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A day in the life of Jake Humphrey

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Jake Humphrey | 17:11 UK time, Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Remarkably I managed to get through the past week in Singapore while tricking my body that I was still in Europe.

It may seem strange that I was eating muesli at two in the afternoon, feeling ready for lunch at eight in the evening and finishing the day by sharing some grub with Martin Brundle at three in the morning but it felt oddly routine.

For a variety of reasons this has quickly become my favourite race of the season. I think it is largely because the drivers, press officers, production team and everyone else are a little wired - slightly giddy because of the time difference. That creates an atmosphere totally unique to the Singapore GP.

The Singapore Grand Prix portrays a beautiful picture under the beaming floodlights. Photo: Getty

This is my working day, Singapore-style...

Sunlight is coming through the curtains, while Beach Road in downtown Singapore is alive with commuters and passers-by. I try to ignore it and carry on dozing.

Time to start the day. Mine usually begins with a call to my wife Harriet, or my parents. If there is time, my favourite pastime is Skyping my niece and nephew. On a Saturday we would be gearing up for our qualifying show.

I much prefer writing scripts in the morning, possibly because my brain feels a little more alive at that time. That could be because of 10 years delivering the Eastern Daily Press to the locals of Upper Stoke Holy Cross.

Anyway, I'll start scripting the show and, at this point, I start clock-watching, working out how many hours until I'll be delivering these lines to a few million people. Once I've written a few links and given myself keywords to prompt me during interviews, it's time to get myself sorted.

I go through the running order and think about the guests we should try to get. I have to think what the stories are and the people you guys would like to hear from - plus the locations where we will be for each link. Everything has to be planned because we need permission from the teams to be live in their garages and to tell them the precise time we will be there.

That doesn't mean my ideas are final - the Editor, Mark Wilkin will have his own opinions and might not like my ideas.

Once I've scripted, showered and shaved, it's time to iron my 'show shirt'. I like to do this myself as I hate creases in them. This weekend I even ended up doing fellow presenter Lee McKenzie's ironing - don't ask!

Departure time. In Singapore it was £2 to get a cab to the circuit, which is far more appealing than walking, otherwise you end up looking like you've had a shower with your clothes on due to the humidity.

On Saturday I jumped in a cab with Rebekah, our Production Manager. While we were busy gossiping our poor driver took a wrong turn and we ended up on the other side of Marina Bay, seemingly unable to get back across the water.

On Sunday, I was the fool as I left my shoes in the hotel lobby. To make it worse I was wearing bright white trainers, which isn't very BBC Sport. Production coordinator Louise Elliott went back in a cab for me. I'll say it again - thanks Louise, I am an idiot.

Myself, senior producer Richard Carr, assistant editor Steve Aldous and film editor Mark Wilkin share our thoughts on the script. Once we've decided which drivers, team bosses and garages we want to get involved with, it's up to Steve to sort things out. With gentle persuasion, the odd reminder of a favour we are owed and some occasional begging, he makes it look easy.

Some people ask why we never speak to certain drivers and if we are biased against them. Often our first-choice driver turns us down, so we have to make a sudden change of plan. Sometimes we ask three or four teams before we get a 'Yes' to one of our requests.

David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan and Martin Brundle rock up. DC makes tea the most, Martin is the most punctual and Eddie probably misses one in every three meetings for some reason - but we let him off.

We then watch the various video pieces. Sometimes we collectively decide to make a change to one of them but very rarely is a glaring error spotted.

Once I say, "Ted Kravitz reports...", we usually have to sprint three garages down the pit-lane, find our next interviewee and check they are ready to go live. Mark will update the three of us as to whether we are over or under time - or if there is any breaking news while Richard Carr directs the cameras and Louise lets us know how long is left on the video.

The fact we have already seen it means we can reference back to it, or simply keep the chat along the right lines.

Out to the paddock to do a tech check with the crew. On Saturday, we walked live into McLaren. One of the crew realised he was the wrong side of the camera and had to make a dash to safety. You can watch the moment on iPlayer and see the flash of white as he athletically sprints out of, or rather into, shot.

