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The 2009 Formula One season on the BBC

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Roger Mosey | 14:38 UK time, Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The BBC will be providing comprehensive coverage of the 2009 Formula One season across all its platforms.

F1 returns to BBC television for the first time in 12 years and there will be extensive coverage on network TV, red button, radio, online and mobile.

BBC One will carry live coverage of all 17 Grands Prix and every qualifying session except that in Brazil, which will be shown on BBC Two.

And every single on-track session can be watched on the red button or online.

Comprehensive information on all our coverage can be found on the BBC Press Office website so take a look and let us know what you think.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Roger,

    Brilliant to have F1 back where it belongs, and great to see the BBC investing in truly comprehensive coverage.

    Just one question: there was nothing in the announcement about support races; earlier comments may have led people to believe these would be shown on the red button.

    Please can you confirm the situation?

  • Comment number 2.

    Overall the planned coverage looks very comprehensive which is positive and an improvement on ITV's coverage which was far to brief.

    Very disapointed that there will be no HD coverage though. Other countries will have it and in this day and age sporting events like F1 should be in HD, even if it was just the main feed.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Roger,

    Can you please clarify these three key areas for me:

    1. Interactive Choice
    It was widely believed that there would be an onboard channel and a data channel. However, it appears that there will only be a 'mosaic' channel containing the main feed, onboard channel and a leaderboard.

    Can you confirm that there will no separate onboard channel or data channel on any BBC Platform - including the internet?

    2. Interactive Availability
    The Press Release appears to indicate that red button options for the mosaic option and the rolling highlights will be the race only. Can you therefore confirm that these services will not be available for Qualifying and Free Practice.

    3. Supports
    There is no mention of Support Race coverage in the Press Release. Will the BBC be providing any coverage of these?

    Overall, this is definitely a step forward in the coverage - especially for FTA. However, I can't help but be disappointed that it seems there will not be a proper onboard channel. The BBC has the capacity for this on Digital Satellite and it seems wasteful to go to the effort of receiving the feed from the circuit only to limit it to a mosaic view.

    Nonetheless, you are setting a new benchmark for FTA F1 coverage, and all of you involved should be very proud indeed.

  • Comment number 4.

    I simply can't wait now for the Friday Practice Sessions now!

    What more can the hardcore F1 fan ask for than ALL sessions on TV and Internet!

    Fanstastic news and well done guys!!!

  • Comment number 5.

    I understand there are channel limitations on freeview

    can you please clarify what streams will be available

    one of the main questions is - will there be full screen onboard feed available on digital satellite ?

    please can you basically clarify the interactive situation - it is still a grey area of the press release

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Roger, can you explain the Red Button options a bit more and how they will be work on the different digital platforms.

    It mentions split-screen feeds. Will we be able to watch the onboard and data screens full screen or only as part of this multiscreen?

    Also, will Jonathan and Martin be commentating on Fridays or will it just be the 5 Live team?

  • Comment number 7.

    what's going on with gp2? are you showing or is it going back to eurosport?

  • Comment number 8.

    I am staggered and very disappointed that there is no HD coverage in this day and age :(

    Darts, snooker and bowls is in HD but one the the most technically advanced, expensive, elite and high profile sports doesn't?!

  • Comment number 9.

    @ mattyceeee

    I agree it is rediculous

    The BBC wanted to provide us with HD coverage but those in charge of the event coverage (FOM/Bernie) don't think the time is right to go HD, and/or FOM don't have the funding to upgrade their broadcast equipment.

    It's worth pointing out that had there been an HD feed made available by the F1 broadcaster FOM, the BBC were (and are) fully ready to give it to us, which is great news for the future when it becomes available :-)

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi Roger,

    Would it be possible to clarify a few things?

    1) Multiple feeds - are these avaiable for ALL track sessions or just the race? I can see more people prefering to flick between feeds during the practice sessions, rather than risk missing out on the action during the race itself.

    2) The mulitple feeds - are the onboard and data channels going to be viewable in full screen or only as part of a mosaic screen?

    3) Support races - will the main support series be broadcast as part of the interactive package? Or are you handing these over to your mates at British Eurosport?

    Many thanks! :-)

  • Comment number 11.

    Hello Roger,

    Just 2 say really looking forward 2 the start of F1 i a sure the BBC will do a fantastic job as they always do with different sporting events.

    Slightly of topic are you planning to show any more Italian football on BBC3? It was a real treat being able to watch the Milan Derby live but was it just a one off?

  • Comment number 12.


    1 major question I don't think anyone has asked yet: Will "The Chain" still be the theme tune?

  • Comment number 13.

    Really looking forward to F1 on BBC (pity no HD, 5.1 sound and picture).

    Please keep an eye on picture quality! I have noticed that when BBC are making extensive use of Red Button to provide parallel channels the picture quality of the main channel can be degraded with digital artefacts; even if I have not invoked the red button.

    All when viewed on Philips 42pfl9803 via Sky HD. Same picture quality problems on FreeSat and FreeView.

    SD PQ can be good on BBC. Always good on Channel 5!

  • Comment number 14.

    @ Uber2009

    Ok i see now.

    Could the BBC not even 'upscale' the feed like Sky/C4 do?

    Whilst not a true HD is better than standard defination.

  • Comment number 15.

    Brundle's confirmed the return of the chain - awesome. I just hope the titles do it justice (who am I kidding, this isn't itv - BBC's graphics are usually excellent)

    Oh on a more websitey note - when's quotes of the week coming back? It's been 3 weeks.

  • Comment number 16.

    Glad to hear about the Chain - that's what I'm most concerned about in fairness. As long as it's the original recording and not some muzak/remix tosh!

    I'm fairly sure BBC's coverage will otherwise be spot on...

  • Comment number 17.

    Hi Roger,

    Firstly, I think on behalf of all F1 fans thank you for A) Getting the coverage back in the first place, B) Rescuing millions from Idiotic Television (ITV), and C) Using The Chain! A licence fee boycott has been avoided!

    What you have announced today is very impressive indeed; some great ideas in there, such as the interactive forums for example. I'm really pleased all practice sessions are to be shown on the Red Button as well.

    Also, great news about The Chain, as I said. I hope the BBC are not going to be tempted to put a silly soundtrack over it, like Match of the Day's incessant cheering every five seconds!

