theJudge13 said, I know Red Bull don't have twitter, but they do have regular(ish) updates on Facebook. Some people do find Facebook easier, and more people have Facebook rather than Twitter, and most people on Twitter have both, so if you're trying to find Red Bull on Twitter, go to Facebook and look for Red Bull Racing!

  • Comment number 71.

    Dear Jake,

    I am a student from China,who loves F1 for over 10 years.
    Thank you for presenting the great BBC coverage for every race weekend,I hardly missed a race since the season of 2009,waiting the time to come with a just cooked meal in front of BBC iplayer was my happiest moment in UK.Also I raad every news between the seasons and could hardly wait the new March coming.

    However,with the exciting season 2011 unfolding,I am not as excited as previous season,because at the end of this month,I will finish my study and go back to China to pursue my career,the BBC coverage of the race weekends is one of the few things I will definitely miss in the future.

    I have tried to open the BBC coverage of F1 in China once when I holiday in China,unfortunately I could't,
    How can I watch the BBC coverage in China in the future??

    Yong Chen

  • Comment number 72.

    @ 69. At 4:13pm on 15 Feb 2011, mazdachris

    Again, some good and relevant points.

    I fully accept that it's horses for courses in terms of whether any individual likes a particular presenter and his/her style.

    However, there have been several instances that have been eye watering. Many journalist admitting he's frightened in front of their interviewee frankly doesn't cut it. Especially if it's someone like Eccleston who is somewhat controversial and needs to be taken to task.

    The one thing that Jake (et al) need to remember is that the show is ABOUT F1 - NOT THEM. Towards the end of last season, they got completely up themselves and so full of their own importance, I though they could burst.

    Sure, a bit of character is fine, when it's not forced. This style of presentation is about as forced and false as it comes.

  • Comment number 73.

    I never realised there was so much anti Jake feelings out there.

    I think some people need to think back about how F1 used to be covered.

    On another matter, my new garden shed is due to be delivered this weekend. Weather forecast is a concern so shed erection may have to wait until the following week.

  • Comment number 74.

    Ohhhh no, I hope for my marriages sake the Bahrain gp isn't cancelled. I'm having to fill the void with f1 on the ps3 and the wife has just about had enough. I'm not sure I can last another fortnight.

  • Comment number 75.

    Jake tell them at BBC watching 6 years of formula one reviews and playing f1 2010 is not helping with the winter but making me want more, please we need a pre season program lol

  • Comment number 76.

    This is a blog, right? An online diary? So that's what Jake is using it for - if you don't like the format, or don't like the writer, why bother reading it? It just doesn't make sense to me. There are other ways to gain information about F1 other than reading something you don't enjoy or appreciate.
    Anyway, I for one like to see the more human, and approachable, side of the BBC and the presenters - it really does prove itself to be the people's corporation - we pay for it, so why should it hide itself, or its presenters, from us?
    I've watched various sports shows over the years, and I think the BBC do it better than anyone - they are changing with the times and allowing sports fans access to all the means of receiving information possible.
    What more can you ask for!
    And good luck for the coming season, Jake, keep bringing us on-the-spot tweets, and be proud of yourself :o)

  • Comment number 77.

    Good blog as always Jake, but wish you would use spellcheck! 1) Will leave my invitations until Melbourne. 2) Sorry @38 fell asleep. Possibly more boring than Bahrain,The Guardian and party political broadcasts put together! wrong website chum! 3) To all who are having a go at Twitter....SIGN OUT! 4) Rubens posted on Twitter very reassuring news about Robert, after some scary Sunday press reports. 5) Bring it on. Longing for the new season, and hope it is as exciting as last year. Finally,all good luck to everyone in all the teams. Stay safe.

  • Comment number 78.

    Hi Jake my second chat of the day.Great blog cannot see why some are unhappy.Looking forward to seeing you on the grid with D. C. and E J.Hope E. J has some really good shirts will be watching.Had a laugh at you and Harriet falling in the Thames will not ask how or why.I am enjoying a glass or two of Pinot grico good.Take care.x

  • Comment number 79.

    I'm really looking forward to the new season, although Bahrain will probably not be a very exciting race to introduce new fans to the sport.
    I really wish we could start the season in Melbourne as Albert Park always produces a great race.
    I have to say I'm not convinced about the new commentary team of Martin Brundle and David Coulthard. I'm afraid to say the decision has left me deflated as I'm sure some other fans may agree.
    I loved the chemistry between David Croft, Anthony Davidson and Karun Chandhok in the commentary box during FP1, 2 and 3 last season. It's a shame they were not promoted to the main commentary team.

