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McLaren unveil new car for 2012

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Andrew Benson | 16:47 UK time, Wednesday, 1 February 2012

At McLaren Technology Centre, Woking

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button sat on the stage in front of the car they both hope will take them to the world title this year looking relaxed and happy.

Yet in their responses to apparently innocuous questions, both men revealed much about the different ways in which they approach the 2012 Formula 1 season.

They were asked how they had spent the winter. Button, fresh from arguably his best season yet in the sport, had spent some time in Hawaii. "Somewhere warm to chill out and train," he said, "but it's always the same - you spend a couple of weeks away and you are missing racing, so I was back on 5 January".

Hamilton's 2011, meanwhile, was self-admittedly his worst season yet in F1, with three superb wins interspersed with errors and controversy.


McLaren are set to compete for the title with their new car which was unveiled ahead of the beginning of the Formula One season due to start in March. Photo: Getty

His response to the same question was enlightening."The opposite of Jenson," he said. "I was over in the cold in the mountains in Colorado. I wasn't missing the car too much - it was nice to be away from it awhile, to refresh, start anew, and just getting back to training was great.

"I altered it a little bit this year, I think last year I was training too much. I had a good break and I was grateful to Martin (Whitmarsh, the McLaren team principal) for giving me such a good break."

Later, Hamilton revealed a little more about his desire to make amends for 2011 with a sparkling 2012.

Which race are you most looking forward to, he was asked. "Monaco is the one for me - I want to get back there and have a better race [in which he collided with two drivers and caused a storm with his post-race comments] than last year."

It was a stark illustration of just how much is at stake in 2012 for the man who many still regard as the most naturally talented and out-and-out fastest racing driver in the world.

Whether Hamilton has found the mental equilibrium he desires to enable him to perform consistently at his brilliant best remains to be seen, starting with the first race in Melbourne, Australia, on 18 March.

But much of it may depend on the reason he and Button were up on that stage - the McLaren MP4-27.
His team's failure - for the third year running - to produce a car with which he could consistently challenge at the front was one of the main causes for Hamilton's frustrations last year.

He knows exactly how good he is, so it was galling for him to see yet again that he was not realistically going to challenge for the championship.

As is the way of things, the launch of the new McLaren shed no light whatsoever on whether that will change in 2012.

The car looks nice enough - and it mercifully lacks the "platypus" front seen on the Caterham, the only other new car to break cover so far this year, as a response to new rules lowering the height of the nose.

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There was a lot of talk about McLaren's focus on the aerodynamics at the rear of the car, which featured noticeably tighter packaging than last year, and particularly of the need to make the most of pre-season testing and start the season strongly.

That was where McLaren's campaign began to unravel last season - an over-complex exhaust system led to a terrible pre-season with a car Whitmarsh has described as "neither reliable nor quick".

This year's car contains no obvious stand-out innovations but the team were quick to deny suggestions that McLaren had reined themselves in an attempt to make sure the car runs in testing, which Whitmarsh described as "data-gathering".

Engineering director Tim Goss described the MP4-27 as "a complete re-work from nose to tail".

Technical director Paddy Lowe added: "The regulations are trimming us into narrower and narrower boxes so we don't see the big radical changes from one year to the next, so the car looks quite similar.

But there is a great deal of change underneath.

"There still are obvious innovations. We have done a lot of work around the back end, a lot more tidy packaging there. We have had to respond to the change in the exhaust regulations (banning the blowing of exhausts along the rear floor to boost downforce).

That's given the aerodynamicists a big challenge to come up with the (lost) downforce and the balance."

Lowe and Goss are old hands and they did a great job of straight-batting the questions on the stand-out features of the car and it was left to Whitmarsh to utter F1's dreaded c-word.

"I don't believe we've been inherently conservative," he said. "We've set ourselves some tough targets, targets that we think if we achieve them we will win the world championship. I think we will meet those targets, and if they are the right targets, we will win the championships."

To achieve that obvious aim, though, there is the small matter of having to beat the twin formidable forces of Ferrari and Fernando Alonso and, the combination expected to remain the one to beat, Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel.

Just as the car's tight rear takes more than a small bow towards the all-conquering Red Bulls of the last two seasons, it is clear that McLaren have had their eyes on other aspects of their rivals' dominance as well.

"It didn't go unnoticed that Sebastian Vettel put the car on pole a lot and then pulled the gap (from which he controlled the race)," said Goss. "We're aware of it; we've attempted to find ways to deal with it."


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  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm looking forward to next season, I'm sure the sky coverage will be superior to the bbc's, more footage, less interruptions by eastenders, I'm salivating

  • Comment number 3.

    The car looks neat and tidy and is nice to look at, which is a relief as I had feared they'd all be as ugly as the Caterham.
    If it is a little conservative it's perhaps not such a bad idea as the innovative exhaust proved to be terrible last year and left McLaren reeling after an awful pre-season. Recent history, particularly the 2009 season, suggests they have the capacity to greatly improve the car during the course of a season, so if this one is solid from the minute it hits the track it should, hopefully, prove to be a very useful bit of kit.

  • Comment number 4.

    2. At 17:58 1st Feb 2012, Scotty_Bradford wrote:
    Just a shame we have to have page after page of BBC basing and no to SKy etc... let's talk about F1 not Mr Murdoch for once please....

  • Comment number 5.

    Swindonbluearmy, I was just getting it in before all the so called fans who will 'switch to btcc, etc' start ranting on, as of march there's going to be a dedicated channel whith more incisive news and hopefully not so pro Hamilton as the bbc are. I'm fed up with the constant biging up of Lewis, he's not the chosen one, he's not the best driver, he's good I acknowledge that but not the best in f1, third best if that!

  • Comment number 6.

    5. At 18:10 1st Feb 2012, Scotty_Bradford wrote:
    Hmmm picking the best is touch! hate to say it but Alonso is probably the best driver! Button best in Wet...Lewis best from the Back...Webber best at driving upside down! Vettell best car! (not really proven yet in a car thats merely competetive not dominant) .... Oooh dont care if it's on UK Gold to be honest I can't Ruddy wait!

  • Comment number 7.