    At last no more Steve "I can't hold a microphone properly" Rider and Mark "I can't string a sentence together" Blundell, no more adverts, and hopefully no more “Lewis Hamilton is the only driver “coverage. It's looking great for the new season.

    Also, I think I speak on behalf of everyone on these Blog's that it is great that you take part, respond and take note of what people say. ITV could learn a thing or two. So thank you very much for that.

    Thanks for all the effort the BBC are putting into F1. Don’t lose the contract again!

  • Comment number 18.

    only thing im concerned about is if the in-car channel will only be avaliable as part of the split-screen, would be dissapointing should it not be avaliable as a full video screen on its own.

    i spent time in germany a few years ago and they have had an in-car channel avaliable for the past 10 years as a full stand along channel as well as part of a split-screen.

    so if they can have it why cant we?

  • Comment number 19.

    Well Roger, you took your time didnt you?
    Kept us all waiting, allowed the MotoGP fans to air their displeasure first.
    However some people have a short memory span.
    In 1996, the BBC were dragging F1 to its knees, some races werent shown live.
    ITV came in and swooped and showed Qualifying and Races live (or most of them) but all races were break to show panzy Horse Racing from Ascot.
    How I cringe then I read those who are anti ITV who dont know that they saved F1 from becoming a scrap-heap sport.
    But how 12 years have kicked BBC Sport into realising something...yes it looks good but why is Brazil Qualifying on BBC Two?
    You seem not to shift the Rugby and Football to BBC Two from BBC One so why is it different from F1?
    Also I too unhappy that BBC HD will not have F1 :( yet again the Rugby gets it...I know that isnt the BBC's fault but I hope Roger that you get that sorted for next season. (2010)
    Happy to read that the Red Button is being used but I too am shocked that it will be highlights, 2 camera angles and commentary F1 Digital set the bar and the BBC have theirs like its pathetic...surely you could do much better BBC!
    Also good to hear that TVC6 (or whichever one it is) will not have F1 haunting it and that Jake, David and Edddie will be at the track...will they do the same like ITV the pitlane? or some panzy studio away from the hubbub....but I will miss Steve Rider, Mark Blundell, James Allen and Louise Goodman...its going to be hard to try and adjust to this new team, epsically when Legards wasnt the 1st choice but I hope he does well alongside Brundle who is a genius in this sport and to nab DC was a great choice....roll on Australia and LIVE F1 ON THE BBC!
    (Is the Chaim really back Roger? We need it from the boss if it is back and its orginal format and not jazzed up victim like Match of the Day and the Snooker)

  • Comment number 20.

    What a shame you didn't bring Steve Rider back and that you brought the Chain back. I think you got those two round the wrong way!

    Roger, three questions from me:

    - Why are highlights on so early? I know in these days of iPlayer, etc., etc., but one thing ITV did right was ensuring the highlights were on after 10pm, to ensure that late developments (like Hamilton's penalty in Belgium) are covered by the crew on site.

    - In future years (if Canada/US are brought back) are the evening qualifying sessions always going to be put on BBC 2, like Brazil this year?

    - Red Button coverage: as above, can you clarify for Freeview viewers like myself.

    - Commentary: Will the option be available to listen to R5L commentary instead of the BBC1 team, with the pictures?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Comment number 21.

    Hi Roger,

    Just wanted to know will the one-hour highlights show that's going to be broadcast on BBC3 be repeated on either BBC1 or 2 later on? Perhaps, say, after Match Of The Day 2 or something like that? The reason I ask is that I don't have access to BBC3 on my cable package, but I do have BBC1 and 2, so I was hoping there might be a repeat of it on either of those channels.

  • Comment number 22.

    What was the point of this blog? I tells us absolutely nothing that we didn't already know or could 99.9% assume.

  • Comment number 23.

    Ref the US F1 team article at

    "Anderson has admitted that Patrick would be an attractive proposition for USF1 and is keen to see if the 26-year-old would fancy becoming to first female F1 driver. "

    Danica Patrick would not be the first female F1 driver. Lelle Lombardi competed in 12 races in the 1970s, scoring half a point. Desire Wilson also competed, and although she failed to qualify for any World Champioship F1 races, she did win a race in the British Aurora F1 series, becoming the only woman to date to win an F1 class event. There is also Giovanna Amati, who failed to qualify for the three races she attempted to start in 1992 and Wikipedia also lists Maria Teresa de Filippis for 1958 and 1959, and Divina Galica in 1976 and 1978 - two that I was unaware of. Neither of the latter managed to qualify.

  • Comment number 24.

    First, very disappointed with 'The Chain' coming back. Not EVERYONE is happy about this. Can't we move forward and not look back? This is a new era, with a new British World Champion. There are so many brilliant modern tunes that could have been considered.

    Second, the anti-Hamilton brigade are very vocal but not necessarily the majority. Facts: Lewis Hamilton has more FaceBook fans than any other driver put together on the grid (just look at the F1 Fanatic website for the statistics). In an online survey done by F1 Racing magazine and ING taking in 160 countries around the world and with over 70,000 respondents, Lewis was voted the most popular F1 driver with 27% of the vote, with the next driver coming in with 10% less votes. Lewis was second in BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2008 vote. The viewing figures for F1 last year and 2007 for ITV were record breaking mainly due to the emergence of Lewis. Silverstone sold out all three days last year and is selling out again this year, again mainly down to the Hamilton effect. I think the exclusive interview Lewis gave to ITV every race weekend last year was a brilliant idea, and to abandon in depth coverage of his campaign this year and not feature him heavily will put off a lot of the new fans and young fans who watch mainly for him. Of course feature the other drivers, but I can't understand why Lewis shouldn’t be given prominence when other British sports stars are, for instance in the Olympics and tennis and football. I think many Hamilton fans who mainly or only watch for him and have been drawn into the sport by him will be very disappointed by your coverage if he isn’t featured prominently. Remember these people don’t necessarily email their views, but they still make up the viewership. People usually are more likely to email when they are complaining than when they are praising.

    I hope you bear this in mind.

  • Comment number 25.

    God, can't believe some people are moaning about coverage of one qualifying session being on BBC2. Anyone who can get BBC1 can get BBC2 - I'd like to think there is nobody stupid enough in this country yet who hasn't worked out how to change channels yet.

