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Pastor Maldonado - classic F1

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Andrew Benson | 06:00 UK time, Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Pastor Maldonado is the latest driver to choose his five favourite all-time grands prix for BBC Sport's classic Formula 1 series.

The Venzuelan has made quite an impression one way or another in his first season in F1.

On the plus side, he has out-qualified his team-mate, the veteran Rubens Barrichello, an impressive six times in 14 races so far this season.

Not so positively, he has yet to shed a reputation for occasional wildness that followed him from the junior categories, and was on full public display when he drove into Lewis Hamilton's McLaren in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix. The incident earned Maldonado a five-place grid penalty.

Pastor Maldonado

Maldonado not only came to F1 with the backing of President Hugo Chavez and his country's state oil company, he also came to the sport relatively late in life.

He is 26, relatively old compared to the age many drivers make their debut these days. That almost certainly explains his selections for this blog - which span the last 30 or so years and would be classed as all-time greats in anyone's book.

The 1979 French Grand Prix

This race is famous for two reasons: the thrilling duel over second place in the final three laps between Ferrari's Gilles Villeneuve and Renault's Rene Arnoux; and for being the first win for a turbo-charged car.

That second landmark, achieved courtesy of Renault's Jean-Pierre Jabouille, has been rather overshadowed by the first.

"This race was before I was born but I have seen it many times," Maldonado says. "It was so great because they were racing wheel-to-wheel, overtaking each other and switching positions. It was amazing. You don't see action like that very often!"

The 1984 Monaco Grand Prix

Another event famous for many reasons: a controversial win by Alain Prost; Nigel Mansell crashing out of the lead; and two stunning drives in the wet by rising stars Ayrton Senna and Stefan Bellof.

Prost led from the start in heavy rain but was passed early on by Mansell, who crashed six laps later, blaming the embarrassing incident on his rear wheel losing grip on one of the white lines on the track.

Senna, whose natural talent more than made up for the deficiencies of his Toleman car, then began catching Prost, with Bellof, driving a Tyrrell and, like Senna, in his first season of F1, making inroads into both.

As the weather worsened, Prost, driving a McLaren, began gesticulating for the race to be stopped, which it was as he completed lap 32, just as Senna caught and passed him on the pit straight.

The decision to stop the race was controversial because the man who made it, clerk of the course and former F1 driver Jacky Ickx, was employed to drive Le Mans cars by Porsche, which made McLaren's TAG-badged engine. Ickx has always denied he was influence in any way.

"It was an amazing race to watch, as Senna came from the very back in just a few laps to catch race leader Prost," says Maldonado. "He was overtaking everyone which was even more impressive being in Monaco where it is difficult to overtake anyway. He was amazing in the rain."

The 1989 Japanese Grand Prix

A favourite among many of the grand prix drivers this season, this was the first of two consecutive Japanese races in which a crash between McLaren drivers Prost and Senna decided the world championship. It was, as Maldonado points out, "the end of a difficult two-year rivalry for the team-mates".

Prost led much of the race but was eventually caught by Senna. As the Brazilian tried to pass at the chicane in the closing stages, Prost turned in on him and they collided. Prost climbed out of his car but Senna rejoined the race, pitting for a new nose cone before catching and passing Benetton's Alessandro Nannini.

However, that was not the end of the drama. Senna's win would have kept the title battle going until the final race of the season but he was controversially disqualified for missing the chicane and Prost declared champion.

The 1993 European Grand Prix

This race at Donington Park has gone down in history as one of Senna's greatest drives and is another favourite among the current crop of F1 drivers.

"There are so many great races from Senna it is hard to single any one out," Maldonado says. "He was always amazing in difficult situations, with incredible instincts, and this was a perfect example.

"From fourth on the grid, he read the changing conditions perfectly, unlike anyone else on the grid, as the race went from dry to wet and back again. He ended up winning by over a minute by the chequered flag! It is like magic watching him."

The 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix

Relatively recent it might be but already another all-time classic. McLaren's Hamilton and Ferrari's Felipe Massa went into the race, the last in the season, contesting the world championship.

Massa survived a late shower of rain to win the race but, as the Ferrari pit celebrated, Hamilton slipped past the struggling Toyota of Timo Glock at the final corner to take fifth and the title.

"It was so great so see a race go right down to the wire like that and then change at the very last second," Maldonado recalls.

"With so much at stake, it was great as a viewer but not so great for Massa. It was so close I never forget seeing both teams celebrating at the same time not realising what had happened."

As always, we pick one race to highlight in the blog and, ahead of the street race at Singapore this weekend, we have chosen the 1984 Monaco event.

The full grand prix programme of the time is embedded below. Underneath it, to whet your appetites for the action to come this weekend, are short and extended highlights of Fernando Alonso's superb victory for Ferrari in last year's Singapore Grand Prix.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.


Short highlights from France 1979, Japan 1989, Europe 1993 and Brazil 2008, plus extended highlights from Monaco 1984 and Singapore 2010 will be broadcast on the BBC red button on digital television in the UK.

On satellite and cable, the classic races will be available from 1500 BST on Wednesday 21 September until 1055 BST on Friday 23 September, then from 1235 BST until 1425 BST on Friday 23 September.

On Freeview, they will be shown from 1235 BST until 1425 BST on Friday 23 September.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Great choices Pastor, even if we have seen them all many times before.
    Until such time as the BBC bans those that have seen before - in which case they will probably be the driver's 21st to 25th choices by this stage in the season - we cannot really expect any more.
    It will be interesting to see how this feature evolves next season, if at all, with the forthcoming half-switch to Sky.

  • Comment number 2.

    Great picks Pastor. Sort of makes up for your antics with LH.

    I can't watch it tho, as we are not allowed to. For brits only I'm afraid. Despite the fact that "foreigners" are willing to pay to watch the BBC coverage over the year. Yet it has to go to SKY. Who is running the ship here? Bad management, poor treatment of fans, not looking at the opportunities available to them. Poor F1.

  • Comment number 3.

    The Beeb shafts F1 fans claiming it can no longer afford to cover the sport. Yet it flies Lee McKenzie to Venezuela, presumably at vast expense, to interview Maldonado to provide a few minutes of film for this weekend's show. I guess she's up to her old tricks, trying to whip up a fresh angle for a 'Hamilton row' story...