    Lets hope we have 4 teams closely matched .So wheather on sky or bbc (both channels will be using the same pictures) lose your attention for 2 seconds and you will miss something important.I just hope Lewis does not ruin his season being stuck behind Massa,while Alonso disappear into the distance finishimg behind a Red Bull

  • Comment number 8.

    Perhaps it's because this is the first showing, but there's a remarkable lack of sponsors on the car compared to usual? Or are the sponsors simply going to be added on a race-by-race basis depending on race location?

  • Comment number 9.

    @2 Scotty_Bradford

    When did the BBC ever interrupt coverage for Eastenders or any other program??

    You may salivate at the pre race and post race sky coverage being interrupted by advertisements.

    Sky coverage superior?? It is in the fact they have all the races live but guess we will find out soon enough who does the best job altogether.

    I am sure 99% of people would rather have Gary Anderson in the pit lane than Ted and having a recent F1 multiple race winner for analysis compared to someone who never won a F1 race or competed in one in 20 years is also advantageous to the BBC.

    Any thoughts from Gary Anderson on the new car??

  • Comment number 10.

    Is it me or do the back tyres look smaller this year?

    Those criticising people who complain about the Sky debacle should be ashamed of themselves. Especially if they subscribe to Sky and have thus created this situation. They are as much a disgrace as those who made the decision to let Sky take F1.

    Sky do not have better production than the BBC. When the BBC covers the Rugby i.e. the Six Nations, they have superior commentators and pundits plus are more respectful to the traditions of the sport; furthermore I am sick and tired of matches that my club is involved in being moved to ridiculous times just for Sky or having to wait for the adverts to finish on Sky before the game can kick off. Football has been ruined by Sky as it was the major catalyst for the Sport becoming solely about money. The cricket coverage is ruined by adverts spoiling the atmosphere and flow of the coverage.

    I and others have every right to complain as the BBC have not listened to us. F1 was one of, if not the program with the highest viewing figures on the BBC. it is ridiculous to stop showing half of it. It is also completely wrong for the BBC to give the rights to Sky as a result of cuts to BBC funding which were lobbied for by the owners of Sky.

    The BBC is not listening to thousands if not millions of its licence fee payers and those of us who have been ignored should cancel our licences in protest on the Monday after the first race that the BBC fail to show live and in full. Maybe then they will listen.

  • Comment number 11.

    i think the only major sponser missing compared to the MP4-26 is aigo from behing the front wheels.

  • Comment number 12.

    maybe Jonnie Walker is missing from the rear wing end plate. swapping whisky for sports drinks?!?!!?

  • Comment number 13.

    This looks like a car that will conk out in the first minute, lets hope! mine is lovely, you wait and see!

  • Comment number 14.

    Mr big, what about when races are delayed due to red flags or rain etc, the moment the drivers step on the podium the bbc are desperately trying to wrap up the programme, no analysis, no interviews. Every time the beeb cut to a pit lane report it's usually irrelevant nonsense anyway! The beeb have sold out to keep paying Steve McFadden and Craig revel-horwoods salaries, live with it and bask in what will be superior, more in deapth and not entirely pro Hamilton coverage

  • Comment number 15.

    It looks good, lets hope it will go as good as it looks. However, I cant help but think that it looks a bit sparse on the sponsership side. Is this just because its too early for all the sponsers to be confirmed or are they running bare this season with Vodafone, Boss, Lucazade and Mobil1. what has happened to Aigo, Johnny Walker and co?

  • Comment number 16.

    Scotty I think you must be anti Hamilton to perceive a BBC bias towards him. I am neutral regarding the British drivers and haven't perceived any bias towards Hamilton.

    I am sure you will love the sky coverage with ads at least every 15 minutes in the hour pre and post race (probably more to make up for no ads in the race as they do for football). Ads that you are paying to have broadcast to you at that!

  • Comment number 17.

    Here we go again....this Sky deal has been bad in one respect you can't actually talk about the sport in the blogs! Driving me utterly mad.

    The car certainly looks pretty if it's any good remains to be seen.

  • Comment number 18.

    10# et al...

    I think the comments weren't so much about people being angry about Sky, but about every blog on here since being filled up with people going on about it.

    You might as well moan about Hitler invading Poland. Yeah, probably not a good idea and going to cause trouble, but it's sort of over and done with now so get over it....

  • Comment number 19.

    I'm a bit disappointed, I was really looking forward to seeing some very elaborate placing of the exhausts.

    I had dreams the teams would be having many exhaust outlets to create a cold zone venturi or something within the centre of the car so the cold air would run faster on the rear wing.

    It is really boring, lets see what Red Bull come up with.

  • Comment number 20.

    Congratulations on your promotion Andrew to Chief F1 Writer. Perhaps an obvious question but since Sarah Holt departed, doesn't that now make you the BBC's Only F1 Writer? Likewise since we will only see half the races live, no doubt Mr Gallop is giving back half of his salary and changing his title to Head of Half of F1.

    Like all fans, I am excited by the upcoming season. I can't wait for the racing to start - only my season begins three races in of course. The Sky deal stinks - you can't get away from it. I'm not going to argue about coverage quality. Simple economics for me. I can't afford Sky. I'm not subscribing.

  • Comment number 21.

    @ 10 Bob
    Those criticising people who complain about the Sky debacle should be ashamed of themselves. Especially if they subscribe to Sky and have thus created this situation. They are as much a disgrace as those who made the decision to let Sky take F1.

    Good lord would you get off your high horse?! I will subscribe to Sky and will watch the coverage and I feel no shame whatsoever. In fact I object pretty strongly to you telling me I should be ashamed of myself.

    I was angry about the BBC/Sky deal at first and can understand the anger, but it's done now. I want to watch F1, along with other sports, so I will be paying for Sky. I am not responsible for the deal by subscribing; it happened well before I signed up. And Sky's coverage will probably be excellent as it is with all of their sports. They're a specialist network so will know what they're doing.

    And those of you saying you'd rather have Coulthard than Brundle because he won more races. How about I offer you Nigel Mansell as a commentator - a WDC, many wins, one of Britain's most successful drivers? Fancy listening to Our Nige talking for two hours? Point being, there is a lot more to broadcasting than success in the target sport and Brundle has broadcasting skill in abundance.

