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Rosberg shines after my Shanghai shenanigans

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Jake Humphrey | 22:13 UK time, Sunday, 15 April 2012

I've just achieved a minor miracle here at Shanghai airport - managing to get changed in the tiniest toilet cubicle imaginable before checking in for my flight to Abu Dhabi, and ultimately Bahrain.

The reason it was so tough is that I had my two-weeks-away-from-home suitcase and my laptop bag and I was also trying not to drop my new maroon velvet jacket onto the toilet floor. I wouldn't want to get such a beautiful piece of clothing soiled now, would I?

If you don't know what I'm talking about, take a look at the video below and you can see our 'Sex and the City' opener from Sunday's first live race show of 2012.

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It was a fun morning's filming actually, the low point being Eddie Jordan's well-intentioned but rather unconventional offer of breakfast. You see, we filmed most of that opening skit on Friday morning and it required an early start.

I stay with the production team at most races while Eddie and David Coulthard often stay somewhere else (usually with softer beds and more powerful showers).

So at half six on Friday morning, the crew and I set off in the minibus from our hotel near the track and headed for the Shanghai rush-hour: four-lane highways criss-crossing the city, all of them busy, most of them full of stationary traffic.

Eventually we arrived at EJ and DC's place and they came down to join us. Eddie turned up, dumped his bag and immediately disappeared back into the hotel.

As we were wondering where he was and what he was doing, he returned with a small brown bag and proceeded to dish out a pilfered breakfast.

I am afraid to say I rejected the small piece of brown bread with a single limp rasher of bacon, squished in Eddie's grip and thrust in my face. But fair play to the crew and DC for accepting his offer.

I also blame our exhaustion for the fact we ended up going down the 'Sex and the City' route as it was suggested by Ian the cameraman on the bus as a joke, and suddenly Dave the incredibly creative VT producer had seized on it.

The shoot itself was fun. One of the things I've missed in the first two races is the time spent with EJ and DC. There just isn't the time on a highlights show to transmit long, involved opening pieces and so I relished being back with the guys doing what we enjoy.

It was fantastic to be back in the old routine, prowling the pit-lane hoovering up the stories. I particularly enjoyed showing Ross Brawn the footage of the 1957 Mercedes win in Monza, and sharing with you at home the story of the first pole position for Nico Rosberg's father Keke.

I think it's these kinds of things that add depth to our coverage, put the events in perspective, and also inject a human element into such a technical sport.

And what a race it was by Nico in the Mercedes. It was a real shame for team-mate Michael Schumacher, but while he and Jenson Button shared pit-lane problems, and the rest of the field indulged in some classic racing, Nico simply drove the perfect race.

Maybe a late overtake such as Jenson's in Canada in 2011, or defensive brilliance such as Sebastian Vettel's in Spain last year is a more exciting way to win a race. But the manner in which Nico did it demonstrated complete dominance by car and driver. That is what the F1 community strive to achieve every week.

I'm not sure what was in DC's mid-race cuppa, but remarkably on the F1 Forum, he was the one diving in to grab Nico, in true EJ style. Before we know it he'll be wearing mad shirts and getting members of the Beatles muddled up!

I'm now in the airport and our flight leaves in about 45 minutes so I'd better sign off. Incidentally every time a plane takes off the roof of this place rattles rather violently. I'm hoping it's just a design issue.

I don't know what has happened to the rest of our team, but on the bus, nine out of 11 people were fast asleep - so don't be in any doubt that they've been doing their bit for you today.

Before I sign off, a word on Bahrain.

There has been much said about the next grand prix on the 2012 schedule, including significant coverage of the issue across the BBC's news outlets.

We felt it was important in our show that we put the relevant questions to F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone not just on the decision to race but also the motivation behind it.

Whether it is the right decision to stage the race is not for me to answer. I've had many
people ask whether I am happy to go. Of course I have safety concerns personally - but we are journalists. The BBC's role, as part of a free media, is to chronicle the big stories and events and we take great pride in transmitting the most significant moments in F1 to your living rooms.

Next weekend is arguably one of the most important in the history of F1. All eyes will be on Bahrain so it's essential we are there too, to accurately and honestly reflect the events both on track and off.

Thanks for tuning in this weekend and for making us the number one trending topic on Twitter in the UK on Sunday morning.

But the real story was Nico Rosberg. After 111 races, the wait is finally over.

See you in the desert.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Great coverage Jake, Lau and team. Really enjoyed the race and the Forum. A tear was in my eye when Nico crossed the line. He really deserved that win. Cant wait for the next full coverage race. Well done guys!!

  • Comment number 2.

    'Cant wait for the next full coverage race'

    That would be Bahrain, on Sky I think?

    Well come on, every blog ends up just bleating about Sky, so why don't we just not bother about anything else this time and get on with it....

    Assume 5000 words moaning about Sky now follows. I can't be bothered to cut and paste them from other peoples' but you've heard it all before so no need really.. just make up your own ;-)

  • Comment number 3.

    I just hope Mr Ecclestone and all the other "experts" are right in saying Bahrain is safe for all. We will soon find out

  • Comment number 4.

    Bernie would probably hold a grand prix in downtown kabul if it meant getting a handsome pay out. He'll have a lot answer for if something happens during the race weekend. Should the teams have taken a stand and not gone?

  • Comment number 5.