  • Comment number 4.

    1984 Monaco, great choice and the start of an era of F1 in my life. It's very sad that we're drawing to the end of that era as F1 is destroyed in the UK by Sky.

    No to Sky.

  • Comment number 5.

    @ No3. I hate the Sky deal as much as anyone but you'll probably find it was Williams who paid for Lee McKenzie to go Venezuela so they can fulfil their contractual obligations to their sponsors.

    Great choice Pastor, finally a driver who has picked a Classic F1.

    No to Sky

  • Comment number 6.

    Whats the point now? it was a great feature at the start of the season but now it just feels like the BBC are giving us material for next season to fill in the gaps between races they aren't going to show.
    No to Sky.

  • Comment number 7.

    Next seasons Classic F1 will be branded.

    "The Races you didn't see."

  • Comment number 8.

    Great choices Pastor, shame the same can't be said about your driving standards :)

    No to Sky.

  • Comment number 9.

    Good choice in races, some very entertaining races.

    No to Sky. Shame so many will not be able to see future races. No to Sky

  • Comment number 10.

    I'll probably upset a lot of people by saying this...

    Yes its very annoying that F1 is part switching to S*y but i'm really getting bored with the blogs getting filled up with irate people. How do fans of other sports manage to cope? By way of example, WRC fans in the past 10 years have had to deal with their sport moving from terrestial TV (C4/ITV) to ESPN via freeview (Dave). Yes it has a smaller fanbase but after some minor grumbles I haven't heard too much complaints since.

    Right enough of that. Fair play to Pastor for mentioning Dijon 79 and Monaco 84, a little bit more variety than some of the other drivers this year

  • Comment number 11.

    Apart from the fact you should have been banned (At least for a race) for the disgraceful manoeuvring that you performed - nice article.

    And no to Sky.

  • Comment number 12.

    @10 You are absolutely right. But it is one of the few pressure tools we have left. Also, why does the BBC continue with space filling blogs from Andrew Benson about Classic F1 races, as they are fully aware that we would like an update on 2012.

    Yes, we know not everything is set in stone yet. But even that is not communicated to us. They just keep silent. And that silence makes that these blogs continue to be filled with protest comments.

  • Comment number 13.

    No to sky.

    That is all

  • Comment number 14.

    Unable to forgive his juvenile and extremely dangerous antics against Lewis.

    No to Sky
    Keep F1 free to air.

  • Comment number 15.

    Monaco 84 Great race I remeber it well.

    No to Sky, No to Sky, No to Sky.

    BBC you should be asamed of yourself for this deal and the way you are treating the licence payer and F1 fans since making this criminal deal.

    No to Sky, No to Sky, No To Sky

  • Comment number 16.

    @12 Erm, maybe because this feature has been running all season? How exactly can the BBC give an pdate on 2012 if there's nothing to say? You say they should tell you that not everything is set in stone yet, but why should they tell you that nothing has been set in stone yet? It's blindingly obvious nothing is set in stone yet as if it were, they'd have given us an update on their plans. You don't see ITV or Sky saying "ok nothing is set in stone, but we're just telling you so you know, even though it's obvious nothing is set in stone because we haven't released anything regarding our plans for sport X/Y/Z next year or the coming years, but we thought we ought to tell you just so you knew nothing is set in stone so you can't moan to us about it". If nothing is set in stone, and there's nothing to announce, they're not going to give an announcement or an update that nothing is set in stone. What's the point in doing that? Apart from there is no point. When there's something to report/announce, they'll report/announce it.

  • Comment number 17.

    Good mix of races over 30 years inc the nr mandatory pick of Japan '89 and Europe '93.

    Have been impressed with Maldonado's progress this season....another pay to drive seat but seems to be gradually finding his feet in much the same way Petrov did last year & unlucky not to score some valuable points at Monaco

  • Comment number 18.

    nice races there and some classics but we have seen before but worth watching again, wonder if this will run next year

  • Comment number 19.

    Forgive me for going against the grain here somewhat:

    Point 1: I agree with those saying this constant anti-BBC/Sky clamouring is getting tired. You should all know by now that politicians and 'suits' don't pay much heed to what we all think anyway. The horse has bolted. I was as cheesed off as anyone when the deal was announced, but I think we should get over it because it's going to happen whether we like it or not.

    Point 2: Maldonado was a tad silly with Lewis at Spa but you cannot argue that he was not provoked, and I include being rammed out of an excellent position at Monaco by Hamilton in that assessment.

    Point 3: The European GP of 1993, whilst undoubtedly being a display of breathtaking virtuosity by Senna, was actually rather boring after the first lap. Listening to Walker and Hunt's commentary, they didn't seem too excited either.

  • Comment number 20.

    I assume that after this season any such "classic races topics" will only count races that are shown live and in full on the BBC as being elegiable for inclussion as classic races of the future.

  • Comment number 21.

    Idea for the BBC to consider, how about compiling a list of races that people can vote for... with the top 5 being shown, then the screened races dropped from the list and the next 5 being shown next time and so on?

    Giving the fans what we want... could be an interesting concept!

    If you agree maybe put a "Yes to Chart" or "YTC" in your replys.

    No to Sky

  • Comment number 22.

    Much better choices than i expected from young Pastor.

    No to Sky

  • Comment number 23.

    Dear Pastor,
    Great choices, glad to see they are not all your own F1 races. You could have picked your great drive at Monaco 2011 though, the BBC could have shown it as an 'extended highlights race' as we in the UK will get next year and they could have just missed out the last part of the race when Hamilton's rash move took you out. It may not make sense but extended highlights are like that.
    Regards, and best wishes for your F1 future and hope your fanbase increases from the Spanish, German, Italian and French fans on F1 FTA. No to Sky.

  • Comment number 24.

    No to Sky

  • Comment number 25.

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

  • Comment number 26.

    @12 Not sure why in times of austerity we need Andrew Benson flying out to Singapore.

  • Comment number 27.