    Rant over. Please can we talk about F1? We're all fans, we're all looking forward to the season!!

  • Comment number 22.

    @ 17. ncurd

    If the beeb answered some questions about the BSkyB deal honestly people wouldn't feel so frustrated and spread the BBC/Sky deal everywhere else on blogs ect. But for some reason the beeb will not communicate with it's punters.

    Regarding the car it does look good, lets hope if goes like stink as well!

  • Comment number 23.

    Actually I take that back, I want the McLaren to be as slow as a dead snail. If the British drivers are not doing well maybe Sky will step off the band wagon and I can watch all the races again!

  • Comment number 24.

    #22 Yeah but it's not going to happen now just because you kick up a further stink. In fact it makes is less likely that the blogger will even interact with fans or you'll get one Ben Dirs' rants at you. Look at the recent Cricket blog by Adam Mountford, he answers people questions about the recent Sky deal with Cricket as well as TMS. He also gave information regarding Channel 5 which he didn't have to. However this is probably because people commenting on his blog want to discuss the sport. Not jump down his throat because the Beeb did something he disagree with.

    I'm tired because this was all we got last season and no one was actually discussing the F1 I'd hate to see another season of it.

  • Comment number 25.

    Let's start the Campaign to Free Poland HERE!!!

    see #18..;-)

  • Comment number 26.


    Free Poland? Pretty soon those nasty people at Sky will make us have to pay for it...

    Etc etc etc ad infinitum, ad nauseum... :)

  • Comment number 27.

    #26 Hitler was actually Murdoch's older son so I've heard.... ;-)

  • Comment number 28.

    @27 There is a German resistance called RTL!

  • Comment number 29.

    New McLaren looks pretty unremarkable, generic Formula 1 car shape with no obvious innovations, think Gary Anderson said of last years Ferrari which was in most ways also unremarkable that they had not been daring enough....

    Tyres used to present car today would be demonstrators and not representitive of ones used next week, also they would use a dummy diffuser too, perhaps that is where their stand out innovation will lie?

    As for sponsors, guess contracts are ending with no renewal in these tough times, never mind though as Uncle Bernie will give you a new source for new money, providing you go along with the plan to take the sport away from the fans, who needs them anyway???

    Paying to watch F1 on TV? Further increased ticket prices at Silverstone, including £55 parking fees, what on earth?

    Formula 1 is soon becoming a sport for drivers who can only pay there way in and for those to watch who can pay their way in, quite disgusting and hope it all comes to a sticky end soon.

    I say boycott the race, stream footage for free, or leave the sport altogether.

  • Comment number 30.

    I say boycott the race, stream footage for free, or leave the sport altogether.

    Or pay for Sky and get excellent, dedicated coverage of the sport I've enthusiastically followed for most of my life. I choose that.

  • Comment number 31.

    It does look a really nice car. I think it is true when they say a pretty car is fast car.

    Will Testing be televised at all this year , as I would love to see how things look before Melbourne.

    Fingers crossed for the team and I hope the balance issue with no blown deffuser hinder Jenson too much this year.

  • Comment number 32.

    Also, more importantly (and I apologise for rising to the BBC/Sky bait!!), I hope McLaren haven't made the same mistake as Ferrari did last year by going too conservative. The octopus exhaust hurt them last year and maybe they're trying to keep it simple at first, to hit the ground running, with some innovations to come later. Plus, if they had any really impressive innovations, surely they'd keep them off the unveiling car so prying cameras don't get too close a look??

  • Comment number 33.

    Must be just me that thinks the car looks like one of those double-sided toothbrushes then... :-(

  • Comment number 34.

    This may be a one off blog! but I feel it is important to answer some questions that are being asked.
    There is a lot of conversation going on re the F1 coverage for 2012, all can say is that viewers will make their own decision as the season progresses but having SKY and the BBC in competition can only improve the situation. I am sure that the BBC commentary team is stronger than it has ever been, Ben Edwards is one of the best lead commentators in motorsport and the combination of him and David, a multiple race winner in Formula One is an ideal pairing. Jake needs no introduction and is a true professional and we all know what EJ can bring to any show, he is one of lifes characters. Lee was born and brought up in motorsport and has a fantastic talent for interviewing drivers, she can really drag out there inner feelings, as for me I have had a lot of support from the viewers and F1 fans through my years involved in the design of racing cars and I am hopefully going to repay that with my technical insight into current F1 design and development. What is planned is to bring F1 closer to you, the viewer, whether it's the live races or the delayed screening.

    I have just been to the McLaren launch of their MP4-27, it is a very neat car but in my humble opinion it does not exploit the rules as much as it could have done, it is early days and we will see many developments before we get to Melbourne so let's wait and see.

  • Comment number 35.

    @Superha83 and others with Sky (or pro Murdoch stooges)

    I hope you all rather rich fellows are happy with funding a culture that will only further charge you more for the sport you love and in feeding are further removing the sport from so many others (the majority) for which food and heating are now vying for priority with a sport. Since it also cost millions to race in GP2 as no sponsors for teams because no one is watching (!!!) I hope you are happy paying for watching a field of Pedro Diniz's in years to come.

  • Comment number 36.

    @ Scotty_Bradford

    Ok understand what you meant now about wanting to wrap up quickly but in fairness there is always an hour on red button after the race so it doesn't really matter. The only time there wasn't an hour afterward on red button was Canada which was greatly extended. How many times would Sky have cut for breaks during that red flag period in the middle of the Canadian GP??

    I'm glad you said "Every time the beeb cut to a pit lane report it's usually irrelevant nonsense anyway!" because Ted Krativz was responible for that and where is he now??

    I never really noticed any pro Hamilton coverage from the BBC but I see plently of pro Di Resta coverage from them which I am long tired off. As for the BBC managment decisions I agree it is a joke.

  • Comment number 37.

    I have to agree with Superha83. I am an F1 fan, and will follow the sport regardless.
    As for the new car, I like it, thankfully they haven't adopted the unusually ugly nose that Caterham have, it remains to be seen of course whether or not this will be the car, and the year that Red Bull can be beaten, but as a Mclaren fan, I have confidence that Jenson and Lewis can do it!!