    I live in Germany so do not receive the BBC coverage, unfortunately. I am stuck with a German commercial station about which the less said the better. However, all credit to Nico Rosberg. I have said for years that it was only a matter of time before he started winning Grands Prix and he has finally proved me right. It was a great victory, a controlled and masterly race, and he has earned it. Congratulations to him and it was wonderful to see our two British World Champions on the podium with him and both congratulating him too. Nico also wrote GP history because the last win for Mercedes was in 1955 with the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio. Yesterday was a great day for the sport and it could not have happened to a nicer young man. Cahpeau!

  • Comment number 6.

    Another great effort from all the BBC team, Lau echoed what everyone I know has said - Sky not a patch on BBC!
    Happy for Nico, Ross & Mercedes, chuffed Mark got past Vettel and the whole race was amazing!
    Don't agree with going to Bahrain, but Bernie's not one to let anything stand in the way of making a buck.
    Good luck to you all!

  • Comment number 7.

    #2.
    The last few blogs actually haven't all been about the TV coverage, it seams most people are accepting it and getting on with it, finally.

  • Comment number 8.

    Fabulous coverage and the sideshow with Eddie and David much appreciated. Pity about the pit lane problem with Jenson because if he had re-entered the race without traffic then he may have been able to pressure Nico in the closing laps but take nothing away from Nico. Will Bahrain be live coverage or just highlights?

  • Comment number 9.

    #5 'the last win for Mercedes was in 1955 with the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio.'

    You think? Seems Jake has some secret footage of them winning at Monza in 1957.... ;-)

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi jake. I must say what a great job again by you guys on the BBC this year so far; especially on the live races. Glad I didn't buy SKY. I'm saying this while watching the forum with the Chinese guy saying how BBC is better than SKY! very funny.
    Bring on Bahrain; and take care.

  • Comment number 11.

    Always an interesting Jake! I've miss you, DC & Eddie! I have to say your build up coverage is generally superior to skys, I think you nailed it when you said you inject feeling and the human element into it.

    Keep up the good work, but sadly I'll be watching he races on sky just can't live without Brundles commentary and of course Ted's pit lane updates.

  • Comment number 12.

    @8. highlights on the beeb, live on sky.
    @10. You mean, 'live race' they've only had 1 so far!

  • Comment number 13.

    @#5 Roy Brookes. You can get the BBC coverage on satellite in Germany if your dish is pointing the right way. I personaaly watch the races the BBC dont cover live on RTL with radio 5live commentary. Its got to be live or its not the same.

  • Comment number 14.

    Thanks guys for the usual superb coverage, good to have you back live. Get aunty to empty the tea money jar, get Martin and Ted back, and all will be OK with the world. The Sky coverage is not bad, but goes for novelties, rather than quality.Great result for Nico and Mercedes. F1 would be in a sorry state if Mercedes were not involved. I see both sides of the argument about Bahrain. Great result for Mclaren and Mark.

  • Comment number 15.

    Great race, I can't remember ever having seen six cars all pushing for the same podium places that far into a race. It's just a shame Kimi couldn't get a few more laps out of his tyres, that really would have been something.

    I must admit I didn't see most of the BBC's coverage, on account of how I really don't like getting up at 7a.m. on a Sunday, but I watched the race itself and it was great to see the whole thing. You really struggle to understand the full picture of a Grand Prix from just highlights.

    Congratulations to Nico Rosberg. Thoroughly deserved his win and let's hope there are more to come.

  • Comment number 16.

    Excellent blog Jake...and great coverage by the BBC team of a super exciting race with a well deserved podium for the three talented drivers!I was so pleased to see the full coverage this weekend....but I think you're all making a great job of the edited versions ....still very classy,informative...and of course great chemistry between yourself,DC & EJ!! Looking forward to the next race...stay safe and keep smiling....all will be well!:)

  • Comment number 17.

    Oh dear, I hate to say this but I thing it goes to show how many people have gone to Sky.

    This time last season there were hundreds of posts on here but now only 14??

    I was very anti Sky but I have to say they are doing a great job. I ammissing Jake and DC though hence why I still read Jake's blogs!

  • Comment number 18.

    nice blog jake , the coverage this weekend was fantastic , the commentary pairing of David & Ben works really well , better than other commentary pairings for the current season of F1. Gary Anderson is a great addition to the team, his knowlage comes across really and is very informative. Some top interviews both pre race & post race. Thanks to you and the team for making Rosberg's 1st pole and win a race to remember. im looking forward to Spain now for the next live race. im afriad i'll be with the other channel till then! thanks again to the whole team and EJ!

  • Comment number 19.

    Apologies for the bad grammar and spelling mistakes!! Also, there were only 14 at the time of writing, but after the moderators had a look I see a couple more had posted.

  • Comment number 20.

    Just wish the Beeb had all of the season.I prefer the BBC coverage.Great in early morning with full English, which my son-in law loves,cost him a few cans though.
    Great to see the team bring in the Fi fans on the red button for their take on the race.Keep it going Jake,DC&EJ its fantastic.Great banter.Thanks guys.

  • Comment number 21.

    It must be said that Sky are doing a great job. The commentary with Crofty and MB is superb. Brundle can contribute better as a sidekick and Crofty gives him all the space he needs. I'm not sure they need quite so many different people involved though, I quite liked the smaller (cheaper!) team setup that the BBC had, but maybe it just needs more time. Johnny Herbert was excellent this weekend as well. I watched a bit of the BBC coverage and I think it just lacks the energy that it used to have - particularly in the pit lane. If you could just give the rights to 'The Chain' to Sky, It would be a slam dunk!

