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Vettel underlines title credentials with sublime drive

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Andrew Benson | 21:44 UK time, Sunday, 28 August 2011

At Spa-Francorchamps

Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber finished one-two in the Belgian Grand Prix after drives that can compare with many of those that have entered the annals of Formula 1 history from the famous Spa-Francorchamps track.

The two men went into the race on Sunday well aware of their team's concerns that their front tyres could fail.

Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey said it was "one of the scariest races I've been involved in", and the mind boggles as to the bravery of the drivers in that situation.

Spa's high-speed sweeps are arguably the biggest challenge a grand prix driver can face. Although safety has improved immensely at the circuit in the modern age, it remains an old-school race track, on which there are places "you wouldn't want to go off," as Webber put it in his BBC Sport column last week.

The drivers sounded phlegmatic about it after the race, but they were well aware of the potential seriousness of the situation. "We took quite a lot of risk," Vettel said. But, he added, "when there is a chance to win, we go for it".

Of all the many qualities that make grand prix drivers different from ordinary mortals, this has to be one of the most striking.

Call it bravery, call it lack of imagination, but Vettel and Webber went into the race, committed themselves to the 180mph rollercoaster ride through Eau Rouge, having put their lives in the hands of calculations by their engineers about how long their tyres would last.

The height of concern was in the early stages of the race, when the cars were running on tyres that Newey said Pirelli had told them "were very marginal and at five o'clock yesterday they wouldn't say after half a lap or five laps but they were going to fail".

Vettel and Webber's one-two in Belgium continued Red Bull's domination of this year's championship. Photo: Reuters

Red Bull's engineers had calculated that they could be pretty sure Webber's tyres would last two or three laps, and Vettel's five - which is when the two men made their first pit stops.

Red Bull were not the only team to suffer blistering, but theirs was worse than any of their rivals.

The situation caused controversy because they were running their cars with a greater degree of camber - lean away from vertical - on their front tyres than supplier Pirelli recommends.

Pirelli motorsport chief Paul Hembery chose his words carefully after the race, but I understand there were strong words between Pirelli and Newey before the race, and that there may be less tolerance of any team who choose to go beyond Pirelli's advice in the future.

It is yet another example of how Newey pushes every parameter to the limit, an approach that allied with his genius for aerodynamic design, has led him to create so many dominant cars, of which this year's Red Bull RB7 is just the latest in a long line.

With everything that was involved - the bravery, the tyre management, racing and overtaking Fernando Alonso's Ferrari, it has to rank as one of the best of Vettel's 17 victories.

Both Newey and team principal Christian Horner described it as a "mature" drive, and, as Newey pointed out: "Mark's race was every bit as good."

Webber was compromised first by a poor start, caused when his anti-stall kicked in, and then by a radio miscommunication that meant he did not follow his team-mate into the pits under the safety car period that followed Lewis Hamilton's collision with Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi.

That committed him to a long middle stint on the slower 'medium' tyre, at the beginning of which he showed bravery of a different but no less remarkable kind.

On lap nine, Webber passed Alonso on the outside going into Eau Rouge, pulling alongside on the hill down from La Source, nosing in front, and refusing to concede.

The two men are good friends, and they always race hard but fair, giving each other just enough room in such situations, but this incident was right on the edge.

"That boy must have some balls to do that - on the outside into Eau Rouge," Horner said. "Phenomenal. Pass of the day.

"Fernando was professional and gave him enough room to work with. Mark was always going to brave it out around the outside. I think we all closed our eyes."

Of course, Vettel and Webber's one-two was facilitated by the huge performance advantage of their cars.

Alonso appeared to be in the running for victory until his team chose not to stop under the safety car, but he insisted that was an illusion, saying Red Bull had a pace advantage of "one second per lap, maybe towards the end of the race even more, 1.5 seconds".

This is quite a turnaround after Red Bull failed to win any of the previous three races, where McLaren and Ferrari both showed Red Bull-beating pace.

Newey ascribes this to the "very cool conditions and slightly abnormal races" in Britain, Germany and Hungary.

"Hungary we were actually quite competitive in the dry and in those early laps on the intermediate tyres we suffered," he said.

"Germany it was exceptionally cold and we suffered in [tyre] warm-up. Silverstone we were compromised because we believed we had cold blowing (of the diffuser) allowed but it was taken away on Sunday morning."

This does not bode well for what were admittedly faint hopes that one of Vettel's rivals might have a chance of stopping his relentless march to the championship.

Although Alonso starred in the early stages in Spa, the car closest on pace to the Red Bull would seem still to be the McLaren, judging by Jenson Button's remarkable drive through the field to third place on Sunday, which was full of clinical and elegant overtaking moves.

As Button pointed out, though, McLaren's weekend in Belgium was compromised by the mistakes that have characterised their season, and which they desperately need to cut out.

In Button's case in Belgium, that was a "miscommunication" over how many laps he had left in the second period of qualifying that left him stranded in 13th place.

Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, made another of several mistakes by himself and the team this season which have made it impossible to challenge Vettel.

Without them, he would be in the fight, rather than where is now, which is 113 points behind Vettel with only 175 still available, and his title hopes over.

Alonso, who after his fourth place in Spa is in a marginally better position but still 102 points adrift of Vettel, said he would keep battling until it was mathematically impossible to overhaul Vettel.

But even he, F1's most relentless fighter, admitted Ferrari's hopes were "not in our hands, and Red Bull need to make big, big mistakes, and have big problems if we want to win the championship".

Barring a disaster of catastrophic proportions, then, Vettel will win a second consecutive world title this year, and long before the end of the season.

After performances such as that at Spa on Sunday, and many others this year, he fully deserves it.


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  • Comment number 1.

    What a great race, well done Button and Schumacher both had stunning drives. Shame about Hamilton sadly it look like the title race may all ready be over! Today's coverage was excellent as usual apart from still no mention of the fans fury at the new deal. So Im sorry to anyone it upsets and i admit Im starting to sound like a broken record but can SOMEONE from the BBC please answer the following questions?
    Why did you block channel 4's bid?
    Why did you do the dirty with SKY?
    Why did you not honour the existing contract?
    Where is Barbera and Ben and if they are so delighted by this deal why are they not defending it?

  • Comment number 2.

    Sorry, forgot to ask will we be getting full race re-runs or just highlights?

  • Comment number 3.

    Some great racing action today well done to Vettel, Jenson, and dare I say it Shumi. Need to look at the Hamilton incident to be sure what happened although Hamilton has apologised?

    Anyway I got a response from BBC Trust if you're interested
    I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your appeal which we received on
    26 August.

    We will now consider your request for an appeal under the BBC's
    editorial complaints procedure. In order to do this we will review your
    complaint and your previous correspondence with the BBC.

    We will do this as quickly as possible and will let you know as soon as
    we reach a decision. We will also keep you informed if for any reason we
    meet with delay during this process.

    Full details of the complaints procedure, including the appeal stage,
    can be found here:

    Yours sincerely,

    Lucy Tristram
    Complaints Advisor

    Everyone must and a complaint to BBC Complaints dept and when you receive the stock reply then write to the trust. This is the only way any action can be taken.

    I also emailed FOTA but not received a reply yet.

  • Comment number 4.

    If Red Bull were really as concerned for the safety of their drivers as they alluded to, then the solution was obvious and staring them in the face: change the tyres from the outset and start from the pit lane, or alternatively, come in at the end of lap one for an immediate tyre change.

  • Comment number 5.