    With a pledge for all the main races to be on BBC1, does this mean some other events which might normally be on BBC1 have been moved to accommodate it?

    Also, will F1 be the only "sport" on the BBC on Sunday afternoons now?

    I notice again in the last few weeks you've practically disappeared from Sunday afternoons on BBC2 - half an hour of Ski Sunday doesn't really count compared to the old Grandstand days. It makes the excuses made for not showing The Super League Show nationwide even weaker when there is clearly an hour to spare on BBC2 most Sunday afternoons - F1 or no F1!

  • Comment number 26.

    Thanks for the feedback. A lot of detailed questions about the red button/interactive, so I've asked my colleague Matt Millington who's in charge of that area to reply - which he'll do shortly.

    A couple of quick notes from me. To Hackerjack in #22: the point of the blog was to alert people to the media launch we did yesterday and to share the press pack more widely. But you don't have to read it!

    To WebbyFoxes in #19: you'll hear no criticism from me or my colleagues about the ITV coverage. They did a very good job. But all sports broadcasting has moved on in the past 12 years, and the BBC's more than most. We're now seen by audiences as best for innovation - which includes red button and this website, of course, and our Olympics coverage - which is a significant change.

    Finally, on highlights: we think it's a strong combination in re-runs for early races on BBC One; a regular highlights slot in peak-time on BBC Three (which should be available in all cable packages, turbowomble in #21); and then on-demand on the iPlayer. But all feedback welcome.

  • Comment number 27.

    What is going on with GP2 Roger?

  • Comment number 28.

    @ the boss (aka Roger Mosey)

    Would you be able to tell us what the situation is with the Formula One support races, like GP2, Formula BMW and the Porsche Supercup?

    Thanks. :)

    @ biglewisfan, it so much a 'anti-Hamilton brigade' but a 'pro F1 brigade'. When I got into motosport in 2004 it was because of the noise, the excitement, the passion. I was never waiting for some hyped up saviour of F1 to come along, I enjoy the sport for what it is, there was F1 before Hamilton and there'll be F1 after he's gone.

    Also I'd like to pick up on one of your point about "the exclusive interview Lewis gave to ITV every race weekend last year was a brilliant idea". He righteousness only did this because he refused to talk to ITV any other time, something his team mate Heikki Kovalainen did not have a problem with, as can be seen by how many times he talked to Martin Brundle on the grid pre-race. (How many times did our national darling Hamilton do this?)

    Of course Hamilton should receive a decent amount of coverage, but it shouldn't become 'the Lewis Hamilton show. Maybe this is all your average joe wants, but for hardcore fans like myself, the ones who will be watching free practice live in the middle of the night, this scenario would be massively decremental to the viewing experience.

    @WebbyFoxes, what's wrong with BBC2, for one session! lol

    It's only a button click away. ;)

  • Comment number 29.


    Firstly can i just say thank you as your coverage sounds fantastic and i look forward to the coming season.

    I would like to know about your plans for those who cannot watch the action (particularly practice) live. We know that there will be a sunday highlights programme, however what other plans are there? I would like to be able to watch as much as possible - do you plan to loop the sessions (in full/highlights) on the red button? Also will every session (Practice/Qualifying/Race) be availible in full on the iplayer?

    Can you say whether there are plans for a season preview show before the Australian GP?

    Finally are there plans to show any of the supporting race series (GP2/Porsche Super Cup/Formula BMW)? Again would these be availible to watch at a later date on the iplayer?


  • Comment number 30.

    @thesniper89, one can be a Lewis fan and pro F1 - they are not mutually exclusive. Lewis has lived up to the hype, so it's not really hype is it? I'm sure F1 will be around after he's gone, but he's going to be around for a long time as he's only 24, so why not celebrate a British champion while he's here? Is that too much to ask when we celebrate other British sports stars so vociferously?

    Your tone while discussing Lewis ("his righteousness" and "our national darling Hamilton") obviously speaks volumes. Some drivers did not want their concentration broken pre-race and thus did not speak on the grid (Lewis wasn't the only one) but he was more than willing to talk at other times on the track. He does so much to promote F1 by going to kart tracks and encouraging up and coming young racers. It is a shame there is so much sarcasm and dislike in your tone.

    I too will be watching free practice live at whatever time it is shown and will get up at unGodly hours to watch everything live. The assumption you seem to have is that if you are an LH fan, you are not a dedicated F1 fan which is far from the truth. It would be detrimental to the coverage to not feature him heavily.

  • Comment number 31.

    Matt Millington – Interactive TV editor

    Well, it's encouraging to see so much interest in the red button and online offerings! There are a fair few questions about the onboard/in-car stream, so I shall answer those first. Our stream will offer a split-screen composite which will include the main network coverage, the on-board coverage and a ticker-style leaderboard, the exact design of which is still being finalised. Our rights agreement prevents us from offering any extra data over and above the leaderboard.

    The reason we have opted for this combined feed over a full-screen onboard stream is that we believe that it will make for a more watchable experience. Sticking simply to the onboard would give little idea to the viewer what is happening in the rest of the race. Our experience of similar offerings with other sports is that viewers quickly tire of 'restricted' views and tend to revert back to the main coverage. However, we note the interest in a full-screen option of the onboard and will review our position after the first few races.

    In anticipation of responses asking why we cannot offer both options on the web, we are restricted to the number of streams we can offer at the start of the season, although we hope to extend the number of streams later on in the season.

    Live coverage of all practice sessions will be made available on all platforms, with commentary supplied by the Radio Five Live/Sports Extra team. Radio Five Live commentary will also be offered as an option for qualifying and main race. Highlights will of course be made available after the race on the red button and online. If space permits we will also aim to offer full replays on the red button. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer coverage of the support races.

    On race day, Freeview viewers will generally receive the onboard composite with alternative commentary, plus the rolling highlights, but we will occasionally have to drop the rolling highlights if it clashes with other events.

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm not a fan of any particular driver but of the sport in general, however there's a perfectly valid hypotheses that without Lewis Hamilton we wouldn't be getting the BBC coverage we are promised for this season. So good on him.............

  • Comment number 33.

    Thanks for your answers Matt.