  • Comment number 22.

    I too had to watch the race in on German RTL yesterday. I find the BBC is much more informative about all the teams during the qualifying and the pre race build up. German TV is obsessed with only German drivers and are more partisan than the BBC who generally give a good overview of all the teams and drivers. Interestingly, Bild Newspaper (the Sun equivalent) is blaming an English mechanic for stopping an otherwise 100% definate 1, 2 for Mercedes! Bless them, they clearly dont know that most of the team are English including the boss!

  • Comment number 23.

    I agree with Lau.

  • Comment number 24.

    Great coverage from the BBC F1 team as normal! I loved the way Nicco done the fastest lap instead of one of the presenters. Great to see EJ DC and Jake back in the pit lane Sky F1 just doesn't have the spark you guys bring!

    Can't wait for the next full coverage from you guys x

  • Comment number 25.

    @10 pretty sure there has only been one Live race on the BBC. Have you watched the Sky coverage at all? If you had you would see its very in depth and they have better access to the teams and the garages!
    But it's ok you're glad you didn't buy Sky, enjoy the 80 mins of highlights for the Bahrain GP at silly o'clock by which time you'll have already heard the result.

  • Comment number 26.

    While I think Brundle is a brilliant commentator, am I alone in finding myself actually enjoying the Ben/DC coverage more. Maybe it's because DC is more confident and feels he has more to add without his 'boss' there pretty much telling him when to speak, and it's a bit more of an equal partnership - always felt with MB he didn't really want or need anyone else there, been happy to ask and answer his own questions!

  • Comment number 27.

    #25 If you love sky that much and hate the BBC, why exactly are you posting here? From your post, I'm sure you'll fit in much better with Murdoch's crowd over there. Run along. Or just here to beg a few more people to pay the subs because it's not paying off right now.... ;-)

  • Comment number 28.

    Wonderful GP and tv coverage, and a well deserved win for Nico. It was nice to see Jake Eddie and David doing something not related to racing and the jackets were lovely, if David doesn't want his jacket then I will wear it!

  • Comment number 29.

    Best grand prix I've seen for years, it had everything! Brilliant coverage and commentary by the Beeb too! Well Done to Jake, EJ and DC, with some brilliant and incisive interviews. Gary Anderson's tech knowledge is awesome too, bringing a new dimension to the weekends. Superb! I'm off to Bahrain with work for a few days this week, and hope to buy tickets for qualifying out there. Any ideas where I can get them? Cheers

  • Comment number 30.

    BBC coverage of Shanghai was brilliant yesterday. Funny and light-hearted at the right time;technical and informative as well. The balance and production was superb. The BBC are losing too much top sport to the commercial channels. Even my wife enjoys the show! The start was hilarious just want to know how the next show will start. Jake, Eddie and DC are a great team. It's not that I don't like the SKY presentation it's just the BBC are refreshingly different and much more entertaining for all ages...and when the Fleetwood Mac theme fires up the F1 rush starts immediately. Great show keep it up guys as this is the best sports production on telly. (and I watch a lot of sport)

  • Comment number 31.

    Well done, Nico - and what a great race, not the result I was expecting going into this weekend!

    Loved the first live race on the BBC, keep up the great work Jake (and the rest of the team). I do miss Martin Brundle's commentary but I have to say DC has stepped up to the mark remarkably well, along with Ben Edwards - wasn't sure I'd enjoy Ben's style, but after his first rather-too-excitable race (which was understandable), he seems to have settled down into a more relaxed, natural style. China was much better than the first two races and he seems to be gelling better with DC. I'd like to see a bit more banter between the two of them, but I guess that will come naturally once they get to know each other better.

    The weak point in the new team for me is Gary Anderson - but only because you don't seem to be using him properly. We all know how knowledgeable he is about all aspects of F1, but so far the BBC haven't got the best out of him in the races - OK, the first two were highlights, so that's maybe a reason. I did think he was good on China's F1 Forum yesterday, but in the race I think we only heard twice from him. And one of those, he wasn't there when DC/BE asked him for his opinion!! Why not use him more? Especially for technical features in the pre-shows for the live races - I can see him being a very good replacement for Brundle's techy pieces that he did last year.

    The grid walk with DC and EJ was a bit shambolic - following Martin Brundle's was always going to disappoint slightly, but I think some more thought needs to be done on this part - what about letting Lee McKenzie get involved, she seems to get more out of the drivers than EJ and DC ever will? Much as I love EJ when he's with you and DC, I don't think it works well for the pitlane walk! Please sort this out for the next live race.

    Overall, though, I'm really impressed with the quality of BBC's F1 this year - even the highlights shows are much better than I had feared they'd be. I'm glad I didn't get Sky, I'd much rather save that money to go to Silverstone this year (roll on July!!).

    Well done, Jake - keep it up please!

  • Comment number 32.

    @#25: you don't need to buy sky to watch their coverage! And I'm sure Bahrain is actually live on BBC! Great coverage Jake as always!! Keep safe next week!

  • Comment number 33.

    I loved the opener this time much more funny- Jake,DC & EJ lovely Jackets and David your jacket is conversational piece you have to be more open minded lol. No the race was wicked as usual from BBC - no comparison to Speed over here.. Thanks BBC wish you had all races. On too Bahrain GP

  • Comment number 34.