  • Comment number 38.

    Ve haf vays of making you vatch our station, und taking ze racing of des autos avay from ze neo-communist zionist BBC is ze best one yet!

  • Comment number 39.

    A field full of Pedro Dinizes would make for a great race with plenty of thrills and spills, but mainly spills! Please can we throw in a couple of Hideki Nodas and Tarso Marqueses too? I really would pay to see that!

    The good drivers will always make it into F1 and useless pay drivers have always been around. Remember that motor racing started as a hobby for rich people with enough spare time and spare cash to fund it and back in the glorious 50s plenty of Lords, Barons and wealthy folk entered races just because they could afford the thrill.

  • Comment number 40.

    To be totally honest too Superha83, I can't wait for Skys F1 channel to start in March too, I'm certain it will be free to stream on the net as every other one of their sport programmes currently are if you know where to look...

    Don't have a TV license too now either, so don't pay for the upkeep of this tried institution either and why should I? Others do same work for nothing...

    ITV all is forgiven :D

  • Comment number 41.

    Love the new car but also noticed the comment re Lewis & Jenson. Strong season for Jenson, 3 wins. Awful season for Lewis, 3 wins, tells you something.

  • Comment number 42.

    @ 40
    There we are then. Stream it for free while I pay for Sky Sports and pump money into the sport that you're pilfering off the internet.

    I am fist-shakingly indignant!

    No, I'm not. We all want to enjoy the F1, I'm getting it through Sky, I hope you can all find somewhere to watch it too.

    Also, can I add Ricardo Rosset and Giovanni Lavaggi to my race of comically unsuccessful drivers?

  • Comment number 43.

    Who gives a flying F what channel F1 is shown on. True fans of racing would watch it in black and white on a Flintstone telly. I for one can't wait for the new season. The racing will be good and I'm very content with my own thoughts and analysis. Would the insincere whingers please depart, I don't think I can breathe for laughing AT you.

  • Comment number 44.

    Mr big, cutting to advert during a delayed red flag situation is fine in my book, it means less of the beeb commentary team telling us that Lewis Hamilton is the greatest racing driver ever and should win every race all the time but that the nasty vettel keeps winning, I'm sick of humpfrees, ej, coultard etc making a mess of their pants over Hamilton, there are other drivers out there racing, more successful ones too!

    Also sky has said that all races and qualifying will be uninterrupted! All in hd, dedicated results shows, analysis, ok it won't have the familiarity that you have with the beeb but times change, when Murray walker packed in commentary everyone thought f1 wouldn't be the same, now it's like Murray who?

  • Comment number 45.

    Sorry for my belief that all sport should be free for all at some level and TV free for all, just there are many models out there of companies that run of advertising alone or less, ITV, AVG etc

    By pricing out you only create a restrictive and resentful society and by buying in you only help feed the monster.

  • Comment number 46.

    When Sky have full rights to F1 how long do you reckon it will be before they put ads in races like itv did?

    When you have no other choice who you going to argue with? Especially if you can't be heard when arguing for loosing half the season already...

  • Comment number 47.

    I really cant stand anymore of the hopeless pro-Hamilton drivel we get thrust upon us by the Beeb. Brundle, DC and Humphries really are appauling for that. However Sky have the biggest joke ever to grace a commentary box in 'Crofty' who literally knows next to nothing about motor racing and is the king of bias and anti-Schumacher remarks.

    I think i will watch sky for the fantastic interactive features and picture. The Mute button always comes in handy. Hopefully there will be an option with just engine noise!

  • Comment number 48.

    Sky have got the Croft/Brundle partnership - something I kept harping on about eons least Sky listen....but don't worry - I won't pay a penny more for my beloved F1 as I'll be shifting to RTL...
    The BBC have made a real pig's ear in keeping certain sports within the realms of the license fee payer...I couldn't give a 4x for Radio Bengali, Radio who ha, BBC 3 and any other pc-driven minority drivel that costs, in relative terms, an arm and a leg to run...Had the BBC the foresight years earlier to create a BBC Sports channel of its own at a minute increase to the license fee payer (compared to the Murdoch rip off) then we wouldn't have had the predatory Murdoch Juggernaut stealing everything for his own profit...
    So to conclude - Thank you RTL, Thank you Germans, thank you Germany...

  • Comment number 49.

    This entry is now closed for comments ...

  • Comment number 50.

    Allez, Allez, Fernando. I take it as it comes. I want to watch F1 in as much detail as I can, which at the moment means feeding this monster of which you're so terrified. If and when Sky have full rights I will have to continue feeding it. If they put in adverts, I'll have to just suck it up. If F1 is only available by having a chip inserted into my eye I may well do that too. I am not arguing this on any ideological plane, I am simply doing what I have to do to watch the sport I love.

    That McLaren is going to look lovely on HD TV! The Caterham less so; I think I'd rather watch that on my laptop.

  • Comment number 51.

    No Superha83 you are nothing short of a disgrace. People like you do cause these deals because if you did not subscribe then this deal would never happen as Sky simply would not exist. As I have said in previous blogs, if those selfish people had not subscribed when the Football went to Sky then the channel would have gone bust and we would not have this situation where terrestrial TV loses its best sports.

    Your selfish actions mean that other fans cannot watch the sport that they love unless they either pay money that they cannot afford or if they can afford it, choose to fund someone who continually lobbies the government to get what he wants in return for favourable coverage during elections, wth the things that he often wants being against the interests of the majority of this country.

    If you want to stop other fans from enjoying a sport that they have followed all of their life, if you want to fund a person who pressures the government into policies that have and are ruining this country plus if you want to fund a person whose organisations hack into the mobile phones of government members (effectively espionage) and victims of crime then yes you are a disgrace and I will call you one.

    I will not stop complaining about this and I will not stop taking those who have made this deal to task in any way that I can.

    People who suggest that the 'deal is done so get on with it' should take a good look at themselves because if we all take this attitude and never stand up for anything then we will constantly be taken for a ride.

  • Comment number 52.