    A little over 20 comments and already two that are opposing the continued inappropriate use of these blogs for broadcast rights deal protesting. Seems like there is no real unity behind that idea and no matter what the anti-Sky contributors do, they will never have the full weight of fans opinion with them. If anything, they are losing support due to the whooly disrespectful approach taken over the last number of weeks.

    As far as Maldonado is concerned, he also cheesed off quite a lot of F1 fans with his petulant swipe towards Hamilton in Spa. Hulkenberg, who wasn't great either it has to be said, would still have been in that seat if it hadn't been for Hugo Chavez' oil industry millions using Pastor as a ppster boy for their failed political system.

    Regarding the races highlighted, Donington in 1993 stands out above all the others for Senna's supreme mastery of the conditions. Prost and even Schumacher ended up looking like amateurs that day. I also remember it for another reason. Qualifying was shown during "Grandstand" and Bob Wilson interviewed Murray Walker before the session began. Murray was asked what the greatest ever era of F1 was, and he replied "right now". That kind of optimistic approach shows that living in the past is self defeating while the future holds far more exciting and wonderful opportunities. Just a shame that so many of the commenters no longer find any relevance in Murray Walker's words.

  • Comment number 28.

    If this feature runs next year do you have to let sky have first choice of the drivers picks and then you get the rubbish half for example when MS picks the US GP with only 6 runners because he's run out of picks?

  • Comment number 29.

    I have been watching Formula 1 for 30 years and we now have the best coverage ever, so why sell out to sky. Sell something else to sky, but not Formula 1, PLEASE!
    No, to sky. Never, never, never!

  • Comment number 30.

    Sorry, but i had to comment on all the No to Sky remarks - have none of you realised that because Sky Tv are now on board with F1 it will help drive the sport on ? - have none of you seen whats happened to the premiership because of the money and revenue Sky Tv brings to it ? - Its now the biggest, best, most popular football league in the world. As far as i can see generating more revenue and interest can only be good for the sport - especially the small teams.

    Dont forget you'll still be able to see the races BBC doesnt show live a few hours later in the day with "as live" coverage - just stay away from the news if you dont want to know results.

    Protesting this decision wont change it - its a signed contract and a done deal - its too late now - i suggest you all get on board and enjoy F1 next year - you dont have to watch it on Sky TV - but maybe if you do, you might just like it.

  • Comment number 31.

    Fantastic choices, especially the 2008 Lewis Hamilton race. I must admit that i was devastated when I thought he had lost the championship and actually fell off the sofa when i realised he had won.

    Not that it will make any difference but NOOOOOOOOOOOOO TO SKY!!!!!! It is a downright travesty and to those of you that say enough to the complaining, tough! A bit like the outcome of this decision for the fans

  • Comment number 32.

    A good choice of races there, and not just centred in his career which is good to see.

    Please vote whether or not you will be buying Sky Sports to view F1 races from next year:

    Thanks in advance

  • Comment number 33.

    @ExcessBaggage When will you stop filling these blogs with your anti-anti-bbc/sky deal comments? Maybe it's slipped your mind, so I'll remind you again - we will stop filling these blogs with our comments when the BBC give use fixed answers as to what coverage they are giving us and why they thought this deal was in the best interests of the licence fee payer. Also your comment 'their failed political system.' enlighten us, how you understand this to be. Is it from what your seen on tv or in a newspaper, or have you studied South American politics? If it is the latter, then please explain your choice of words. If it is the former then you really shouldn't make comments to which you do not fully understand.

    Anyway, good varied selection of races this time, it's always nice when they show a race before I started watching F1.

    Monaco '84 - I can see why these highlights were missed from the previous blog, so good job in putting them into a watch-able link. Great race.

  • Comment number 34.

    Personally, I think it's good to see that the level of anger has not subsided since 29 July - athough I do think the comments should be kept to F1 blogs.

    One of the reasons we're getting no response from the BBC is that neither Andrew, nor Jake actually have any authority unlike, say, Roger Mosey on the Olympic blog
    who can and does regularly respond to queries and criticisms. So, pretty despicable on the part of BBC's F1 team to hide behind such shields and not engaging in any debate about this whatsoever.

  • Comment number 35.

    BBC you are an embarrassment

    No to Sky
    Nicht zum Himmel
    Não a Céu
    Нет к Небу
    No to Sky
    No a Cielo
    No to Sky

  • Comment number 36.

    Forget no to Sky (although I say no to Sky too) I say no to this format of 'Classic' GPs.

    First up the name for this feature should've been changed to reflect that the GPs aren't classic as such but infact drivers top F1 GPs. Bit of a no brainer but clearly someone is lacking in creative thought over at BBC HQ.

    Secondly the blurb behind the drivers selection in the Classic F1 feature is pretty dull and basic. I get the feeling a handfull of monkeys randomly typing away on keyboards good generate a more enriching and engaging background synopsis.

    So I would like to see this feature cease for next year unless it improves a lot in both feature and detail. It currently feels too stale with even the author struggling to make it worthwhile.

  • Comment number 37.

    @ Bestboy Do you not realise that premier league football is not F1? Firstly it is shown in pubs (who pay up to £100/week) to show Sky sports. Do you think any new pubs etc will be getting sky sports just to boost their sales 10 days of the year? Secondly, how much revenue do you think teams make from ticket sales, merchandising etc I can't answer that, but I'd be happy to bet it's more than F1 teams make. Lastly, it is an English league not a world wide sport, with a completely different financial structure.

    As I said in my post above, we DO NOT KNOW what we will be able to watch which is why we are asking for answers regarding scheduling from the BBC. Personally, if I can watch the full race rerun either on tv or online I'd be happy but all we keep hearing is 'extended highlights' so no, we don;t know.

    It may be a signed contract, but it is not a done deal! We still await the outcome of the meeting at parliament regarding the deal. And also what FOTA now think of it if the BBC aren't showing full reruns.

  • Comment number 38.

    @33, do you think continually posting comments in blogs complaining is going to make them announce their plans any quicker? When there's something to announce, they'll announce it. They can't announce something that isn't certain.

