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Webber wins but Vettel is still the man to beat

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Andrew Benson | 20:58 UK time, Sunday, 27 November 2011

If Mark Webber did not sound as if he was jumping for joy after winning the Brazilian Grand Prix - his first win of 2012 in the final race of what has been a tough season for the Australian - it should be no surprise.

There is no artifice about Webber and he knows as well as anyone that, statistically, this has been a disappointing year for him. One win in a race in which his team-mate had one arm tied behind his back does not on its own signify that his fortunes will change next season.

Nor, though, does the manner of victory necessarily mean that they won't.

Eleven wins and a new all-time record 15 pole positions for Sebastian Vettel as against one win and three poles for Webber are numbers that do not make comfortable reading for the older man.

But it should be remembered that the two men were evenly matched in 2010 as they both battled for the title with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

Webber is determined to recapture that form and there have been signs in the second half of the season that he is heading in the right direction.

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Undoubtedly he struggled in the first half of this year. He was hit hard by reliability problems - if there was a problem with Red Bull's troublesome Kers power-boost system at the start of the year, it seemed Webber's car would have it - but also he took much longer than Vettel to adapt to the different demands of the new Pirelli tyres.

By the time he had, Vettel was long gone in the championship. It has, though, been much closer between the two in the second half of the season.

Vettel has still had the upper hand - and his electrifying qualifying pace and consistency has put him in a position to control many of the races.

But Webber has been getting on top of one of his biggest problems this year - higher tyre wear than Vettel, sometimes influenced by problems outside his control - and on race pace the two have been pretty evenly matched, even if it has not always been obvious because of their different positions in the race.

Webber could have won in Korea had not a mystifying pit-wall decision prevented him from passing Hamilton and exploiting a strategy that should have beaten Vettel, too.

In the end, the much-needed win came in Brazil in a race in which Vettel's gearbox problem prevented him having a straight fight with his team-mate.

But as Webber pointed out, these things happen and you take wins however they come. Not only has he himself been on the receiving end of that sort of fortune many a time, it was probably also about time Vettel had some bad luck.

"Even if the win didn't come today there were some positive signs for me in recent races," he said.

"There has been some good pace from me considering some of the things that have been going on. Today was a good grand prix.

"It's not a bad thing to finish the year like this, one of the most important things is I started to feel the car a bit better, to get a bit more of an understanding."

"It's great Mark has won a race," team principal Christian Horner said.

"It would have been very, very tough for him to have not won a race if Seb had won 11.

"Hopefully this win will give him a big confidence boost. He's third in the championship. Hopefully he'll go into the winter, have a bit of time off, recharge his batteries and I'm sure he'll come back stronger in 2012.

"Let's not take anything away from Sebastian, though. He has been operating at such a high level this year. That's what's compounded the issue for Mark. He's been up against a team-mate in the most phenomenal form and operating at the most phenomenally high level."

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Webber is under no illusions that Vettel will be formidably tough to beat again next season.

The German's drive on Sunday was yet another from the top drawer in a season that has been full of them.

He drove the first few laps as he has in so many races this year - building a 2.2-second lead in two laps. But after that Webber managed to keep him within three seconds or so - striking distance, in other words - until Red Bull came on the radio at the end of the first stint to warn Vettel of a gearbox problem.

This is not the first time this has happened to him and at first you wondered how he and the team he might react.

Back in Canada in 2010, Vettel also had a gearbox problem while running in fourth place ahead of Webber, who was ordered not to attack him as the team feared what might happen if he did.

But there was to be no repeat of that, as Vettel's engineer Guillaume Rocquelin came repeatedly on to the radio to warn him of the worsening problem. Eventually he had to accept that this was a race he was not going to win, and he let Webber past.

From then on, it was a case of managing the problem, which he did magnificently.

"Despite running a gear taller in each corner and trying to reduce the amount of shifts as much as possible, his pace was still very strong," Horner said. "There must be zero oil left in that gearbox because it went off the scale - a very mature and measured drive."

Inevitably, there were conspiracy theorists who suggested Red Bull were making the whole thing up to provide a convenient excuse to provide Webber with a win he needed and which also lifted him into third in the championship ahead of Alonso by one point. These can be dismissed, however.

For Vettel to still finish second in those conditions was impressive. One doubts, though, whether his performance merits the comparison Vettel himself made with Ayrton Senna's victory here in 1991, when the great Brazilian battled a failing gearbox in the rain to hold off the faster Williams of Riccardo Patrese despite driving the last two laps with only sixth gear.

Red Bull's advantage in Brazil was bigger than it has been in recent races, which is a worrying sign for their rivals.

Jenson Button drove a brilliant season this year to take second in the championship, the first time Hamilton has been beaten by a team-mate, and put in another strong performance on Sunday.

Alonso, too, has been mighty, battling the odds in an uncompetitive car. And Hamilton himself will surely find some equilibrium over the winter and come back stronger in 2012.

All of them, though, can do nothing if Red Bull produce a car next year with the sort of advantage seen from this year's RB7.

"What makes retaining the title so special," Horner said on Sunday, "is the calibre of opponents we are up against is so high.

"We are a stronger team in all areas than in 2010. I'm convinced with continuity we can still improve. We don't know what the other teams are doing. We will keep our heads down and hopefully turn up with a competitive car in Melbourne next year."

The gauntlet has been thrown down and it is up to McLaren and Ferrari to pick it up.

This blog is about the Brazilian Grand Prix and 2011 F1 season. If you wish to read about - and comment on - the BBC's plans for 2012, please do so here


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  • Comment number 1.

    Shame most of us will miss most of next season then. Shame on you BBC!

  • Comment number 2.

    @1 - Here here!

  • Comment number 3.

    @1 +1!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Yes to Sky!
    No to BBC!
    No to FTA!
    Yes to Ecclestone and Murdoch!

  • Comment number 5.

    god soul patch is here! thanks for the best coverage the sport has ever senn bbc.. but shame on you f1 just lost around 4 million taxpayers

  • Comment number 6.

    "These can be dismissed, however."

    Fancy giving any reasons for dismissing these concerns Andrew or is that it?

  • Comment number 7.

    To try and make comparisons between himself and Senna was disgusting. Still waiting for Seb to show us he can race instead of drive...

    Boring race actually but it flew by. Shame. Hopefully a stroger showing from Lewis next year, Jenno was fantastic today too. It's just been his year. With a half decent McLaren... who knows what will happen next year!

  • Comment number 8.

    Benson, the king of would's, could's, should's and, of course, if's.