    #32 Only live on BBc on 5 Live - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/race-calendar/

  • Comment number 35.

    I really enjoyed the BBC's coverage of the race in China. Great to have to a live race at last and the team didn't disappoint. Loved the forum - great to see GA on camera at last. Lau's critical anaysis was spot on!

  • Comment number 36.

    #34: I do believe I may have miss read that page!! Need new glasses! Ah well streaming it is then!!!

  • Comment number 37.

    I think that Lau was a star in the making - you guys need to hook up with him again next year!

    Fabulous race, brilliant coverage - worth getting up at Oh-Dark-Hundred (7am actually) to see.

  • Comment number 38.

    @30
    I presume you have sky then?
    otherwise what sport do you watch?

  • Comment number 39.

    Hi Jake,

    Good to see your first blog of the season (it's the first one I've seen!).

    Well, what an epic race that was.

    Pleased to see Nico get his first win and Mercedes now have to be serious contenders for the title. Shame the error in the pits for Schumacher as he would have made the podium which all fans are waiting to see. They can't get it together for Schumacher for some reason.

    I can't remember the last time I saw 8 cars challenging for second place.

    With 3 races gone I personally feel F1 2012 will be the best season ever.

    Finally to end, I actually watched the BBC coverage and have to say that their coverage was miles better than Sky's. For me the BBC coverage came across a lot warmer than the presenters of Sky - even without Martin Brundle the BBC was best. Well done team at BBC.

    Next Bahrain - I sense a tough weekend for every team member, the drivers and the press.

  • Comment number 40.

    @39
    Have you watched a race on sky though?

  • Comment number 41.

    #40 I haven't watched a race on Sky. Nor have I hacked anybody's phones, bribed any police, or lied to any Commons Committees. Guess I'm just a failure then....

  • Comment number 42.

    Solid work in Shanghai Jake! :)

    Regarding Bahrain well...watch your back guys and that goes for everyone connected to F1. The Bahraini revolutionaries seem to have taken the decision to race as a serious insult. Going there is a very bad idea but...what's done is done, all we can hope is that no one gets hurt at the event.

    One very scared F1 fan.

  • Comment number 43.

    #40
    Yes I've watched the first two races. Both were good but watched the BBC coverage yesterday was miles better. Jake, EJ and DC make me laugh yet at the same time talk sense!

  • Comment number 44.

    @27 its not that I hate the BBC, it's the fact they sold the rights to Sky to buy another talent show that annoys me. I take it from your post you don't have Sky, that's your choice and I accept that, but if you haven't seen Sky's coverage you can't really have a go at me for liking it.
    I'm not here to beg or anything, I am happy watching all the races Live on Sky with a dedicated channel because highlights just don't cut it for me, a true F1 fan. At the end of the day it's about the racing, not the presenters, their shirts or opening VTs.

  • Comment number 45.

    Well what can I say???? Watched the first two races on Sky HD of course and tried so hard to get into the Sky way of doing things. Also waited for Georgie to make a mistake or fall over in her high heals but hats off to the girl she's done her homework. Love Anthony Davidson he's the best part of the team for me..........but

    Then there was yesterdays coverage from the BBC and I just couldn't wait to have the old fun routine from Messrs, Jake, Eddie and David. David seems to be commentating more now during the race and yesterday he was spot on. Also Ben Edwards did his thing likes he does and it made good listening and viewing.
    All in all BBC thanks for a fantastic weekend. Jake thanks for all the updates through Twitter and to all the team good flights and stay safe in Bahrain!

  • Comment number 46.

    At last, the BBC does F1 'LIVE'.

    Faultless coverage - like others have said - I agree with Lau. !! What a Legend and spoke for the viewing public.

  • Comment number 47.

    #44 Fair enough, can't argue with any of that :-)

  • Comment number 48.

    @43 thats fair enough then, after watching both and prefering the beebs coverage, nothing wrong with that. Just don't agree with those that haven't actually watched sky's coverage, yet still seem 'informed' enough to say how bad it is.
    If the beeb had kept the team together, i'd watch their 10 races, no questions asked, but after the highs of the last few years, it's not going to match it.
    Was nice to see MB and DC give each other a little hello as they walked past each other on the grid, EJ practically jumped out of the way when he saw Brundle.

    @41, don't think i was talking to you was i? Thanks for the mature response though, top stuff.

  • Comment number 49.

    #48 '@41, don't think i was talking to you was i?'

    Oh dear, didn't you realise you were posting on a public chat-board?? You really haven't got the hang of private emails at all have you ;-)

  • Comment number 50.

    A great result all round and good for the sport where three different drivers from three different teams have all won races.
    Incidentally, does anyone know when anyone last led a world championship without winning a race?

  • Comment number 51.

    what a race, I'd defiantly like more close battles and less well nut problems (I just think its harsh and unlucky) but I hope everyone stays safe in Bahrain. There's been and no doubt will be more, talk about what should and should not, so much in fact I don't even know what the right decision is. I understand there would be concerns but most of those people who voiced them have now come out and dismissed those concerns. I just hope everyone stays safe (fans, news, crews and teams) whatever happens or not. guess we'll find out who's right at the weekend but for now Bahrain should be about how close most teams are in a mechanical sense. there isnt much between them, I feel its all about who has the better set up for the track at the moment which is great to watch. Im enjoying lotus, williams and saubers think each team have amazing drivers and I wouldnt be surprised if next year they become front runners in the championship

  • Comment number 52.