These guys arrive days before us, set up the office, the communication links with the paddock, plug in the kettle and make sure that, when us creative types come up with a ludicrous idea to push the boundaries, that it can be achieved.
It hasn't gone unnoticed and no other F1 coverage has ever got so close to the action. You won't find better, harder-working pros.

Live to the nation! The final few seconds before we are on air never fail to be exhilarating, petrifying and surreal in equal measure.

The show is over and, after pre-recording a chat for BBC News and the trail you may often see on the BBC later that night, it's back to the office to think about the following day's race programme. We always discuss what worked, what didn't and what we could have done differently or better.

We go through the video packages for the following day. I love the creativity and madness of the people who create these. The music is an important part of the show and can come from anywhere. I was running the track on Thursday and the Black Eyed Peas song Get Ready For The Showdown was on my playlist. We have now done over 50 Grand Prix on the BBC and these guys certainly haven't run out of ideas - or music.

We have decided on the running order for Sunday, drunk enough tea to refresh an army and, despite how strange it feels, it is actually time to leave the track and head out for dinner.

At this point I usually ring my parents as I still like to get their feedback on the show and find out what's happening in Norwich. Missing loved ones and home is the only real negative of this job.

An average Singapore Grand Prix day ends with the team heading somewhere to grab some noodles and a beer. I wouldn't usually admit to drinking at four in the morning before a Grand Prix, but that's the beauty of this race - in reality it's only nine in the evening.

There are many similarities with every Grand Prix but this one is slightly different. It is more exciting and electric than normal.

As we draw near to the end of another season, let me place on record my thanks to all the guys who have worked on the BBC F1 output this year. I can honestly say that, despite all the well-publicised distractions of the past few months, our team have been as hard-working, professional and perhaps even a little more driven and keen for success than ever.


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  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

    Here's hoping you (and the rest of us) can enjoy the same next year...

  • Comment number 3.

    NO TO SKY!!!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Good blog Jake. Must admit, not sure I fancy the idea of walking/running round in temps of 25+ degrees with high humidity, or trying to fool my body clock into thinking it's pmm and time for food when in reality it's 3am.

  • Comment number 5.

    Another great blog. Keep up the brilliant work!

  • Comment number 6.

    Good show covering a good race on the Sunday so the wierdness off eating dinner at 3am was well worth it. I just wish the BBC would lay off trying to make Lewis related molehills into Himalayas though - what do you have against him?

    I hope you all made the most of it as I guess its 50-50 as to whether you'll be back in Singapore next year? Either that you'll be sitting in a Manchester basement doing a voice over for the extended selling-us-down-the-river highlights...

    'NO TO SKY' - in case you were wondering...

  • Comment number 7.

    Great Blog Jake,

    I remeber the years when the bbc used to flick from F1 to cycling or some other boring sport on grandstand. so its great to see all this effort from you and the team. i used to be the guy that would watch the last ten minutes of the build up, the first 10 laps the last 10 laps and the podium. Now im there waiting for the programs to start whatching all the show then (girlfriend allowing) all the forum! To spending my lunch breaks all week reading the bbc F1 website and all the teams blogs!

    The insight you guys give the interviews the walks through the garage 20 minutes before a race gives you so much more connection to the sport. and to hear how all that is pulled togther before is as intersting. thanks for the insight.

    great job again this weekend as always.

    the only negative thing with what you guys do is that you cant control eddie's shirts (pyjamers)!!! :)

  • Comment number 8.

    "film editor Mark Wilkin"...... I though he was Programme Editor. Looking forward to see him in working the edit suit in Japan.

  • Comment number 9.

    Regarding all of the people who worked on the 2011 F1 coverage. What will happen to them next year. I assume that the number of production staff will decrease in line with the number of televised events.

    I do hope it won't be a case of "Thanks for winning us the BAFTA, now here's the door".

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi Jake

    This weekend's amazing coverage is the reason I'm so flabbergasted that your illustrious BBC leaders decided to cut F1.