  • Comment number 9.

    was a enjoyable race , cannot fathom why the BBC gave away next seasons opening race , i totaly understand why sky would want it as its like being held to ransom , pay up or miss out , pfft shame on the BBC , completely understand why martin has gone to sky , i wish him well. for me it totaly is about not being able to afford sky , i have a vry low paid job & 2 kids & a rent man. i will be waching the BBC's live races but feel totaly let down by the BBC's ivory tower aproch in thinking that no matter how little F1 is on the BBC that that is the best solution for all , when it obvously isnt! thanks for the past 3 years of awsome covarage, and in future ask the fans what they want and dont be so greedy, CH4 would have been better by a country mile

  • Comment number 10.

    Quite agree with #7

    How many competitive passes has SB made this year?

    Where would SB be without the best car on the track? In saying that MW ought to have done much better but 3rd in WDC ain't too bad.

  • Comment number 11.

    #10 don't you remember the highly competitive pass he made on Hamilton in Korea?

  • Comment number 12.

    @10 agreed seb isnt a wheel to wheel racer, he is a run and hide from the front driver. fair play to him he has talant but you have to think if he was put under pressure he wouldnt be as good as fernando lewis or jenson

  • Comment number 13.

    @11 - Thanks for the list ;-)

  • Comment number 14.

    Well done to Mark Webber today, a deserved win for a genuine good guy.

    Well done to Sebastian Vettel as well, coming home second in a wounded car. Don't agree that it was disgusting to mention Senna's drive in 1991, the comparison is valid in that he was having to drive around a gearbox problem at Interlagos, and impressive that he had the spare mental capacity to cite this during the race itself.

    Finally, congratulations to McLaren's number one driver for yet another fine drive today and another podium, and for finishing second in the DWC. Well done Jenson.

  • Comment number 15.

    I`m no fan of Seb but I do like how he`ll talk to the media at length.
    He also has totally out driven Mark this year proving its not just the car. (rem with Mansell/Patrese Patrese could get the car home constantly in 2nd place...meaning mostly it was the car)
    Don`t quite believe there was a sudden power cut to the bbc forum. I have a feeling something fun was going to be done re the sky thing and somebody pulled the plug so it wouldn`t be shown. Anyway I`ll not but HD pack or sports but will continue to was the later edition.

  • Comment number 16.

    Hi andrew:)
    just going to quote you here
    This blog is about the Brazilian Grand Prix and 2011 F1 season. If you wish to read about - and comment on - the BBC's plans for 2012, please do so here

    Hmm might be why you only had 10 posts in 2 hours:) mind you you could take a leaf out of you bosses book and just block any replys you dont like(I guess you got a lot thicker skin than him).

    Well dont want to upset the apple cart so back on topic:D

    While MW was gifted the race I dont think there is anyway SV would of let him past if he did not have gear box problems.

    The tv feed was a shambles today(maybe a omen of things to come?) is there any chance of seeing the fourm is full on the iplayer?

  • Comment number 17.

    We`ll see what sort of racer Seb is when the others catch up. I always thought Senna wasn`t until the Mclaren was getting slower. Only then we saw what a racer he was.

  • Comment number 18.

    Come on guys, all you (starting with the author of this Blog) are a bunch of vettel-haters' hamilton fans. What's the problem with this guy?, why so much envy? did he have the best car? probably yes, but not alway was that way. In korea McLaren were faster, and vettel still managed to win. In abu Dahbi Hamilton was the fastes in practices, anyway seb grabbed the pole. Did he have any troubled race? of course! in Monaco, spain, Hungary, britain, even so he won some of them and in others he grabbed important points. So, its not like you like to say he had an easy season, he had to put some hard work in it, plus I would say he did two of the most exciting overtakes of the year: Alonso in Monza and hamilton in korea.

  • Comment number 19.

    senna drove in 1991 in 6th gear only for the final part of the race in a manual shift car. slightly different from short shifting 2nd and 3rd in what basically is a semi auto. its in comparable really. fair play to seb for managing the issue but silly comparrison

  • Comment number 20.

    Great coverage by Brundle and DC of the GP, great articles before the race from all especially the Rubens interview.

    Thank you entire Beeb F1 production team, great job, it's been emotional and it's a crying shame your boss doesn't think that the current BBC F1 is worth keeping next year.

    The only part of the Brazilian show I disliked was Jakes overpromotion and the graphics clips of BBCs coverage of the 'full 2012 season' and 'all 2012 races'. Not seen such pathetic spin put on a bad decision since thry tried to convince us there were WMDs in Iraq.

    My F1 next year will be 5Live commentary withRTL for ALL live races.
    Thank you for 2011 and goodnight.

  • Comment number 21.

    So bored of reading the same anti-Seb comments: "how many competitive passes has he made this year...." The fact is that he successfully converted the best car into a record number of poles and converted those to race leads. When you are ahead of the rest by such a margin that he manages to pull out in the first few laps of each race you don't need to make those passes. Let's hope the rest can challenge next year. I would love to see tighter races and not just Seb running away with it as often in 2012.

  • Comment number 22.

    No to Sky...

    The little... well, I cant say that word can I, house rules! They've only gone and poached Crofty as well as Brundle. Using one broadcasting monopoly to create another. Makes me sick. The BBC came up with this whole scheme to circumvent the Concorde Agreement. Makes me sicker. Next year, for every race that is not live FTA, while its happening I will send an email addressed to both FOTA and FOM, Subject: "I'm not watching this race, I'm not funding the Murdoch Monopoly". I advise all F1 fans as nauseous as I am to do the same.

  • Comment number 23.

    @22 agreed with the sky monopoly part. we cant blame crofty and brundle for moveing tho. they are obviously more passionate about the sport than there bosses are. i hate the idea of f1 on sky but as the bbc have done such a good job with f1, the smart thing for sky to do is poach the bbc team/ layout

  • Comment number 24.

    I don't hate Seb, I just don't think he's the best about. He's had the fastest car, but that doesn't guarantee you all the race wins and pole positions, he's still got to do it himself. I'd love to see him in a car that isn't the best but unfortunately, with Adrian Newey about, I don't see that happening ;)

  • Comment number 25.

    Enjoyed your last race bbc, sutil did well but why wait till your seat is in doubt before stepping up? Still, force india should keep di resta and sutil next year, Hulk was just ok (except for his excellent Brazilian qualy last time) so is too much of an unknown for you though he deserves a drive somewhere.

    I SKYBet you miss the title decider next year bbc well done. I cant believe there is 1 month gaps and even 2 months between some bbc live races next year!
    Rubbish BBC bosses absolute rubbish.

