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Jenson Button produces Hungarian masterclass

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Andrew Benson | 17:19 UK time, Sunday, 31 July 2011

On Saturday evening in Hungary, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso were two of the luminaries who joined Jenson Button to celebrate the occasion of his 200th grand prix. Twenty-four hours later they stood either side of the McLaren driver as he celebrated another superb win in the tricky wet-dry conditions in which he excels.

Every one of Button's four wins since he joined McLaren at the start of last season has come in wet-dry races, conditions which reward the deftness of touch and exquisite feel for grip levels that the 31-year-old has displayed from the very beginning of his Formula 1 career.

"I'm always pretty lucky in these conditions," Button said in the news conference after the race, but it has absolutely nothing to do with good fortune. It is about skill and judgement.

It was a drive as perfect as the symmetry that saw him take his second win of the year at his 200th grand prix and at the same track where five years ago he finally took his first victory at the 113th attempt, also in mixed conditions.

Button has something of a sixth sense, a way of feeling the limits of what is possible in conditions where the track is damp but not soaking wet, that goes beyond that of nearly all his rivals, and he demonstrated it vividly again at the Hungaroring on Sunday.

Perhaps only Button's team-mate Lewis Hamilton has the same deftness and certainty of touch in rainy conditions - the younger McLaren man also has a clutch of brilliant wet wins on his CV. But even he was caught out by the tricky combination of a low-grip track surface and a sprinkling of mid-race rain.

It was not, though, Hamilton's lap 47 spin at the chicane that lost him the race, nor the decision five laps later, while disputing the lead with Button, to stop for intermediate tyres. By then, the writing was already on the wall.

No, the critical moment for Hamilton was his third stop on lap 40.

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McLaren fitted another set of the super-soft tyres to Hamilton's car, while Red Bull - whose cars stopped on the laps immediately before and after him - fitted the harder prime tyre, the idea being to run it for the final 30 laps of the race. Button, who stopped two laps after Hamilton, did the same.

Of the front-runners, only Alonso did the same as Hamilton - and the Ferrari driver needed to gamble to try to clear the Red Bull of Mark Webber, which had been holding him up for much of the race.

Once that choice was made, Hamilton's only hope of winning was to use what should have been the extra grip of the softer tyre to quickly pull out enough of a lead to make the additional pit stop he was going to need, as the super-softs were never going to get him to the end of the race.

Instead, with rain starting to fall, Button started closing at about a second a lap. Who knows, perhaps that was what prompted Hamilton's spin. Perhaps, feeling the race slipping away, he was pushing just that little bit too hard.

The incident led to a diverting - and thoroughly entertaining - couple of laps as the two McLaren team-mates passed and re-passed each other, showing fantastic judgement and respect as they raced wheel to wheel for the lead.

But a diversion was all it was.

Up in the stewards room, they were about to hand Hamilton a drive-through penalty for forcing Force India driver Paul di Resta - producing yet another impressive drive - to take avoiding action as the McLaren spin-turned back into the race.

Meanwhile, out on the track, Hamilton, struggling with a radio problem that meant he could hear the team but they could not hear him, was called in to change to intermediate tyres, and he obeyed. Right behind him, Button got the same call, he revealed on the BBC post-race forum on the red button, but ignored it.

On that decision hung the victory. Had Button come in, he would have needed to stop again for dry tyres - as did Hamilton and Webber, who also changed to intermediates during the shower - and Vettel would have won the race.

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As it was, the German took second place with a calm, mature, understated but effective drive that has made his grip on the championship even more vice-like than it already was.

Vettel has not won for three races now, and there is no doubt that Red Bull are slightly on the back foot, but still he left Hungary with a bigger championship lead than he had when he arrived.

Vettel is now 85 points ahead of second-placed Webber rather than 77, with Hamilton a further three points back, Alonso one behind the Englishman and Button 100 points, four clear wins, adrift in fifth.

Nevertheless, the man who has scored the most points in the last four races is Alonso, even if Vettel's impressive consistency means he has notched up only three points fewer despite not winning since Valencia at the end of June.

The Ferrari was genuinely fast again in Hungary, and Alonso had the pace to contest the lead battle had not a difficult opening lap led to a messy first half of the race stuck behind other cars.

Alonso did not help himself - he had to pass both Mercedes drivers twice because he made mistakes after overtaking them the first time and let them back in front. He then spent the second stint with Webber blocking his progress, before his tyre gamble got him some free air.

Had it not been for Webber's mistake in fitting intermediates and Hamilton's penalty, that strategy call would not have paid off, and Alonso would have ended the race still stuck down in fifth.

Nevertheless, Alonso, like the McLaren drivers, has sensed a shift in the balance of power and that is something all the protagonists will be pondering in the three-week summer break before the Belgian Grand Prix.

"The second part of the championship should be good for us," Alonso said. "Spa, with medium- and high-speed corners, should suit the team, and then Monza is our home race."

Red Bull, it is clear, are vulnerable in the races, and wins are there for the taking. But unless some kind of disaster befalls Vettel - or all his rivals start finishing ahead of him all the time, rather than just the odd one or two - the championship is already gone.

If you want to comment on the new UK TV rights deal, please visit the blog written by BBC head of F1 Ben Gallop. We would ask you please to restrict your comments here to the topic covered.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    Amazing GP, won by a BRITISH Driver, the most amount of points won by a BRITISH team, shame our BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation can't be bothered to show our beloved sport from next season.....

  • Comment number 2.

    Andrew when does the Ben Gallop blog close for comments? As you said in another blog that it closes today and we don't get much responce in the blog you have provided for us.