    Why, if F1 pulls in more viewers on a Sunday than all other terrestrial channels combined, did the BBC feel it necessary to cut F1?

    If it was in the best interest of viewers (in the words of your Management) why didn't the BBC share with Channel 4, who were reportedly bidding the same amount as Sky did?

    Why did the BBC run to Sky in preference to Channel 4? How is that in the best interests of licence payers and viewers?

    I'm a couple of months younger than Lewis Hamilton and I remember vividly "The Chain" when I was a kid, I remember hearing Moira Stewart announce Ayrton Senna's death. What about today's youngsters? The next generation of Lewis Hamiltons? How are they going to be interested in F1 if only half the season is available on terrestrial? Your Management have a lot to answer for when they appear before the House of Commons' Culture, Media and Sports Committee.

    You, MB and EJ were absolutely hilarious on the forum, I'd say it's one of the best forum progs I've seen (apart from EJ's trip into the pool at Monaco - that will always be a classic).

  • Comment number 11.

    It would be really interesting (in my opinion) to see a piece on how Singapore / Monaco etc set up for a GP. How far in advance do the roads clear, how and when does the paddock go up, how do they deal with the disruption etc and how soon after does it get back to normal.


  • Comment number 12.

    Always love you and the teams work for BBC, watching F1 for 20 years and your coverage is the pinnacle of all, it adds extra zest to the sport :)

  • Comment number 13.

    Great blog, gives us a better insight into what you guys do. NO to Sky. Keep F1 on BBC 1.

  • Comment number 14.

    Great coverage as ever by the BBC, except the race was a bit of a let down with Vettel cruising to another easy win.
    In fact the last few races since Hungary have been a bit short on excitement as there has been no real fight for the race victory. We shall just have to hope for some rain in Suzuka.
    I'm finding the incessant sniping at Lewis Hamilton rather tiring. There is just something very ugly about the way the media and some drivers have poured scorn on his mistakes this year.
    It is about time the media appreciated Lewis for the wonderful combative style of racing he has brought to F1. The sport would be a poorer place without his participation.
    Does anyone think Senna or Schumacher were any less controversial in their careers? Compared to some of Schumacher's antics, Lewis looks like a nun.
    I read a blog this week suggesting Lewis was making more mistakes due to regulation changes. Is it really likely Lewis would crash more often because it is now easier to overtake???? Rubbish.
    In 2008 Lewis was involved in a string of incidents including the races in Canada, France, Belgium and Japan. His style of racing will always create greatness and havoc in equal measures.

  • Comment number 15.

    Excellent blog, and fine coverage, but please try to say "guys" a little less often... It's starting to grate a bit, and it's used fairly liberally in the blog too. It's probably a bit pernickety, but it is annoying.

    It's a shame that this year, so much of the focus is on Lewis Hamilton's flaws (whether supposed or actual). There was a good blog earlier on in the week regarding the DRS, etc that has changed overtaking, and how it might be affecting Hamilton more adversely than others. People might remember that Lewis still took a kicking from time to time before so much of this came in because some more people took umbrage at what they felt was a too aggresive style.

    They completely miss the point that he is very much in the style of Mansell and Senna when it comes to instinctive overtaking, and that it is what helps make them so appealing when watching the coverage. Perhaps this season, Hamilton is suffering from the technological changes because lets face it, last year was probably even more frustrating for him regarding the car he was provided with. He was having to put up with qualifying down the grid, even missing getting through to Q2 on one occasion. This time around, the car has at least been much more competitive from the off, albeit not always against Red Bull.

    Finally, it's becoming increasingly irritating to see all the people fed up with F1 moving to BBC/Sky from just being BBC, hijacking so many other blogs that have nothing to do with F1. Although I have Sky, I'm not exactly looking forward to seeing what they do with it. I like their cricket coverage (although I missed out on years of cricket before I was in a position to have Sky), but their golf coverage for instance (Ryder Cup) is pretty appalling. I like the BBC lineup and hate the idea of presenters/commentators I find annoying covering half the races next year.