    Are we allowed to call each other a 'disgrace' on these blogs then? Please send a list of things I could get away with calling Bob :)

    @ Bob.

    I'm not a disgrace at all and nor are the millions of people who pay for their TV across the entire planet, including the thousands in this country. Nor am I ashamed to be paying for it and neither should be anyone else who does. You'll call me many things and claim I'm naive or selfish or whatever, but you're only making yourself a little bit more furious every time you talk about it.
    Plenty of evil goes on in the world that we can't control.
    I just want to watch the F1 in peace. So I will.

  • Comment number 53.

    Bob, that's a bit strong, I have sky, I choose to buy It each month and I enjoy what I get from it, I'm not a disgrace I'm a consumer! I think you need to step back and look, it's not sky's fault it has the finances and audience to cover f1, it's a business that is growing, the BBc has sold their rights to sky for their own reasons.

  • Comment number 54.

    Well said superha83

  • Comment number 55.

    @ 10 Bob
    "Those criticising people who complain about the Sky debacle should be ashamed of themselves. Especially if they subscribe to Sky and have thus created this situation. They are as much a disgrace as those who made the decision to let Sky take F1."

    So I am a disgrace? I choose to pay for whatever I want, who made you King of the World? Get over yourself, the BBC sold out, so what should we do? Boycott Sky and cut of our noses to spite our faces? Without Sky's money the Premier League would be nowhere near the level it is now, that's a fact.

    I want to watch F1 and Premier League football live. So I pay for Sky. Grow up.

  • Comment number 56.


    " if you want to fund a person whose organisations hack into the mobile phones of government members (effectively espionage) and victims of crime then yes you are a disgrace and I will call you one."

    Yes that's why I pay for Sky. Go off and shout at your copy of The Guardian. Life is not a utopia where we are all the same. No matter how much you want it to be.

  • Comment number 57.

    Some of you who seem to put the sole responsibility of this deal at the door of the BBC truly don't seem to have a clue what you are talking about. Ecclestone dictates who gets what and at what price. He was foolishly granted 100 years of commercial rights for something that now looks almost insignificant. I don't for one minute think he ever had anything but is own interest at heart (even when he was a part of the sport), he has always been there purely to exploit it. What does he have to gain from the BBC (paid for by the tax payer and therefore an organisation that has to act with a certain level of responsibility), no just price everyone out at the expense of the fans and target the fat cats. The same reasons why great circuits come and go where Singapore, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi get massive long term agreements. He acts like he has the fans interest at heart telling circuit owners their facilities are inadequate by modern standards and then shows utter hypocrisy by taking away the only outlet where anyone with a TV license can watch the sport. If you want somewhere to direct your anger I suggest the sports money greedy tyrant.

  • Comment number 58.

    To those who have responded to my post.

    Yes you are a disgrace and you should hang your heads in shame for actions that are completely selfish and immoral.

    Yes you have the choice to subscribe to Sky but it is completely wrong for you to do so and I will continue to criticise you for it.

    Just remember those who cannot watch while you are in front of your TV, remember the economic crisis that was caused by the policies that the Murdochs have forced British governments to implement, remember the millions who have lost their jobs, the millions who have missed out on public services including life saving operations and drugs because of the tax cuts lobbied for by the Murdochs, remember the security threats to this country from the phone hacking by Murdoch sponsored media, remember the stress caused to the families of crime victims who have had their phones hacked. Remember that you fund this.

    You should believe in better and you should behave better.

  • Comment number 59.

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

  • Comment number 60.

    At 00:04 2nd Feb 2012, Bob wrote: "You should believe in better and you should behave better."

    'Believe In Better' is Sky's current advertising slogan....

    Not sure at all that last season was Button's best in F1, but I reckon his level-headed approach and momentum from last year means he'll outscore his team-mate again this season.

  • Comment number 61.

    It's simple. No customers, no Sky. Subscribing to Sky means you are funding them. Without your funding they wouldn't exist. Just because some people don't want to pay for Sky to see F1 doesn't mean they are not true F1 fans. Personally i wouldn't have Sky even if Murdoch came round and fitted it himself and let me have it for free. I don't want to be associated with that company whatsoever.

  • Comment number 62.

    Ashes fever 2005: how much of an impact would it have had on "Ashes fever" if Channel 4 had only had the TV rights to half of the tests that year and the rest were on Sky? Pay tv is bad for sport followers and anyone trying say anything otherwise is kidding themselves.

  • Comment number 63.

    For those who refuse to pay for and be ripped off by $ky but still want to watch all the races live, the solution is simple- either watch on RTL via satellite (with five live commentary) or stream the races online. This rights deal is a complete farce, but at least there is a way around it. You may not get a HD picture (for those who can't bear to live without one), but it should be easily watchable.

  • Comment number 64.

    I agree with Bob. You Sky customers ARE a disgrace.

    And as for holding the Premier League up as some kind of beacon of proof that Sky makes things better: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    The Premier League is one of the main reasons why I dont watch football anymore. Bill Bailey's joke about footballers being borderline rapists was funny because there was an iota of truth in it. We have managed to take a working mans game and turn it into a plaything for rich people who are used to doing what they want, and in turn we have turned these players into spoiled, disconnected, poor excuses for human beings.

    In actual fact, I think its only natural that a sport as greedy and money orientated as F1 should be broadcast by Sky. The two organisations are custom made for each others level of greed, I'm surprised they havent tried to do it sooner.

    And as for the average Sky customer: shameless. They havent even got the shame to admit that they have enabled the ruination of a national sport at the top level. They wont admit it because they cant. Their subconsciences wont let them own up to such treachery. Not able or willing to look at Sky and its owners from a moral point of view. It is clear that for these people, as for their masters, that money is King and over-rides all necessity to have morals.

    Which is fine. But dont let me catch you on fire in the street because I wouldnt give you the proverbial shower to put you out with. As human beings you rank pretty low on my scale of human moral evolution.

  • Comment number 65.

    "Plenty of evil goes on in the world that we can't control.
    I just want to watch the F1 in peace. So I will." - superha whatever your name is.