    @34 are you for real? Why on earth are you saying it's despicable that the BBC F1 team are 'hiding behind shields and not engaging in any debate about this whatsoever'? The BBC F1 team (if you mean on air team) can't exactly comment on it when they won't know all the ins and outs of why they did it, how it happened, who did what, etc. Even if you mean people like Andrew Benson, same for him, he'll have had nothing to do with it, he can hardly get into a debate about it when he won't know everything there is to know. Nobody is hiding behind any shields. When there's something to announce, they'll announce it.

  • Comment number 39.

    30. @Bestyboy wrote:

    Dont forget you'll still be able to see the races BBC doesnt show live a few hours later in the day with "as live" coverage - just stay away from the news if you dont want to know results.


    Can you tell me where you got this information because everything I've read says this isn't the case at all. I thought it was confirmed that the BBC will only be showing highlights? ... because that's what Bernie (and obviously sky) wants.

    If this is detail isn't yet decided then I think it's a valid reason to keep putting pressure on the Beeb to get the best deal it can for us (ie, showing the full races as live after the event)

    No To SKY!

  • Comment number 40.

    @38 - stevvy1986

    Are you must be still pining for Ian? I have noticed you like defending the BBC yet ignore the fact that as customers we have the right to reply. This is an F1 blog so any comments we as customers would like to make about F1 are best suited to F1 blogs. Even if we wanted to talk about the F1 GP weather that tends to get you nice and wet that would be fine too.

  • Comment number 41.

    @38 No, I don't think that me posting comments on a blog will make them announce their plans quicker. I do think that 100's of complaints on a weekly basis might.

    The simple fact that they announced the new deal, with no planned scheduling was awful PR and frustrating to the fans.

  • Comment number 42.

    @27 ExBags "whooly disrespectful approach"
    I've seen the majority of replies to the monstorous amount of posts you put to the previous F1 blogs and they have responded to your postings with a wholly respectful approach.

    Also on "Seems like there is no real unity behind"
    Disagree on the unity point, you are obviously in the minority with your pro-Sky position. Why don't you do something constructive, start an e-petition, say "keep F1 on Sky Pay TV forever" to find out just how small your minority is?

    Got to disagree with you on Pastor too, he may bring sponsorship like many drivers but he has won before F1, has shown great pace against Rubens and deserves a shot at F1.

  • Comment number 43.


    sorry but you are mistaken .... (copied from Jake's last blog)


    From the response to my BBC complaint concerning next years coverage -

    "We retain live coverage of half of the race weekends and we will have extended highlights of the remaining races so we are pleased that all of the action from Formula 1 for the next seven seasons will remain on BBC television. Online coverage of the race weekends that we broadcast will remain the same, and we will carry all the news and reports from the rest of the season. Radio coverage will not change whilst the most popular races - the British Grand Prix, the Monaco Grand Prix and the final race of the season will continue to be broadcast live on BBC One."

  • Comment number 44.

    @40 What a truly childish comment, and you know it (though I know you won't admit it and apologise for making such an immature comment). I'm not defending the BBC, I'm saying that I see absolutely no point in constantly moaning and complaining on here because for a start, it's not going to make any information be made available any quicker, there's no need for an announcement saying that nothing is set in stone (which some people for some bizarre reason want, which makes no sense), and that having a go at the BBC F1 team for not talking about it, engaging in debate, etc, is pointless, because certainly as far as the on air team goes, Andrew Benson, etc, there's nothing for them to say, they're not going to get into a debate when they know as much as the rest of us, and don't know the ins and outs of exactly what happened, who did what, who wpoke to who, who said this, who said that, who decided this and that, etc. There's absolutely no reason for the BBC F1 team to be harrassed, abused, pestered, or generally receive comments which basically slag them off just because they won't talk about it, when there's actually very very little that they can say. Jake has summed it up basically saying he'll still be there and will be trying his best to make the coverage as good as it can be. He nor anyone else on the on air team etc can say much more than that. Bombarding them with tweets, emails etc on race weekends isn't going to make them talk about it on air either, because again, there's nothing for them to say, other than "some people aren't happy, we'll let you know when we know what's happening next year". They've already discussed it in Hungary (and that was only because it was breaking news that weekend), and said what they said then. They can't say much else, when everything is up in the air.

  • Comment number 45.

    @41 Sky did the same, so I assume you and everyone else is also complaining to Sky on a daily/weekly basis about them announcing the deal but not giving much in the way of details?

  • Comment number 46.

    @25 first one moderated! Moi! Pourquoi? ...
    Dear Bernie, there is a solution. Two championships! The FIA FTA F1 Championship and a FIA PAY Championship, ten races each. The current F1 trophies go to the one with the highest audience. The $ky championship could be like the old normally aspirated cars championship of the 80s. People would be aware of it, and may even $kyBet on it, but wouldn’t really give a monkey about it.
    Regards, My family,
    Me, F1 fan since late 70’s, (Senna fan)
    My old man F1 fan since late 50s, (Jimmy Clark fan)
    My son, F1 fan since 2010, (Alonso and Hamilton fan, possibly the only one in existence, about to become extinct when F1 costs £600 extra)
    Pastor,on topic, Japan 89, hope you enjoyed it in the Senna movie.

  • Comment number 47.

    As you can see from the comments above there is loads of Confusion on this deal and what the BBC will or won’t be showing.

    As the BBC are not coming out and giving us information as to who approached who on the deal, there is still answers as to why they blocked the Ch4 offer so they could keep the scraps of F1 on the BBC while giving Sky the best options an in doing so ruined any chance of F1 remaining on a FTAS channel. There are major differences in what Bernie is saying about who approached Sky and the BBC’s version of who approached Sky. So the parties involved can not even get their stories to match.

    While these remain unanswered and the BBC refuse to answer the many questions the licence payer and F1 fans have over this deal (and they could answer these) the new will use the blogs and any other platform we can find to protest this deal.

    No to Sky, No to Sky, No to Sky

  • Comment number 48.

    @44 - stevvy1986

    People have opinions. It's what makes the world tick over. I don't see anyone on the BBC website attacking the likes of Jake or Andrew with regard the BBC/Sky deal (although I would personally lay some blame on Andrew for how poor and stale this 'Classic' feature has become). They know who to personally blame within the BBC even if they only ever mention the BBC in general.

    You were the BBC saviour over on Ian's blogs too always defending those who even dared to question the integrity of weather forecasts while at the same time indulging in unwanning praise.