  • Comment number 3.

    I'm glad someone has actually highlighted the reason for Hamiltons demise from the lead Andrew. It certainly was a major factor with him having that set of super softs, the choice of the inters where neither here nor there, as he knew he would have had to come in again before the end of the race.
    The gamble to go onto inters was a 50/50, and it didn't pay off, you win some you lose some, that's racing.

    Great race though, full of incident, and drivers on the limit in tricky conditions, roll on the end of August for Spa, where the weather always throws up interesting racing.

  • Comment number 4.

    Once again mclaren have shown an ability to turn a car around its just too bad they cant start earlier in the season.
    The problem is they have also shown an ability to cost their drivers points which has been a problem throughout the year.

  • Comment number 5.

    Just to clarify, Ben's blog will be open until tomorrow.

    I'd like to echo Jake Humphrey's words before the race and say we have read and understood all your comments, and we understand the strength of feeling. We are overwhelmed by your support for our coverage and we will continue to give you the very best coverage we can for the rest of the year - and also into the next seven years of the new contract.

  • Comment number 6.

    great GP great coverage... apart from the total lack of tv rights discussion.... we go into a 3 week break now was the timing a coincidence??? well done Button and a great drive by the (forgotten) Di Resta how many British drivers are in F1 ???? answer is 3 not 2 as commonly reported by the bbc

  • Comment number 7.

    seven half years andrew!!!!

  • Comment number 8.

    Amazing race today shame Hamilton didn't win
    Button again shows he is got a brain for changeable conditions, although i feel he got somehow lucky with ham being the 1st of the two to pit.

    As for Hamilton i feel whoever decided to put him on the super soft on that 3rd time cost him the race. Reason i say this is because had he been on the soft then he wouldn't have attacked that chicane as hard as he did and therefore no spin because he would been in the save Tyre wear mode.
    That is my opinion anyways, apart form that very good all around race today

  • Comment number 9.

    "The problem is they have also shown an ability to cost their drivers points which has been a problem throughout the year."

    That's a valid point, they need to be aggressive now and not edge their bets with different strategies. They could have had a one two today, and if they adopt the aggressive approach who knows, they could sneak the constructors title.

  • Comment number 10.

    Its McLaren at fault again, this time fitting another super-soft to Hamilton instead of the intermediate.

    Two faults to Button two weeks running, and now this to Lewis. Will they ever get it right ??

  • Comment number 11.

    Best moment of the weekend as well as this cracking race?

    The Bloke in the crowd who, when Jake gave him the Microphone, shouted "We don't want it [F1] going to Sk......" Oops sorry Andrew, wrong thread... will use the link in your Blog.

    Well done that man. (Rattled the unflapable Jake as well for the first time in 3 years.. though i bet he loved it)

  • Comment number 12.

    Brilliant drive by Jenson Button, as Hamilton himself said "the best driver won today". It was also nice to see Button win the race on his 200th Grand Prix, a class act who reinforced his reputation as the best driver in changeable conditions.

    Great drives from Alonso, De Resta, Hamilton, Weber and Vettel. Two great races one after the other, and with the weather at Spa smack bang in the middle of the Ardennes always unpredictable we could have yet another classic race to enjoy.

  • Comment number 13.

    Now what a shame it would be if this was one of the races that sky will show.
    F1 should be begging the BBC to keep their coverage as without them I and many others will have to stop watching.

  • Comment number 14.

    Andrew, always read and enjoy your posts here. Thank you. Like the BBC coverage a lot! Delighted for Jenson today. Loved Martin's comments :-)

    However the censorship shown today - Jake's toe the line party comments at the start of the programme, the lack of fan response/failure to discuss the issues in the forum - were appalling.

    "Just to clarify, Ben's blog will be open until tomorrow"

    Why only until then? Why has he not responded to almost 6000 viewers complaints?

    "I'd like to echo Jake Humphrey's words before the race and say we have read and understood all your comments, and we understand the strength of feeling. We are overwhelmed by your support for our coverage and we will continue to give you the very best coverage we can for the rest of the year - and also into the next seven years of the new contract".

    Sorry not good enough Andrew, we want this decision reversed, we want the whole season broadcast free to air next year and 2013. We don't want Sky involved at all, and if in 2013 the BBC cannot afford the rights then they should go to another free to air terrestrial TV channel. The Govt meanwhile should add F1 (and restore cricket) to the Crown Jewels list that HAVE to be broadcast free to air on the BBC.

    This is not going to go away, I've spent most of my free time this weekekend e mailing teams, FOTA, Pirelli, online petitions, writing letters. THIS IS NOT GOING AWAY.

  • Comment number 15.

    Was a great race today, loved every minute!

    Congratulations Jenson! was great to see the McLaren boys fighting it out on track again.

    What I'd like to know is, will there be any further action taken against Renault? Those were some pretty horrible scenes today... and very lucky nobody got seriously injured. How can a car that has caught on fire twice in one season be able to pass all the safety regulations?

  • Comment number 16.

    I'd like to congratulate Jenson & McLaren on a great job done in trying conditions.

    Also if you don't want us talking about the SKY deal whose idea was it to go into the crowd? Do you honestly think its just us over-reating?

    Also Well done to the BBC for the Purchase of The Voice tv programme at a cost of only £22 Million - stunning piece of business indeed.

  • Comment number 17.

    yeah well Button is a leg end init.

  • Comment number 18.

    Great race - the best Hungarian GP since 2006 - and a well-deserved win for Button, who is a great champion despite the opinions of others.