    I think it would be good if the BBC website could provide somewhere for the F1 anti-Sky people to vent their spleens without feeling they have to invade all the other blogs. I don't blame them for being angry and frustrated, but it might be better to give them a proper forum to exercise this. It isn't enough for the BBC corporate body to say how great it is for the public because in general, the public don't agree with them. The "suits" need to engage in less PR and spin, and be a bit more upfront and honest when it comes to acknowledging peoples complaints. It isn't a weakness to acknowledge problems, it's actually a streng

  • Comment number 16.

    No to Sky from me too!

  • Comment number 17.

    NO to Sky.

    Great coverage as we've come to expect from the Beeb.

  • Comment number 18.

    Really interesting blog - not sure I would do the same but it seems to have worked for you and at least you got to speak to the family so not waking them up at silly hours!

    Have to agree with 'andrewsingh1979' and his thoughts on a pre Singapore / Monaco analysis!

    Keep up the good work! Even though I have sky, I think I would much rather the bbc keep F1, its been fantastic and I can't see sky keeping up the same momentum - besides the adverts would get on my nerves!

  • Comment number 19.

    A day in the life of an F1 fan.

    Log on to the BBC in the hope that the disgusting Sky deal is all a bad dream
    Realise that the BBC have sold us out
    Listen to the silence in response to all of our questions
    Write to our MP's again urging them to support Don Foster and to hold the BBC accountable for their repulsive behaviour.

    No to Sky.

  • Comment number 20.

    Great blog Jake. Such a shame the BBC have to ruin this award winning coverage by cutting it in half. Shocking. Shame on them!

    NO TO SKY btw.

  • Comment number 21.

    @11 - I agree that would be a really interesting piece. Could almost be the subject of a documentary programme?

    Not that the beeb would be interested though, given that they have made their true feelings about F1 and the fans very clear in the past few weeks (irrespectively of the ratings topping, highly regarded shows).

  • Comment number 22.

    Great blog Jake! A really enjoyable read. Massive thanks to everyone in your team for the superb coverage this year.

  • Comment number 23.

    Jake, you and the rest of the BBC production team do a fantastic job and on behalf of the nation, I thank you for your professionalism and creativity - you have really raised the bar of sports broadcasting.

    So why on earth has the BBC management taken the ludicrous decision to hive-off half of the coverage to Sky? The return, in terms of viewing figures and accessibility to a wider audience, is far outweighing the investment, in terms of £££s paid to FOM. I only hope that this has all been a bad dream and that we will wake up and realise the whole thing was a hoax and that all F1 races will be shown live on the BBC for the next 7 years. No to Sky!!!

  • Comment number 24.

    It may come as a shock to you Jake, as you live your life in your own self-absorbed bubble, but to those of us who have previously worked shifts we all know what it is like to have skewed sleeping routines and eating habits. You are no different.

    Chances are though you won't have to worry about it next year as Sky will likely have the Singapore GP. Makes you feel proud doesn't it that the BBC can't fulfil their obligation and failed to honour a contract.

    Also, I repeat my request from before. Please tell the manager of the BBC F1 website to stop posting your twits on the homepage. Today we have further non F1/motorsport twits being posted. I have no problem with you twitting away about your own life to your heart is content on Twitter, but those twits should stay on twitter. The BBC F1 website should be about F1, not about the mundane life of a TV presenter. Wouldn't you agree?

  • Comment number 25.

    @24, love it, and agree 100%.

    No to Sky, yes to ANY free to air option. Hi C4.

  • Comment number 26.

    Jake wrote: "I can honestly say that, despite all the well-publicised distractions of the past few months, our team have been as hard-working, professional and perhaps even a little more driven and keen for success than ever."

    I disagree with this last statement. Did you not see the Monza GP? Professionalism was clearly lacking from a variety of the BBC team during and after that race.

    Previous to the 'well-publicised distractions' (yet highly ignored by the BBC) the F1 broadcast was very well oiled and very impressive. Yet since the 'distractions' there has been a sense of 'meh' about a lot of things - namely the F1 Forum. A forum that has seen a distinct change and as such no longer comes across as engaging or interactive. Only fair to add some balance to the bias.