    But as customers people have the right to complain. Telling people they can't is more suited to 1940s Germany. The deal stinks, the BBC stinks and if any of the BBC staff support it, including the likes of Jake and Andrew, then they stink too. That is why Brundle has come out of this with so much credibility and integrity.

  • Comment number 49.

    @ StevieBBC. If you take out the childish punditry of ms12345 and a few others, the majority of posts were indeed respectful towards me personally; but that wasn't the issue I was addressing. The matter of disrespect pertains to the en-masse spamming of the BBC's website output by people with a protest agenda and no consideration for those who might disagree or, in fact, feel apathetic about the whole Sky F1 rights affair.

    The "unity" you refer to is not universal and only exists among a very tiny, although extremely vocal, group of fans with a discreet and specific agenda to pursue. Among the wider population, including don't forget a far greater number of people who pay tv licences and watch F1 on the BBC, there is no appetite for protest.

    I'm lukewarm considering Maldonado and thought that Hulkenberg deserved to keep his drive. What was your opinion of the German?

  • Comment number 50.

    @ Melx
    post 43

    That word for word response has been sent to everyone since 29 July.

    Good choices by Pastor, He is also doing better against Barrichelo this year than another highly rated rookie done the year before so credit to him. Whether that has something to do with the car not suiting Barrichelo's driving style this year or whatever else is another issue.

    I am still trying to figure out how any "fan" supports the Sky deal. Why would anyone post in support of the deal? Its just ludicrous to try to say paying £40 or more a month extra to watch with added advertisements before and after the race is better.

    I wouldn't even respond to them posters as they are obviously not fans and just there to try and disrupt things. One such was never registered before Jakes last blog but for some reason had about 100 posts in support of sky deal on it. Does that not sound a bit strange?

    Why should we shut up about it. Channel 4 would have the coverage if BBC didn't team up with Sky and deprive the most of us the chance to follow something we have for years.

  • Comment number 51.

    @ 3 & @ 5,

    Williams Adam Parr said in Venezuelan State TV that Lee's and BBC's crew visit to Venezuela was organised by Williams. One must wonder what "organised" means. Does it mean that Williams paid for the trip? Is that legal, mind you an F1 team flying a BBC crew half around the world to film a bit of propaganda about the socialist wonders of Chavez that'll be rammed down every viewer's throat this weekend?

    Williams didn't paid for anything at the end. It was PDVSA's money, Williams is just keeping its end of the bargain, which is to help wash the irreparable image of the Venezuelan caudillo.

  • Comment number 52.

    @48 to add to your post, respect to Brundle, quotes:-

    'like a hand grenade being dropped into the middle of a very good show’
    I’m very disappointed.
    At heart, I’m a car dealer and I know the golden rule is ‘don’t confuse the customer’, in this case the customer is the F1 fan.
    Silverstone will be sweating now. We get more viewers for qualifying than ITV used to get for the race, and that drives fans to race tracks.
    I don’t like compromise.
    We had something really good going at the BBC. Fantastic chemistry and creativity from the entire production team. We’re two and a half years in and its been torpedoed.

  • Comment number 53.

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

  • Comment number 54.

    Some nice choices maldonado:)

    No to sky

  • Comment number 55.

    @53 Why should you apologise? Hmmmm, how about for posting utter tripe in regards me, any of my comments, trying to make me out to only praise the BBC and everything it does with regards F1, the childish comments you made regarding Ian's weather blogs, claiming I basically slagged off anyone who dared question the integrity of the forecast etc, which is utter garbage. Your comments against me so far on this blog have been childish, immature, and quite frankly I'm amazed you don't know better. You could've made your points to me so much more mature and sensible, and then there'd be no issue, rather than slagging me off with pathetic comments made against me that are completely untrue. Please, do me and everyone else a favour, and just respond in a more sensible manner, there's really no need for you to make some of the comments you have, and you know it.

  • Comment number 56.


    Yes, it seems the pretend cuts only apply to the viewers and not the BBC staff.

    Incidentally, the BBC pay Sky £11 million just to be listed on Sky's EPG, despite the fact that 3/4's of all Sky households don't subscribe to any pay channel, and only use Sky to watch the FTA channels, Sky should be paying the BBC for bringing along all those viewers, not the other way round.

  • Comment number 57.

    @ Alek Boyd. Excellent observations concerning the appalling system of Chavez and his cronies. Rather like the Chinese and a few other questionable regimes around the world they see F1 as nothing more than a PR opportunity to spread poisonous idealogy. Maldonado is average at best and wouldn't have got anywhere near F1 without state sponsorship (not that there's any other kind of sponsorship left in Venezuela these days).

  • Comment number 58.

    @55 - stevvy1986

    Precious me thinks. I've made my point. I'm not going to argue against what I have read in the past with my own eyes. Nor am I going to waste time on this.

    On a more sensible and worthwhile note, no to more Classic F1.

    Save yourself some time and some of the BBC resources Andrew and drop the feature. Or maybe you could reduce the feature so we only get three more Classic F1s over the next six races. The BBC would back you no end on that one.

  • Comment number 59.

    avereage choices from one ugly bloke i used to think was ok untill he got a bit jelious of a man who is obviously a better driver!

    Keep up the good work BBC team.

  • Comment number 60.

    @3 - HackneyRed

    I thought that the Lee McKenzie trip was by invite from Pastor's sponsors. I could be wrong though.

    If the BBC want to say money then dropping this feature could be a solution. Also do we really need a BBC F1 team with so many people. Do we need three pit lane reporters? Do we need EJ and DC at each GP? Could Jake not simply report from a studio in Norwich while Martin and DC do their stuff from the grid and the commentary box? Surely the BBC fan forum should be dropped after each race as it have now become a running joke? Will the BBC F1 team get a pay rise next year even if the licence fee is frozen?

  • Comment number 61.

    The BBC still hasn't explained why they went running to Sky instead of Channel 4 (or one of the other FTA broadcaster).

    Remaining silent isn't going to help. We will not give up until we have answers.