    Shame Alonso fluffed his lines at the beginning of the race, I had him down for a net 2nd (maybe even 1st) as he has really made the updates on his car work over the last few races and put to bed the hot air (ahem) about blown diffusers/exhaust gases etc.

    The only thing the race lacked was Vettel DNFing, instead he extends his championship lead. Intriguing to see only 5 points seperate Webber, Hamilton and Alonso, let's forget Vettel and call THAT the championship from now on!!

  • Comment number 19.

    I have to say the race and coverage was superb - loved Jake's speech before the race. Brundle's various comments consisting of 'The Sky is closing in' and 'I'll be at the Job Centre behind some drivers'. Very classy and amusing.

    The race was excellent - delighted to see Lewis maintaining his mind in very difficult circumstances and giving a great after-race interview, and to see Jenson winning his 200th. If there's bad luck to be had, it seems Lewis always gets most of it! I am hoping for a McLaren 1-2 at Spa - I don't think it's out of the question.

    Honorable mentions go to Di Resta who had a superb race, and the two Toro Rosso's up there in the points. I do hope STR retain their two drivers for next year - Alguersuari and Buemi are too close to call.

  • Comment number 20.

    #16 - Wait until you see the programme about the man who rears turkey chicks, now THAT is worth the money

  • Comment number 21.

    Masterful Button, miserable BBC.

    Shame on the corporation for betraying loyal fans and licence payers.

    More shame for ignoring our anger. You are a PUBLIC SERVICE paid for by the public: what intolerable arrogance!

  • Comment number 22.

    well done Jensen, kept his head and showed how to react under pressure.

    Now some very good news BBC will be showing the Turkish GP next year...

  • Comment number 23.

    Nice to see another Mclaren win, I just wish the team as whole could make better decisions and cut out the mistakes (wheel nut on Button's car for one). With regards to the new TV deal, I think their too much of blaming the BBC for this. Just remember that Bernie likes to rake in has much money as possible and doesn't really care about the fans. SKY have a lot of money to outbid everyone with and the government didn't help by freezing the license fee. I, like many, will not be watching it on SKY and hope for everyone sake that the current BBC team stay together because no one produces better coverage. The other thing I will say is that the BBC has to cater for EVERYONE, not just us F1 fans. Just remember they would have a similar back lash if they started cutting back on World Cup Football or Wimbledon coverage or god forbid loose that to SKY as well. The viewing figures will go down, unfortunately, and I like some people, cannot afford SKY. So when this does start to happen and sponsors start pulling out that the teams start having a go at Bernie for such a shambles of deal.

    Well done to the BBC and a fantastic win by Jenson!

  • Comment number 24.

    11.
    At 18:33 31st Jul 2011, Swerve1 wrote:

    Best moment of the weekend as well as this cracking race?

    The Bloke in the crowd who, when Jake gave him the Microphone, shouted "We don't want it [F1] going to Sk......" Oops sorry Andrew, wrong thread... will use the link in your Blog.

    Well done that man. (Rattled the unflapable Jake as well for the first time in 3 years.. though i bet he loved it)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Not a bit of it - seemed to me that JH instigated the whole scene, even invited comment from the crowd and was appropriately rewarded for his effort. Top race, great coverage as ever. Enjoy it while it lasts.

  • Comment number 25.

    For once I read a well balanced comment - well done number 23!

  • Comment number 26.

    You 'understand the strength of feeling'. Good. Now get your bosses to go back to the negotiating table and sort out this mess.

    A half season is just advertising for Sky who show the rest of the races. This is of course not allowed under the BBC charter.

    The Concorde agreement apparently says that in key markets such as the UK, coverage must be free-to-air, so the BBC has no reason to pay over the odds to compete with a non-free-to-air broadcaster such as Sky,

    We the owners of the BBC do not accept this decision. In any forum that this is discussed, the licence-fee payers who are opposed to this decision outweigh those who are in favour by hundreds to one.

    Has the BBC asked the licence payers how they want their money spent? You currently get some of the best viewing figures for any programme on the BBC, which I think should give you some guidance as to where we, your owners, want our money to be spent.

    F1 should also be a huge marketing opportunity for BBC Worldwide - the commentary team is so popular that there should be the same commercial opportunities as for programmes like Top Gear, with books, Mugs, T-shirts and other merchandise that would help to offset the fee paid to Mr. Ecclestone.

    I know that you have some hard decisions to make, with funding the way it is. But cutting front-line programmes such as F1 is a bad move. Apart from anything else, you now have to fill many hours of air-time which was otherwise filled by F1. There are better ways to save money - not moving to Salford, not duplicating so much coverage of the same event (why do we need seperate TV and radio coverage of F1, for example?), reducing the number of managers (those who made this decision should be first in line to collect their P45s!), consolidating radio channels and TV channels which are currently failing, etc., etc.

    This is a bad decision for F1, a bad decision for F1 fans, and most of all it is a bad decision for the BBC.

  • Comment number 27.

    The McLaren's were the faster cars again today, as they have been so often this season. But their drivers failed to convert that pace into the points it deserved, as has also happened so often this season. Button and Hamilton lack Vettel's consistency.

  • Comment number 28.

    See JB on the top step as the national anthem played? That, BBC, is what BRITISH PRIDE looks like. Take note.....you'll probably not recognise it!

    See LH apologise to PDR for accidentally pushing him off the track as he recovered from his spin? That's what an apology looks like - again, you'll doubtless be baffled as to what one is.....

  • Comment number 29.

    On the blog you are now linking to from here in a desperate plea to remove this story of betrayal from other pages there are now some 6013 posts. Still happy it was a great deal??