    I am absolutely disgusted that the state broadcaster has employed techniques of censorship and supression of freedom of speech to try and quash the large number of fans who are asking legitimate questions.

    Where was the acknowledgement in any programme this weekend that the overwhelming majority of fans are very angry and are becoming ever more frustrated at the state broadcaster's refusal to address or even acknowledge reasonable questions such as those in reply #1?

    How is this any different to the state TV of "opressive regimes" supressing freedom of expression?

    I too have emailed the BBC Trust to appeal and I urge everyone else to do the same.

    My MP has also agreed with our sentiments and is well aware of the growing calls for the licence fee to be abolished - instead of throwing people in jail for not paying their licence fee, let them choose what they want to watch.

    Here's the e-petition link for those who haven't seen it yet:

  • Comment number 6.

    What did we tell you Andrew: do not bother writing a new blog if we do not get the answers we asked for, like about the blocking of the Channel 4 bid and the one about the full reruns.
    By the way, anyone who wants to appeal to BBC Trust after having complaint can do that via

  • Comment number 7.

    By the way: Did Mark take over from Ben?

  • Comment number 8.

    Well unless McLaren choose which driver they're backing for the championship and Monza is there last chance, if they are to have the slightest chance then the driver's in wrapped up. Ferrari are the 3rd fastest team and Fernando can't do anything with the car in the state it is and he is the most consistent.

  • Comment number 9.

    YAWN, the BBC doing a great job of putting their heads in the sand.

  • Comment number 10.

    This race had it all. Shumacher charging through the field from last to fifth - Button's great drive after a terrible start - Vettel showing that he CAN TOO overtake - LH's crash - it certainly wasn't boring!

    Vettel has made a huge step up in quality this year, compared to last season when he and Webber battled on even terms. He's a much more polished and confident driver now.

    Neither RB driver has yet to record a DNF. That's a tribute to the drivers, and to the whole team. I wonder if they can make it through the entire season finishing every race?

  • Comment number 11.

    Here you are. New blog and same post from me. I haven't bothered reading the blog because you aren't bothering to read my post! I'm not showing the decency or courtesy of reading your blog because I'm mimicking you who also have lacked to show any decency or courtesy in reading my post ( and the 14,000 other fellow grievers)!!!

    Sweepstakes for when this blog closes! Tuesday? Anybody?

    Andrew, you can write a whole blog with blah blah blah... But I certainly don't care, BECAUSE I'm mimicking YOU! Your lack of decency and your total contempt on the very readers you are trying to impress! You will not make any friends here UNLESS you grow some and address the issues. Otherwise TALK to the hand as they say or as you are currently portraying!

    Good days work from you, a nice little earner from yours truly licensee payer. You haven't ever had it so good because you can write any old trash because I for one, DON'T care or give a hoot! I won't read or comment on what you've written. Again you've turned us over.

  • Comment number 12.

    >"What did we tell you Andrew: do not bother writing a new blog if we do not get the answers we asked for"

    You suffer from delusions of grandeur.

  • Comment number 13.

    Moderators you might as well 'censor' [my word, you say 'Remove' in a nineteen eighty-four-esque manner] this comment now without reading any further because it is to do with the BBC not replying to criticisms about Formula 1 coverage. If you are hacked off with these comments please address an email to Ben Gallop (AKA The Invisible Man) because it is his department which has joined in a partnership with Sky Sports to remove half the Grands Prix from live television. Two more years had been promised, but that was not delivered.

  • Comment number 14.

    >"How is this any different to the state TV of "opressive regimes" supressing freedom of expression?"

    You haven't been shot, have you?

    I'm getting tired of watching people throw their toys out of the pram as it is. Don't add insult to injury by suggesting that the toy throwers are brave resistance fighters taking on the KGB or Gestapo.

  • Comment number 15.

    Anyone who is against the BBC loosing half the races from next year sign this petition!

    If the petition recieves more than 100,000 signatures, MPs may discuss the matter in the house of commons!

  • Comment number 16.

    Great race and glad that the red bulls tyres didn`t blow up even though I`m not a fan of the team. Thought Lewis was wrong but also Kamui shouldn`t of let his car get so close as there was no way past. Good to see Schumi doing well to. He is faster in every race than Nico just not in qualifying but because of over driving and his nature,he always finds himself in the wars.

    As with the SKY deal. People should just vote on the epetitions as that will be the only way to try and help us. It would also be good for the fans to have banners so the TV cameras pick it up. Other than that nothing will get done. There is no point on complaining to the BBC as they did it.

  • Comment number 17.

    Just been reading James Murdoch's McTaggart Lecture and the following paragraphs caught my eye:

    In context of the F1 deal which is apparently great news for F1 fans:

    "No doubt the BBC celebrates the fact that it now has well over half of all radio listening. But the consequent impoverishment of the once-successful commercial sector is testament to the Corporation’s inability to distinguish between what is good for it, and what is good for the country."

    With regard to BBC News who have supressed the widespread anger surrounding the F1 deal:

    "Dumping free, state-sponsored news on the market makes it incredibly difficult for journalism to flourish on the internet."

    On the BBC licence fee:

    "Independence is sustained by true accountability - the accountability owed to customers. People who buy the newspapers, open the application, decide to take out the television subscription - people who deliberately and willingly choose a service which they value."

  • Comment number 18.

    Why does the BBC heap praise on peaceful protestors except those who protest peacefully against the BBC? We are ignored, censored (especially if we write on blogs that are outside this little community) and apparently treated with utter contempt. What does it take to elicit a full courteous reply?

  • Comment number 19.

    In the US gp 2005, martin questioned berni and the drivers,in the same way we want him to about the BBC/sky con(except the answer arrived too late)

  • Comment number 20.

    @19 - I want Anne Robinson not Martin to question the BBC Execs. If not gagged she would question them like she does the CEO of say, British Gas when his/her company doesn't deal with customers' complaints effectively. I hate to mis-quote the bible, but "he who is without sin cast the first stone" comes to mind. An OTT quote maybe, considering the valid comment left by 'Twirlip' but nevertheless the BBC is suffering here from a bad case of double standards. The victims of the Watchdog treatment hide behind 'extraordinary circumstances' and 'a shortage of trained staff', the BBC is hiding behind 'editorial freedom' and 'Government cutbacks'.

  • Comment number 21.

    Good race but was spoilt for me personally with Hami crashing out - again. Another winning drive from Vettel who (unlike Lewis) at this moment in time just can't put a foot wrong - the motto is take it while you can coz it won't last - nothing does. Also great drives thru the pack from Shu and Button.
    Finally two things that bugged me 1) Whitmarsh turning Jakes question about Lewis into gushing love and praise for his boy Jenson. 2) EJ - just gets on my t*ts full stop.

  • Comment number 22.

    Presumably as the weather is frequently so bad at Spa the BBC will not fancy including it as one of its 3 "best" races next year (not really the place for a management jolly unlike the so important Monaco grand prix).In any event, as Sky have an effective veto I suppose this is the last time the BBC will ever show a live race in full from Spa no matter how exciting they tend to be.

    What a shame; although BBC management appear to be unaware of the concept of shame - excluding Barbara and Ben of course. It seems those two are so ashamed of their actions they have taken the honourable course, tacitly acknowledging their errors by disappearing, taking vows of silence and going into seclusion in their respective convent and monastery.

    I respect B and B's action, it shows genuine remorse.

    I wait for confirmation that the higher echelons of BBC management directly responsible for what has occurred will eventually either follow Ben and Barbara's brave example and disappear or own up to their own errors.