    Hope beeb use the saved f1 money wisely and dont squander it on
    reality talent show rights
    reality talent show 'talented' hosts
    millions of overspend on bbc uk buildings
    loads of overpaid 'managers'
    overpaid stats and analysis companies
    outsourcing company ripoffs
    dead tv channels
    'Hotter than my daughter'
    radio channels with no audience
    dead languages like welsh and galicscots
    pointless olympic buildup shows
    overpaid newsreaders and weather girls
    fake cutback consultations
    hidden bonuses
    bank board manager salaries for picking and watching telly programs
    sports that have audiences of less than 5 mill
    monster MP style expenses bills
    etc etc etc

    oh dear

    My F1 next year will be 5Live commentary withRTL for ALL live races.
    Thank you for Brazil 2011, the live 2011 championship, and goodnight.
    No to the shameful illegal BBCSky dealings
    RIP bbc F1

  • Comment number 26.

    here here

  • Comment number 27.

    Wonder if the BBC will get rid of this idioy

  • Comment number 28.

    "This blog is about the Brazilian Grand Prix and 2011 F1 season. If you wish to read about - and comment on - the BBC's plans for 2012, please do so here"

    That blog you are refering to says that we have already 'debated' and 'discussed' the outcome. There was never a debate...

    I would advise everyone to post on there, because 'our comments will be listened to' again... NOT!

  • Comment number 29.

    self-congratulatory coverage today but my main gripe were the *endless*
    cringe-worthy interviews with drivers who either have no idea whether they have a drive for 2012 or know full well that they've been sacked (but can't say)

    - the poor guys having to stand there and squirm whilst 'i'm alrite Jake' and Jordan relentlessly poke and prod for information viewers aren't really that keen to know in the first place.

    its trashy journalism and frankly rude and inconsiderate.

    Di Ambrosio - a nice guy willing to fill forum air time by doing interviews where others would not - was made to look like a chump - then they get Barrichello to do a pleading advert for himself to camera.. just ridiculous.. they try and make Sutil Cry, repeatadly hound Senna about his future, and for why?

    I'm surprised Jake didn't shout "now dance Rubens! Dance for the people! go on - Dance for that drive!"

    ARGH! i had to turn the forum off.

    I also felt it would have been respectful or just 'nice' to at least give a tiny mention to Gary Speed at some point in the coverage, even for 2seconds - but i guess that would have intruded into the F1 end of term bubble so it was ignored despite it being the leading sports news of the day.

    glad theres a long break as am sick to the teeth of the selflove at this institution.

  • Comment number 30.

    Tried to watch the RTL feed today but it's now only available to Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Wonder who has been yanking their chain.

    Doesn't that go against EU competition law and that recent court case about the pub. BTW which brain box picked those races - Valencia and Monaco two of the worst races on the calendar and the Spanish GP not far behind. No Monza and No Germany and China the first GP. What a load of cobblers.

    Well that's it no more F1 then thanks to the parasites in the BBC. Wonder if they will drop F1 when they find audience figures down for their highlights programme or was that the intention all along.

  • Comment number 31.

    And I forgot Canada

  • Comment number 32.

    SB had a gearbox problem which is why he let MW pass. For all his problems he managed to lose one position which was conveniently to his team 'mate'.

    It smacks the logic out of any decent F1 fan. The team decided to make MW the winner today. This blog made me laugh because it treats MW as a little toddler who missed out on his parents favourtism to another sibling. That is why he wasn't static after the win because he knew that this was not a competative win.

    I misunderstood the terms of SKY and the BBC, initially i thought they were going to share the races but SKY will be broadcasting all races, quali's and practices live.

    I am for one so pleased that this is the case. We no longer have to put up with the institutionalised biased coverage which any half headed person can spot.

    I mean you had Jake H tweeting to thank Jenson Button for buying dinner - How is he ever going to criticise Jenson objectively.

    It is the end for you boys you have had your fun but now the viewer has an alternative coverage and I will be jumping on to that for sure!

    BBC coverage has been fantastic but was massively let down by those who forgot about the code of sporting journalists - i guess they got a little taste of the champagne life - my advise is to stick to your day jobs as reporters not wannabes

  • Comment number 33.

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

  • Comment number 34.

    @24, I suggest you do a bit of research before commenting on Vettel's racing ability. For his first couple of years in F1 Vettel was in a far from superior car. In 2007, his rookie year, after only racing HALF the season he finished 14th in the Championship in a TORO ROSSO.The following year he finished 8th, again, in a Toro Rosso. If you knew anything about F1 you'd understand that he couldn't have done that without being a very talented racer. Vettel has earned the right to be in the best car and is making full use of it - as any great driver would.

  • Comment number 35.

    A poor "race" between the font two with Webber bring gifted the win. Fair play to Jenson at least he put some effort in to finish third. Shame about next year's coverage going over to the Dark Side and shame on the BBC for facilitating it..

  • Comment number 36.

    aw for goodness sake give over about next years coverage. The deal is done and no one is going to change it. Either get a Sky subscription or watch half the races on BBC. Simple. Better than nothing. They had to cut costs so F1 was the one for the chop

  • Comment number 37.

    A Year in the number one car and he wins one race? says it all for me,

  • Comment number 38.

    So now the BBC can show even more Crap football at the expense of F1 fans typical...

  • Comment number 39.

    Fair play to Vettel for driving with the gear box issue for 66 laps, intelligent racer of the highest order and shows why he's the world champion. I'm really looking forward to see him up against Button, Schumacher and Ogier in the Race of Champions next month.

    Webber was excellent too, drove to the front and managed his pace for the whole race. Well done to Button for grabbing 3rd in the final stint, shame about the traffic holding him back from Vettel. I'd like to nominate Alonso's move today for overtake of the season, absolute bravery and skill to pull that one off and fair play to Button for giving him room. Hamilton was unlucky his gear box failure was terminal, he was running well until then. Not a bad finish from Massa though, or Sutil beating Rosberg.

    It's been an excellent season, plenty to talk about but hopefully a little more about on-track stuff next season.

  • Comment number 40.

    The Forum was the best by far this (and maybe last) season. Far better than the race itself, which was bizarrely for Brazil, a bore. First we have Eddie (who else) barging into a Pirelli meeting (after sweating all over the prepared food for evening dinner) whilst DC goes for a coffee, takes a pic with the marshals then comes back and talks to the Pirelli boss about sexy rubber.

    But that's just the warmup. Wanting to chat to Luca, who is well into a press conference, Eddie just squirms his way in and asks his solitary, irrelevant question - whilst the journos, mics sticking out, are wondering who let this guy out of the asylum. And then! Martin Whitmarsh saves the day, gatecrashing the conference himself to save Eddie from embarrassment.... and gives him a disapproving shake of the head like a dad would to his kid. Pure magic.

  • Comment number 41.

    This is a end to bbc F1. It is time to say good bye to the crew.
    Jake you so let me us down in not speaking up against this, You could have and walked away, Its time you learnt in speaking up and forgeting your large pay packet.
    You have more than enough to live on for a few years with out working. I feel bamsoki was the best you could ever do. Yes a kids program, lol. The amout of time I asked you on twitter to comment but you declined, Why?