  • Comment number 30.

    a great race and great coverage by the team as usual. its a shame we only have the rest of this season to watch on the bbc. i have no interest in watching a highlights show with no practice,qualifying or buildup so i will be giving up f1 completly for the first time in over 25 years, sky will not be getting my money i already pay enough through my license fee. so here's -1 for ecclestones great increase in formula one viewer increase for next year.

  • Comment number 31.

    >"Once again mclaren have shown an ability to turn a car around its just too bad they cant start earlier in the season."

    They've had race pace all season long. A McLaren finished second in the first two races, then won the third one. The problem is that while one McLaren driver is doing well, the other one is doing poorly. Meanwhile all the good results for RB are going to one driver - Vettel. Webber finished ahead of Vettel only once this season.

    If you combined the best results of Hamilton and Button, the composite score would be over 200 points, and right behind Vettel in the championship race.

  • Comment number 32.

    I wish people would stop whinging on about the SKY deal on these threads. If you want to complain, write a letter to your MP. Nobody reading here can do anything about the matter.

  • Comment number 33.

    It was an excellent race today. Glad to see Button win his 200th Grand Prix! Can't wait until the 27th August to see Spa... one of my favorite tracks. Once again we had a first class commentary and broadcast by the BBC.

    Shame we won't have it for next year.

  • Comment number 34.

    hear hear bryces just what I was thinking too. Mr. Ecclestone is so very rich he has for got the real F1 fans not every one wants to move to sky or can aford to. ow well if he wants to lose fans of F1.

  • Comment number 35.

    Outstanding race today. Arguably my favourite so far this season. I called a Button Hamilton 1,2 before the race and if McLaren didn't make what seems to be too common a thing now in terms of major mistakes then my predicition may have been correct. All 3 British drivers had exceptional drives today and it produced some wonderful entertainment. I don't want there to be a break now.

    As for the TV deal, unfortunatley all of us are never going to know the ins and outs of why you have done this but on the surface it seems like a horrible decision taken by the BBC. I understand the BBC need to make cuts by part of me wonders did the BBC decide to take a major cut on the F1 so they could show an overhyped Olympic Games next Summer? I am fortunate enough to have Sky but i appreciate a lot of these people are going to miss they can't afford it/don't want it and will feel for them. The BBC's coverage is second to none and it was announced this week viewing ratings are at the highest they have been for a decade so with viewing numbers up so high this season why on Earth get rid of the thing that pulls in the numbers?

  • Comment number 36.

    twirlip we have wrote to mps, sponsors, patten oversear of the bbc, posted on the blogs, complained via the bbc complaints page. yet the bbc are still ignoring us all and hiding and removing links from their websites to those pages and refusing to comment about the fan disgust on any news pages or channels. so please do not preach to us about shutting up we have no alternative. all we want is to be heard and for the bbc to justify this and explain how they can get in bed with a commercial channel that boosts the commercial channels revenue via pay per view when the bbc is not allowed by law to promote commercial interests.

  • Comment number 37.

    A fantastic race today with a brilliant performance by Button. It just goes to show that he is a fantastic driver in wet conditions. I would also like to mention that his improved qualifying performance should be commented on. This has been the poorest aspect of Jenson's weekend all season. If he can sort this out in the remaining races then he will start to move up the championship table though I think we all recognise that Vettel will win this year.

    In terms of the SKY deal, I too am appaled at this decision. Previous comments have 'hit the nail on the head'. I dont recognise the need to have both Radio and TV coverage. Also, does anyone know who commentates on 5 live? Is it Brundle and Coulthard? If so fair enough, if not, do we really need upto 4 people commentating on the same race? I'm no technical whizz but surely in these technologically advanced times MB & DC can broadcast both on tv and radio at the same time. I mention it because if they don't and this could be done then surely the BBC is wasting monies in employing too many people. Not that I want to see people out of work but money should be spent wisely.

    I feel that the 'free to air' argument is a very valid one. If, as one person has stated, that F1 should be on free-to-air channels (as per Concorde agreement) how has Bernie managed to swing this? I've always felt that SKY has monopolised our sports and it's time something was done about it. This is a stance that the Government of the day should take a stand, regain a bit of face in light of the NoW scandal.....but that's an argument for another day and place.

    I would be interested to know if the BBC entered or attempted to negotiate with ITV over this. I beleive that they have financial issues which may have stopped this from happening but if not they should have done. A joint venture would have been great for everyone, increased revenue through advertising for ITV, and reduced costs in terms of wages as MB, DC, EJ & JH could have been employed by both companies (50% cost each).

    Maybe that's a load of tosh but it makes sense to me!

    PS: How many times did Jenson mention cake? He loves it!
    PPS: The marshalls towing the renault down the pitlane as Vettel emerged from his pitstop was a shocking decision. Surely a crane should be installed for next season.

  • Comment number 38.

    >"We the owners of the BBC do not accept this decision."

    You're not a owner of the BBC. You're a sheep to be shorn. Owners are people who decide all on their own to buy shares in a company. You give money to the government whether you like it or not. You're paying a tax.

    If you don't like how your tax money is being spent, take it up with the government. Take it up with your MP. And stop annoying the rest of us.

  • Comment number 39.

    Hamilton should have won on outright pace but Button was brilliant as well. Once again poor decisions have cost Mclaren a one-two finish. If they could find some consistency they would be challenging Red Bull in both the drivers and constructors. Enjoy the full brilliant BBC coverage while it lasts.

  • Comment number 40.

    Great race, well done JB. But what pleases me most is that LH seems to be concentrating on what he can control and no longer blames everyone else when things aren't perfect.
    For SV it was the best result- if you can't win, come in second and hope the winner is way down the list.
    Very disappointed with MW this weekend on a track that supposedly suits his style he was sub optimal at best.
    Next two races are no RB territory and they'll be in damage control mode. That should keep things exciting!