    Please add me to the list of people who would like the option of full-screen onboard footage. I appreciate that you have a finite number of screens to play with, especially on Freeview, but I feel this would be far more useful that rolling highlights.

    To people disappointed that there won't be a data feed, keep in mind that a live timing screen is available on the official F1 website.

  • Comment number 34.

    I've watched every GP2 race live on ITV for the last couple of years and I'm very disappointed that that the BBC won't be showing it. Please sell the rights to a channel on Freeview eg. Dave

  • Comment number 35.

    another thing, surely live GP2 would be more entertaining than a qualifying forum

  • Comment number 36.

    Thanks for the response Matt. I, and I know a lot of others would agree, strongly would prefer a full screen onboard option, however I can see why you've gone for a split screen.

    I'd like to know why support races won't be on the BBC.... I'd have liked to see them on BBC; it seems like support races like GP2 will get worser coverage now than last year when ITV covered it... ITV did a good job with GP2 last year and my hope was BBC would take over.

  • Comment number 37.

    On the topic of theme music for sports programmes I have what I think is a great idea.

    For all Olympics coverage the Grandstand theme tune should be used. The tune speaks for all of Britain's sports that will be played at the Olympics and is far better than the awful one in 2008.

    On F1, yes its all well and good you've got all the online, interactive footage etc. but I can't be swayed into thinking that your main coverage will be any different from ITV's barring advert breaks. It is almost exactly the same set up. This isn't bad because ITV was good. All I'm saying is that its hard to get any more excited about it.

  • Comment number 38.

    Thanks for you comments Matt.

    I was extremely disappointed to hear the news of a mosaic screen, ive seen this sort of setup before and even on my 32" CRT it just doesn't work.

    Text is unledgable, car is just an undefined blob moving round a box and thats without the extra main feed in there too, all very unsatisfactory.

    I would imagine the average fan wouldnt even look past the main feed, the idea of the extra feeds is presumably to cater for the hardcore fans and im puzzled as to how this mosaic achieves this.

  • Comment number 39.

    I would dearly love to be able to choose the sound volume of the commentary, so that I can have the car noise loud.

    There was talk of a commentary-free stream, is that a possibility still?

    It would be ideal to have the 5 Live stream like that and we have the commentary on an actual radio, so we can adjust it as we like.

  • Comment number 40.

    the fact that there will be no full screen option for the ONBOARD feed on SATELLITE is quite frankly rediculous.
    Terrestrial I can understand, but satellite .... seriously?

    The rest of the coverage is looking very good though, well done on the organisational side

    should be great

  • Comment number 41.

    @biglewisfan, Yes you are very much correct, you can be a Hamilton fan and a dedicated F1 fan. But as a dedicated fan like myself surely you can see where I'm coming from, I'm interested in the performance of all 20 (or 18) drivers on the grid, not just my favourites (Raikkonen and Vettel). My comments were more aimed at people who couldn't give two hoots about F1 and just watch to see 'our boy' win. Sorry, I've never been patriotic when it comes to motorsport and I don't like some of Hamilton's on and off track behaviour.

    I do apologise for my tone though, the past few years of ITV have made me rather bitter about this subject. lol

    @Matt, for me the ideal situation on freeview would be for the 'split-screen composite' to be on 301, with the full screen onboard on 302 (obviously only when available i.e. not during Wimbledon ect...). I know a lot of people (including myself) were hoping to have the world feed on their main TV with the onboard channel on a smaller screen via freeview, or watch the whole of free practice onboard, where the World feed is not so important. IMO, a highlights feed is not needed till after the race.

    Question though, will this 'split-screen composite' be available for every session?

    I would also like to express my great disappointment that the F1 supports will not be shown by the BBC, especially the GP2 races which in the past have been the highlight of the Grand Prix weekend...

  • Comment number 42.

    Hi Matt,

    Your remarks of viewers tiring of the onboard channel in itself are legitimate enough. However, it seems silly not to offer it on DVB-S when you usually have so much spare capacity.

    Additionally, I fail to see the logic in choosing rolling highlights over the onboard channel. Extremely few people are going to join a race and then spend time reviewing what has happened, risking missing yet more of the race.

    Despite this, please do continue on with your efforts to secure more web streams. Getting the Onboard Channel live online would actually be the best way for you to broadcast. Why? Well there are a substantial number of hardcore fans who use their PC during a race to use the Live Timing, an Onboard stream alongside this would work perfectly.

    An online onboard stream therefore will help alleviate your concerns over 'viewer fatigue' as most will be watching it alongside the World Feed.

  • Comment number 43.

    What is going to end up on iPlayer? All the sessions, in full? Or just the highlights of the race? Or perhaps something in between?

    Thanks. Looks like fantastic coverage!!

  • Comment number 44.

    Thanks for bringing F1 back to the BBC :)

    A few comments.

    If we are showing the Highlights on BBC3, please can we get rid of the hideous pink DOG logo for the broadcast?

    Another vote here for GP2 coverage. It is often more interesting than the GP (there, I've said it!)

    On the multi screen option, please don't use most of the screen real-estate with background graphics. Tiny pictures embedded in huge backgrounds will result in the facility not being used.

    Please don't show highlights on the mixed screen - trying to watch the race, and seeing an incident out of the corner of the eye on the highlights screen is most un-nerving. It makes it impossible to watch.

    Please show the highlights later (maybe a repeat later in the week - logo free) for those of us who have been out watching a race elsewhere in the country and haven't made it home in time! Recorders don't always work...

    Thanks for using The Chain - this is still used at Kart tracks around the country at the start of races - it's that associated with Racing! Well done.

  • Comment number 45.

    @thesniper89, I can certainly understand that you want to see all 18 (20) drivers on the grid featured in the coverage, and so do I. My point is that Lewis Hamilton should be afforded the same proportion of coverage as he would get if it was another sport televised by the BBC (i.e. tennis, the Olypmpics) for being British, not only because that is what other sports coverage does, but because I would say the bulk of the audience would be disappointed if it were not so. I am not patriotic either despite being a Lewis fan, but am just tired of the anti-Hamilton comments about coverage when the same complaints are never made about other sports’ blanket British coverage.