  • Comment number 80.


    Don't change a thing. Your presenting is great. I'm not on Twitter but I am thinking about signing up just for yours and Martin Brundle's and the like's feeds.

    I enjoy the way you present and blog - it makes me feel like I am part of the team. It brings Formula 1 into my house (rather than just on the TV) and, more importantly, you make us feel like your friends, rather than just 'that bloke on the TV that presents the F1'.

    If you want to work with F1 - go and do it. Work hard. Work harder. And then work some more. Because then you might have a chance of getting there rather than complaining about other people that do it. It's a messy job, but someone's got to do it right?

    Good luck for the 2011 season. I am looking forward to your next blog.

    Best Wishes.

  • Comment number 81.

    Are we going to have the in-car cameras back on freeview or the useless driver tracker?

    Can anyone else see LESS overtaking this season? The softer compound tyres means even more marbles off line so it will be even more slippery off the racing line. no refueling and no forced pit stops is my answer.

    EJ in HD - Lawks.....

  • Comment number 82.

    "I was really moved by how quickly messages of support started to appear online"

    yes how things have changed, I remember vividly the day of Martin Donelly's near fatal crash at Jerez.

    How things have changed the hunt on teletext for new info the hanging on for the sports section on the news for any snippet of info

    never-mind there was nowhere to leave a message of hope for the future, love and support for the past

    long live twitter and the people willing to give of their time to keep us informed

  • Comment number 83.

    Thanks for the blog Jake.
    Like many here and un like others who I think are in the minority, I do like to find out life behind the scenes, F1 downtime etc. We have far more info than we previously got from previous broadcasters, even the BBC (though clearly a different era) so I find it disappointing that people still feel the need to criticise.
    I do follow proceedings on twitter, not every day but I know it’s there when I want to, not just for you but for many others ranging from Midge Ure, Chris Evans and Mark Foster. People seem to forget that these are private sites and you can post whatever you like on these. If the BBC chooses to post a link to yours as ‘the face’ of F1 so be it, surely not a reason for you to stop just because some aren’t interested. I think the majority of peoples needs are covered so let’s not pander to the minority who have the option to ignore things even though they seem to be drawn to reading things they know they aren’t going to like. It’s nice to hear that you and the family have a life outside F1. I can recommend it, others should try it too.
    Apart from the above though, I did just want to give my opinion on the Lewis/Jenson matter that people seem to bring up from time to time. Up front then, I am Jenson fan. I wasn’t always though and in fact, I was probably anti Jenson initially. My support was with DC. In the same way though, didn’t support DC at first, was a fan of Damon Hill and before him Nigel Mansell.
    Truth is, we all have our favourites and just because someone new comes along, we are unlikely to change them. Fortunate in a way that DC and Jenson were in different parts of the pack most of the time due to the poor Honda Jenson was driving and so it was possible to support both. I know everyone can support two drivers but how many of us support two football teams etc. We may to a point but when push comes to shove, you have to make a stand.
    As far as the BBC team is concerned, Brawn had a superb 2009 that coincided with BBC taking back coverage. Good access to the Brawn garage and team culminating with the famous garage scene that we all know in Brazil. Is it really that difficult to understand a certain allegiance to Mr Button. Jenson always seems so relaxed and calm in the company of the TV team on the forum and it really does feel that he enjoys their company over and above it being a PR duty.
    Of course, the BBC has to have a degree of impartiality but let’s consider that Lewis is still relatively young in the sport. Unlike Jenson who DC knows well having raced each other for years, Lewis appeared to have a very closed first 2 years in the sport. I can remember the first interview on ITV with Lewis and Steve Rider, it was built up as such a big interview because Lewis didn’t really give them. In hindsight, probably a mistake on the Lewis camp to be so closed but he was young and being protected. Unlikely that outside of the McClaren team, any of the drivers really got to know him. I always feel that this is part of the problem as despite being British, we never really got to know him. I am still a little wrangled by the fact that Lewis doesn’t have a predominate British or English Flag on his helmet (is it the colours of his fathers Birthplace I though I read somewhere?). He is unlikely to change now, unless you are Seb Vettell, drivers helmets are quite rightly their trademark and don’t change but Lewis never seemed to embrace being a British driver in the same way as others which could account for some of the negativity.
    I think it has actually taken Jenson’s arrival at McClaren for us to know Lewis better although I accept that this is also probably the fact that I am much more involved in McClaren news than I was previously.
    Anyway, a huge hype was built around Lewis and also great expectation without perhaps knowing the man behind it. I never get the feeling that there is an anti Lewis agenda but he clearly has such a great talent that when mistakes do happen, they are picked up on because they are uncharacteristic and stand out far more than if another driver made them.
    I’m certainly not anti Lewis even if I didn’t previously cheer him on. I support him far more on the back of his pairing with Jenson and he certainly appears to have brought a new audience to F1 which can only be a good thing.
    Anyway, enough words, can’t wait to get on with the racing, and in HD (will the end of year F1 review be released on blu ray I wonder?). I have noticed previous comments on other blogs with some people not caring about HD, stating it is the racing that it important. Some also state that they can’t see a difference as it’s not full HD.
    Well, I can certainly notice a difference between standard and HD and my TV’s a good three years old now and would be considered inferior to the modern offerings. I can’t wait for HD and whilst it is the quality of the content that counts, if this can be improved by better broadcast quality then all the better.
    Unless of course you are my father in law who also stated that he couldn’t see the difference between standard TV and his new (well say new, he’s had it 6m now) Freesat system. Turns out he was swapping between BB1 on freeview and…BBC1 on freesat. Had never occurred to him that you actually had to tune into the actual HD channel to get HD, he just assumed that as he had Freesat he was watching HD. I do wonder of any of the other people who can’t see a difference are actually watching HD?
    Roll on first the first race and the BBC coverage from all the team.