  • Comment number 41.

    >"all we want is to be heard"

    Then you might as well go down to the nearest street corner and bellow your lungs out at hapless passers by. That would be about as effective as commenting here.

  • Comment number 42.

    twirlip are you employed by the bbc by any chance as you are the only person ive seen since this started with that attitude. well bbc or sky lol

  • Comment number 43.

    Twirlip, you're on your own, don't bother.
    @the the commentary comments (why have 4) the commentary needed for radio is completely different to that for tv (as Legard incompetently showed for two irritating seasons) so costs couldn't be cut there

  • Comment number 44.

    @Desdinova - well said.

    The censureship is appalling, I suggest the head of B***1 should resign and my post gets deleted. As a licence payer I am entitled to my opinion.

    Andrew, I know you and the others have to toe the line but the outcome will be a huge loss of viewers and ultimately jobs like yours............
    Hugs to all x

  • Comment number 45.

    I know this isn't the correct forum but I won't be watching F1 on Sky, which is a shame because I love watching JB / LH et al on a Sunday....would love to know which genius thought that showing half the races would placate fans. Great race from JB today, nice work fella.

  • Comment number 46.

    >"twirlip are you employed by the bbc by any chance"

    If I was employed by the BBC I'd be upset by this deal, as I'm sure Benson is. But if I was employed by the BBC I'd be an employee of the BBC. You people do know what an "employee" is, I hope. It's somebody who does what his boss tells him to.

    Welcome to reality.

  • Comment number 47.

    Great race. Well done JB.

    SKY suck - I for one will NEVER pay the Murdoch dollar.

  • Comment number 48.

    All this crying over the BBC/ Sky deal is OFF TOPIC! To set the record straight, through my personal choice I pay TSN here in Canada to purchase the BBC feed on my behalf. Everyone moaning about the BBC being their "property" through their license fees/ tax should look at the big picture rather than their insular one and recognize if it weren't for the BBC feed spread through other countries for fees, they wouldn't see ANY F1. So pleeese stop whining on these threads..

  • Comment number 49.

    Enjoyed the race. Every lap counted!
    Glad I didn't miss any part of the on track action. Admittedly it was a challenge to stay focused at the start. Qualifying is still a blur.

    Well done Button. Roll on Spa...

  • Comment number 50.

    Oi Twirlip, put your handbag down luv - I sense you are in in the minority here. Let people rant if they so wish, can't do any harm even if no-one pays any attention.

  • Comment number 51.

    heres andrew bensons blog its a good read why not go and support the team whilst there and if you like post about the whole sky situation

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2011/07/on_saturday_evening_in_hungary.html

    (ive worded it like this as they have refered my earlier post to stop the link)

  • Comment number 52.

    thats what i had to post on the other blog as they removed the link to here

  • Comment number 53.

    Really enjoyed the forum after the race today, but surely that elephant wasn't the best thing to be behind Jake and the guys in the pit lane, however hard they tried to ignore it when it tried to make itself noticed?

  • Comment number 54.

    fantastic race & pre race build up,more reason to keep it on the Bbc..the best team,& I imagine the envy of the world....

  • Comment number 55.

    ...so it gets chucked away to save us money to pay for exciting,once every four years, ethno tree hugging dance events & throwing a large ball bearing into a field??? mmmm cant wait!

  • Comment number 56.

    Come on Andrew tell us your true feelings on the matter of TV rights, can you not tell we are all sick to death of all this towing the BBC's party line, surely they can't sack you for speaking your true feelings. The presenters of todays show were clearly gagged and I was very dissapointed that nobody seemed to say anything! The forum was pathetic today.

  • Comment number 57.

    I think that Jake summed it up brilliantly with his last line; "We'll see you after the break"

    Something he'll have to get used to when he's working for Sky, along with MB, DC and the rest of the team.

  • Comment number 58.

    great race. one of the best of the season. was looking forward to a mclaren 1-2 and although for most of the race it looked like it would happen, a poor decision gave hamilton a 4th. looking forward to the next race where I'm hoping for both lewis and jenson on the podium (lewis with a 1st). well done lewis for appologising to paul di resta and was great to see he was one of the first team members to give jenson a hug after the race.

    I think the decision to share coverage with sky is the worst possible because as not everyone can afford sky so i would have thought it would mean a smaller audience???? (and in my opinion no one would be able to beat bbc's superb coverage so far)... It would be better to not show practice sessions (even though i enjoy it) and just have qualifying and race so that bbc can afford to cover ALL the races. afterall who would just watch half a film...

    maybe u should think better and reconsider the deal with sky and actuallty THINK ABOUT THE FANS!!!!

  • Comment number 59.

    "It was not Hamilton's lap 47 spin at the chicane that lost him the race, nor the decision to stop for intermediate tyres. The critical moment was his third stop on lap 40"

    For this to be true you have to be sure that Lewis can get to the end of the race competitively on that single set of primes! I am pretty sure McLaren had that information along with the expected differential between the two tyres.

  • Comment number 60.

    great race , just a few to go before sky want own money , so sky , will stop watching will miss you are from the senna days , hill races right up to-day sorry to say goodbye ,

  • Comment number 61.

    Well done JB and tough one LH bad call again. As said before keep your heads on and who knows by the 19th race!!! I wish McLaren don't wait this long next season to show what they can do.

  • Comment number 62.