    I do take issue with your comments about Hamilton on and off the track. I have not seen one item written by anyone who’s actually met him who can say he is not the most genuine, down to Earth and charming guy. As for on the track, his skill and willingness to overtake have reinvigorated the sport after a boring slump with the Schumacher years. He is also a fantastic ambassador for the sport compared to the monotone, reticent Raikkonen and the sulky Alonso.

    Anyway, one thing we can all agree on is that we are all champing at the bit for 27th March 2009!

  • Comment number 46.

    Hi, i would just like to express my wishes for a full screen onboard channel. i think reducing it to a smaller screen makes it more difficult to follow and is therefor less intresthing to watch. Also an alternative would be to show the world feed in a small pip to bottom of the onboard being shown full screen with ambient onboard sound being used.

  • Comment number 47.

    Real dissapointed that the Onboard channel will only be avaliable as part of the Split-Screen :(

    I'd much rather have it avaliable as a seperate Full Screen feed.

    Thus far this is my only real gripe with what's been announced, pretty much everything else (Apart from lack of GP2) has been great.

  • Comment number 48.

    If this split-screen composite is here to stay as it seems, have you entertained the idea of having this broadcast on the HD channel?

    Seems like a logical solution to the problem and an excellent marketing opportunity.

    Im sure that would make many people very happy.

  • Comment number 49.

    @ biglewisfan, I am sure he's a nice guy, if there's one thing that all ITV's lifestyle pieces taught us it's that Hamilton is a nice guy, as is his lovely dad and brother. My problem with Hamilton stems back to 2007, I can't believe that he was as innocent in the Alonso Vs McLaren battle as he likes to admit, I can't stand Alonso but I think the way the team treated him was awful and ultimately led to them not winning the championship with either driver.

    I also don't like how he acts on track sometimes either, for example Monza '08 when he tried to run Webber and Glock off the track when it was totally unnecessary. This is made worse by the way he tries to act all innocent and pretend he doesn't know what he's done wrong. If your going to be the bad boy on track at least admit your doing it!

    My final issue isn't really his fault but that of the media. How can he be lauded as the greatest, frequently being compared to Senna, when he so frequently makes mistakes when under pressure? He's impressively fast but too often flounders, in the future he'll probably make less mistakes and then I'll be more open to suggestions of his greatness. At the moment though, IMO, he's as comparable to Bruno Senna as he is Ayrton...

  • Comment number 50.

    Back on-topic, it's interesting to see above how many people would rather have the onboard channel full screen then as part of a mosaic type picture. Interesting...

  • Comment number 51.

    id like to add my name to the list of people that would prefer to see an in-car channel as a fullscreen option.

    ive used splitscreen before with f1 and always found them difficult to watch, having the in-car as a seperate option would be miles better than having it as part of a splitscreen.

    with that exception everything else sounds great and i look forward to viewing f1 on bbc once again :)

  • Comment number 52.

    Excited about the new season and the BBC,s plans for the coverage. I for one am not too fussed about the lack of support races, despite being a F1 fan for 20 years I have never really bothered to watch GP2 or F3000 when they were shown on ITV or Eurosport.

    I would have loved the timing and scoring screen to be available but if it was a choice between no adverts and the timing screen, there is no contest. I know ITV had to show adverts but they missed too many incidents over the last 12 years.

    Webbyfox - I remember all races being shown live from around 1994 (Brazil and Canada were the last ones not to be shown live - I remember watching the Brazilian GP one year on Ceefax!). ITV did a great job overall but do not have the volume of other sport that the BBC has commitments to but ITV were quick to drop coverage when it suited them (remember the press conference not being shown in the early years and qualifying for the US GP only shown on a delayed basis?).

    Anyway time has moved on from the last BBC GP in 1996 and the almost disappointment of some people (who seem to be expecting 10 feeds of the face on the red button) just refects how high the BBC have set the bar with their major events coverage for other sports. We should appreciate that the BBC give viewers the opportunity to respond to the coverage - I do not see Sky Sports or ITV having a Blog like this!

    Would it not be better to show the on-board feed in full screen rather than the highlights loop?

    I would love some archive footage to be shown too. Maybe also a Mansell feature as he more than anyone brought Formula 1 to the attention of the masses in the UK. Wheel to wheel with Senna, passing Piquet at Silverstone, tyre blowing in Adelaide, legendary last 10 laps at Monaco, World Championship etc etc.

    Would have loved it in HD too but I appreciate that this is not the BBC's fault. The money for a HD TV can sit in the bank for a bit longer.

    Glad you listened to Fleetwood Mac when they said "never break the chain"!

  • Comment number 53.

    To those who have replied to my comments - yes I am a bit annoyed but why does Brazil have to be on BBC2, yet Rugby is on BBC1 at the same time.
    Also I think the BBC

  • Comment number 54.

    To Roger, I didnt say you critised ITV's coverage, I was saying that they did a superb job dragging it from the old BBC Sport 12 years ago and now the BBC must deliver what it is promising...which looks good.
    Remember Roger, we want to see you go above what ITV has done for the Sport, we dont want to see the dark days back and neither do you, youve said, the coverage of Sports has been vastly improved...even under your direction, I must say I watch more Sport on the BBC then I would on Sky or ITV!
    Also, Brekkie..Why does one Qualifying have to be on BBC2 though?
    Rugby gets first priority in recent weeks on BBC1, why should F1 get pushed?
    and emiliolargo - Yes ITV did a few things that it isnt proud, but it showed all races live....the BBC didnt at all and even cut races..I mean it took the BBC up untill 1994 to show Qualifying and it was on the most saddest weekends F1 has suffered, ITV dragged it up and showed them (either live or delayed) but at least ITV showed all races live and it did cut press conferences and the odd advert was scheduled poorly and we do hope that the BBC has been watching.
    Oh and Roger, please can you answer the Chain back or is it something else?
    Please tell us, I dont want to wait for the preview show and 95% of us to be disappionted.

  • Comment number 55.

    I am slightly disappointed on the interactive plans. Roger explains how TV coverage of sport has come a long long way in the last decade, but as a subscriber to the PPV F1 service in 2002, the BBC service seems to have taken a step back.

    I would like to make 2 comments for the team to go an look at:

    On board - this really needs to be a full frame channel, maybe with a small insert to show the main race action. If you have capacity issues, discuss internally if you need rolling highlights during the race. Everyone complained about missing action because of adverts on ITV, so it anyone actually going to tune off to a highlights service during the live race.