    I know for a fact my last comment wont be accepted so I'll leave you with this. The above quote is an interesting paradox. Your own thinking appears to defeat itself. Yes its true that there is plenty of evil in life that we cant control. You bet. And then you state your intention to fund an organisation that is known to be connected to people who's actions have been, at best, questionable, all in the name of your personal entertainment. That to me is interesting.

    You say evil happens and we cant control it. I say maybe we cant control it, but at the same time, we can send it a message that we dont condone it.

    By paying for Sky's services you are saying you have no problem funding a man like Murdoch. Thats your decision and you are welcome to it, but I find it bizarre that you would choose to do so, whilst at the same time insisting that you dont have the power to control evil. I suggest you think about this on a deeper level and really look at what you have said, and tie it up with what you do. Because I dont think you realise that you have more power than you know. It's in your wallet mate.

  • Comment number 66.

    I would make a comment about the car but to be honest that's not what Mr Bensons pointless and inane blog is good for and hasn't been since the Sky Beeb deal happened.
    I live in Australia and although F1 is free to air the adverts and local pundits are a real PITA! However as an ex UK resident one thing that annoys me about this situation is the fact that a corporation of the size of the BBC with a guaranteed revenue stream and various legislative safeguards that are in place to protect it's position, has made such a hash up of it's budgeting that half way through a lengthy contract it has to bail out and is at the mercy of a commercial entity such as Sky.

    Half the programs on Australian TV are either American or are bought from the BBC, Top Gear is one of the most lucrative franchises in broadcasting history, it is a disgrace that the BBC is able to claim poor because of the license fee freeze. If the BBC ditched it's gravy train, luvvy, elitist mentality and actually turned the fantastic content it has and used to have at its disposal into revenue generating world class product rather than an excuse to slap itself on the back and hand out lucrative gigs to mediocre childrens TV presenters like Jake Humphries they would be able to use the license fee to pay for the non profit public service sector of it's charter and still compete with the likes of Sky when bidding on prized lucrative sports TV rights.

    If I lived in the UK I would subscribe to Sky, not because I agree with pay TV or because I like Mr Murdoch who I think is a very grubby character, but because they are going to show all the races live because they do a better job of running their business than the numptees at the BBC, it's a shame and it's not fair, but until the BBC gets a major rocket up it this will keep happening.

    Honestly however many hundreds of millions of pounds in license fees, some of the best brands in global television, protected status as the state broadcaster and they still can't make ends meet, BBC executives the best in the world.

  • Comment number 67.

    Very early days yet so predictions are pointless.
    The McLaren looks great but so did last years car which ended up 2.5 seconds off the pace in the second pre-season test.
    I fear another season of Red Bull domination due to the evolutionary nature of the rules, although the new Pirelli tyre compounds could throw a spanner in the works.
    Time will tell!

  • Comment number 68.

    I think that complaining about Sky is foolish & think the BBC are the ones to blame for everything & not Sky. If you subscribe to Sky as I & millions of others do we still have to buy a TV license which is owned by the BBC which is wrong in my mind and think every body should be able to have a choice. The BBC have wasted every body's money on rubbish soaps ect & did not think about any of the license viewer's missing out at all. I am also old enough to remember before Sky showed the football when it was on the BBC and ITV and the fact is all the viewer watched mostly was highlights and the odd live cup match. Fans of the BBC should complain about the BBC and not about SKY at all and do not have to pay any more money because it is still being shown by the BBC. I have watched F1 for more years than I care to mention and think the BBC had the best team ever and showed the best coverage ever but as always did not care about the license payers feelings. Every body should stop complaining about Sky because every body has a choice pay or don't it is that simple because it is not Sky's fault that the BBC don't care about it's viewers.

  • Comment number 69.

    66. At 06:02 2nd Feb 2012, matt wrote:
    ....... one thing that annoys me about this situation is the fact that a corporation of the size of the BBC with a guaranteed revenue stream and various legislative safeguards that are in place to protect it's position, has made such a hash up of it's budgeting......

    If you replaced the words "corporation of the size of the BBC" with the single word "government" or "bank" you would have the very reason that you became an "ex UK resident", I presume !

    It's a very English disease I'm afraid; the ability to take a sound basic principle or institution and completely balls it up.

    BTW, no comment on the glitzy McLaren promotional day out for all the overpaid journalists as that is just another symptom of the problem.

    Nothing is really learned about the car but the drivers are fawned over and there will, no doubt, have been a lot of expensive champagne and catering provided.

    Final point; Poland is finally free and we have excellent F1 coverage in HD, included in a fairly basic package (Cable TV, 25Mb net and unlimited worldwide land-line phone calls) for the equivalent of under £40 per month.

    Obviously, the commentary (from circuit) and pre-show/after-show (from studio) is all in Polish but it only took a couple of races to realise that all of that was just pointless drivel when it was in English, and that the absence of Fake-Jake and co was an absolute godsend.

  • Comment number 70.

    Seriously, all those complaining about sky coverage bare in mind two things 1) surely you cannot judge the sky coverage until you have actually seen how it works and more importantly 2) can any of you name a sport shown on sky sports where their coverage is not as good if not better than that shown on bbc or other free to view channels!!!

  • Comment number 71.

    to felipemassa1 - it's nice that your new car looks good. Just a shame that you'll still be behind Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Button, Alonso, et al!!!

  • Comment number 72.

    Really cant belive the rubish about the sky deal is still going on. Also why all the rubish about f1 turning into a money driving sport ??

    First of all this has nothing to do with F1 , they sold the broadcast rights to the bbc and sky bought it from them so F1 hasnt benfited in anyway , if anything they have lost out on viewing figures and teams will no doubt lose out on sponsors because of it.

    Second of all why dont you grow up and stop blamming the bbc , maybe blame your friends/family or people you know who dont pay for there tv licence ( most of us no atleast 1 ) and blame the other 500k+ that dont pay it and none of this would have been a problem to start with.

    And third of all the rubbish about you cant afford sky , yes ok some are on a tight budget and totaly understand for some , but most have you dont know the diffrence between cant pay for it and dont want to pay for it , i have morgage and 3 kids and left with basicly nothing but ive cut back in others ways like not wasting cash on beer/smokes and take out food on which you can easly spend £40 a week never mind a month .

    football season ticket can cost u anywhere from £500-£2000. or go to the match and spent £35-60 at the gate , yet where is all forums been ambushed because of it ??