    Congratulations to Nico for his victory - thoroughly deserved - and great to see live BBC coverage again too.

    I wonder though if the somewhat cooler temperatures contributed to Mercedes' terrific turn of speed; have they really solved their tyre wear issues since Malaysia?

  • Comment number 53.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the BBC coverage as indeed I always have. I don't have Sky we have Virgin and as the only sports I really enjoy are Rugby, F1 and Tennis I am or was where F1 is concerned well served by Aunty Beeb. Of course I would love to see all the races live but we are happy enough with Virgin and see no reason to swap to Sky where even with the sports channel we would still have to pay extra for the F1 races they cover. I like the DC/Ben team and Jake & EJ are such good fun as well as informative. Maybe Gary is a little bit out of his depth at the moment but it's early days. We thoroughly enjoyed the Chinese Grand Prix it was definitely a great race with plenty of action going on behind Nico. Congrats to Nico btw and my best wishes to all of the team. Stay safe in Bahrain.

  • Comment number 54.

    I have to say I watched it on sky purely because the BBC do not deserve our viewing anymore after stabbing the british public in the back...again.

    I don't know what the sky fans are on about, its very poor still at the moment and needs a lot of work, I lost track of the amount of times Croft made mistakes with names of drivers and what was happening. The presenting team is also very poor and probably all need replacing for next season unless they suddenly gel a lot better. Also with regards to access that someone stated, Sky's is no where near what the beebs is, the teams seem much less open to having the Sky cam's near them yet open freely for the beeb also the drivers are more willing to interact with Jake and Co. can't see that suddenly changing unless Sky manage to get them all over to the dark side.

    Anyways, great racing, probably the best in the last 3 years. Just hope its nose to tail like that for the rest of the season with more than a handful of drivers vying for the podium. And a big congrats to Nico on a well deserved long time coming victory.

  • Comment number 55.

    So frustrating!
    I don't mind the extended highlights and actually have preferred the more streamlined coverage, otherwise you just keep seeing/hearing the same things over and over. And it keeps it focused...
    I can't stand the 'extras.' The clothing banter is wearing thin and Eddie really doesn't contribute anything insightful to discussions. I've enjoyed the previous 2 races, but this (especially the opener) felt cringe-worthy and patronising - please keep it about the sport!

  • Comment number 56.

    @49
    I directed a response to someone else, you jumped up trying to score brownie points and showing off to your boyfriends that you're taking a stand against sky.
    You threw out an immature response to a perfectly reasonable question along the same lines as what @44 said.

  • Comment number 57.

    #56 Sorry, you mentioned 'mature response'. Maybe you'd just like to judge your own post by that standard ;-) Silly homophobic insults went out in Year 3 at my primary school, but there you go...

    And I'm as entitled to dislike Sky as a company, and to say so here, as you are to say the opposite.

  • Comment number 58.

    @54.

    They are only 3 races in, i'm sure the coverage will improve with time.
    Not that there is anything too wrong with it now.
    Can't argue with MB and Crofty, yes he makes mistakes, but it was a fairly hectic race yesterday, Ted and Ant are just as good as they were on the beeb.
    And in HD, Georgie and Nat are a tad more appealing than Gary Anderson, who looks like Rab C Nesbitt.

  • Comment number 59.

    Lots of people saying the coverage is great but missing Brundle, why?? Brundle was poor last year as lead commentator & I for one think the commentary has improved greatly this year with Ben Edwards and David Coultard.

    I have been watching F1 since the early 80s and like so many others I was gutted the coverage has been reduced but lets face it, Auntie is skint and it’s not Just F1 which has been dropped from their sports coverage.

    I don’t have Sky Sports and so far I don’t need it, the 2 highlights shows so far have been excellent and of course this weekend’s live coverage and forum was a joy to watch. I do however have one growing concern.

    Race 1 - 2hrs highlights show
    Race 2 - 1hr 55m highlights show
    Race 3 - Top drawer live coverage
    Race 4 – Only 80mins scheduled???

    Come on Beeb, what’s happened to the promised 90min show for tea time races? Are we going to slowly chip away at the airtime and hope nobody notices???

  • Comment number 60.

    All I have to say is this, the BBC coverage was very good as we would expect, The banter and knowledge with EJ and DC was great, I was a bit annoyed that the guy who took over from ted kept on talking over the team radio, but that was nothing much to worry about. I will be watching the live races with the bbc all other ones I will watch with Sky.

    The trouble is, I love F1 and always will do, I love the bbc coverage and think the presenters are excellent! Great to see you kept Lee Mckensie, she is worth her weight in gold for the rapour she has with the drivers. My problem is the BBC as a corporation sold us out, for a new saturday night game show!! Or to give more money to Eastenders! Its a real shame because it has made me feel the BBC dont value their supports and will just do what they choose.

    There are a lot of comments that are negative towards Sky, but sky just picked up a business oppurtunity that the bbc didn't want. If you need to be angry it should be at the BBC. As for the SKy coverage, I think it is really good, different to the BBC but still very good in its own right. Some of the presenters need more technical knowledge but its early days and I am sure they will improve. I also think the way Sky are presenting themselves shows a lot of investment in to what the fans want to see.

    Its a difficult one. As far as the racing goes, Mclaren again need to look at their pit stops, real shame for kimi, but a dominant race from Roseberg and a well overdue win. Also loved the moment when Webber overtook Vettel and he had nothing! lol.