    Data Feed - I think the BBC need to explain to Bernie the need for BBC to show the data channel for the good of the sport. In 2007 Ross Brawn even said how isolated he felt watching at home with no access to the raw data. From using this facility on line, this information provided a whole new experience to what is going on on the track compared to what the commentators and the TV pictures can show. What ever you do a leader board is a waste of time, the main on screen captions provide this adequately. Think what other data you can provide actually adds value.

    Apart from these 2 point really looking forward to some fantastic coverage from what is shaping up to be a top team.

  • Comment number 56.

    Just to add I would love the full-screen option for on board to be available. Whether this be in addition to or instead of the mosaic.

    Ideally live timing would have been good as well however that can be obtained @ on the web :)

  • Comment number 57.

    @ thesniper89, again with the sarcasm about Lewis and why drag his brother and father into it? ITV didn’t teach anything about Lewis’ character – you only have to read reports in local newspapers about him visiting numerous kart tracks to inspire youngsters and hear the reports of how marvellous he is when he’s there. You only have to have been at an F1 event as a fan to see his true character. As for the Alonso/Hamilton debacle, Lewis fought his corner because he is a racer and likes to win. If he rolled over and accepted Alonso’s ultimatum to the team to give him preferential treatment or else, he wouldn’t be the type of character who ended up as World Champion would he? Monza last year was one of the most exciting and skilful examples of his racing, bringing F1 back to the old days of daring racing and overtaking. Maybe you’re too used to watching processions – if you look at footage of past racers you would see Lewis is of their ilk. He has nothing to confess to as he’s done nothing wrong.

    As to the comparisons to Senna, I think they are completely valid. In the official F1 review book for 2008, every team engineer speaks about the previous year. The McLaren spokesman said Lewis helps to take the car to the limit and his driving is reminiscent of Schumacher and Senna. That is a current engineer talking, not an ITV commentator and the fact that he is a McLaren employee is irrelevant. Lewis came within a point of the championship in his first year, and won in his second year, and yet you are nitpicking about mistakes. And to compare him to Bruno Senna is ludicrous – Lewis became champion in all the feeder formula series, including GP2. Where did Bruno Senna come last year in GP2? Certainly not first. Maybe Lewis can’t be called an all time great yet, but he’s certainly on his way.

  • Comment number 58.

    Have to say i'm really disapointed about GP2 (other supports im not that fussed about) - last year it was great to see GP2 live on ITV4 - free in widescreen etc.

    I think its a shame - can't you just switch on 5 minutes before the race with two commentators (the BBC have four at each event!) and literally just show the race - no one expects or needs anything else (eurosport used this formula for years!).

    Anyway i really hope GP2 turns up on Dave or another freeview channel as not everyone has sky/cable and therefore eurosport/setanta etc.

  • Comment number 59.

    Roger - I hear you'll soon be known as Barbara!

    Best of luck to the both of you in your new roles.

  • Comment number 60.

    @ biglewisfan, I wasn't being sarcastic! lol

    I'm sure Lewis is a nice guy in person, and I honestly think he's dad and brother are really nice people as well, especially when he was saying that nice stuff to Massa's family after Lewis won the title. Watching ITV pre race show you couldn't help but see how nice Hamilton is. lol

    I am afraid I have to take exception to these comments: "bringing F1 back to the old days of daring racing and overtaking. Maybe you?re too used to watching processions ? if you look at footage of past racers you would see Lewis is of their ilk." I think you'll find until Senna came along forcing other drivers off the track was very much frowned upon, if you look into this subject you'll find that Senna was equally criticised at the time for his actions. Lewis easily had the pace to pass Glock and Webber cleanly so why did he resort to such dirty tactics? Another example of Lewis's inability to deal properly we pressure IMO.

    Plus why do you act like we've had no racing for decades and Hamilton has changed this? I am guessing you never saw Suzuka '05, watch that and you'll see amazing racing from Raikkonen and Alonso with the need to force people off the track.

    About Bruno Senna, he has raw talent but makes too many mistakes, IMO, rather like Lewis. So I say he's as comparable to Bruno as he is Ayrton.

    Anyway, you like him, I don't particularly. It'd be boring if we all supported the same person. ;)

  • Comment number 61.

    Roger, can you please answer these 2 questions:

    1) Why will the onboard channel not be available full screen on Red Button, despite the clear majority asking for it to be so?

    2) What is happening with the support races, your colleague said they won't be shown on Red Button, so what is happening?

    Thank you.

  • Comment number 62.

    Just to explain Brekkie's reference in #59: it was announced yesterday that my successor as Director of Sport will be Barbara Slater, who's currently our Head of Production. Thanks to Brekkie for the kind words - genuinely appreciated - though you'll be disappointed to know Barbara and I were working together and as one on Grandstand and related themes!

    I'm moving full-time to be BBC Director of London 2012 at Easter, but I'll carry on blogging on this site because there are big issues around the Olympics and I want to share them as much as possible.

    Replies to the other points on F1 will follow later...

  • Comment number 63.

    Roger, many thanks for your part in acquiring F1 for the BBC and the genuine enhancements in coverage we are promised over ITV.
    Good luck in your new position.

  • Comment number 64.

    General question: I presume Barbara Slater will be taking over some of the Sport Editors' Blog then from Easter?

    And good luck for you both in your respective new positions.

  • Comment number 65.

    @thesniper89, I don't mind people supporting who they want. What I take exception to is unwarranted and unjustified criticism of someone, in this case Hamilton. You may have thought Hamilton used "dirty tactics" at Monza, but I thought it was exciting, clean racing. I also think that such a young man doing what Hamilton did in his first two years of F1, with all the immense pressures of the media and the competition, as well as having to deal with unfair FIA penalties, jealous "sniping" rivals and the pressure to prove that he could take the championship, was remarkable and showed that he can deal phenomenally with pressure, quite the opposite of what you say. He also gets his every move and utterance scrutinised and criticised whereas other drivers can get away with practically anything. I don’t think that is recognised enough.

  • Comment number 66.

    Sorry you are going Roger... any chance you can ensure blogging is high on the handover agenda - Barbara's previous effort on a horseracing theme was a little weak really!