    Any way a good race from button and poor race from mark webber. The reason of this button beat you in a much less a car.

    Webber will not be in a red bull in 2013. Mark my words.

    webber may not give a castlemane xxxx or any other larger. lol.

  • Comment number 42.

    Oh forgot to add, broadcast the last ten or so minutes that was not shown due to a technical fault please!

  • Comment number 43.

    In all my life i can't believe this royal screw up by the BEEB. You have an award winning programme & 5-7 million british viewers! but instead you chose to dive in bed which is known as the scum of the earth (SKY) The great british public OWN the BEEB (yes OWN because without our FORCED to pay money you wouldn't exist in the modern world) You disgust me BBC i for 1 can't wait for your demise.

  • Comment number 44.

    ArdsleySteve @ 10

    How many competitive passes has SB made this year?
    How many competitive passes did he HAVE TO MAKE this year? Most of the time he was out in front all alone. Who is he supposed to overtake? Whenever he was behind he did what he had to do, quite brilliantly in fact (overtaking maneuvers vs Alonso & Hamilton).

    Where would SB be without the best car on the track?
    If you watched F1 in 2008 you would know the answer. Even at that time he was brilliant. Now with the new found confidence and consistency, he's even better.

    In saying that MW ought to have done much better but 3rd in WDC ain't too bad.
    I'd also have loved MW to put up a better fight but I'm afraid 3rd in the WDC is too bad when you are 134 points behind your team mate

  • Comment number 45.

    I'm now officially sick of the anti-Sky trolls. Get over it, it's not going to change. You have half the races live (actually slightly more than half as USGP was scheduled to be highlights and that probably won't even happen) The highlights will be proper highlights, it's not going to be the 15 minute jobs you get on classic F1.

    I know you want it all live and complete, but it's over. It's like the protesters at St Pauls. Everyone was behind you at first but now it's time to move on and stop annoying people!

  • Comment number 46.


    I was also surprised to see Alonso making it stick there. But it seems like Button had to pull in behind Alonso as he chose not to drive through the debris from Schumacher's car (as he admitted after the race). But a brilliant move nonetheless. Personally I'd choose Webber's move on Alonso at Eau Rouge as the overtake of the season closely followed by Vettel/Alonso at Monza and Hamilton/Schumacher at Monte Carlo.

  • Comment number 47.

    lets be real here webber was gifted that race ,if vettel had a real issue he would of retired like hamilton did,after he let webber go vettel was setting fast laps and a few fastest laps,i like webber but all year in the same car,same team he couldnt get anywhere near vettel,hamilton and button done a better job 10 fold with a vastly inferior cars and team(i mean tatics and stategies,pitstops,basic decisons)

    as for the race its self i was so excited about it,brazil,interlagos.but sadly it was the most boring/predictable race of the year,yes monaco but everyone who has heard of f1 says monaco(true i think it should be dropped).the DRS was in the wrong zone completly

    on the races the bbc have for next year,are appaling valencia,barcalone,singapore,abu dhabi.the most boring races this year ,including brazil and sky has rightly got what they paid for i hope the us grand prix goes ahead but little troll will have a few things to kill it.but i haven't complained about sky because there is nothing anyone can do to be honest i love the bbc and its coverage,but there are people out there who are messed up for a few extra quid licence fee and make time to complain about everything,legard was sacked as veiwers actually contacted the bbc to complain,i thought he was great ,little too keen but he was interesting and now brundle has hopped of to sky for 1.5 million,i dont blame him a jot

    overall the season was better than good,but it didnt have anything on 2007,2008 and last year.hamilton had a disaster,everyone knows that,button was solid and reliable without anything spectacular,alonso out driving a shoddy ferrari and mercedes are nowhere and have been since the 1 year wonder of 2009,but my team for 2011 is force india,on a restricted budget sutil got 9th in the championship and 6th in the constructors,shame that sutil will be leaving(or di resta but unlikely) he had a brilliant end to the season,williams wow,what can you say about them other than maldonaldo is a pay driver with no talent or skill,he is the first to retire,crash.i dont know but why would mclaren employ a williams failure?

    happy holidays to f1 fans on this page,shame 606 is gone,roll on 2012

  • Comment number 48.

    Thanks for the blogs Andrew, Thanks for nothing BBC!

  • Comment number 49.

    Funny, when we saw Sarah Holt's blog about Hamilton not smiling after getting pole it was much more negative.

    Now that is a good blog


  • Comment number 50.

    Webber's victory was a bit hollow, as was Hamilton's last time out, because it wasn't a straight fight with Vettel. But a good result for him nonetheless.

    The punishment for the Schumacher/Senna incident was as I expected - they punished the least disadvantaged driver even though it was a racing incident, just like they did for the last Massa/Hamilton incident. At least it shows consistency.

    Driver of the day for me was Sutil, for outperforming his car, including an on-track overtake on Rosberg. Strange that his drive next year is in jeopardy. If I were the Force India boss, I would keep the line-up the same: Sutil and Di Resta seem to work well together.

    Finally, next year's calendar of races on the BBC is a sham. Farewell.

  • Comment number 51.

    Meh. The Sky deal was going to happen and there is nothing any of us could do about it. It's sad but we just have to deal with it. After much consideration I've decided not to purchase Sky just for the other half of a season. I would love to but it's money that could be saved, as I would just watch the highlights. A sad day for F1 coverage, but as I said, we just have to deal with it.

    The BBC have been absolutely fantastic. They may have come across a little biased towards Jenson but I don't care. The Kasabian ending actually left me with goosebumps and a tear in my eye.

    The race kinda sucked. Alright from Webber who frankly was sort of gifted the race, good from Button, shame for Hamilton. Even with what the F1 pundits have been saying about how you should 'step aside' and let the newer talent come into F1, I hope Rubens stays. The interview with him was fantastic, he comes across as a genuinely nice man. Give Barrichello one more season and I think he'll be happy with that, he'll be able to give a proper goodbye to his 'middle name', F1.

    I just hope McLaren and Ferrari pull something out of the bag for next season, and that Lewis can get his mind in the right place. I can't wait, even though I'll only view half the races live...

    Thank you BBC, thank you.

  • Comment number 52.

    Its a shame I agree that bbc have had to make cuts, and that f1 has paid the price. But that shouldn't take away from the fact that week on week ratings have rose, and thats all from the hard work of the bbcf1 team.
    For the green eyed monsters here. Seb is in my eyes, not just a damn good racer, but a hard worker. He's known for being in the garage earlier and later than any other driver. He is totally focussed on winning. He knows everything there is to be known about that car. He finds seconds in a lap that nobody else could because that is all down to his knowledge and dedication. Its not about the car, he got podiums in a torro rosso in his first f1 season! He is in my eyes by far the best driver in formula one this decade.