    That is that they will acknowledge they are responsible, explain what on earth they thought they were doing entering into (supply own adjective) deals to deprive licence fee payers of at least half the terrestial coverage of F1 racing for the next seven years, and actually reply to all the very reasonable complaints and requests for information that have been made.

  • Comment number 23.

    Did anyone else notice how Bernie ran away during the gridwalk just as Martin said hello to him and Eric Clapton?

  • Comment number 24.

    I found it interesting how the bbc decided to show the highlights programe on bbc 2 this time, at 517:30. It's almost as if they were trying to find out what viewing figures for next year will be like. I hope they were rediculously small.

  • Comment number 25.

    17:30, not 517:30!

  • Comment number 26.

    @ post 24. I thought the "highlights" on BBC 2 was a bit of a "test". May I add, the highlights were rubbish- they didnt really tell the story well at all

  • Comment number 27.

    Good blog Andrew,

    Nice to see schumi and Jenson pull back from low qualy positions.

    Now please ask your bosses to answer the masses.

    Why are we going to SKY and not channel 4? Simple question, why are the BBC finding the answer so difficult to provide?

    Smacks of suspicion to me. And the other 10000+ comments (collective please update me if I'm off on this) seem to want this clearing up too.

    Anyway, great race and great BBC coverage as we've come to expect and dearly wish to see continue.


  • Comment number 28.

    @17: Alastair:

    "Just been reading James Murdoch's McTaggart Lecture and the following paragraphs caught my eye:"

    Oh, please. Dear boy, before you spout on a load of Murdoch-backing anti-BBC sentiment, might you like to remind the world of the title of James Murdoch's lecture back then? Here's a hint: it was entitled "THE ABSENCE OF TRUST".

    Who would you trust more, the BBC or James Murdoch?

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi Andrew

    Really nice summary of the race. There are people out here who are not spoilt little brats, who want to sabotage everything because they can't get their own way. It really is a total sense of arrogant entitlement. You do well to ignore them. For everyone who thinks that they should dominate every blog with this old BBC/sky news, there are plenty more who do not feel that way. The license fee is paid by all with a TV, and it is to service the whole nation, not just those who like F1.

    Don't be disheartened. Everyone is ignoring them. They will grow up soon enough.

    I think Hamilton is really turning into a wild child. It should have been an easy overtake, and he blew it. He would do better to inch his way through, rather than assuming people will get out of his way. He is an awesome talent. It is a shame for us fans that he has yet to find a way to control that speed and turn it into points.

  • Comment number 30.

    Twirlip - well said.

  • Comment number 31.

    Andrew Benson wrote:

    "Of course, Vettel and Webber's one-two was facilitated by the huge performance advantage of their cars."

    You what???

    You mean another race where the McLarens should have got a comfortable 1-2 and their drivers threw it in the bin?

    I take it you haven't noticed the McLaren has been faster than the Red Bull on every single Sunday since Barcelona yet they find themselves 100+ points behind because the car potential is hardly ever maximised?

    If Hamilton wasn't British, after such a shocker of a season with driving fitting of a novice on numerous occasions, wouldn't the BBC "experts" be crying for McLaren to replace him as soon as possible?


  • Comment number 32.

    Found this in the Sunday Telegraph. I left a comment DC's Website, (next to Tom Cruise's drive). As well as one on Eddie J's Website. They read it, but no answer yet?

    I've got a lot more to say, but for now I will re-post this song from I think it was Ben's blog. Ben who? Never heard of him. Didn't he fall on his sword or have a labotomy with his friend Barbara?

    This is for you Andrew in case the moderators stopped you seeing it. PS: I've added your name in case you felt left out!

    Not really a new title song, more of an ode to F1 to John Lennon's Classic tune Imagine. Cue the piano...

    "Imagine there's no F1
    It's easy if you try
    No BeeBeeCee below us
    Above us only Sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for Race Sunday...
    Imagine there's no Murdoch
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to hate or die for
    And no Bernie Ecclestone too
    Imagine all the people
    Watching grand prix in peace...
    You may say that I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will all be able to watch F1
    Imagine no Brundle, DC; Jake, Eddie; Lee, Ted; Ant, Crofty, Andrew or Murray Walker
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    We have a brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the World...(Championship)
    You may say that I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someone can undo this mess
    And the world will all watch F1."

  • Comment number 33.

    For a change not a comment from me about next year, just an observation about Spa etc.....

    I've just watched the short video by Ted Kravitz and it is SUPERB! Yes I know the rest of the team's presentation was equally superb, but I hate loose ends and Ted has, in a short video, tied up about 99% of the horrible loose ends that were left hanging after the race.

    Regarding the race, who am I to argue with Lewis Hamilton, but Kobayashi shouldn't have been where he was, I think he was deliberately making life difficult for Lewis. Contrast that incident with the one that caused DC to close his eyes - Kamui would probably have made a point and driven both he and Webber off the track. And don't get me started on Maldonado, that incident was as dirty as any by Schumie on the likes of Damon Hill. I thought the stewards had finally started to rein such dangerous moves in. The place for such driving is in a remake of Bullitt not the racing track.

    Truce over. The final whistle of the football game in no man's land has blown. Oh no, I realise now I am Baldrick.

  • Comment number 34.

    Why are you all having a go at Andrew? First of all, what can he do? He is not the BBC controller or something. He is paid by the BBC. It is his employer. He has a career, and in this climate, that is a good thing. Sure, he loves F1, but I am sure he wouldn't do the job for free. He has to feed himself and his family. To expect him to dump all of that so he can put on a cape and ride to the rescue of those who want something for nothing, is just not only totally delusional, but extremely unfair. Sure, you want F1 back on BBC, but I doubt ANY of you would risk losing your job for it, let alone in such a public manner.

    Complain for sure, but use the right venue. This is a blog to discuss todays race. If you don't want to do that, then go somewhere more appropriate.

  • Comment number 35.

    @29 Appreciate your frustration at all the BBC/SKY comments, just please bear in mind those of us who have a beef with this deal haven't been given a platform to air our grievances AND get some anwers. In the interest of free speech I accept we all have a point to make and I'm sure if there was an appropriate place to have a constructive discussion about the TV deal, which I'm sure all parties would appreciate, we would keep our comments to the appropriate subject.

    Anyway, looking at video of Hamilton 's crash it is a bit 50/50 whether he drifted to the natural line seeing KK or not. Hope this doesn't play on his mind too much, Monza could be a real playground for the McLarens if they get it right.

    P.S. I am making an F1 montage for my dads birthday and I reallt want a sound clip of Rob Smedley's 'Fernando is faster than you' comment. Any help/URL's greatly appreciated.

    F1 Orangutan

  • Comment number 36.

    I have also written to the Evening Standard, (London). As well as to Channel 4 News; Your story @ & to Channel 5 customer services. They do not have a News Dept as such, as it is supplied by SKY. So maybe flogging a dead horse with Ch 5.

    They have all recieved and/or read my letters, but no reply as yet.

    Of course I've had no reply with my complaints to the BBC, so will move onto the BBC Trust next.

    If they do close this down try Andrew's other recent blogs or if not some of these blogs. I fancy the comedy one but wil let you know:

  • Comment number 37.

    @29 and @34 -

    If the BBC had not closed down Ben's; Murray's & Jake's blog's, then we would not be using Andrew's. If you do not like it, then jump out of the bath when you next throw the bath water out or your toys out of the pram.