    I start to feel sympathy for McLaren. I am anti-McLaren and they may have huge budget & resources but now as a result have an incredible car which has been the class of the field for some time on race trim and today was NEARLY A SECOND CLEAR. Not qualifying but race pace, I challenge anyone to deny this fact.

    Yet they are time after time let down by their pair of AVERAGE drivers who cannot maximize its potential for one reason or another.

    Button supposedly gave a "masterclass", yet in these conditions he supposedly excels on he had lost 4 seconds to Vettel in a slow car see Webber's pace, whilst Lewis on the same car was some 10 seconds in the lead. Not to mention he is always 4 tenths behind the car's genuine pace in both qualy & race (the margin of Massa to Alonso or Webber to Vettel)

    And YET you can ALWAYS rely on Lewis to 1.mess up his qualy like yesterday Silverstone & Monaco & then blame the team 2.burn his tyres to death within 5 laps and blame the team 3.throw it off the road even from a comfortable position and blame the team and 4.behave like he owns the track and noone else is racing or he is the mbe or king even they have to wait for and blame the stewards or whatever.

    And BBC's "world class" coverage as well as the fans themselves are praising these drivers and dare I say criticising McLaren or pressurise them to give them more of a chance with a better car, hear hear.

    Praising the drivers, the first of which is a consistent 4 tenths off the pace and only didn't pit because 1.he let Lewis through twice by going off the track (great "racing" that eh) thus had second choice in the strategy and 2.because the team didn't have to queue them. And the second one for his "honesty" and "straight talk" (that's when you know the driving has been poor), for claiming radio problems when he obviously had burnt the softs to shreds in 5 laps and was losing a second a lap to Jenson of all people, and for claiming he DIDN'T SEE Di Resta coming. The audacity has reached new heights. Where the hell is he supposed to be looking, was he in a private session or something and didn't need to look. So next time in a roundabout I'll join in and claim "I didn't see them", for those on and off-track antics and attitude most of his colleagues and fans outside of Britain have lost all respect.

    And criticising McLaren who I repeat from being in dire straits have built and have given these two guys a MONSTER, 1 second faster than the Red Bull on a Sunday especially in these conditions see Canada, IN THE VERY TRACK RED BULL OWN. In Spa & Monza that suits them and with 15mph down the straight what's going to happen there, will they lap them or something and Benson and Hughes on Autosport will be writing "MASTERCLASS KING LEWIS IS BACK"?

    To sum it up the bbc is laughing stock and you lot are all letting yourselves down and deserve no coverage at all let alone a half season as you do not comprehend the sport you claim to care about and love.



  • Comment number 63.

    Superb coverage today, Martin was on song and Ted's pit lane summary was A1. Congratulations!

  • Comment number 64.

    5.At 18:22 31st Jul 2011, Andrew Benson wrote:
    Just to clarify, Ben's blog will be open until tomorrow.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    why???? yu should keep it opne so we can have our own opinon. we will have complain on all your other blogs then and it is your own fault

  • Comment number 65.

    Starting 1st August everyone should refuse to buy a TV licence!

  • Comment number 66.

    I have sky, freeview doesnt work at my house so it was sky or no channels. so i alreadyhad to pay twice to watch f1 and will have to pay even more to get sky sports!

    well done jenson. i hope you cna win some normal races now

  • Comment number 67.

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

  • Comment number 68.

    again not prepared to discuss the race and instead making a negative comment on the SKY/ BBC issues.
    disgrace that it was not discussed in the bbc coverage all weekend

  • Comment number 69.

    "We would ask you please to restrict your comments here to the topic covered"

    So not only did the BBC commentators intentionally NOT talk about the BBC/Sky debacle during the show, which was THE most important topic on anyone's mind at the time, but you now want we the fans to bow our heads and not talk about it either? How about we ONLY talk about this until someone from the BBC responds to our comments? We're not happy and nobody seems to want to do anything about it.

  • Comment number 70.

    Was great to see Button win, it was always going to happen - his 200th GP, the track where he won his first win, it was destined to be this way.

    I was having a great day until at the end it on the F1 Forum it was quite clear that Jake was deliberately not allowing the fans to openly discuss their disaffection with the news on the Sky F1 deal. We pay the wages of everyone at the BBC and for those people to then deny us the right to free speech is an absolute disgrace. This dictatorial attitude of the BBC is a disgrace. You should be ashamed of yourselves, not just for doing this dirty deal but also the way you have handled it and the publics reaction to it. Once again the BBC is the news rather than just reporting the news.

  • Comment number 71.

    Great win today for Jenson; really pleased on his 200th GP given his last two DNFs. Absorbing race and really good coverage by everyone in the production team, as ever!

    Nonetheless, the whole experience was tainted by the news (sell-out?) this weekend and I have spent most of my time the same way as @14 "Desdinova".

    "Sorry not good enough Andrew, we want this decision reversed, we want the whole season broadcast free to air next year and 2013. We don't want Sky involved at all, and if in 2013 the BBC cannot afford the rights then they should go to another free to air terrestrial TV channel. The Govt meanwhile should add F1 (and restore cricket) to the Crown Jewels list that HAVE to be broadcast free to air on the BBC.

    This is not going to go away, I've spent most of my free time this weekekend e mailing teams, FOTA, Pirelli, online petitions, writing letters. THIS IS NOT GOING AWAY."

    To this list I have added the PM's office, the Minister for Media and Sport and the BBC online complaint procedure over the weekend. For the sake of F1 and British fans, I urge everyone passionate about our sport to follow suit.

  • Comment number 72.

    Dreadful dreadful decision by the BBC.

    Oi! Bernie - NO!!!

  • Comment number 73.