    As for brazil, the doubters and pessimists will always say that mark was handed the win. For red bull fans who have seen what has gone on this year will know that seb was always gonna be favoured over mark because of his exceptional form this year. And whether people like it or not, this is a team sport and its all about the championship. The teams have strategyists for that exact reason. Its tough for some, a blessing for others. There has been plenty of chances this season for mark and seb to race each other. But after last year, eg: at turkey, the team couldn't risk losing maximum points by them taking each other out.
    At the end of the day, mark has had the rough end of the stick. But he's not called Aussiegrit for nothing! He'll come back fighting next year!

  • Comment number 53.

    Good race, not as good as most Brazilian Grand Prixs, but then again Vettle had already won the title by then. Great race for Mark Webber, he completely deserved it, if his team mate wasnt Vettle then people wouldn't be saying it was such a bad season for him. I don't care what excuses Button will say, Alonso's overtake on him was outstanding.

    I was disappointed that there was no rain, it would of spiced the race up a bit from Red Bull dominance for the entirety of the race. Good overtake to from Sutil on Rosberg. And I thought Senna's drive through was very harsh.

    There should be no DRS next season, in some tracks its caused overtaking to be too easy, in others done nothing and caused nothing but trouble. If somof the drivers require assistance to overtake then they shouldn't be driving in the first place. Unlucky for Lewis Hamilton, Vettle, Paul Di Resta and Senna on their gear box problems.

    NO TO SKY, great coverage by the BBC this season, bring on 2012

  • Comment number 54.

    Thought there was a fair chance Red Bull would find a way to give Webber this race, so I backed him at a very good price. Thanks Red Bull!

  • Comment number 55.

    Ten races in full and live, plus a two hour extended highlights package for the other ten.

    Is the 'Sky' really falling in?

  • Comment number 56.

    @Gopr, there is a reason drivers say "You make your own lucky". Button made a decision not to drive on a potentially dangerous part of the track, which allowed Alonso through. Good for Alonso, certainly.

    Not the most exciting race overall, perhaps a quiet note on which to end an exciting season, I guess.

  • Comment number 57.

    The race wasn't a good one but it was good to see AMrk take a win no matter what the circumstances. mark needs to learn how to unlock the tyre perfroamnce in quali and the first two laps of the race and he will be more of a match for Seb.

    As for Seb not being a racer I seem to remember people saying this about Michael when he was in the golden period at Ferrari completely forgetting about all the races he had won from lower down the grid in the early part of his season. Vettel will be just fine when he has to mix it with the pack, not his fault he is starting from the front every race.

    The BBC coverage has been great in parts, but I do agree with those on here saying it has got biased this year. It is so obvious that Jenson looks after the BBC team from the way he is with them and the way they talk about him whereas Lewis doesn't seem to have that relationship... quite the opposite sometimes.

    My favourite interview of the year was the forum interview with Lewis at the end of Anb Dhabi when he said that he arrives at a race full of positivity and that the media suck it out of him with their inane questions.... the BBC team nodding in agreement not realising he meant the media including them LOL!

  • Comment number 58.

    Can some one explain how the BBC are saving money when they are sending the whole BBC crew to every race next year when they could have just done the show from a studio in London. Sounds like some people are on a Jolly next year at our expence lol.

    As it turns out after months of anger about this deal it now appears that it won't cost me any more £ because I already have the HD Package, but I was defo not going to pay for Sky Sports and still think the whole thing stinks.

  • Comment number 59.

    @55 Well said it's almost like some people didn't read the package they were getting, it's almost to the extent if you don't have Sky why will you go out the way to get it just for F1? I understand some die hard fans want to watch all the races live but that's just not viable for the BBC without getting some cash in return.

    As for the race it was a real snoozefest, Button was the highlight in terms of interesting things the fact he caught up with Alonso was brilliant on two sets of the the harder compound. However it would of been more interesting had he not had to change sets. Dull GP for Brazil but I guess as the season was already done by this point it was never going to have much interest in it. We've gotten spoilt that 3 of the last 5 season have been decided there and 4 the race has still counted. I really hope next year 3-4 teams are competitive throughout otherwise we'll see more of the same. Pretty dull year for F1 the stull behind number has been interesting but if the same guy keeps winning it gets pretty dull.

  • Comment number 60.

    Thanks for this season BBC, and so long F1. At least until it all goes pear shaped when Sky doesn't get the viewing figures and it returns to FTA TV.

    The man to beat is not Mark Webber, it's Ben Gallop.

  • Comment number 61.

    Ten races in full and live, plus a two hour extended highlights package for the other ten.

    Is the 'Sky' really falling in?


    And this in the Motor-racing equivalent of the 'Premier League'. Half of the entire season live with the rest of the races having extended highlights, if not the entire race. Fans of the football Premier League get an hour of highlights once a week.

    And F1 fans claim to be hard done by!

  • Comment number 62.

    Well, it does seem that the BBC, have finally gone political, what tripe at the end of the programme, could not believe the way in which Jake and DC, tried to make it sound as though watch highlights and have more time after the race to examine why the drivers finished in a particular order is a positive thing! Honestly, never heard absurd logic, but following on from that now hopefully you can cover the SuperBowl live and every other major sporting event. By getting let into the stadiums etc after everyone has gone home.

    Here's a hint, the reason people tune in is to watch a team win, people tend to go home afterwards.

    Sorry to see there was no humility in the presentation of the 2012 format, who on earth thought that gold laurels etc was, unless the intention was to rub salt in the wounds? Surely you could have had the decency to acknowledge that it was sad fact and have some empathy with the F1 fans. The BBC used to be praised for an unbaised position, yesterday it might have been good to allow your team to speak the truth be the gag remains in place.

  • Comment number 63.

    @61, this is just the start of it. I'm sure if premier league fans knew what was to come when Sky took the football rights they too would put up a fight.

    Also, the BBC has sold us out 2 years before the contract is up.

  • Comment number 64.

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

  • Comment number 65.

    this is just the start of it. I'm sure if premier league fans knew what was to come when Sky took the football rights they too would put up a fight.


    For the record i'd prefer F1 to stay on FTA tv as the BBC coverage is spot on; I'd like every sport to be FTA but we don't live in an ideal world where that's possible anymore. Most sports fans (albeit begrudgingly in a lot of cases) accept that we might have to pay a bit more to watch them on tv.

    That said the coverage on Sky is much, much better for the likes of football, cricket, rugby, boxing, tennis. If F1 has a whole channel dedicated to it, I can't see it being any worse than the BBC especially as all the commentators are defecting to Sky.

    For fans who simply can't afford Sky I have genuine sympathies, but you'll still get better FTA coverage than fans of every single other sport in the world. Fans who can afford it but won't on principle, fair enough as well but I suspect plenty of die-hard F1 fans will end up purchasing it.