    This is also the right venue. It is a F1 blog. Or have you got your blinker's on and your head in the sand as well? If you do not like the heat then get out of the kitchen.
    I can assure you, we will not be going somewhere else, just to please you. Like us or loathe us, we are here to stay. (Or whatever blog is still open to us), until we get some answers. Thanks.

    ---------------------Try reading this:

    8416. At 17:42 4th Aug 2011, 606 Sport Hosts wrote:
    This blog is now closed to comments.

    If you do wish to make a formal complaint about this announcement, or any aspect of it, you can do so at the BBC Complaints website (

    This blog was kept open to comments for longer than usual because of the volume of responses coming in and the clear interest in the subject matter. However, this blog is designed as a place to debate topical issues, rather than a forum that stays open indefinitely.

    We are grateful for the high levels of interest in this issue, and the time it has taken everyone to comment here. We have explained the reasons behind the announcement in the initial blog post, and at this stage there is nothing more to add - but we have reviewed the comments and we thank everyone for them.

    Sport Hosts

    -----------------------------So F1 is no longer a debatable topic on a F1 Blog/Forum then. That's news to me. We have tried making complaints, but as usual they fell on deaf ears, so we are covering several bases at the same time.
    It has gone beyond the point if anyone can afford SKY or not. It's even gone beyond Murdoch & the Phone Hacking. It's gone beyond if Bernie, (allegedly), took bribes, according to the Law Suit filed against him,
    (Yes, Bernie did run away from Martin on the Grid Walkabout),
    It's the fact that the BBC has tried to censor, sorry moderate all true F1 fans and not those who just pretend to be.

  • Comment number 38.

    Also how does the BBC team feel about beind laughed at around the world for going to such ridiculous lengths, distorting reality and fabricating a parallel universe in order to protect and cover up their darlings. Random examples:

    Poor Di Resta missed out because his team let him down not because he touched the white line and messed it up.

    Poor Button missed out because his team let him down not because his lap was 2 seconds slower than Vettel's both laps completed at the same time.

    Maldonado swerves left Lewis swerves right "Maldonado should be banned how dare he touch him!"

    Lewis turns onto someone alongside squeezes him on the grass no space left, for the 20th time in his career "what was the other guy doing there going straight on the edge of the road how dare get into a fight he's hopeless anyway he should disappear maybe he should get a penalty for getting in his way?"

    Sutil keeps thrashing Di Resta who's also thrown it off half a dozen times "Di Resta has shown himself as the future leader he's been impressive Mercedes should be looking at him"

    Patrov/Maldonado/Senna financial backing "pay drivers" Di Resta Mercedes backing Hulkenberg misses out to a rookie for no other reason "deserves his chance to be there"

    Massa always 3 tenths slower than the car's maximum "what are they doing sticking with him / Alonso's pawn" Jenson always 3 tenths slower that the car's maximum "McLaren 2 very different but equally outstanding drivers"

    Jenson can't qualify (again) comes 3rd when the car should have won "driver of the day showed us what he's all about"

    Lewis punts Massa at Silverstone gains position "synchronised touching synchronised spinning" (lol)

    Random driver punts someone or throws it off "He's only there because of money / Oh dear that's his career over" Lewis punts someone or throws it off "That's how he is he's the most exciting and that's why we all love him"


  • Comment number 39.

    @29 smilingSpongeMuffin

    "There are people out here who are not spoilt little brats, who want to sabotage everything because they can't get their own way. It really is a total sense of arrogant entitlement. You do well to ignore them. For everyone who thinks that they should dominate every blog with this old BBC/sky news, there are plenty more who do not feel that way. The license fee is paid by all with a TV, and it is to service the whole nation, not just those who like F1."

    I appreciate that as someone that is unaffected and not in a territory that is supposed to have FTA protected by the Concord Agreement and an existing contract ensuring FTA until 2013 might have that view and have every right to air those views. However, there is far more to this than a few 'cry babies throwing the toys out of the pram' and those that are protesting have just as much right to raise their concerns.

    You may be unaware that this deal effectively blocks the provision of Live FTA for at least 50% of the races for 7 years minimum (i.e. it is not just about BBC coverage but FTA in general). Also, I realise that you would prefer that this issue were restricted to an appropriate blog but unfortunately, due to curtailing such forums by the BBC, that is another reason for the continued protest - in fact lack of response from the BBC to perfectly valid questions is actually fuelling it.

  • Comment number 40.


    Found several, so follow this link and choose the best one that will let you copy it.

    @39 Well said, I could not have put it better myself.

    Come on @ 29, we are all F1 Fans lets stick together. Smile & the whole world smiles with you. Let's have a truce?

  • Comment number 41.

    @29 Everyone IS ignoring us, which is why we keep posting these comment, if we had proper and in depth answers to our questions, then we would indeed shut up.

    @34 As other posters have responded to you already, we are not having a go at Andrew, we are simply making our comments know as the BBC complaints dept just keep sending the same email to any complaint without even bothering to read the content (just the heading) and as such are not answering us again.

    Andrew, this will all stop if your superiors will finally answer our questions. it has been over 1 month now since the anouncement was made and not 1 person at the BBC has answered any questions we have put forward or even informed us what coverage they would be showing.

    So again:
    1a - did you intentionally block channel 4's bid?
    1b - if yes, Why? doesn't that go against fair competition laws?
    1c - if not, why did you think only half a season for 6 years is the best deal for licence payers?
    2 - If your so happy with the deal, why has no one come forward to explain why?
    3 - Exactly what coverage can we not look forward to next year? we have no definite information from the BBC regarding this, which I would have thought would be an essential bit of information to publish at the time of the announcement. The best we have heard so far is from Bernie Eccleston saying he 'recommended' you show highlights and Martain Whitmarsh saying you were showing the full race. How can 2 inportant people in accepting this deal have completely different ideas when coming out of meetings?

    Andrew, please, please, please keep asking your superiors to give us answers.

  • Comment number 42.

    in summary, i think vettel is the real deal since schummi retired. no other will rival him at least not this season.

  • Comment number 43.

    Ah, comment #29 - I have been waiting for somebody to say 'grow up' for a couple of weeks now. Anybody who protests persistently is inevitably told to 'grow up' in the end: it's a cheap put-down and allows the mob to laugh at somebody with a genuine grievance, thus sometimes lowering his or her esteem. It's a common attack which assertiveness training courses deal with at the end of the morning session. So referring to my training a scary 17-years ago, I am making eye contact, typing in lower case not upper, mustering the friendliest smile I can and thanking you for your enormously valuable contribution to the debate. I am now turning to the people with whom we have the grievence, re-stating the fact that we realise they have a reduced budget and asking once again for a reponse to our reasonable request for a complete re-run of GPs next year, not a rapidly cobbled together highlights programme. I am also asking what could be lost by showing such a full re-run, and gained by apparently ignoring probably the most dedicated group of viewers the BBC has?

  • Comment number 44.

    @ 29 & to all F1 fans, where ever or however you watch/listen to it. It has been said many, many times. Please sign this petition. Thanks:

    Let's not have a go at each other. Respect each others point of view. Even if you disagree with it. Do not censor or moderate it and keep F1 Free to Air.

    Also check out the top 10 e-petitions. You might like some of the others or your friends might. If they do, then get them to sign the F1 petition. Thans.

  • Comment number 45.