    I was upset to see the bbc/sky deal but not because i had to pay for sky but losing such brillant coverage but more than half the F1 team have gone to sky anyway and not just on sky but a full dedcated channel for it . and lets not forgot you arnt just getting the f1 but hundreds of other channels and other sports aswell.

    Be a real fan and pay up , just like all the other sports fans do and have done for years !

  • Comment number 73.

    Not a bad looking car is it? At least they haven't gone down the same lines as Caterham with that dodgy front wing of theirs!

    Always look forward to the new Ferrari challenger being unveiled, hopefully the other top 2/3 teams have closed the gap on Red Bull and Newey!

  • Comment number 74.

    I agree with every word that Bob wrote on Sky verses BBC. F1 should have stayed with the BBC.

    Will fans switch to alternative companies like pubs have done with football.

  • Comment number 75.

    The coverage on Sky will be flashy but not as good and the most important about Sky V BBC. Advertising. Just as Hamilton crashes into someone there will be a break. One good thing is the lovely Georgie Thompson. I wonder how much she actually knows though. Will it be like Davina McCall and the MTV coverage of many moons ago.

  • Comment number 76.

    bit unfiar to compair bbc v sky coverage untill we see what sky can do and sky have already said 100% there will be no adverts or breaks even if there is red flag stopage !

  • Comment number 77.


    " if you want to fund a person whose organisations hack into the mobile phones of government members (effectively espionage) and victims of crime then yes you are a disgrace and I will call you one."

    Think that might be going abit far bob , am sure u own or have used a motor vehile at some point which uses motor oil and oil in the fuel that the car is using???

    most oil comes from countrys like iraq , iran , russia . So can i blame you for all the wars and for directly funding terrorist ???

  • Comment number 78.

    Bob really doesn't like sky does he, reckon he worked for Setanta before they went down the toilet.

  • Comment number 79.

    Sky have all but killed the BBC off now after there latest news. Sky have announced that they will be showing the GP2 and GP3 races live also. It just keeps getting better. Can't wait. When the BTCC start i will have to record the BTCC on my Sky HD + box whilst i watch everything else live, then when i come to watch the recorded BTCC and fast forward the adverts. BBC veiwers it just makes sense to subscribe.

  • Comment number 80.

    13.At 20:10 1st Feb 2012, felipemassa1 wrote:
    This looks like a car that will conk out in the first minute, lets hope! mine is lovely, you wait and see!


    Just a shame the spanish fella in the other one will be wiping the floor with you race after race!

  • Comment number 81.

    Interesting change of tack from the moaners. It's not Sky or BBC mainly at fault here now, it's all fans of F1!

  • Comment number 82.

    41.At 22:14 1st Feb 2012, Ginger wrote:
    Love the new car but also noticed the comment re Lewis & Jenson. Strong season for Jenson, 3 wins. Awful season for Lewis, 3 wins, tells you something.

    The number of wins doesn't really tell the whole story though does it, Jenson had a far more consistent and relativley incident free season, if he'd have had a more competitive car i'm sure he'd have been a lot closer to Vettel whereas I think Hamiltons problems were mainly to do with things off the track and even a competetive car wouldn't have done much to help him

  • Comment number 83.

    I have no objections to who broadcasts so long as I get to see racing! I just hope we don't go back to ITV days when coverage was interupted by adverts during the race and we miss crucial moments in history! For example, I'll never forget Suzuka 1998 when Schumacher was coming from the back chasing down Hakkinen only to go to an ad break and when we returned, Murray Walker's going "you are now looking at the new world champion" We missed history in the making because of Adverts!

  • Comment number 84.

    Think Sky have already said there won't be any adverts during the races.
    Guessing you might have a few in between the sections during qualifying, and not too sure about the free practice sessions.

  • Comment number 85.

    78.At 10:52 2nd Feb 2012, Typical_English_No8 wrote:
    Bob really doesn't like sky does he, reckon he worked for Setanta before they went down the toilet.
    Ha he probably blames murdoch for that too and the cold snap we're experiencing now and the fact that he's never won the lottoery despite playing it every week since it started

  • Comment number 86.

    81.At 11:19 2nd Feb 2012, tommybrusher wrote:
    Interesting change of tack from the moaners. It's not Sky or BBC mainly at fault here now, it's all fans of F1!

    No, no, no you've missed the point they're trying to make, F1 fans in general aren't to blame only those with no moral compass that subscribe to sky and are therefore "a disgrace".

    I used to subscribe to Sky until a few months ago and I have to tell you their sports coverage is excellent and so now naturally I sit here head hung in shame safe in the knowledge that I have in some small way contributed to all the wrongs comitted in the world, wonder how i'll live with the shame of it all!

  • Comment number 87.

    Im sick and tired of people moaning about sky vs bbc. You are wrong. You should be complaining about BBC vs FOM vs SKY.
    BBC have been saying their viewing figures have been increasing, so theres nothing wrong there. Clearly FOM want more money, BBC can't afford it, as part of the budget cuts. SKY can afford it, so why shouldn't they have it?

    Can everyone either:
    a) turn to channel 408
    b) watch the highlights and stop moaning.

    Stop talking about phone hacking, the evil of murdoch etc. You people that don't have sky are just moaning this much because:
    1) you don't have sky
    2) you'll need to get sky (sky dish+box+subscription)

    Are you trying to tell me the reason you don't watch gillette soccer saturday, ford super sunday, monday night football, tuesday night football, champions league, thursday night football, the Super Bowl, the ashes, any decent boxing, rugby league, rugby union, the ryder cup and more, all because you don't want to line the pockets of the murdoch organisation? I bet you're fine with going down the pub to watch a box office sports event. Granted, the pub pay the subscription, but where do they get the money to pay for it? Whats that your drinking? Yep.

    I enjoy watching all of those sport events live and in HD. I don't mind paying the subscription, its a good service. Im paying for the channels, I'm not bribing murdoch +co to phone hack etc.