  • Comment number 66.

    Though I'd prefer not to believe such I am sure that Webber was given this race, hence his muted celebrations. In some ways it must be worse than not winning?

    @25 et al. well said :)

    The BBC a public service broadcaster? Not any more...............reputation, as they say, is everything and the BBC's reputation has tanked with this sell out to SKY and deservedly so.

  • Comment number 67.

    Good night BBC, hope your overpaid analysts (Benson etal.) are on half their wage from next year... Doubt it

  • Comment number 68.

    25. At 23:28 27th Nov 2011, janner_ wrote:

    "Sutil did well but why wait till your seat is in doubt before stepping up? Still, force india should keep di resta and sutil next year, Hulk was just ok (except for his excellent Brazilian qualy last time) so is too much of an unknown for you though he deserves a drive somewhere."

    I've been following live timing for most sessions, and Sutil has been handing Di Resta between 2 and 4 tenths a lap all year long, including qualifying and races, bar 3 or 4 exceptions. Any insider of the team would probably testify this. And from the 7 out of 19 times he's been 'beaten', 3 or 4 it was because of first lap or safety car misfortunes.

    So again he has comprehensively outperformed his teammate, although to a less crushing extent than he did in 2010. Even Hulkenberg who hardly knows the car has been beating Di Resta in most practices.

    Di Resta is a very solid driver no doubt and he's proven it in other classes. Crucially he is also a factory Mercedes driver and will possibly keep his seat courtesy of this (and a 'reliable' season) over a BETTER teammate, but to suggest he should be nailed-on or even deserves a seat based on performance, or more so that he's been rookie of the year (when other rookies have been closer to their teammates) only because he's got the most points in the 5th fastest car is utterly absurd.

    The analysis part of the coverage has been atrocious, shame on you BBC.


  • Comment number 69.

    Andrew Benson wrote:
    Inevitably, there were conspiracy theorists who suggested Red Bull were making the whole thing up to provide a convenient excuse to provide Webber with a win he needed and which also lifted him into third in the championship ahead of Alonso by one point. These can be dismissed, however.


    Can you elaborate, Andrew? If I'm honest, it hadn't occurred to me at all that this might be the reason - I mean, with team orders being legal, Red Bull didn't need to magic up a scenario where Webber would be allowed to pass.

    But coming into work this morning, a colleague pointed out that perhaps the idea was the keep it from Webber, so he didn't feel like he hadn't earned it.

    You say these thoeries can be dismissed, but with no reasons as to why.

  • Comment number 70.

    Also, we often talk about how "it can't be the car" because Webber and Vettel are in the same machine.

    Could it simply be that the set up and development of the car is geared more towards Vettels style and preferences, than Webbers?

    I take nothing away from Vettels driving, which has been superb, but as you rightly said - last season they were about equal, along with Alonso, and Hamilton (Button has shone more this season, than last). So has Vettel merely become untouchable this year, or has the already quick Red Bull simply been developed to suit Vettels requirements - a fast driver in a fast car built around him.

  • Comment number 71.


    If the US race doesn't happen the BBC will have 47% of the races and not half, as in an uneven season of races Sky have the extra race.

  • Comment number 72.

    I think Mark Webber is under no illusions that he was gifted this win in a similar manner Lewis Hamilton was in Abu Dhabi. There's no doubt that Sebastion Vettel has got to grips with the tyres, and learnt how to extract every little bit of performance from the RB7 which in itself is in a class of it's own. There's no doubt that the RB7 is in a different league to the rest of the grid in terms of aerodynamics and downforce embuing the car with the most agile characteristics. Yes other teams have got in front of them occasionally, but it has been through setup and/or conditions that have served to slightly tip the balance in their favour, but the underlying superiority of the RB7 is hard to ignore.

    Next year regardless of the banning of the exhaust blown diffuser I'm expecting more of the same with Red Bull leading the field. - It will only change when Adrian Newey has had enough.

    It seems that Pirelli are to go even more extreme next year with softer compounds which of course give more grip, but will wear out faster. It's all rather pointless as it can't really be used because drivers are forced to preserve their tyres for fear of being overrun, but worse still it stymies wheel to wheel action for same reasons, and so prevents anyone really pushing hard in catch up mode. It's all rather constrained and artificial.

    Regarding SKY those who feel strongly enough should boycott it by voting with their feet and continue to watch via the BBC as I intend to on principle.

  • Comment number 73.

    "The gauntlet has been thrown down and it is up to McLaren and Ferrari to pick it up."

    That gaunlet could be a whole lot more costly if sponsors start dropping like flies - either every F1 team will end up owned by an Arab Sheik and carrying their national flag carrier on it or F1 will become a minority sport and WTCC will end up the premier motorsports formula.

  • Comment number 74.

    Yes" shame on the BBC, for your lack of vision. You have done the dirty on loyal F1 viewers who watch avidly every race and have supported the sport. And the fact that your viewing figures have risen does not support the partial move away from the live coverage. And as for your partner in crime (Ecclestone)it is all about the money and never about the fans, some of which have not got Sky,because they can not afford it in this economic climate. Finally if you think doing a highlight program is going to satisfy the real F1 fans, you really need to get a grip on reality. Thank you BBC !!!!!!

  • Comment number 75.

    i dont think any channel/corp has the whole coverage of any sport, be it football, darts, athletics etc the bbc is lucky to still have half the full races and extended highlights of the others, by next season it will become normal and i doubt anyone will complain anymore,
    and if u hate sky get over it, its the bbc's fault for selling their rights, why shouldnt sky try and get in on the action
    plus F1 needs as much money as it can get, i saw some young drivers on sat saying if they want to drive for a team they have to bring £5-10m to the deal, wtf lol but then they get paid wages and bonuses for points etc, doesnt make sense to me, F1 is a crazy sport, fun to watch tho .. sometimes :P

  • Comment number 76.

    Sorry to see the season end. Great to see Mark Webber get a win. But most of all, most all I, hate the BBC.

    Another poor broadcast from the team in Brazil I'm afraid. Actually that's harsh on the definition of poor.

    The optimist in my would like to think that the BBC deliberately ran a poor service from the summer onwards. As a way of weening us of the previous standards they brought to F1 and making the loss of F1 on FTA more bearable.

    The realist just thinks the BBC have an ego the size of a small moon where F1 broadcasting is concerned and it is reflected in a more lazy and arrogant production.

  • Comment number 77.

    unfortunately i missed the race as i was out, saw highlights some interesting moments but over all a dull race. I think the FIA should pay heed to Patrick Head and go back to small wings and ground effect, its much better understood than in the 80's. this in turn apparently leads to more overtaking as cars can travel in the turbulent air behind another car better.

  • Comment number 78.