    Red Bull really aren't a very 'likeable' team, are they?
    Firstly there was that idiot engineer of theirs who claimed Button was "trying to cheat" in China by accidentally pulling into the Red Bull garage in the pits despite the fact it was Button who ended up losing the place.
    Secondly, they spent the whole of last season harping on about Ferrari using team orders in Germany and then as soon as they were presented with the same situation this year they were the first to implement them.
    And finally- Newey, if you're going to run your cars with an unsafe degree of camber you only have yourself to blame and if it's a problem you start your cars from the pits.

    They're way out in front but they still can't resist whingeing as soon as something doesn't go their way.

  • Comment number 46.

    Hypothetical minute from a meeting that included Ben Gallop et al:

    Eventually 'that rabble' will start to argue among themselves and people will cease contributing because others snipe at their contributions. This wil maniphest itself furst maybee by sum pikingg att hou uthas spel. Then some will complain about contributions on inappropruiiate blog pages. Eventually they will all run out of things to say. They will go away eventually, just tough it out.

    Does anybody fancy another round of writing to our MPs?

  • Comment number 47.

    Win or lose brothers and sisters, it has been a privilege to serve with you :-)

    [Apologies for yet another cliche, but what do you expect at this silly hour of the night?]

  • Comment number 48.

    Anyone else catch Jakes comment in the post race interview with Bruno Senna & Paul Di Resta at 2:56.03 when commenting on Brunos late entry into the season ?????
    "its a bit like coming into a football match at half time and expecting to be in tune with the game, its not easy is it"

    A coded acknowledgement from Jake as to the feelings of the F1 fans in the uk ??

  • Comment number 49.

    @48 - I missed that one! Perhaps a subliminal influence on Jake's words? It can't be easy presenting when you know many people are shouting at the TV asking for a certain issue to be addressed! Also, I don't know how the BBC filters Jakes Twitter feed, but I guess very few tweets were to do with the race.....sorry Jake, guilty as charged.

    Anybody with a #KeepF1onBBC #F1 #BBCF1 banner going to Manchester tonight (Monday) to see Jenson's burn-out?

  • Comment number 50.

    Knowing that Murdoch wants to take over F1 and that part of that plan is served by getting it on to SKY, I am surprised that nobody has mentioned that Ben Gallop used to work for Sky.

    He then moved to the BBC and became the head of F1 and now SKY have F1. May be I'm wrong but I see a pattern there. News International companies do appear to have previous for this sort of thing. i.e. we were not phone hacking only a rogue reporter honest Guv!

    Perhaps this should be the subject of a Police investigation.

    Remember for the next 6 years SKY are going to have free advertising on the BBC which the BBC is not supposed to do. Surely against the charter? As a BBC licence payer I object to this free advertising.

    Can the Ministry of Truth allow it? Perhaps they can be brought to book for illegal state subsidies to the Murdoch empire for free advertising is surely that.

    Now if this gets through it will be a miracle.

  • Comment number 51.

    @38 It's as if you read my mind. Martin Brundle can really get on my nerves sometimes. Has the BBC also made a deal with McLaren to refrain from any serious journalism when it comes to their drivers/engineers/principal? Or are they afraid to get kicked out of their hospitality area? If they keep this up I won't be sorry to see F1 go elsewhere. It's just a great shame that it won't be FTA.
    I'm really very serious about this. McLaren lost it's magic somewhere in the last 10 years. Whitmarsh doesn't even seem to care about winning. Not really. Just keep the sponsors happy. Keep the PR machine rolling. They don't need to win the championship to keep getting money from Vodaphone. Top 3 will do just fine.
    The smartest thing Hamilton has done all year is have a chat with Christian Horner. And where is the BBC in all of this? They're happy to play along. Their interests are tangled up with McLarens. They feed off of each other. Where is the journalism in that? They should be putting more critical pressure on them. Give the fans more insight into the business side. Hold Whitmarsh accountable for mistakes made. Make sponsors think twice. Kick some racing spirit back into them!

  • Comment number 52.

    Was very nice to hear from Nikki Lauda post-race, very intelligent thoughts and well-respected opinion in my book.

    Watching this race at Spa, as I do every year, I can't help but wonder why Bernie allows Hermann Tilke to design pretty-looking but ultimately boring race circuits. If I was in Bernie's shoes, I would be sitting Tilke down in front of a race like this and asking him why none of his circuits are this good. There is a lack of racing circuits that have the sweeping nature of this Spa circuit, and Formula One is all the worse for it.

    Luckily for us, the next race is Monza - another classic circuit that will serve up proper racing.

  • Comment number 53.

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

  • Comment number 54.

    For those asking me to spare Andrew: it is never personal. More importantly, I have written to Peter Salmon, the BBC Exec in charge of BBCSport that he should protect their talents like Andrew to be brave and answer the critics.

    It is the BBC Management that makes us discus with the talents, instead of directly with them. When we wanted to discus direct with Peter Salmon, they closed his blog.

  • Comment number 55.

    Sounds like it was a great race, it's just a shame it can't be watched withouta sour taste in the mouth over the disgusting BBC/Sky deal.

    You sold the fans out BBC, F1 WILL fail under Sky and the other FTA channel you tried to block will get the coverage at a much reduced rate. The BBC can't see further than its own nose.

  • Comment number 56.

    Nibs, as usual right on the money, I couldn't have put it any any better!
    McLaren had the best package, their drivers screw it all out, although JB had a great race, but nowhere in Vettel or Alonso league!

  • Comment number 57.

    Oh my comment was taken off because I encourage people to Boycott Sky and the BBC? Haha, what a surprise.

  • Comment number 58.

    No. 38: At last people are beginning to see that Hamilton isn't perfect and is getting towards reckless. Pity commentators don't see what everyone else on watching see. Hamilton seems to have an arrogance about him that no one else is allowed on the track at the same time as him. His qualifying lap should not of stood for avoidable contact with Maldo. His crash with Kobi was extremely dangerous - and what action do the stewards take -None. Any driver that has had a penalty for avoidable contact, including DIR should feel aggrieved that Hamilton can get away with a high speed contact that endangered him, Kobi and marshals. Low speed taps that damage the front wing end up with drive through penalties or place penalties at the next race. High speed crashes involving Hamilton - no action. Time Hamilton was treated equally with other drivers - not bother which way, penalize them all or none!!

    Other than that - exciting race, lots going on some great drivers, MSC / VTL / BUT. Some awful team building (BUT blaming the team again publicly - doesn't endear you to the team).

    Still looks like DRS is making it too easy on long straights - the only car with any hope of defending an overtake was the Mercedes due to its formidable straight line speed on fresh tyres.

    More of the same excitement at the next race place.

  • Comment number 59.

    Brilliant race and shows that Vettel is well rounded.. some excellent overtaken and a very very mature drive from him..
    Count yourself lucky in the UK.. This was my first GP coverage in Germany and I missed the BBC.. Ads every 20 mins or so but did have the Nikki Lauda as one of the host.. RTL did a brilliant interview with Schumacher in the coverage.
    Really missed BBC coverage but you get use to what you are given..

  • Comment number 60.

    Another day, another blog, all questions still ignored.

    Does ANYONE in the BBC not realise that we will continue untill the BBC recognise and address the problem.

    As for Spa, will it be highlights only, or full race coverage for 2012??

  • Comment number 61.

    Spa is one of the classic circuits, and a great race yesterday. I can't think of a single lap which didn't have a point of interest in it. Assuming this is one of the races which Sky will want to grab, why can't the BBC show the race IN FULL at a later time on Sunday, rather than fragmented highlights? Delayed coverage of the full-length race still appears to be within the power of the BBC, so why are you further alienating the fans when you don't have to? It's just adding insult to injury.