    If you guys want to play high priest thats fine by me, but i won't be listening between 1pm and 3pm on 20 sundays between March and December; I will be watching the formula 1, LIVE!!!!!

    The way i see it is, you've got 6 weeks to either get sky, or learn to watch the highlights, whilst avoiding facebook, twitter, bbc news etc. Good luck with that.

  • Comment number 88.

    It does warm your heart when you know that come a sunday afternoon, you'll be settling down to watch a live F1 race and maybe even some football and cricket after it, While Bob is tuning his wireless into the radio coverage and weeping at what might have been.

    Roll on the 2012 season!

  • Comment number 89.

    Bob, Since the f1 channel will also be shown on virgin media do we assume Richard Branson is at fault for this too, is mr branson another evil Overlord that is going around killing babies like repertory Murdoch?

    The good thing about this blog is you can read past comments made by other people, I urge people to look at bobs, when he's not telling the English rugby union team how they should be lining up, he states that all mp's who didn't vote against the sending of troops to Iraq should be given life sentences! Seriously my friend euthanasia, look into it!

  • Comment number 90.

    18. At 20:42 1st Feb 2012, telnolies wrote:

    You might as well moan about Hitler invading Poland. Yeah, probably not a good idea and going to cause trouble, but it's sort of over and done with now so get over it


    I like how you cut out the middle man and went straight to Godwins Law

  • Comment number 91.

    "The coverage on Sky will be flashy but not as good and the most important about Sky V BBC. Advertising. Just as Hamilton crashes into someone there will be a break. One good thing is the lovely Georgie Thompson. I wonder how much she actually knows though. Will it be like Davina McCall and the MTV coverage of many moons ago."

    How many times... NO ADVERTS DURING RACES. It's not ITV....

    As for Bob and his minions blaming Sky subscribers for the ills in the world, just shows how pathetic some people really are. You sit there on your high horse Bob, I'm off to watch a full seasons live HD Formula One coverage.

  • Comment number 92.

    Car looks good! Let's hope McLaren can properly take the fight to the Red Bulls this year! Come on Jenson!

    As for the never ending Sky/BBC coverage argument, it's sad that the beeb have let everyone down when it came to keeping a very popular sport free to air versus spending money on unfunny comedies on BBC3, etc.
    As an existing subscriber to Sky's HD service, I was surprised to see that I get all the races for free and don't have to spend money on Sky Sports 1...n.

  • Comment number 93.

    Only time will tell if this is a good car or not but McLaren are overdue a championship winning season so fingers crossed.

    Re coverage, its a disturbing that the BBC are now only playing lip-service to sports coverage. The Lakeside darts championship was ruined by sharing it with ESBN and I anticipate that more deals like this will follow - World Snooker Championships anyone?

  • Comment number 94.

    All the people who have signed up to $ky either enjoy being ripped off and/or have no morals.
    And for all those gloating that their will be no adverts, if you look at the original $ky announcement, they only stated that races would be advert free for 2012 in order to get people to sign up. You can bet that from 2013, the coverage will have plenty of ads just like ITV did, except this time you'll be paying an exorbitant fee to see them.

  • Comment number 95.

    @ 94 and others

    Do you refuse to type Sky in any context? For example, 'there are birds flying in the $ky'? Chill out.

    @ All the furious people raging about my lack of a moral compass as a Sky subscriber.

    I just want to watch the sport. No deeper meaning. No lack of morals. Seriously, get over it.

    I am sick of you ruining these discussions. They're a great opportunity to discuss F1 with fellow F1 enthusiasts and I've ended up having a ridiculous and entirely pointless argument and being insulted and judged.
    You should all be ashamed of yourselves. How selfish are you lot; ruining these discussions for everyone? You have no moral compasses; picking on harmless F1 fans. Really I despair for the world today.

  • Comment number 96.

    You don't need to sign up to sky and line murdoch's pockets to see all the action live in 2012. RTL with radio commentary is one option, or you can stream the races online (which I already do for football matches). Anyone paying their £40-50 a month for sky is welcome to it, but i'll be watching for a tiny fraction of that cost. You might not get HD (couldn't care less anyway), but it beats watching highlights or paying a stupid amount of money to an organisation which has no morals

  • Comment number 97.

    @ 96.

    So can everyone agree to do that and leave the people paying for Sky in peace? Can we finally end this ridiculous stand off?

    Unfortunately I don't see this going away.

  • Comment number 98.

    Scotty and co, I sympathise with you all with your diverse views - I have the pleasure of watching F1 in A-D and last season it was pretty much the BBC coverage if you wanted English. Didn't have too much probs with it EXCEPT - will someone in the BBC PLEASE PLEASE tell Coulthard how to pronounce Vettel's name - it's an embarrasment to be British!!

  • Comment number 99.

    Well I was hoping to read all the comment & get peoples view on McLaren's new car but yet again its been hijacked by the BBC/Sky debate, never mind.

    Although the car does not look that dissimular to last year, its whats underneath thats important. Had it not been for the poor start to the last season then McLaren would have been virtualy right up there with Red Bull as they were towards the latter part of the season.
    If they can get ahead of them in qualifying then i think they stand a good chance of more race wins cause lets face it, Vettel is good when he starts on pole & runs off in the lead but put him under pressure then he isn't as good as say Hamilton, Button & Alonso.
    Think this is going to be a good season with teams trying new thing to try & get on top of the Red Bull & add to that what Pirreli are trying to do with the tyres its going to be exciting to watch.

    Coverage wise I want to watch the races live so signed up for sky, never had it before & its only costing £30 a month which is nother when I spend that much EVERY friday night by just going out for dinner with the other half

  • Comment number 100.

    The plain facts are, the BBC had 1001 other ways of saving money rather than selling off it's F1 coverage. Everbody who watches the BBC and it's terrible output could have volunteered better options.
    So don't start biging up the F1 season, Beeb. You blew it. I don't have SKY and won't get it. You've short changed thousands of fans just to save your cruddy reality shows.

    As for Richy rich above who spends loadsamoney taking his wife out every week for a meal..whoopy for you.. What are you, a merchant banker ?


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