  • Comment number 84.

    Fantastic the BBC has decided not use Legard-he was and still is better suited to football or horse racing,I think Brundle and Coulthard will be a winning combination and let's hope 2011 is going to be a great year for F1.

  • Comment number 85.

    I completely agree with you Jake. There has been so much talk and speculation about who's going to be the quickest, who's going to take the chequered flag in Bahrain and who will take the challenge to Vettel and Red Bull. Last year was epic and I fully expect this year to be the same. I'm excited to see just how much of an impact the new rules will have, in particular KERS, adjustable rear wings and the clarification of the "team orders" rule.

    All the best to Paul Di Resta on his first season in F1. I new him and his family as a child as we grew up near by! I will hoping that Vettel and Red Bull does the double again this year. Ever since he emerged in 2007 at Indianapolis I've been an avid follower.

    BRING ON 2011!!!

  • Comment number 86.

    really can't wait :) everyday i check how much days to go.. and it only goes down one day at a time haha.. :D

  • Comment number 87.

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

  • Comment number 88.

    Another great blog Jake, I am so excited for the new season. Previously I have come across very few F1 fans in daily life but over the past 12 months so many people have taken an interest. I do like this, it can only be good for the sport. However I kind of feel I want to keep it to the small few like previous years almost a secret club, the orginal fans knew how good the sport is and now everyones jumping on the band wagon so to speak. :)

    I recently changed jobs and one of my new colleagues is a super F1 fan like myself, and i love having some to talk to about it I think we are driving our other colleagues mad, espcially the closer we get to the start of the season, but we dont care! Please lets all pray that Bahrain isn't as boring as last year! :)

    Oh and I love Twitter follow it most days, I find all the driver & team updates very interesting.

  • Comment number 89.

    Jake, do you have any news on the use of the 'Red' Button this year and HD coverage, if the race is delayed?

    Its great that the BBC broadcast the free practices, however - I can't record the 'Red' Button programs on Sky+, with the use of BBC1HD and BBCHD, will the BBC broadcast the FB sessions on a normal stream, allowing us to watch/record them.

    Also, some races (Brazil etc) are broadcast at times, when other BBC programming is shown, that is obviously important to other viewers, in the past the race was moved to BBC2 - will these races be moved to BBCHD instead, so still allowing us to view in HD?

    Thanks - keep up the good work!


  • Comment number 90.


    Do you resent the first race of the season being moved to Bahrain?
    For me, getting up in the middle of the night/staying up all night for the start of the season was the best bit of the entire F1 calender. By moving to the Middle East, Bernie has removed all the drama and theatre that Australia used to bring (Melbourne is always a good race). Thoughts?

    I will be sitting my girlfriend down for many races this season - just not Bahrain, otherwise she'll be bored rigid!

    Thanks and great job!

  • Comment number 91.