    You have set a realy high standard on this which has been hugely appreciated by large numbers of people. I love the BBC but it has always felt very remote to me, so this opportunity of engaging with the man at the top has been quite a privilege. The message is simply blog often and, very critically, respond frequently to points raised, which has been your particular skill - and often at off peak hours of the day or evening too. Thanks again.

  • Comment number 67.

    Hi Roger

    As some people in other countries are hoping to 'piggyback' on the F1 coverage on the BBC website, will the website coverage only be available in the UK, or to people in other countries as well?

  • Comment number 68.

    Well Roger, its sad to hear that you are moving to your new role in Easter.
    You have grabbed BBC Sport and gave it a kick up the you know where and done some good and also 'controversal' we all know was VERY controversal!
    But youve done good for the Sport department and I hope that your successor keeps up the good work.

  • Comment number 69.

    We've heard a lot about the red button options on Freeview, but is there going to be more choice/options on cable and satellite? Can you give us any details on this?

  • Comment number 70.

    I'm surprised many of the above posters didn't apply for the post of Director of Sport as they seem to know everything!

    Good luck to Roger, and to Barbara, I for one appreciate the time and effort you spent to make these bloggs and put up with some of the juvenille responses!

  • Comment number 71.

    I would also like to share the sentiments of my fellow bloggers, I have greatly appreciated the time you've spent reading and replying to people's opinions. I'd also like to thank your for securing the F1 rights, I am sure your time at the top of BBC Sport will be remembered fondly by hardcore F1 fans. :)

    I look forward to the further replies you mentioned in your previous post, any further information on the F1 supports situation would be helpful.

  • Comment number 72.

    I'm in danger of becoming all emotional at the compliments - even from the people who used to demand I resign over on Digital Spy! But seriously: many thanks to Harry and Sniper and Webby and Gary-E and anafurn and D_M_N and all the rest.

    As threatened, though, I'm not going away. There are still blogs to come here about some editorial and rights issues; and then we'll look at whether the best place for the 2012 blog is either under this banner or on a more customised Olympics site.

    Now on to some of the business questions. I had a chat with my colleague Matt Millington again today and (1) we want to re-emphasise his point that we'll review audience feedback early on in the season; and (2) the on-board cameras will be full-screen on this website, so it's only on red button that they'll be part of a mosaic. His full explanation is in #31 if you missed it.

    Webby in #54 - it's definitely The Chain, yes.

    Stevvy in #67 - we're contractually required to limit the online service to the UK.

    Four weeks to go...

  • Comment number 73.

    What's going on with GP2?

  • Comment number 74.

    Absolutely brilliant, full screen on the website is the compromise that I was looking for.

    Enormous thanks, Roger.

  • Comment number 75.


    I've heard on various blogs and forums of a trailer for the upcoming season that has been broadcast. Do you know when this is broadcast? Is it avaliable on a BBC website or as a YouTube video?

    Four weeks to go indeed. I'm sure everyone at the BBC is getting excited! I know I am!

  • Comment number 76.

    Any ideas Roger if we'll be getting any F1 *themed shows* (dunno if that's the right word for it) before the start of the new season or within the season to link in with the F1?


  • Comment number 77.

    Are the Top Gear guys going to be doing any F1 stuff?

  • Comment number 78.

    Just a quick comment to say all the best Roger in your new role for 2012. I think you've done a fanatstic job.

    Still a shame people cannot seem to grap the concept that a certain sports programme is no longer broadcast!!!

    Can't wait for F1 to start.. Duh, Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh......

  • Comment number 79.

    Cheers for the reply regarding the internet feed and whether people in other countries can see it Roger. How do the BBC plan to ensure only UK viewers can see the feed on the BBC website?

  • Comment number 80.

    Hopefully Barbara will be as thick skinned as you, but it's been a privilege to be able to share our moans with you (I've got one coming up in a minute) and for you to answer them - and generally honestly too, none of this ignoring the question lark you get on Points of View.

    One request for the blogs though - it would be great for all the sport blogs to have one page where they can be viewed easily (as it was when there was just one). Now there are 5 or 6 pages to view - which isn't actually better.

    Anyhow - the moan. Rugby - kick-off 8pm. Programme starts - 8pm. Stupid decision and BBC2 could easily have sacrificed the extra half-hour nationwide. I did watch the (excellent) first half hour on BBCi (sorry, BBC Red Button), but then just as they crossed live to the action we had a switch to Radio Wales commentary, and then I flicked over to BBC2 and they were still showing trailers.

    The one benefit though of the first half-hour being only on BBC Wales and BBCi was that tonight's match was the main focus point - England were barely mentioned.

  • Comment number 81.

    P.S. Also, putting your 2012 hat back on I notice there is a three-part special starting on BBC2 next week. Any more details?

  • Comment number 82.

    Many, many thanks for your efforts in bringing F1 coverage back to the BBC, Roger. Hope Babs follows your lead in every way! :-)

    If I see you walking the streets, I'll kiss you on the forehead to show my appreciation. Please don't call the police.

    A whole season of live, uninterrupted F1 racing - and not forking out £12 a race for it. F1 Digital + was the future of F1 coverage then. BBC F1 is the future of F1 coverage now - a service that will hopefully continue, and be built upon, for many years to come.

    Thank you for starting it. :-)

  • Comment number 83.

    I still see no reason why the onboard feed can't be FULL SCREEN on SATELLITE, but I guess that's my only bad thing to say about the proposed coverage

    which is I suppose a very high compliment

  • Comment number 84.

    HNMonster in #83: can you send me your picture first so I know who to look out for? (And alert any relevant authorities...)

    JimmyBantam365 in #78: we're both Bradford City fans so good we're sticking together - especially after my experience watching them last Saturday at Barnet.

    Off-topic with Brekkie in #80: yes, the scheduling was difficult. In fairness, we were live on BBC Two Wales from 7.30pm and live on the red button across the UK as you saw. BBC Two network also came to us about three minutes early because we'd spotted the problem. But we wanted a slight delay in the KO time so we could cover the preliminaries in full and unfortunately that didn't happen.

    And Brekkie again in #81: I've seen the programmes and I may blog about them soon. Worth watching.