    Have to agree with the general consensus on this one: it is a disgrace that the BBC would rather pump money into their MotD coverage than on its vaguely innovative and generally entertaining F1 coverage. The format for MotD is basically just tipping massive sums of cash into the bank accounts of already very very rich ex-professional footballers. It's not even as if they have anyone who can offer the insight and access of Jordan and Coulthard for goodness sake. Instead they sit there on their sofas with almost zero research droning on about a short edit of a match that has been butchered and is almost unrecognisable from the real flow of the 90 minutes - and then they get a big fat cheque off their mates and go home again. And that's without even mentioning the 4 week jollies they get at the world cup. It's got to be the biggest waste of money on any television station.

  • Comment number 79.


    . . . that is precisely what the mystery is about Mark Webber, their cars have been brilliant and Mark has consistently qualified in the top 5 at least, so why just the one win ??

    Apparently the answer lies elsewhere. Not in his head? or Just bad attitude ??

    Hamilton has been accused even of insanity by his detractors. Is Mark then about to be carted off to a Lunatic Asylum by these same people?? Not by a long shot I don't think, the under-achieving Aussie is one of theirs and can be excused.

    But never mind all that, he has managed a win, and that's the main thing. Well done Mark.

    Next year of course SKY will be cracking the whip, so make sure you pay up. I won't, as my telly will go in the bin and Auntie Beeb will not get a penny of me.

  • Comment number 80.

    Good blog.

    Team orders anyone? Vettel allowing Webber through with a "gearbox" issue, but still having enough pace to hold onto 2nd place? Stink of conspiracy to anyone other than paranoid little me?

  • Comment number 81.

    "brummiechicken wrote:
    Seb is in my eyes, not just a damn good racer, but a hard worker...He is totally focussed on winning... Its not about the car, he got podiums in a torro rosso in his first f1 season! He is in my eyes by far the best driver in formula one this decade."

    Absolutely. He is totally focused on that race, car, job in hand. I don't belieive he would have handed over to MW - he's too much of a fighter, and not a dirty one, (better mention no famous names of the past and present). He has still been getting faster laps and records when he could have relaxed because he'd won the WDC.

    Seems a contrary method for teams to get drivers who can pay for their seat, when they need good results to get them more money, which they'll only get from good drivers. A balance between chicken and egg in a corrupt world. Like rich man's son v clever boy to uni.

    Good for Button, can understand why MW wasn't delighted, pity about Lewis but Vettel is number one in every way.

    It still makes my hair stand on end.

    I'd like to know just what we can expect from extended highlights. Not even a live race until the third event. I record the unsociable hours GPs so won't be able to see the Aussie forum.

  • Comment number 82.

    I really need some good news today. So far this weekend I've had the end of the F1 season, no more FTA season live F1, the BBC's schedule for next year looks hideous and of course Brundle and Crosfty are off to the darkside next year.

    Is there any chance Andrew that Sky have poached you too? Who am I kidding - I'm sure Sky are wanting nothing but the best for their service next year. I guess then you will be stuck with the poor old BBC. A broadcaster that prasies half cut deals and a revels in the joy of providing half an F1 service. Says it all really. Now I feel sorry for you Andrew. Who'da thunk it?

  • Comment number 83.

    @81 have to agree about the pay driver thing, you look at the most improved teams in recent years (BAR/Honda/Brawn/Mercedes, Red Bull and to a lesser extent force India) they've done so by using real driving talent to teahc them how to build better cars. this was done by getting the like of Barichello on boards to give the team information. Sure one pay-driver is probably good but I'd want an old-hand telling me how to develop my car rather than getting some new guy in just because he brings in a cash injection.

  • Comment number 84.

    Stop moaning about SKY. All you people have to do is go out for a walk on a sunday, go to the pub, have a meal, then come back and watch the race, as if it were live. Or you could just get SKY. There is more than just F1 on sky sports...

    The tyres need to be changed. They should make it so that you cant pace yourself; you have to drive it like you stole it. Bring in the no tyre blankets now too. If tyres go on cold, people will be more inclined to stay on old rubber. Maybe they take 3 laps to warm up, you won't get this undercut anymore. People on older, hotter rubber will overtake the new car on fresh but cold rubber. But then after a few laps it will be fresh hot rubber, more overtaking.

    DRS should be changed. They had the right idea at interlagos, having it activate on a curve. Means you have to make it work.

    Would be good too if there were less engine maps, so you dont get 'modes' for coasting in front, 3s ahead, able to turn the power up when needed. You should be racing on the limit the whole way.

    Thats the problem ive had with Vettel this year. I do now respect him, he's proved he's impossible to beat. Its just boring how he rags it like mad for 3 laps, then coasts it 3s ahead, maintaining a gap. If it ever gets close to 1.5s or 1s for the DRS, he either pumps in some hot laps, or pits for new tyres.

  • Comment number 85.

    75. At 11:29 28th Nov 2011, tee222111 wrote:
    i dont think any channel/corp has the whole coverage of any sport, be it football, darts, athletics etc


    I can name 2 sports which are covered by a channel in their entirety, and I'm sure there are many more. MotoGP is the first but crucially, Formula 1 is the second (this year the channel is BBC, next year it'll be Sky). So it is entirely possible for a channel to have whole coverage of a sport.

    The examples you mentioned do not compare to F1 - it's apples and oranges. A football season comprises of 380 matches in the Premier League alone, and a majority of those are played at 3pm on a Saturday, so short of rearranging the entire footballing calendar around when they can be shown on TV, it is impossible to show it all. Even if they did rearrange the calendar, that's 570 hours of football in a season. F1 is, what, 57 hours if you include qualifying and assume a 2 hour race for 19 race weekends. It goes up to 133 hours if you include all 3 practice sessions. It simply doesn't add up as a comparison to football.

    Televising the F1 season is, in comparison, incredibly simple and small. 19 races spread over 8 months. No clashes with other races - because every team races in the same race at the same time. Football, athletics, etc are all completely different formats.

    Regardless, just because other sports can't do it, doesn't mean we should expect less from F1.

  • Comment number 86.


    This is a genuine question - did any footballing shows make any mention of either Dan Wheldon or Marco Simoncelli when they had died?

  • Comment number 87.

    Televising the F1 season is, in comparison, incredibly simple and small. 19 races spread over 8 months. No clashes with other races - because every team races in the same race at the same time. Football, athletics, etc are all completely different formats.


    So surely a whole channel dedicated to F1 is a good thing then yes?

  • Comment number 88.

    "his first win of 2012"

    Oh, really?! lol

  • Comment number 89.