    I really don't like Pastor Maldonado - he should be banned from F1 for intentionally crashing into Lewis. Imagine if it had been the other way round... you can't tell me Lewis would only have got a 5 place penalty? Lee McKenzie would be filling the airwaves with her typical anti-Lewis sentiment and the rest of the BBC F1 team would be talking about how Jenson is the McLaren team leader.

  • Comment number 62.

    The BBC still hasn't explained why they went running to Sky instead of Channel 4 (or one of the other FTA broadcaster).

    Remaining silent isn't going to help. We will not give up until we have answers.


    What answer could the BBC give that wouldn't have all the moaners instantly bleating again?

  • Comment number 63.

    If the Sky deal had been announced during the 2013 season, I would have been disappointed, probably complained, and then, if it still went ahead, got over it. Because at the end of the existing contract, all parties were at liberty to bid for the rights.

    Why I am so upset about this and am continuing to campaign, is the way the BBC approached Sky two years before the expiry of their existing contract with, I believe, the deliberate intention of preventing other free-to-air broadcasters obtaining the rights. Even if not actually illegal, I believe this to be inappropriate behaviour for a public service broadcaster and that the BBC staff responsible should be called to account.

  • Comment number 64.

    @61 - Alastair

    As a Lewis fan I can see why you may not like Pastor. I'm no big fan of Pastor either but I wouldn't agree with your opinion that he should be banned from F1. If he was banned then Lewis would be following him out of the paddock quite quickly for his previous too.

    As for Lee McKenzie and her recent interviewing tactics can you really blame her. The BBC are all stirring things up all along the paddock these days. I fear the ego has taken over the production ethics and we are seeing more of a tabloid approach to F1 broadcasting. Just listen to the dialogue during the TV commentary for the Monza GP - shocking to say the least. But then again maybe the BBC are dumbing down standards in preparation for Sky getting sole rights to all live F1 races. It could all be part of the flunky deal that the BBC have signed up to. Yes Sky, no Sky, three bags full Sky.

    Where has all the professionalism gone BBC? Where has it gone?

  • Comment number 65.

    @49 "..that Hulkenberg deserved to keep his drive. What was your opinion of the German?"

    Thought he was good last year but not amazing like Alonso in the Minardi in 01. Hulk had an amazing highlight with his pole after fitting dry tyres before everyone else and doing laps on the damp track. I'd like to see him race VS di Resta next year.
    How to get new drivers into F1 and rate them, is an interesting topic. I'd like to see Friday 'rookie' shootouts at each race. Maybe in an old team car, say 5 rookies set a lap in the Red Bull, see who gets closest to Vettel, next race it's McLaren - 5 rookies v Hamilton, Ferrari, who gets closest to Alonso, or maybe Massa though he may get beaten :)

  • Comment number 66.

    I agree with the comments that this feature is becoming stale as many of the drivers choose the same races.

    Perhaps for next season it could be opened up to the fans. They could choose the highlights of the first GP they went to and give a little background as to why they went and how they got there.

  • Comment number 67.

    in all the contracts negotiations I've been involved with at work,
    ( ok so we are not talking multi million pound )
    never ever has a legally binding contract been signed before all the details have been worked out and agreed on.
    so which is it a done deal or a agreement in principle
    two very different things (one is legally binding the other is not)
    if it is a done deal
    Will we get pointless highlights or full returns ?
    which races will be shown on the BBC ?
    Which races will be shown on Sky ?
    you must know if the deals done why wont you tell us ?

  • Comment number 68.

    @andrewbensonf1 3 hours ago twitted
    "On my way to Heathrow for first trip to Singapore race. Must stay awake on flight so can go to bed when arrive at 7am. Bizarre but necessary"

    Care to explain why it is necessary Andrew? Is it to ask a driver a couple of questions in relation to the Classic F1 feature? Is it to discuss how to improve this feature with other team principles and drivers? Is it because Ted Kravitz or Lee McKenzie can't make it? Or is it simply to spend the BBC licence fee payer money on a nice little jolly to Singapore?

  • Comment number 69.

    Great series Andrew, nice choices Pastor, sort your life out BBC Management, no to Sky.

  • Comment number 70.

    @68 He's not on about the trip being neccesary. The neccesary bit is staying awake on the flight so he can go to bed when he gets there at 7am, as everyone stays on European time for this race, so rather than getting up at 6am and heading to the circuit for 7-8am, they'll get up at 1pm instead (give or take an hour or 2).

  • Comment number 71.

    I'm not getting involved anymore. My comments were deleted last time I said anything, and all I was doing was "sort of" defending the BBC. Maybe they thought I was stirring things up


  • Comment number 72.

    Can people please stop with the 'No to Sky' talk on every BBC article. It was a bad decision but do you honestly expect anything to happen - we're talking about F1 here remember - not exactly a fan friendly sport by any means!

  • Comment number 73.

    @60 joe blogs. I totally agree. The glossy wrapping paper is all well and nice, but it's the full length race inside which counts. If we do end up with half-highlights next year, I'd find it a bit annoying if the whole crew are still flying off round every circuit. The constant Twittering about getting on and off planes and having fancy dinners isn't really appreciated, imo. Also, agree with your comment about the tabloid factor @64, though have you seen the Sky F1 website? Never mind the endless betting odds, there's also a section on 'Sporting Babes'.

    @63 f1billy Agree- when BBC got the F1 rights a couple of years ago, they talked about winning back one of the ''sporting crown jewels''. Surely they'd done their sums and knew the cost - it'd be interesting to know when the plan to share with Sky was really hatched.

  • Comment number 74.

    Hmm decent choices from the Maldonado, Monaco '84 was a classic - the start of the Senna/Prost rivalry? Agree though with others the feature has been a little stunted this season.

    Next year, if you havent sold the archive to sky, it would be great to have team principle picks. I imagine they could be really interesting as they'll prob pick older races, being, well, older and probably more clued up with the sports history. Also they could provide a different perspective on certain races like 'it may have looked boring up front but watch my teams Minardi have a VilleneuveArnoux with an Arrows.' One way to keep it varied could be to have them pick 5 races from different decades maybe.