  • Comment number 62.

    BBC's coverage is the best out there!! By a country mile!
    Living in Belgium, I have the luxury of being able to see coverage from Belgian TV, French TV and german TV...en BBC.
    I wanted to sign the petition about this "deal" the BBC made, robbing even me, in Belgium of half of the live coverages. But -due to some strange reason- I can't. It seems you have to be a resident of the UK to sign the petition! Don't the organisers of the petition realise that if they were to allow anybody who follows the BBC's coverage or is able to follow the coverage, and who is ultimately a victim of this deal, to sign the petition, they would get many more votes?
    Isn't everybody who follows BBC coverage of F1 a victim? Why only allow UK citizens on the petition?

    Thrilling race BTW. and very nice to see so many entertaining charges through the field! Spa is always worth while!


  • Comment number 63.

    Not one of the greatest Belgian GPs I've seen. Good, but not great.

    I have to agree with Martin and DC about Hamilton/Kobayashi incident; Hamilton was taking the racing line, but leaves enough room for Kobayashi, who then turns in far too early.

  • Comment number 64.

    The assertions about Red bull's marginal tyre wear all seems a little Hollywood really.
    If the drivers safety was seriously in doubt then they would have been started from the pit lane or pitted on lap 1.
    It must also be considered Red Bull put themselves in that situation in the first place by ignoring Pirelli advice about the camber settings, so no sympathy deserved frankly.
    The race was made easier for Red Bull as Lewis crashed out early and Jenson was severely hampered by starting in 13th. No doubt the Mclaren's would have competed with Red Bull if circumstances had been different.
    Alonso also looked in the mix but seemed to lose too much time running the prime tyre for too long, which has been the achilles heel of Ferrari if you consider the poor performance of Alonso on the prime tyre at this years Spanish Grand Prix.
    Finally, why Lewis feels the need to apologise for his accident I'm not quite sure.
    Lewis was a full car length ahead of Kobayashi going into Les Combes and had every right to move back onto the racing line for best entry into the chicane.
    Kobayashi should have been responsible for getting onto the brakes when he saw Lewis move over.
    The assertions of Eddie Jordan after the race were infantile and prove he clearly has personal issues with Lewis.
    I personally wish the BBC would sack Jordan and bring somebody onto the show that can express an objective view point and is not looking to court controversy for the sake of their own vanity.

  • Comment number 65.

    @37 BNW- do you always speak exclusively in cliché?

    Totally agree with 34 Smilingspongemuffin- this is a blog to discuss today’s race. As an employee of the BBC Andrew’s role involves writing of blogs to spark discussion and debate among fans who wish their share their views upon the races themselves. He is fulfilling his duties, providing a service to said license fee payers. To expect Andrew to be openly support your campaign, thereby jeopardising the livelihood of his family, is quite plainly naïve and utterly arrogant. You are quite clearly attacking the wrong person.

  • Comment number 66.

    As the BBC have still got their fingers in their ears I'll take this opportunity to exercise my right to complain about their "dog in the manger" deal that has removed FTA coverage for the next nine years.

    Anyone who doesn't like my complaint can do the other thing!

  • Comment number 67.

    well again lewis car had a problem... everybody could see it was strangely too slow in the straights... nobody mentioned it... and its getting boring it was not his fault as kobyashi did hit not the other way round... i wish he would stop apologizing as hes hardly to blame in most incidents...

  • Comment number 68.

    Good morning all!

    Just playing catch-up & reading all the posts since I was last on @44 this morning.
    Great posts keep them coming in. I will not answer any of them, (but spot on), as I am being called by my kids & partner!

    @ 62 - You are allowed to live & work in the UK, so if you do not have one already, then get a new e-mail from or or or! (Or many other numerous ones including! You then find a friend who lives in the & with their permission use their address. I have 5 people in my house who support F1 & they are genuine people who do live here.

    Going off line for a while as kids still on holiday! Must keep them & my better half happy! Will come back later as soon as I can with any updates etc.

    Very quickly though my Son is Autistic! A trait among Autistic children/adults is that they love Trains/Aeroplanes & Cars etc. My Son is on the higher end of the spectrum, Aspergers! (Think of Dustin Hoffman/Tom Cruise in 'The Rain Man'). He knows all the F1 Teams & the drivers name & follows F1 religiously every race.

    I am now writing to all my connections in the Autistic world to make them aware of the BBC/SKY decision. Hopefully this will generate a lot more votes on the Official site as well:

    Keep it up F1 fans

  • Comment number 69.

    In reference to comment 29. Are you a complete fool?
    Most people are angry over the TV rights deal. Obviously you can afford Sky so goody for you, but many can't.
    Your correct in saying we all pay the licence fee, so those disgruntled fans who also pay the licence fee should have a right to their say.
    If the BBC had dealt with this issue correctly and given those disaffected fans a forum to discuss their grievances then it would not be necessary for each and every blog to be hijacked by irate fans who feel marginalised.
    None of those complaining can be accused of arrogant entitlement because they pay the BBC for what they watch.
    As for Lewis, it was clearly not his fault. Some BBC pundits hate Lewis Hamilton and so you should not believe everything you read.
    It was not his fault as he was a full car length ahead and had every right to assume the racing line for best entry into Les Combes.
    Lewis is being judged by a different set of standards as he always has in his F1 career. I think most people know the reason why. Oh but must not specify the reason on this blog as the PC brigade will be after me.

  • Comment number 70.

    @64 Markj161

    The race was made easier for Red Bull as Lewis crashed out early and Jenson was severely hampered by starting in 13th. No doubt the Mclaren's would have competed with Red Bull if circumstances had been different.
    True. But both Hamilton's and Button's problems were of their own (or team's) making. They had a very good car this weekend and could not capitalize on that. Ironically Hamilton's crash helped Vettel to gain advantage over Alonso.

    Finally, why Lewis feels the need to apologise for his accident I'm not quite sure.
    Lewis was a full car length ahead of Kobayashi going into Les Combes and had every right to move back onto the racing line for best entry into the chicane.
    Kobayashi should have been responsible for getting onto the brakes when he saw Lewis move over.
    Lewis was NOT a full car length ahead of Kobayashi going into Les Combes. Lewis also thought he was but he wasn't. Kobayashi has every right to hold his racing line there. Why should Kobayashi get onto the brakes well before the normal braking zone? Even Lewis apologised after watching the replys. He's showing some maturity. It's time his fans did the same me thinks.

    If the drivers safety was seriously in doubt then they would have been started from the pit lane or pitted on lap 1.
    It must also be considered Red Bull put themselves in that situation in the first place by ignoring Pirelli advice about the camber settings, so no sympathy deserved frankly.
    Agreed 100% on that part

  • Comment number 71.

    @ 69 I agree with you, if the positions were the other way around and Hamilton had done what Kobi had done, then he would have been penalised for sure!

  • Comment number 72.

    Wanted to say "after watching the replays" rather than "after watching the replys" in post 70

  • Comment number 73.

    Good race, well done to JB and MS for the amount of overtaking, and doing it safely (lesson there for Lewis). Felt a little sorry for Felipe Massa with that puncture, but was nice to see him being a bit more agressive.
    As far as the SKY/BBC stuff goes, I think it is now a lost cause, my personal feelings are that it is a disgrace, but there is an age old saying "money talks and bullsh*t walks" The BBC are no different from any monopolised business, they are holding all the cards right now, look at the definition of requirement of buying a TV licence and you will see what I mean. Anyway just to reiterate, a great race and a fantastic 20th anniversary for MS.