    @#62...but how do you really feel?

    Cracking race, very much looking foward to the rest of the season. Good to see a variation in winners recently too, definitely livened things up a touch.

  • Comment number 74.

    @ luqa1906 Stay out of it - it's not your business what happens in our country.

  • Comment number 75.

    Another great race! Shame I couldn't enjoy it as much as I normally would knowing that I won't be able to watch half the races live next season. There's not many sports that can boast as much British talent as F1 yet the BBC dump half of the races. Stop repeating the same official lines, Andrew. YOU struck the deal with sky, you could of done a deal with channel 4/5, etc and kept live F1 solely on terrestrial.
    The only thing that would even give you an ounce of credibility is if you show full re-runs of the 10 races your not showing. Martin Whitmarsh claimed this is possible, so will you be doing this or not, even if its on BBC2, red button, etc. What exactly is meant by extended highlights? Im sure you understand that to fully follow a grand prix you need to see the whole race unfolding- not just selected highlights of overtakes. Just not good enough

  • Comment number 76.

    @ Twirlip Well done you for not having a mind of your own. Good to know you and your opinions can be bought by the highest bidder.

  • Comment number 77.

    Amazing race JB and LH were amazing - edge of seat stuff - shame we won't be able to enjoy F1 next year - I will not pay Murdoch for SKY - hope the new £700 million centre in Salford was worth it.

    Jake, EJ, DC, Martin B, Ted and Lee - excellent work as ever - Mclaren Amazing.

    FOM and ALL Sport Management - you have just made a huge mistake.

  • Comment number 78.

    well after his two dnfs jenson obviously deserved some luck but...

    do not think we are stupid mclaren gave jenson the strategy with more flexibiliy compared to lewis'

    but congrats button ! he deserves it...

  • Comment number 79.

    Bernie sucking up to Roop again !! Just make sure you don't buy your TV licence next year. I'm saying good bye to watching telly. And do something useful with my life instead. These two shrivalled prunes can go buck themselves !!

  • Comment number 80.

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

  • Comment number 81.

    @48 luqa1906 it is the BBC British Broadcasting Corporation - we the people, in the UK pay for it - we have a right to complain when unhappy - and we are unhappy - we love what BBC TV have done broadcasting F1 - Jake and the whole F1 Team have done an amazing job for 2.5 years - and we do not want it to change. You would not have the BBC feed to watch if we did not pay the license fees. Because the BBC would not exist without our license fees.

  • Comment number 82.

    not happy with sky deal, will be only paying for 6 months tv license next year!!!

  • Comment number 83.

    Over 6100 comments - all condeming the BBC's action.

    This decision is disgusting just plain disgusting.

    I feel so sorry for Jake, Martin, Eddie, David, Ted, Louise and all the rest of the team who have worked so hard to give us the best F1 coverage by far that has ever been seen on TV, and you Mr BBC have sold them down the river.

  • Comment number 84.

    @62 - Looks like the 'mediocre' McLaren lads beat the pants of whoever you support then?

    Mmmm.....Them grapes are mighty sour!

    @Andrew Benson.....Shut up, we're not interested in what you think any more than you appear to be interested in what we think!

  • Comment number 85.

    Great drive by Jenson! What better way to celebrate a 200th GP? It was a master class.

    SKY: NoW which digger does that belong to? Must be a special guy to take half the F1 coverage. Wonder how he did it?

  • Comment number 86.

    Well done Paul, 7th today!

    Anyone else think that Mr di Resta should be consider by Redbull for the "2nd" driver slot? Maybe Ferrari will start thinking about dropping Rob Smed...I mean Felipe Massa and offer Paul a drive?? food for thought.

    Anybody else notice that this blog is getting hijacked by the manny angry fans?

    AND RIGHTLY SO!!

  • Comment number 87.

    Just done some quick maths. If Hamilton wins 6 out of the remaining 8 races and finishes second in the other two Vettel will still win the championship if he finishes fourth in every race.

    Barring mechanical failure/driver error it isn’t hard to imagine Vettel finishing fourth. He can afford to let the two mclarens and Alonso finish in front of him. Webber will be ordered not to overtake (despite Christian Horner saying they don’t have team orders) and Massa is nowhere near as strong as the other 5 so he wont trouble a forth place.
    The thing swinging most in Vettels favour is that no-one is there to consistency win/finish second. It could be anyone from Hamilton, Button, Webber or Alonso so no one is taking consistent seconds to Vettel or winning when he doesn’t.

    If however, Hamiliton finishes first in 7 or 8 out of eight and Vettel finishes fourth in all of them, Lewis will be champion.

  • Comment number 88.

    "83.
    At 21:21 31st Jul 2011, dipswitch wrote:

    Over 6100 comments - all condeming the BBC's action.

    This decision is disgusting just plain disgusting.

    I feel so sorry for Jake, Martin, Eddie, David, Ted, Louise and all the rest of the team who have worked so hard to give us the best F1 coverage by far that has ever been seen on TV, and you Mr BBC have sold them down the river."
    ---

    If you extrapolate the near 20k signatories on the petition, and the 6000 comments in the editorial blog plus those here in the same way BARB do for the viewing figures I'd be willing to bet that the majority of the F1 viewership does not want F1 going to Sky.

    This is why this deal was kept quiet. This is why Bernie is treating us like idiots. This is why the BBC is also treating us like idiots.

    Not one person who has commented in favour of this move seems to have any idea of the financial reality for the majority of motorsports fans in the UK. And how could they when they are all on £100k or more salaries!

    I don't know whether to blame the BBC, or blame Bernie for his greed but either is just as good seeing as the BBC is rumoured to have paid £22 million for yet another reality TV show!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 89.