    Thank you for a fab season of F1,excellent coverage, even Mr Jordan wasn`t that bad! I have followed F1 since 1992 and haven`t missed a race. However, Brazil will be my last .I have no interest in watching part of a season or what sub editors decided is the best highlights for me. I refuse on principle to subscribe to sky, (due to the fact i have no legal choice not to "subscribe" to the BBC) and I refuse to pay for the same service twice. I can only hope that sponsors will see that the deminished audience will no longer justify the vast sums expected of them,and that in turn brings coverage back to terrestialTV. The only "good" news will be that Mr Eccleston has raised a small fortune from the sky deal and that in turn our dear old H.M.Revenue will be much better off after he dutifully fills in his tax return and this will of course help dear old blighty out of our financial gloom.(tongue firmly in cheek). Thank you . ps.What a season Jenson !

  • Comment number 90.

    I refuse on principle to subscribe to sky, (due to the fact i have no legal choice not to "subscribe" to the BBC) and I refuse to pay for the same service twice.


    This is the main issue for me, that we HAVE to pay for the license fee. I pay for Sky because terrestrial tv is absolute garbage, yet I have no choice whether or not to shell out however much the license fee is nowadays regardless of whether I watch the BBC or not. Which 99% of the time I'm not.

    That needs to be seriously looked at.

  • Comment number 91.

    Come on Andrew, Mark isn't going to win anything until he fixes his starts. They were a bigger reason for his poor showing this year than reliability or tyres. The second issue that needs to be dealt with is pit strategy. The number of places Mark lost from poor start's was closely followed by the number of places he lost to either coming in too early or too late compared to those around him. Still, to be third with only one win does point to a consistency which teams going for the constructor’s championship want from a number 2 driver.

  • Comment number 92.


    Jimdavis, Red Bull probaly use Webber to try out tyres and tatics in the race as a guinea pig for Vettle and thats why he loses out alot of the time with his pit strategies.

  • Comment number 93.

    @84 Dave

    Which part of the word "highlights" don't you understand?

  • Comment number 94.

    @93 To be fair a 2 hour program covering a 90mins-2hour race your going see most of it. Also to be quite frank about 50% of most races are completely missable anyway unless the weather is involved.

  • Comment number 95.

    aden2012, oh dear, again house rules do not permit me to describe what impression I have of you after your comment.

    > We no longer have to put up with the institutionalised biased coverage
    > which any half headed person can spot.

    Instead, you are going to welcome, with open arms, the corporation that brought the world the News of the World and Fox News, those bastions of impartiality...

  • Comment number 96.

    I see the main issue with the SKY deal as, how come Sky can broadcast all races live, while the BBC gets half? Surely a 3 year old would notice that they were getting a poor deal there. I didn't realise my licence fee paid for a bunch of people who can't notice when they are being ripped off. BBC, please employ cleverer people.

    BBC will lose viewers in droves, as those watching half the season on sky, will watch the whole season on sky, and far fewer people are going to watch half the races when they can't see them all. And for those privileged 20% of the country with Sky, they have to pay a licence fee for no reason, as they won't use the BBC? So now the paying public get an incredibly poor deal, as there are negatives if you have sky, and if you don't.

    Could someone please point out to me a single positive from this deal for us, the paying public? And you can't even say that we get some FTA F1, as Channel 4 would have given us a greater amount of it, 100% in fact.

    On Brazil, I don't get how Vettel's Red Bull kept going to the end of the race if it had a gear box problem so early on. Does anyone?

    Anyway, won't get to see vettel romp to a 3rd WDC, as I can't afford Sky, being a university student, so goodbye F1

  • Comment number 97.

    Happy to see the back of the 2011 season..

    In addition to the dreadful news of the BBC/Sky deal my hate-list of the season:

    - DRS (in its current form - not sure it has worked the way it was envisaged)
    - tyre (compounds to remain unchanged during season so that testing results should match tyre performance throughout season; and certainly no invitation issued to selected drivers -Vettel- to come to the Pirelli factory and test tyres!)
    - current mapping of exhaust blown diffusers

    In my opinion, there is a danger that RBR dominance in the sport combined with the overtaking aids in its present form and the inconsistency of Pirelli and its tyre compounds might damage the interest in the sport. Brazil showed again the mighty superiority of RBR. (I cannot think of a worse start scenario than a RBR win in Australia next year, frankly..)

    It's no wonder that viewing figures dramatically declined long before the last GP..

  • Comment number 98.

    race was, unfortunately, a snooze-fest. I think Mark felt a little bit of assistance and embarrasment for the race win!

    I am actually quite glad that Jake Humphry will not be foisted upon us fans next year, and we will have a choice as to who to listen. His constant one-line quips at the close of any conversation with any drivers or team boss shows little respect, and an arrogance that pervades the coverage. I hate it how he is too chicken to doorstop anyone and send in poor old EJ. He is always behind him, pushing him in; "go on Eddie.."

    A new cringeworthy low was reached today though, trying to force admissions about next years' drive from people who clearly either didn't know or contractually couldn't say. If the beeb manages to completely ignore thousands of fans wanting answers about the sky deal, what makes them think that drivers/bosses would extend them the same courtesy? F1 fans don't care as much as the reporting team think about that. Far better to concentrate on the tech or the racing.

    Finally Ill be glad to be rid of the constant focus on the "passion" of the fans etc. What is the obsession with constantly pointing out that fact? F1 fans usually have engine oil for blood, and are the least likely members of society to bother about "how important is it to feel the passion here...." Such constantly inane questions. "tell us what it would mean to win here..." " tell us what it means to be on pole..." etc.

    Goodbye beeb, glad to be rid, although shame you are still sending a full compliment to all the races on a jolly-manage to cut any costs there?

  • Comment number 99.

    "- I'm sure Sky are wanting nothing but the best for their service next year"
    read '- I'm sure Sky are wanting nothing but THE PUBLIC'S HARD EARNED CASH TO PAY FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF WATCHING their service next year'

  • Comment number 100.

    @86 Goldeneye76

    Sure: as a British broadcaster, production and presentation team, broadcasting to British viewers interested in sport, many will have an interest and knowledge of the premier league and international football..
    JH is mr Norwich, EJ is die hard Chelsea, and they were both having a chat to Tony Fernandes owner of QPR, with Mike Gascoyne also admitting to being a Norwich fan.
    They're all chatting away on air with various football references to (at the very least) a football aware audience, live, a few hours after what was quite a shocking story broke about a football guy losing his life at home suddenly, not at 'work'.

    that is quite different situation to racers losing their lives racing (which of course is tragic), and you can't really make a flipflop comparison in the sense that average football tv viewers do not have an equally deep knowledge of US indycar or motorbike racing.

    i'm also sure football focus or any footy prog would have mentioned the death of Wheldon if they were chatting to guys with motor racing backrounds on the day it happened.

    its not a big deal, I merely expected a few lines of aknowledgement, not a 5 minute montage, and i got the feeling that the only reason it wasn't mentioned was because it was a 'downer' and didn't fit in with the end-of-term back slapping that was going on.


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