  • Comment number 61.

    #38 Yes I watch cricket and rugby (which are very good) football (average) golf (average) tennis (terrible) and other motorsport etc on Sky. We can still see skiing on the Beeb and off course the old stalwart Match of the Day. We could do with Jake doing the Sports news on BBC rather than the strange presenters they employ at the moment! The point though that I was trying to make was that the BBC produced a show for entertainment as well as the "experts" and they succeeded brilliantly. Sky are good but sooooo bland in most of their sports coverage.

  • Comment number 62.

    @26, agree with you 100%. I have watched both channels live races and have found the Beeb to be a better watch. DC has matured into a very good commentator in my opinion.

  • Comment number 63.

    #59 'Are we going to slowly chip away at the airtime and hope nobody notices???'

    Good point - except you've just wrecked their cunning plan lol! Maybe they're just gambling that the race won't happen after all....

  • Comment number 64.

    Have to say, I prefer Sky's commentary team of Crofty and Brundle - Crofty is a top-notch commentator and a great loss to the BBC radio coverage. He should have been given the TV job instead of Legard, who was terrible without exception.

    However, the rest of the coverage is of far higher quality on the BBC, from the interviews to the technical pieces to the links and discussion, so well done Jake, DC and EJ, and keep it up (for this season at least).

  • Comment number 65.

    Superb Coverage once again from the BBC. I switched between SKY and BBC this weekend. SKY for in race commentary and BBC for everything else, the chemistry between Jake, Eddie and David is fantastic and of course Jake the ultimate proffesional, as smooth as you like. Also, I have also noticed that the footage the BBC outputs (not during race ie. pitlane) has far better colour depth than SKY, so just a better viewing experience, whether that's the camera or editing, Well done BBC.

  • Comment number 66.

    Good coverage from BBC but please save money and get rid of Eddie Jordan, he is akin to a village idiot. I do believe he makes the most ridiculous statements and ill-founded negativity about certain drivers and teams. I find him totally unnecessary.

  • Comment number 67.

    @50,

    To my knowledge the last time a driver led the championship having not won a race would be after the 2007 Spanish grand prix, when Lewis Hamilton led the championship but hadn't won a race. I may be wrong, there may be another time since, but like I say, to my knowledge that was the last time.

    Loved the BBC coverage. Just saying.

  • Comment number 68.

    First and foremost what an amazing race it was. This has to be the most exciting start to the season yet. There is no outright best car out there, everyone seems to have an issue somewhere and is fast in another area which makes it a very exciting prospect for all us fans. I've watched the Sky coverage for the first two races and to be honest I couldn't warm up to it, it doesn't flow. There seems to be way too many people on the presenting team that it doesn't give the viewers the chance to warm up to the presenters. Even watching Martin Brundle on Sky he seems uncomfortable there while at the BBC he was more relaxed and seemed to enjoy himself more.

    I really cannot thank the BBC team more for introducing me to a sport I never really thought I would like before and now I feel almost like a life long fan.

  • Comment number 69.

    For what its worth, I watch the Sky coverage, even when it's live on the beeb. I don't think I could cope with an entire race worth of Ben Edwards commentating. It's almost Legard-esque.

    Croft and Brundle are my preferred commentators - even if Croft does get his names mixed up often.

    That said, the BBC coverage on the website is marvellous, in terms of being able to watch interviews, race snippets, etc on a Monday morning - and I enjoy this blog, Jake.

  • Comment number 70.

    Have been waiting to see what effect the loss of some of last years BBC team has had on live BBC coverage and, as always, really enjoyed the coverage both pre and post race. However, after watching the whole of qually on the BBC and listening to the numerous interruptions from Gary Anderson while the team radios were being transmitted, we decided to watch the actually race coverage on Sky. Found this really annoying as I'm sure in previous years Ted Kravitz has stopped talking so the viewers can hear what team messages are going back and forth. Sort this out and I'll be an avid BBC viewer again! Also nice job with the Forum...love the interaction between Jake, DC and EJ. As far as the race is concerned, pleased for Rosberg, disappointed for Schumi as I hoped it would be a podium for him and thought Webber had an impressive race ( I was bouncing around in my seat when he got round Vettel!). Nice to see that this season you just can't call the race winner. Goodbye the Vettel Show!

  • Comment number 71.

    SKY IS THE PERFECT THING FOR THE EARLY RACES, JUST HAVE TO GET MY iPAD OUT AN SWITCH ON SKY GO, LIVE f! PORTABLE AROUND MY HOUSE

  • Comment number 72.

    @58, I hope so but the BBC was never this amateur when they first started out. It is leaving a lot to be desired and they are relying heavily on fancy graphics and very little real useful info. Croft has made mistakes from the very second he first opened his mouth on an F1 race, he needs discarding and fast.

    There is enough totty on the grid at the start, so as much as i love Georgie and Nat they wouldn't be missed, plus I can always find much more inviting images to run along side the race on the internet if thats what I wanted.

  • Comment number 73.

    In a way this 'sky is better'/'BBC is better' is pointless. I've never watched F1 on Sky, but it's probably fair to say they are trying to do things in a different way, not to emulate the BBC. If they do what they do professionally - and by and large they probably do - then it's a matter of personal taste which is 'best'. From the little I have seen of Sky sports coverage, I don't like it, and I'm certainly not going to pay for it, but obviously many people do and good luck to them.