    Oh and btw breaking news NO TO SKY seriously man its is a shambles, give some explanation please. And full reruns c'mon BBC at least try to secure this for your F1 fanbase, the coverage is great this year but this 'situation' is hanging over it like a storm cloud. If you couldn't afford it then give it to C4. If you could then keep it ALL. Blocking other FTA channels just to keep a ruined version of F1 is the worst of all worlds - and the only way the sport could have ended up behind a paywall. Oh and it was great PR too.

  • Comment number 75.

    No to Sky
    No to Sky
    No to Sky
    No to Sky
    No to Sky
    No to Sky
    We will not stop protesting everywhere we can until the BBC come clean about this deal and explain why they made a deal with Sky and blcoked any other FTA broadcaster from bidding for the rights. In do so they have made sure all live F1 will not be on a FTA for the next 7 years.
    No to Sky
    No to Sky

  • Comment number 76.

    @70 - stevvy1986

    Now that I think about it you may be right. He may be saying the sleep situation is necessary. Cheers for pointing that out. I guess my twit reading skills are somewhat lacking. Still though, bearing that correction in mind, I leave the question open to Andrew - why is it a requirement to be in Singapore?

    @73 - jingle

    I fear to visit the horror that would await me if I visited the Sky F1 website so I haven't had the misfortune of seeing the betting odds and sporting babes that you describe. But thanls for the heads up. As far as I'm concerned the Sky F1 website may as well be biohazard.

  • Comment number 77.

    @ Howzat_Rudi wrote:
    Can people please stop with the 'No to Sky' talk on every BBC article.

    in a word, NO

    The BBC have messed up bad here.... I believe the majority of fans will either

    A: pay for sky and watch all the races on Sky
    B: watch somewhere else live for free (a German station for example)
    C: watch something else because they aren't interested in watching half a season.

    I care about the BBC, but I honestly don't see it surviving another 10 years which is really sad. I have friends around the world and the BBC has an amazing reputation especially in the US (where F1 is returning next year) as a quality broadcaster. This whole affair will be just another nail in the coffin of the BBC. It's broke because it's spreading itself too thin, it should really stick to what it does best and I think you'd agree that it's (award winning) F1 coverage is something it does well. It's just sad.

  • Comment number 78.

    What would happen if in future years, the five races a driver picked happen to have been non live races, with the BBC only showing limited highlights would they include those races, or only allow drivers to pick races that had been shown live by the BBC.

    Full reruns or limited highlights only for the non live races, what are the BBC`s plans for next season?

    Yes to terrestrial TV.

  • Comment number 79.

    Some interesting choices and good races all in all, will enjoy catching up with them on the red button.

    To the moaners about the moaners - nearly 6000 official complaints to the BBC in the first 2 weeks after the deal was announced, does the general population get to hear about this? NO - 150 complaints following a broadcast of Top Gear using the wrong parking space - public apology after 2 days. Every complaint to the BBC gets the same cut and paste reply (see on a post above) even those asking how it is 'value for money' or a 'great deal' for the fans. Twitter on race weekends is being used to up the profile of the fact this deal has been done - so many people still don't realise what impact it will have on them next season - as in a post above they think they will get full reruns - so none of it is technically aimed at the presenters but if we don't keep on to the BBC they will think they have got away with it....but 7 weeks down the line we have not forgotten or come to terms with it.

    Terrible PR exercise by the BBC that has incensed more people than probably would have carried on complaining.

    The rest is covered on here already, I will not repeat.

    To regualr users - you will know by now which ID's keep popping up, my suggestion is to leave them be then the conversation has been had with them and there is no point in carrying it on......

  • Comment number 80.

    Good choices from Pastor, esp. Monaco in 84, a great race. Bad decision making from the BBC though; no to SKY..................

  • Comment number 81.

    all of these races have been choosen 10 times before. how many times are we going to watch same the GP highlights ?

    Why did the bbc block the channel 4 bid and sold us to sky ?

    NO TO SKY !

  • Comment number 82.

    @ samson2009. We're all regular users of the BBC blogs, not just your brothers-in-arms. As for looking at which ID's keep popping up, well you and me both know which ones have been the most prolific and repetitive over the last seven weeks or so don't we?

  • Comment number 83.

    Nice choices PM, good luck on Sunday.

    @76 and 73. I've just had a look at the Sky F1 website for the first time, and my goodness it is shocking. I can only suspect that this level of production will be replicated when broadcast of the races begins next year. A pre race build up consisting of advert breaks and "advice" on who I should bet on via Sky Bet. Then a race broadcast with horrible banners scrolling underneath advising me on what ridiculous bets I can make now, and then a post race analysis based on new bets for the next race and possible championship winner with analysis of the shift in odds, and, of course, frequent advert breaks.

    To repeat,

    No to Sky.

  • Comment number 84.

    I am sorry if people on the blogs feel our protesting is spoiling the blog for them, but to be honest I and I am sure many others will not stop using any platform possible to air our disgust at the BBC over this deal.

    I am not the type of person to just roll over and say oh well there is nothing we can do so we may as well accept it, I won’t accept it, I will continue to let the BBC know how I feel in any way I possible can and that will by use of blogs, mail, email,phone and any other way I can.

    It may not change anything but at least I can say I gave it a go.

    No to Sky
    BBC is an embracement
    Scrap the licence Fee.
    No to Sky

  • Comment number 85.

    I feel I must comment on the slur against Jacky Ickx in this blog from Andrew Benson. Where is the balance in opposition to the conspiracy that Jacky stopped the race so Prost could win?

    The race had seen many drivers spin off including drivers like Niki Lauda and Nigel Mansell due to the horrendous conditions. Other drivers were even retiring due to electrical issues. So it could be argued that Ickx did the right thing. However, the rain was beginning to ease at the point it was stopped the drivers had been racing in very difficult conditions for over 30 laps around one of the most demanding circuits in F1. Fatigue and risk would have been just as likely as it was before. Making the decision would have been difficult. But I guess Ickx didn't do himself any favours not discussing halting the race with other officials.

  • Comment number 86.

    I am getting bored with all the no to Sky stuff. I wholeheartedly support everyone with this sentiment because it is my sentiment. But I am an insignificant schmoe, like all of you. The only people who can make a difference and who can scupper this deal are the sponsors and, by extension, the teams. If you really want to sink this deal, if you really want to fight back, then boycott next season entirely. Don't tune in, even for the highlights. Don't go to the GP's. Don't view the online content or, if you absolutely must, reroute it through an anonymiser. Bleating on here, on a blog that the powers that be ignore, will have no effect. Reducing the viewing figures from nearly 6 million to hundreds of thousands... now, that would be noticed! I'd pay to see Bernie soil himself at viewing figures like that.