    Please restrict your comments to the topic???
    Well if the BBC provided an adequate forum for discussion between the fans and the Corporation then people would not feel the necessity to post comments about the TV rights contract on these blogs.
    The clandestine way this has been dealt with by the BBC is PATHETIC. It was if you had gagged the whole BBC production team from expressing an opinion this weekend, which frankly has only exacerbated the situation.
    Before trying to issue a decree of censorship on these blogs, please remember the public fund the BBC and whilst we are paying the licence fee we are the boss.
    If you no longer wish to deal with such vociferous complaining from the people who fund your Corporation, then relinquish your right to the licence fee and advertise commercially to generate your funding.
    Until then please show the licence fee payers a degree of courtesy and respect and admit in this instance you have made a very grave error and try to rectify it.

  • Comment number 90.

    Thank God Lewis redeemed his day by passing Mark Webber to take 4th place. Really what has happened to Mark this season.

  • Comment number 91.

    I'm sorry, I'm afraid I have to take offence at this request:

    "We would ask you please to restrict your comments here to the topic covered"

    No. We are the licence fee payers, we pay all of your wages, and we want to talk about the one thing that was glaringly obviously not talked about during todays show.

    We want answers to the questions we have regarding the BBC/SKY deal. That's the one major issue of this weekends formula 1, sure the racing was good, but for the BBC to not be talking about this new tv deal is shameful and shocking.

  • Comment number 92.

    in the forum when the fans said they didnt want on sky why did jake and the team move away. the fans deserve t have thier voices heard i have never been more embaressed of you ever. you are all a disgrace to television. all you think about is the money and not the fans. we want answers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 93.

    Sorry Andrew, due to the recent announcement I didn't watch the race.

    I love F1 a lot, but there is no point watching it now

  • Comment number 94.

    Is the F1 forum going to be on iplayer?

    Great show week in week out. Todays pit stop challenge, brundle's pirelli tyre test, and mercedes factory tour were awesome pieces.
    Absolutely gutted and disappointed just like everyone else with the sky share tv deal. Please keep up brilliant work!

  • Comment number 95.

    Well done to Jenson, fan of his so i'm glad to see him on top of the podium.

    Andrew, no offence to yourself or anyone who is actually involved in the day to day running of the F1 blog/production as you all do a fantastic job (bafta award winning in some cases!). But.. Not good enough to sell us out and try to say where we can complain, only to mention its being closed tomorrow.
    The sky deal won't go away, 6,000plus comments on a single blog alone, 17,000plus signatures on a petition, MP's have been written to etc. The BBC has found itself in a mess with under estimating the passion of these fans, its only going to get worse.

    As for the poster who's saying shut up about this, grow up & look at what is happening.

  • Comment number 96.

    "We would ask you please to restrict your comments here to the topic covered."

    Clearly nobody at the BBC pays any attention to this blog after 15 comments then.

    Excellent race I have to say though, brilliant driving from the McLaren guys with their battles, so easily could've collected one another. We saw the difference between the two guys again though, Button is just far better at making strategic decisions than Hamilton. Alonso also showed he's a threat no matter where he is it seems, stuck behind both Mercedes, fell off the track 4 times and still came over the line third. Di Resta was excellent too along with the Torro Rosso guys, Buemi from 23rd to finish 8th.

    I think the biggest surprise of the day for many people however was an incident in the first corner, Sebastian Vettel overtook Fernando Alonso and didn't crash. Good race from Seb though, a huge improvement on last week, he's more or less got one hand on the title now I reckon.

  • Comment number 97.

    It is annoying that the beeb insist on diverting the blame when anyone directly questions. Whats really annoying is the idiot who made the call at the beeb never really has to answer to the public. It's quite obvious that all the presenters hands are tide, but don't expect to get a hell of a lot of abuse, bbc! There is always a choice, shame on the beeb for not ditching other very poor shows to raise the budget and shame on FOM for not compromising a little more.
    I shall never forgive either party (fom and bbc), and knew Murdoch was pure evil long before this deal. Proudly an ex sky customer in 31 days!

  • Comment number 98.

    Andrew - why is there not the oppportunity to comment on Ben Gallop's blog anymore? Is there a technical problem due to the volume of comments? Or has it been closed sooner than expected which was meant to be tomorrow?

  • Comment number 99.

    Great race, great for Button. But watching it made me feel angry and sad. Angry because I don't want to watch half a seasons live racing, sad because we who won't get sky will miss great races like this. I can just see Sky adding loads of graphics, pointless over analysing of statistics, self indulgent over reactions by who ever is commentating. I rally hope that the BBC team do not go with Sky. I've had the miss fortune to be in a pub when sky football is on and it is over the top, I hate it. So when they say F1 will be getting the sky treatment my heart sinks. The BBC treatment is fantastic and can't be bettered. Surly you could of seen out the rest of the contract and in the mean time spoke with ITV/C4/C5 to look to doing something? Because after 2018 unless the teams/sponsors/the people who love this sport do something about this sad state of affairs sky will buy the whole lot and give it there complete 'sky treatment', and none of us wants that.

  • Comment number 100.

    Great drive by Button - period.

    As to the rights question, the BCC has to make cuts. It decided what it could afford, and it wasn't enough for F1 to make them willing to keep all their sport on free to air TV in UK. Hence the Sky deal. I think the disappointed need to direct their ire as much to F1 management as the BBC - when the audience falls we will see the other impacts it has on F1's revenues in UK - and on the fan base. I think the view taken by the F1 rights holders may well prove to be short sighted.

 

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