  • Comment number 74.

    Think vettel had a decent weekend and it worked out for him in the end, think everyone else had a typically messy weekend. He was fortunate i think that the mclarens had a poor weekend as if they had managed to both stay out of trouble i think they would have won it on pace during the race. A lot of people say vettel is lucky and i would say maybe he is but he is making the most of his luck, i think its probably more true that its everyone elses bad luck he is benefiting from. Difficult to look at him as a great champion as we still need to see him really have to fight for it.

    Anyway overall a dissapointing weekend, usually i'd watch as much as i can, practice, quali and race, with all the pre and post show, this weekend i just couldnt get into it, ended up only watching the race, and even that from just start line to chequered flag, couldnt bare to watch the rest knowing what the bbc have done. Whole thing felt deflated.

  • Comment number 75.

    "It would also be good for the fans to have banners so the TV cameras pick it up."

    Please think about what you are saying. The BBC has ruthlessly (and rather rudely) ignored every attempt at people trying to get answers on this issue. You REALLY think they're going to point a camera at a banner? They will point there camera's everywhere but! You only had to witness the way in which Jake treated people with contempt at the British GP when they wanted to raise the issue on live TV. The only cameras that would point at your banners would be from broadcasters in countrys that have nothing to do with the UK, and so the people in those countries wont care anyway. I'd put your energy into something a little better thought out.

  • Comment number 76.

    P.S T-shirts on the other hand are a great idea. Can be worn anywhere, they dont have to be held up or set up on poles or unfurled......they cant be confiscated, and with a t-shirt you are more visible and mobile. Forget banners, they are so old hat.

  • Comment number 77.

    i enjoyed the race this weekend , great drive from Schumie and Jenson, was a shame lewis had a lack of judgment (again) still a huge fan though! hope monza is as good!
    i did try the RTL stream this weekend, it seemed about 0.5 secs ahead of the BBC stream, quality not quite as good but deffinatly an option if the the full defferd race doesnt materialise , hope the confusion with Whitmarsh , berni & the bbc about what the bbc will be showing on the non-live weekends weather it be full race or highlights is resolved! but in any case i will be enjoying a FULL season of FULL races in 2012. hope this is of some comfort to those who have no way of reciving sky!

  • Comment number 78.

    Reference: post 29 from smilingSpongeMuffin

    Thanks for putting every single objector to the end of FTA F1 into just a single pigeon hole labelled Spoilt Little Brats with a “sense of arrogant entitlement”. Actually there are two other pigeon holes that the objectors fall into – they are

    1) Those who cannot afford to sign up to a $ky $ports package.

    2) Those who can afford it but cannot forget what they recently learned about phone hacking and cannot sign up for reasons of conscience.

    But thanks at least for reassuring the world that we will all be growing up soon enough – and by growing up I assume you mean finding an extra X hundred quid to watch F1 whilst simultaneously losing a conscience?

    I guess that the issues of money and conscience here are not slowing you down? Either that or you’re not really that bothered about live F1 because you’re not really that serious a fan? Unlike you Mr Muffin, I’ll let you choose your own pigeon hole.

    (And no, it’s not old news when the consequences of it will be felt next year and the years after. “Old” is in the past, “next year” is in the future. Therefore it is not the “old BBC/Sky news”).

  • Comment number 79.

    @ 78

    u can add another pigeon hole also ,
    3) those who can afford sky but cant recive because of goegraphic location or listed statuss of their residents

  • Comment number 80.


    Are you real? Any one would think you didn't like Hamilton. What you are saying is insane. The qualifying incident was necessary in order for him to get through to the next session. Maldonado runs wide Lewis is entitled to go for the move. Watch the footage closely and it is clear that Pastor turns in on Lewis. Same again after turn one, no deviation on the wheel from Lewis, deliberate turn in. And with Kamui, Lewis again did not move the steering wheel. Kobayshi was driving into a closing door, a bit like Hamilton did against Button in Canada, but i don't see anyone blaming Jenson for that?! He should of got out, called it a clash of ego's but Kamui was too arrogant and should of yielded.

    I do believe that Lewis has been to the stewards and recieved more penalties than anyone? So don't bother writing jibbersish before you understand what you are saying.

    Finally i hope that the BBC/Sky deal is sorted. BBC will provide much better coverage, with no breaks!! Something i loathed when ITV aired it. Come on Beebs, sort it out

  • Comment number 81.

    Twirlip, smilingspongemuffin,

    "I'm alright jack" brigade. Feel better for slating those who have continually to support, rally and peacefully gain simple answers from the BBCs dodgy dealings? Ask yourself a very simple question, " Why is the BBC ignoring the 14,000 posts? "

    We are on these blogs to get an answer! Deal with it. You go ahead and enjoy the blogs BUT how dare you to criticise those individuals who are fighting to get answers having been ignored for 4 weeks. Who do you think you are to be judge, jury and trial any of us on these blogs because it's off- topic for your own personal gain.

    Skip our posts and stick to the ones you prefer to kow tow. Simple.

  • Comment number 82.

    A thousand apologies to people who want to discuss the GP without these silly protests. I agree they are to say the least, annoying. But it's the BBC which has withdrawn the GP coverage we all expected and are paying for, not those who continue to protest. Next year you may not see the GP at Spa in its entirety, you may get just a lame excuse for a highlights programme which misses, for example, the lead-up to the Hamilton-Kobayashi incident. I believe this just isn't good enough and the BBC's failure to respond to so many complaints is disgusting - a real abuse actually of 'editorial independence', a term which is being used as a screen to hide behind.

    Once again I apologise, but I will continue to post here and on any other BBC blog as long as the BBC continues in this - what does it call those builders who fail to finish a job? - 'cowboy' manner.

    And I don't believe this is a 'lost cause'. True, 100% live coverage has been given away, but that doesn't mean the BBC can't present a more satisfactory level of coverage than the one we've been threatened with.

    To the BBC Executives - SHAME ON YOU! But once again they raise a glass of wine bought at the viewers' expence, complain about 'budget cuts' and make the appropriate gesture.

  • Comment number 83.

    To Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms 'BNW' - I think we owe Steve Bowbrick a drink or two. I just hope he sent the email I suggested to the Sports guys.

  • Comment number 84.

    @29. You're wrong to say that comments on the new deal have nothing to do with this weekend's race. The BBC give us extensive coverage before and after the race and this was so stage managed as to be banal. The usual gaggle of fans crowding into the pit lane post race were noticeably absent yesterday. The forum wasn't actually a forum. BE wouldn't talk to Martin. Martin and DC's commentary was rubbish yesterday - for the first time - obviously having to think about everything before they said it, etc. It made for very uncomfortable viewing - and this is simply because no-one has debated this with us. It will be the same for the rest of the season and I doubt very much that we will see the crowds of fans post race that we saw for the first half of the season.

    I also don't see how we can be labelled "spoilt brats" when we are actually complaining about the BBC breaking a contract that they had until 2013 and bending the spirit and letter of the Concorde Agreement so far as to almost snap it.

    You don't have to read all the comments to post here.

  • Comment number 85.

    @80 Matt,

    Great and worthy comment. I agree.

  • Comment number 86.

    I only watched the odd numbered laps in preparation for next year

  • Comment number 87.