  • Comment number 87.

    Also I see a couple of positive comments about Stefan Bellof's perfromance in the report on Monaco 1984. But he was retrospectively disqualified from the race due to his (and Brundles) team being found guilty of running underweight and hence illegal cars during that season. This was proven and wasn't a conspiracy yet it is omitted from the report.

    Surely this should be mentioned in the report Andrew as the highlights will not clarify or mention that the driver who was actually classified in third place was Rene Arnoux driving a Ferrari. Would you not agree?

    Selective blogging me thinks.

  • Comment number 88.

    In fact! How about we do this as a collective. Let's see how committed people are to this.

    Instead of "No to Sky" put in "Vote with your feet! Boycott 2012!"

    Vote with your feet! Boycott 2012!

  • Comment number 89.

    19. At 10:03 21st Sep 2011, Reverend Frog wrote:

    Point 2: Maldonado was a tad silly with Lewis at Spa but you cannot argue that he was not provoked, and I include being rammed out of an excellent position at Monaco by Hamilton in that assessment.


    Are you saying that back in May, Lewis Hamilton provoked Pastor Maldonado into crashing into him some 3 months later, on a cool down lap?


    Even if it was the same weekend, crashing in to someone during the race to try to gain a position is vastly different to making the calculating decision to do it on a cool down lap.

  • Comment number 90.

    Benson's Bill?

    Slater's slate?

    I think not. Methinks the minions will once again be asked to pay. And pray tell, master Benson, if we are paying, of what specific use will you be there? Will you be watching on a monitor?

    Exactly who's belt is it that's being tightened here?

    Well Pastor, that was a pretty good selection... pretty good.

  • Comment number 91.

    NO TO SKY .
    No we will not stop posting this .
    NO TO SKY .
    ( So there ) . .

  • Comment number 92.

    I've just had a look at the Sky F1 website for the first time, and my goodness it is shocking. I can only suspect that this level of production will be replicated when broadcast of the races begins next year. A pre race build up consisting of advert breaks and "advice" on who I should bet on via Sky Bet. Then a race broadcast with horrible banners scrolling underneath advising me on what ridiculous bets I can make now, and then a post race analysis based on new bets for the next race and possible championship winner with analysis of the shift in odds


    Is this based on the fact that they don't do that for any other sport? Or the fact that Sky's coverage of sport is much, much better than the BBC or ITV have ever produced?

    It's annoying to have to pay to watch sport but it's just the same as any other walk of life. The BBC's coverage has been excellent but I honestly can't see SKY's coverage being any worse as with every other sporting coverage they've raised the bar.

  • Comment number 93.

    @10. As a huge rally fan ( i compete regularly and go spectating too) i stopped watching WRC when it moved from terrestrial TV. The coverage on Dave is not worth watching.

    I have decided that I will not watch any F1 and i will go to Spa once a year to watch the race live (costs as much as Sky for the year would). I have not missed watching rallying on Tv, just makes me enjoy it more when i spectate or compete.

    So no to sky, i will not watch F1 and pay for it!

  • Comment number 94.

    No to Sky.

  • Comment number 95.

    @92.We all follow United

    But Sky can't 'raise the bar', as the images they broadcast are supplied by FOM, so will be exactly the same as the BBC's, the only change they can make will be to the pre and post shows, and Sky will include averts in those, so they can't be better than the advert free BBC shows.

  • Comment number 96.

    But Sky can't 'raise the bar', as the images they broadcast are supplied by FOM, so will be exactly the same as the BBC's, the only change they can make will be to the pre and post shows, and Sky will include averts in those, so they can't be better than the advert free BBC shows.


    True, but I believe Sky will be able to have more build up on race days, more analysis on race days and in qualifying and show practice live as well as well as shows during the week. It has more time to dedicate to F1 which the terrestrial channels simply cannot compete with. Whether it's better or worse than the BBC remains to be seen however judging by how much better the likes of football, cricket, rugby etc coverage is on Sky then i'm prepared to wait and see. Others have already started fantasising about what will happen (adverts in races, breaks every 30 seconds, hiring non-racing people to present it) but until it happens we'll all have to wait and see.

    If it's rubbish then by all means complain then.

  • Comment number 97.

    @92 - We all follow United

    I take it the United you at least follow is Man United. The same team who have gained more than any other and had success largely as a result of Sky having the football rights. Also Sky are mainly owned by the same company who wanted to buy Man Utd but couldn't so have ensured they can make money out of them through their success and image. So I can see why you may like Sky. But F1 is not football. Sky do not show all the games each week. With F1 that would be like Sky only following a particular team for each race and ignoring the rest of the field and then following another team the next. But to ensure exposure and advertising Sky would show more of the Ferrari car over the championship year while ignoring the teams at the back of the pack. F1 involves every team competing against each other every week. We the viewers need to see every team competing live every week as that is how it should be followed. I shudder at the quality and focus that Sky will bring to F1.

  • Comment number 98.

    I remember when they tried to cover A1 racing. They had a team that knew nothing about racing, with a pretty presenter that couldn't speak. Typical SKY - it's the equivalent of "The Sun does...". The Sun does F1 - Tyres are different compounds! Teams in Pirelli Shocker! Allied to a pretty girl who's brain you can actually see change gear while the wind blows in one ear and out the other. Sigh... Oh well. I get my summer Sundays back!

    Vote with your feet! Boycott 2012!

  • Comment number 99.

    Interesting... Looks like the WUM's brigade enjoy having a mass debate and not just on Pastor's classics...

    @ 89 FortressFratton

    Agree with your comments wholeheartedly.

  • Comment number 100.

    boycott 2012 will not be much of an issue as watching half a season is no use at all so if the BBC continue to not show all season live then I will not be watch next year and the BBC will not be getting my licence Fee.

    But waiting till next year to protest is to late, we need to do it now and continue to do, which is what we are doing


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