    Jake a fantastic idea bring a friend my two sons 6 and 4 will be glued to the TV come qualifying and race day in bahrain. Start them young i say we are all huge fans of Lewis and we love his gun hoe skills and tactics gives him an infamous presence amongst the other drivers we think. i certainly wouldn't want to see him in my rear view mirror go lewis. we all hope robert kubica a speedy recovery and myself and the boys will miss his amazing overtaking skills like in the 2010 Europe GP. Kubica is a future World Champion given the machine he needs along with a little F1 luck. Jake keep up the fantastic work counting the days till lights out.

  • Comment number 92.

    In amongst the thousands of boring, inane, narcissistic, self-indulgent tweets that are splattered on to twitter every few seconds there is the odd one that is actually interesting. However, I am not willing to spend my life trudging through the mountains of textual diarrhoea to find the interesting stuff. So, I don't see any problem with the BBC pointing out some interesting tweets and letting me choose to read them or not!

    Looking forward to the next season with the excellent BBC coverage very much... can't wait. I just hope there aren't too many of those overly dramatic film sequences with the cringey voice overs by EJ or anyone else!

  • Comment number 93.

    cant wait for the new season, looking forward to the blogs etc but wished the bbc would cover some of the pre season testing, i dont know if anyone agrees but theres a lack of information coming through i know a lot is basic stuff but to those who follow the sport intensley like me i want to know all the gossip

    as for the bbc coverage it was fab last year you have a great team and ime looking forward to 2011

  • Comment number 94.

    Hi everybody,
    As all of you, can't wait for the new season to start, although I'm devastated by that terrifying accident involving Robert Kubica. I'm Pole, too, but I'm really convinced that he's the future World No 1's driver, hope the recovery will be fast and complete.
    And to all of you, who complain about Renault decision for letting him participate in rallies - he's the guy, who's got the big amount of high octane petrol in the blood:)

  • Comment number 95.

    No matter what happened last season I cant seem to get too excited about Bahrain. I suppose thats because its one of the worst tracks in Formula 1 history.

    I just hope the Mercedes isnt too far off the pace! I want a Schumi win this season!!

    I also really hope the BBC dont regret ditching Legard. I still think that was a mistake - the old adage springs to mind, if it aint broke, dont fix it.

  • Comment number 96.

    Forget January the 1st; for many years now New Year's Day opens with the first Lights Out of the season. Disappointingly this year we wont be up in the middle of the night, having an early breakfast of bacon butties and carver, neighbours being roused by our celebrations and comments. The worst offender is now my daughter, herself a motoring journo who when Murray Walker once asked her how she became interested in F1, replied I was eight when my Dad always shouted at you on Sunday's when you failed to spot smoke trailing out of Prost's car etc. But most of all, most of all, it will be a very warm welcome back to Jake, Martin & DC who have not only involved the TV audience like I've never seen before (I've been watching since Piquet & Brabham, and become mates who are sorely missed over the winter break. Best wishes to Kubica, and to everyone in F1 have a brilliant season. Cannot wait !

  • Comment number 97.

    Given whats happening in Bahrain I do hope the race goes quietly :)

    Missed you guys and cant wait for it all to kick off again.

  • Comment number 98.

    I am looking forward the season, but I don't think it will dramatically better last season. For that, you would have to get rid of Hungary and Monaco among others. Then we might see some overtaking.

  • Comment number 99.

    Get well soon Kubica!!

    I seriously hope the goes ahead! I think testing will happen, but apparently the protesters are planning to use the GP weekend for promotional purposes.....

    I also have to get this comment in... the BBC team provides really fantastic coverage, but the team was badly let down by Legard last season. I'm sure he's a nice guy but it was the correct decicion to let him go. I often found myself shouting at the TV during a race weekend after he kept talking over people and making idiotic comments.

    I personally would have used Croft as lead commentator this year with Brundle remaining as co-commentator. I'm sure Mariin Brundle and Coulthard will do a great job though. - big Brundle fan

  • Comment number 100.

    Good idea Jake. I will try to get my wife to watch F1 on Sat & Sun. Not easy but I will try. I am sure we are not even to support the same driver or team. "For Sure" Felipe Massa as we are also Brazilians.
    I hope with Kerbs and new rear wing tech things get even better. And not lasting tyres (more pit stops) would be a bonus.
    By the way, I dont thing Kubica is back in 2011.
    Question: is will replace DC in the paddock with Jake and crazi irish?


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