    Back to F1: to stevvy in #79 - there's robust "geo-blocking" technology in place on the BBC and similar websites. It's a challenge in a digital world, but rights management obligations have to be met - and almost all major rights are confined to individual countries.

    To GFasulo in #75 and others - there's a trail campaign launching in March. It's based around the theme of "the world's greatest car chase".

  • Comment number 85.

    Roger, can we assume that the silence with regards to support races is because you are trying to negotiate a deal to offload them to another broadcaster?

  • Comment number 86.

    Why aren't you showing GP2?

  • Comment number 87.

    Thank you for answering Roger. Sounds great.

  • Comment number 88.

    Hi Roger, thanks for answering Q's. I'd like to re-ask a couple that seem to have been forgotten about.

    Firstly on the press release it says on race day we will have the multi-screen options etc - does this mean they wont be availible for any other session?

    Also will practice (and qualifying) be either (or both) looped in full on the red button/availible on the iplayer? This is a crucial sticking point for me as like many i won't be able to see certain practice/qualifying/races. Do you also happen to know if the iplayer content will be availble through Virgin media's tv service?

    Thanks for your help and good luck with your new job.

  • Comment number 89.

    Hi again Roger, I'm guessing you can't say anything about the F1 support races at the moment, but if your working on moving it elsewhere would you be able to update us at a later date? If yes, any idea when this might be?

    Thanks. :)

  • Comment number 90.

    Nice to see that BBC will be having a trailer for it. IMO, it'd be nice for it to have The Chain as the music for it... it'd seem "wrong" to have music that is in no way related to F1.

    I can imagine it now in the trailer... the cars line up slowly duh.. duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh doom..... as the music gets louder the cars accelerate off. =P

    Yeah... please use The Chain.... viewers will immediately recongise it. No matter what it'd be better than any of the trailers ITV have produced for F1!

  • Comment number 91.

    Thanks Roger for those kind words - just a shame we blew it again today @ Notts County!

    Just a quick question although it may be obvious but will the programmes be under the old 'Grand Prix' banner?

  • Comment number 92.

    @D.M.N #90
    (Churchill dog voice) No, no, no.

    @Roger & team: String it out a bit more. Play any part of the music EXCEPT the most famous bit...

    You could do some great previews opening with the intro to the song, throw in the 'never break the chain' bits - and it comes to a sudden end just before the 'dums'.. voiceover tells us if we want to hear it, we've gotta watch at such and such a time.

    D.M.N's idea would be good for the main intro. Or, you could do as Sniff Petrol says:

    "Bring back The Chain as the theme tune. This is what the people want from F1. Not flashy graphics, not seamless punditry, just turning on the telly of a Sunday afternoon to hear ‘bumm bu-bu-bumm bu-bu-bububu-bummm…’ and then that ace bit where it gets all exciting and the guitar goes ‘nangnangnangnangnangnangah!’ NB: This MUST coincide with a shot of an F1 car bottoming out and sparks coming off the bottom. It’s THE LAW."

  • Comment number 93.

    Is there any news for F1 in HD and any plans for it next year. Its a real shame if you dont manage to get F1 in HD as i think it would look amazing.

    Also are there any plans for exclusive interviews with some of the dirvers I.E Lewis and Massa.

    Also is it possible to view technical info about the cars via the Red Button like maybe be able to view things the Pit-Stop people see like Live Weather and how their F1 car is performing etc.. ? I think that would be a real bonus.

  • Comment number 94.

    Thesniper in #89 is right - as veteran readers of this blog know, we don't comment on current rights issues. But as soon as we can, we will.

  • Comment number 95.

    Hi Roger,

    As many people keep asking - why haven't you got HD for F1?

    Not that it matters to me, it's just I'm in Australia and even they are getting HD coverage (and they only got freeview last month - it's like travelling back to the 90s)

  • Comment number 96.

    @tarquin: This ( will interest you. Specific quote:

    "Andrew Knight asks whether cost issues are conditioning our thinking about Formula 1 and HD - the answer is no, not really. A decision about F1 and HD sits primarily with the rights holder (F1/Bernie Ecclestone), rather than with the BBC. We are keen to do it as soon as possible."

  • Comment number 97.

    @ Roger in #84: We've had previous blog posting on the Geo-blocking and I know I've posted on the subject before, but what is going to be done to ensure this "robust-ness" doesn't prohibit actual legitimate people from connecting.

    Case in point was with the Olympics last summer - I was on business, so connecting from an office and hotel in the north west, but consistantly told that I was "outside the UK".

    As such any provision for us license fee payers who for one reason or the other get these messages? Being directed to a "inform us of your problems" link is neither helpful nor resolves the situation in the short term (i.e. whilst the event is in progress).

    Do await your answer and do hope your successor is as good at coming back to points made on these blogs. Do hope the BBC's Sports Editor learns about the value of these debates too.

  • Comment number 98.

    Hi again Roger and Matt,

    I might have a compromise solution for the coverage of the onboard channel. It's obvious from posts here and on other forums that there's a decent bit of demand for this, but I also understand that with limited capacity you might wish to show rolling highlights.

    So how about this:

    Show the onboard channel for the first half of the race, where most of the close action traditionally takes place. Then, once there's actually some highlights worth showing, switch that stream to rolling highlights.

    Viola! Everybody's happy. Simples!

  • Comment number 99.

    To BigBadDaveB and all other posts: thanks for the feedback - and noted. On HD, though: to repeat, it's simply not available on the world feed.

    JordanD in #97: this is a bit beyond my technical expertise, so I've asked our controller of internet. He says the most common issue is people whose ISP is based abroad - or who may access the web via a company system where that's also based overseas. So even if you're geographically in the UK, you're blocked from the content. I'm not sure there's much we can do about this because of our contractual obligation to restrict service to the UK, but we'll monitor any problems and will do our best to solve them when we can.

  • Comment number 100.

    This to add the the previous comments Roger. Good luck with your new job and thank you. You have done an excellent job with BBC Sport (apart from Grandstand!) and coming on here to answer lots of our questions and comments is greatly appriciated.

    I have to agree with Brekkie #80 it was poor on Friday night to start the programme albeit earlier than billed so close to kick-off. Luckily it was available on Freeview so I didn't miss out. Otherwise I'm a fan of the odd Friday night international.


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