    As for commentators making mistakes - they do annoy me, yet people adored Murray Walker even though if he got one driver's name in three right it was a surprise and James Hunt was forever having to correct him!

  • Comment number 74.

    Just thought i would say that i watched the Beeb coverage until you did the pit walk, and wasn't particularly impressed so switched over to Sky...
    I think i will always watch the build-up when its on the Beeb, but i think you're missing Brundle
    (for what its worth, i change back whenever they go into "...The SkyPad..." )

    Also, can someone confirm / deny - my sky box was claiming that the quali was not proper HD on the beeb (shows up as orange on the sky menu, if you have got hat setting turned on) - this seemed a bit odd to me, as surly Sky and Beeb get the same feed? does it cost more to broadcast HD?

    Anyway - now that i've said that, i will read the blog... brb

  • Comment number 75.

    absolutely cracking weekend for f1 and the seasons getting even better race by race, brilliant result for nico and Mercedes, shame on schumie's part though he was looking good generally i have allways thought it would be a matter of time befor we saw mercedes up there and winning again, and i dont think it will be to much longer befor we see schumie up there again, and hopefully next weekend goes smoothly and we get to see another cracking race like the first three have been.

  • Comment number 76.

    @61
    Don't get me wrong, i know they have to produce a show which is both entertaining for those who are just casual viewers and in depth enough for the hardcore fans, much like the balance Top Gear have to aim for! The sky coverage so far appears to lean more towards to hardened fans.

    Sometimes the beeb are too gimicky though, especially EJ.

    Sky get the cricket coverage spot on, i'm not a fan of their football coverage although I much prefer it now post Gray and Keys.

    The F1 coverage will get better with time i'm sure.

  • Comment number 77.

    @17
    Even if you were a few posts out, you're quite right. this blog is dead compared to last years form

  • Comment number 78.

    How's the holiday going Jake? I was glad to be able to watch the whole GP live via internet link and have R5 on in the back ground, kind of makes Jake redundent in a way (the BBC would be able to save more money in wages/expences)

  • Comment number 79.

    Jake "I don't do paper"; Eddie, D.C. & Gary Anderson, thanks for a masterclass in unscripted "as it happens" live TV on the forum, I didn't think it possible to exceed the standard you've set previously but yesterday you did, it was brilliant & I thoroughly enjoyed it. Also many thanks & congratulations to ALL the BBC team for the excellent coverage & production.
    Great idea to repeat the Forum after the race highlights on CH.301/R.Button loop, I had to miss the live version and was pleased to accidently find it after watching those last 10 laps again. Still smiling at the Lau interview great TV.

  • Comment number 80.

    Great race, good coverage, further proof the management TV deal is a joke.

    The irony from @13 that in Germany you can position your sat dish to pick up quality live BBC races, yet in the UK many have their dish picking up RTL for the races the BBC management gave to subscription!

    Can't help but feel F1 TV has been split into two halves, neither together as good as the whole F1 TV from last year, but way more expensive with less UK viewers.

    So the race viewing figures via Czar are:
    BBC average of 2.99 million
    Sky average of 480 thousand

    Anyone know how this compared to last year?

  • Comment number 81.

    Great Show Jake really enjoyed it and great race.

    But....

    ......It confirmed what I had suspected after the 1st 2 races, the highlights package does not work for me and will be even worse as the time get cut for the European races.

    So Jake I'll see you again next time you are live and for the rest RTL and 5live here I come

    MGB

  • Comment number 82.

    What a fantastic race it was so enthralling i had to watch it twice and great commentary from you guys!

  • Comment number 83.

    I watched it on Sky at my sisters then on iplayer later.

    Sky buildups are primarily McLaren Whitmarsh TV.

    I liked their Rosberg VS Schu splitscreen qually comparisons.

    Ant provided good TV analysis with Georgie there for show only.

    Natalie seemed desperate with her questioning, poor compared to Lee.

    Crofty was the biggest surprise, very poor, unlike his radio days, making mistakes, pointlessly slagging Alonso instead of covering the race and lap timings better, seems nervous next to Brundle.

    The Sky graphics are too over the top and FOX news Americanised.

    Red button was alright once loaded but jumping through the numbers there was a technical fault with the framerate jumping making it unwatchable till I repowered the box!

    Did Damon Hill get the boot for Herbert after speaking out on Bahrain or was he away somewhere?

    ...tbc

  • Comment number 84.

    Mr Humphrey rivals only Jackie Stewart in the use of the first person singular.

  • Comment number 85.

    BBC coverage was good:

    Coulthard especially with his analysis, and access via obvious respect and contacts throughout the pitlane.

    Gary Anderson is great and his site articles are really good, unlike others mentioning earlier I don't care how he looks. You don't see an article in autosport by Georgie or Natalie do you? I watch F1 for F1, you can view your girls elsewhere on the internet, plus they're better than Georgie and Nat together ;)

    Lee is excellent as well, confident and good questioning.

    Ben too excitable and is cutting off DC too often, not quite as good as MB/DC.

    Eddie is a pain, more of a pain than he is funny, a joke when he kept having a go at Monisha from Sauber in the qualifying programme.

    Love the new BBC signing Lau though.

    Shame about Ben, Babs etc. Shame about their management decision to ditch the full F1 Championship.

    In short it was better coverage with DC and Brundle and a better deal for everyone last year...

  • Comment number 86.