    @80 Matt

    Of course Maldonado was the guilty party in the qualifying incident.
    But I have to disagree with your interpretation of the Kamui/Hamilton incident. Kamui had every right to hold his line there. It was Hamilton's mistake that he didn't expect Kamui to be there. Hamilton thought that he has completed the overtaking maneuver when has actually has not. Hamilton was not clearly in front when they collided. Why should Kamui apply the brakes before the braking zone assuming that Hamilton won't see him?

  • Comment number 88.


    So if lewis wasn't ahead then he would of been side swiped? Instead he was spun by the front end of Kamui's car, against the rear of his own. That is evident. Lewis just seems to be apologizing for every incident he involved in recently, like he is expected to get the blame so there is no point in arguing. Come on man, get yourself together. You are better than that!

  • Comment number 89.

    Why is there no fan interaction at races any more, or even on the F1 Forum?

    And were the presenters told to 'move away' from the fans in the pit lane by the BBC?

    And why did the presenters waste time chit chatting about football rather than discussing the big issues?

  • Comment number 90.

    So if lewis wasn't ahead then he would of been side swiped? Instead he was spun by the front end of Kamui's car, against the rear of his own.
    Which also means that Lewis was not completely ahead.
    How can you expect another racer to yield when he has got every possibility of defending his position. Lewis himself admitted that he didn't give Kobayashi enough room.
    As Hamilton fans you should be happy that he is showing some maturity (at least in accepting his mistakes)

  • Comment number 91.

    Which also means that Lewis was not completely ahead.
    How can you expect another racer to yield when he has got every possibility of defending his position. Lewis himself admitted that he didn't give Kobayashi enough room.
    As Hamilton fans you should be happy that he is showing some maturity (at least in accepting his mistakes)

    well your either ahead or your not... you cant be both... there lewis was ahead of koba and did give him enough place to avoid the crash

    lewis took an unusual line but your not obliged to follow the normal line if you do not want to... in the end koba was behind lewis and couldnt pass and crashed into lewis... thats racing and lewis has already moved on as for for the maldonado incident lewis was ahead took the better line and maldonado crashed into him... not lewis fault

  • Comment number 92.

    Amazing race, excellent drives from Button and Schumacher, they gave us all the excitement you could ask for with their battles through the field and getting rid of the hard tyre before the field spread. Super start from Rosberg but it's a shame his car's pace just isn't there with the front runners, some top defensive stuff from him though.

    The Red Bull guys though, what can you say really, managing tyre issues and still finish with a 1-2. Vettel has one hand on the title now, he's been untouchable most of the season. I love the "he hasn't won for 3 races which is a slump in form" before the GP. If a slump in form for me was 2nd-4th-2nd then I'd take that very happily.

    As for the Hamilton incident, can I point out to his fans that say it wasn't his fault to the parallel to the Canada clash with Button (both racing incidents in my opinion). According to you it was Button's fault for not checking his mirrors and moving over. Hamilton did the same thing: he drifted left, didn't check his mirror and clipped Kobayashi, yet you blame Kobayashi for not slowing which Hamilton could've also done in the Canada situation. If you want people to be objective then start with yourselves.

  • Comment number 93.

    Well another race closer to the BBC/SKY debacle.
    Sadly the BBC can't help itself but be cynical - look at the highlights package it produced for one of the better races this year. I guess that was a trial run for the cheapjack rubbish that will be the coverage of half the races next year.
    As the BBC is funded through a 'tax' on ownership of a TV I would expect that those clients are provided with a representative level of content. Over the years we have seen the gradual dumbing down of content aimed at the 'populist' audience. What would be far better is to run less channels with more quality and try raising peoples expectations.
    The issue with major sports coverage like F1 now means there is little point bothering with the BBC and either get a Sky subscription and refuse to pay the Licence 'Tax' or find alternative media coverage.
    I would urge everyone to reject all BBC programming in 2012, complain on the many Petition links to be found on this forum, write to the idiots in the BBC managment and trust and your MP. The BBC clearly needs to get a bloody nose for their complete incompetence.

  • Comment number 94.

    So if you are nearly a cars length behind you don't have to yield? Really? Hamilton fan? Nope. I just don't think he should start taking the blame for everything just because he is coming under scrutiny from people like yourself. When you drive on the road you don't put your foot in if a car is nearly a full length ahead of you when two lanes merge. Kamui was just arrogant. He could see he was behind. He was never going to make the apex first. Back out be sensible. Keep racing. I'm not a Hamilton fan and also likened this incident to the one in Canada. Just that the roles are reversed. Hamiltons fault in Canada kobayashi's fault in Spa. You can't blame him for everything

  • Comment number 95.

    as for button... great drive in the best car (even better than lewis) such a shame he couldnt deliver in qualif...

    also i have noticed anytime his team makes a good call its thanks to jenson and whenever they make a poor one... it was a team decision ... it was clearly a button mistake to cool down when he had to keep pushing in qualif... boring from the twisted bbc team... but we are not that stupid and gullible

  • Comment number 96.

    I completely disagree that it was Hamilton's fault. The onus has to be on the car behind to make the judgement on whether to back out of the move or keep his foot in and risk a collision. You can see from Lewis' in car shot that he didn't pull over to the left, and you can see from the view outside the car that he was looking right, to spot the corner and judge his braking/turn in.

    If the gap was disappearing because Lewis did not leave enough room, Kamui should have backed out. You see PLENTY of examples where the driver in front runs the other guy out of road to force them to back out when making an overtake stick. It' racing. The difference is that Kamui did not back out, and he hit the rear wheels of the McLaren with the front wheels of his car (thus, he was behind!).

    The car in front owns the corner. You choose to either overtake them, back out, or cause an incident. Kamui did the latter.

  • Comment number 97.

    Kubica_for_a_prancing_horse : ive never said it was buttons fault i said the alonsos incident was an error from button... you can check it out...

  • Comment number 98.

    I find it totally incomprehensible how people can watch a perfectly understandable video and can then deliberately, or stupidly, choose to ignore it [it has to be one or the other]: the following are clear and undeniable FACTS - watch the video again if you don't believe me: Hamilton moved across on Kobayashi: Kobayashi never turned in: Hamilton was not clear of Kobayashi. As has been pointed out elsewhere, it's Canada all over again. The stewards therefore took no action. Simple. A racing accident.

  • Comment number 99.

    The licence fee is really a tax, rather like the vehicle excise licence, the only difference is the BBC gets more of the fee than roads get for the vehicle licence. However if the BBC are to get about 50% of the money I pay ( the rest apparently disappears in handling costs) then I do believe they should justify attempting to hand over 5 million viewers to a commercial company, something they are either unwilling or unable to do, if unable, Why! Cost is the excuse, however there is still considerable waste, BBC HD except for a few exceptions mimics BBC2 is just one example. Is there some deal with Sky where Sky buys used programmes from the BBC providing the BBC plays ball where Sky thinks there is money to be made from a sport or imported programmes, if so or if the BBC views motorsport as a non PC sport then its time for the BBC to forgo it's portion of the licence fee and go fully commercial

  • Comment number 100.


    Apologies, I shouldn't tar everyone with the same brush.

    In both cases I think they are both 6 of one and half a dozen of the other which is why I think they're both racing incidents. Kobayashi could've backed out earlier but given Les Combes is a place where you can hang it around the outside for the left hander I can see why he left it to last minute, maybe a little too long. Hamilton, by his own admission as well, should've been more attentive to where the Sauber was in relation to him given Kobayashi's reputation too but he had the racing line covered and had the right to move left. Both could've done things differently so I wouldn't apportion the full blame to either, hence no action taken against either by the stewards.


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