    @59 I doubt that it's a schedule error, only 80 mins to cover what will probably be the most controversial race off and possibly on track is not enough. I can't see the BBC extending the coverage and eating into 'the voice' either.

    But trust me the BBC is not skint they sold F1 to buy 'the voice', if they were that hard up they wouldn't have spent £20mil acquiring the rights to 'the voice', plus new set, hosts and judges etc! They basically stabbed the loyal bbcf1 viewer in the back to get another talent show on the air it's digusting and the licence fee is not worth the money anymore.

  • Comment number 87.

    #70 'the numerous interruptions from Gary Anderson while the team radios were being transmitted'

    Somebody else commented on that, but wonder if it's Gary's fault? Certainly wasn't his fault practically every time they asked him a question along came a transmission, but can he see a monitor while he's running around the pit lane to know to shut up for a moment... Maybe just luck of the draw.

    But while I liked Ted, Gary does have more knowledge.

  • Comment number 88.

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

  • Comment number 89.

    Eddie Jordan scares my kids... why can't I say that?

    Liking Jaime on the 5live team. Would be nice to see his face on the F1 forum!

  • Comment number 90.

    @87

    If I remember rightly last year Brundle or DC would tell Ted to schtum whenever there was a team radio. Perhaps Gary Anderson doesn't have a live feed and I'm not saying it's his fault but me and my hubby found it really annoying and, personally, I think it should be addressed. To me, the coverage team should be there to enhance your viewing pleasure. Bad luck? Maybe. To be fair, it was the first live coverage with Gary and it may be one of those kinks that they iron out but it put me off watching the actually race on the Beeb.

  • Comment number 91.

    Jake, you are really a good journalist. I was moved by your words! We will keep supporting BBC~ Take Care agaaaaain! ( don't feel annoyed!)
    Blessing from SHANGHAI!! See you next year~

  • Comment number 92.

    Viewing figure:

    Sky race average - 0.48 million
    peak - 0.85 million

    bbc race average - 2.9 million
    peak - 4.1 million

    Speaks volumes!

  • Comment number 93.

    However last year chinese grand prix viewing figures:

    bbc race average - 3.3 million
    peak - 4.3 million

  • Comment number 94.

    I'm not sure how people can say the BBC coverage is much better? Obviously evryone ha their own opinions. Yes I have Sky and the first race all the presenters were quite nervous but with this being ONLY their third race I think they are doing a very good job!

    I seem to rember in the first year of BBC F1 people complained about EJ and wanted him gone - now most people love him. DC and Jake also took time to gel. I do like them and actaully recorder the BBC coverage to watch after Sky.

    Both ad roughly the same amount of features and interviews. I think Skys' may have been a bit more technical (for hardened fans), such as Martins piece about the seating position/steering wheels and the BBCs' a bit more light hearted, such as the remote control car race with Lewis.

    I do think sometimes the BBC team can sometimes be looking for the laughs too much (for instance going clothes shopping!).

    I know a lot of people can't afford Sky but that is no reason to say they are rubbish. Give them time as you gave the BBC time!

    As I said I like both but as all races are live on Sky I will be watching them and recording the BBC build ups etc. One thing I think is better though is the Sky commentary. David Croft seems more relaxed than Ben.

    Good luck to both channels!

  • Comment number 95.

    #90 Staboo Yep, that's my memory too. So Ben's fault if anyones, not Gary's.

    Wasn't sure about Ben at first, but he and DC seem to be working well together. And it does help that you don't get MB asking DC a question, in the tone which says 'I know this answer better than you do but we need to tell the thickos out there and you haven't said anything for a while'......

  • Comment number 96.

    Following on from my previous post. The beginning of the BBC coverage does always seem like they are trying TOO hard to win another award! As much as I like Jake, DC and Eddie and the fact presenters are important to the show (whichever channel), they are not THE show. The show is F1 - sometimes it does feel like it's the Jake , DC and EJ show and oh here's a race! Not a criticism as such as the banter can be fun but sometimes I think it's too much

  • Comment number 97.

    Really enjoyed the BBC coverage. What a great team Jake, DC and Eddie are. Maybe it is just my ancient TV but Ben Edwards seemed at a lower volume than DC or Gary during the race. Anybody else experience this?

    On the subject of Gary, I would like to see him used a bit more as has being shown he has a wealth of knowledge, also as other people have mentioned - a way to let him know a team radio message is being played even if it is just Ben telling him it is about to happen.

    On the forum, Lau = legend! priceless.

  • Comment number 98.

    @96 Michaelw77

    I see your point and if much more time was taken up I would agree but the jacket segment probably lasted less than 2mins and like all the other of the same type it was very short and very good.

  • Comment number 99.

    @98 mr-big

    Fair point and I respect it. I just think sometimes they go for the laugh too much throughout (not all the time). Also EJ should have known Charlie Whiting is not allowed to speak to the media before a race!

  • Comment number 100.

    @95

    I'm not sure about Ben yet. I'll reserve judgement until later in season but I hope he finds a way to compliment DC as I think he did really well last year and came out with some cracking comments (I think it was when Rob Smedley told Massa 'Fernando is faster than you' that he came out with the classic 'that message couldn't have been scarier if it was delivered in the dark'). But then, having watched the race on Sky, I suppose anyone is better than Croft who can't tell his Webber from his Vettel and his a**e from his elbow! Found myself correcting him most of the race.

 

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