  • Comment number 27.

    Great blog Jake! Enjoyable reading!

    Do you read all these comments? =)

    Also, no to Sky! We know you feel the same way but your probably contractually obliged to not say anything about it.

  • Comment number 28.

    No No NO to Sky!
    I so look forward to F1 on the BBC....especially this season with the best commentators ever and forums...[sorry Murray...I still love you!!]and the dream many exciting world champions![Jenson & Michael in particular!]
    I'm an F1 fanatic....a retired widow in my sixties living on my own and look forward to watching the Grand Prix weekends[every minute!]on the BBC.I don't have Sky just the Freeview channels.Why are the BBC penalizing people like me taking away something on terrestrial TV that's really worth watching??
    Thanks Jake & Jenson for all your informative & amusing tweets & F1 facebook pages.....& also F1 websites....all very much appreciated.

  • Comment number 29.

    The BBC keep on insisting that they couldn't afford to keep full coverage of F1 from next year, well here is an idea, why don't the BBC just get rid of the pre race show, post race show, F1 forum and highlights show, as well as present and commentate from the UK instead of traveling to the destination? Surely then the BBC would be able to afford live coverage of all races and noone would give a damn about no longer having a build up or post race analysis (something the BBC find very hard to understand).

  • Comment number 30.

    @24 Good post.

    @26 Agreed definitely lost something in the coverage since Monza, and the uproar of the fans. And the fans forum has become a joke as the people on it are clearly vetted and questions have been examined with a fine tooth comb for any hidden agenda.

    Generally good work at the races and on these blogs, but we want transparency, you can tell us what you're thinking without losing your jobs, I'm sure.

    NO TO SKY!!

  • Comment number 31.

    @27: "We know you feel the same way but your probably contractually obliged to not say anything about it."

    I don't know he feels the same way. 'We' is a bit too general for my liking. Mr Olympics will be very happy next year that his calendar is free for a particular period of time. Until we hear Jake man-up like Brundle has then he is just as keen on the move as Slater and Gallop in my eyes.

    Also when has a contract been worth the paper it is written on when it comes to the BBC. If I was working for the BBC I would be suspicious of forthcoming news that my job would now become a job-share with a Sky employee no matter what department I was in.

  • Comment number 32.

    I've just done my first ever F1 marshaling stint at this years Singapore GP - awesome event and indeed experience - ral ring side action. Been in Singapore for a year now and miss the great BBC coverage - but we did see you Jake Thursday night running the track modeling your red england shirt and blue trackies - good effort in the heat!

    Enjoying the blog!

  • Comment number 33.

    Great coverage as ever by the BBC, so why are you giving it all away, half the races is the worst idea ever concived, hang your heads in shame.

    Jake i hope you get the opportunity to present next years race from Singapore, and i hope we are able to see it live, or at the very least a full unedited rerun.

    Yes to terrestrial TV.

  • Comment number 34.

    @31 So you're not sure he feels the same way (ie unhappy about it), yet in your eyes he's just as keen as the rest of them on the move because he hasn't 'manned up'? With all due respect, it's a bit of a strange thing to say. Not sure why you think that him not 'manning up' means he's keen on the move. Care to explain why you think this, and whether you apply the same theory to the rest of them?

  • Comment number 35.

    A great read Jake and thanks. Lots of interesting detail about how Singapore is delivered to our screens. Shame about next year eh!

    Yes to FTA F1, no to SKY.....................

  • Comment number 36.

    @29 Getting rid of the things you mentioned is unlikely to save a hugely significant amount of money. It might save some, but I'm not etirely convinced it'd save enough to make it suddenly viable for the BBC to keep the contract.

  • Comment number 37.

    @34 - stevvy1986

    Of course I will explain. I was addressing a comment that appeared to be speaking for all. I challenged this generalisation and stated that in my eyes (i.e. my own opinion and not that of others) he hasn't give me any indication he is against the deal. As I said this is my take on things.

    Jake at the end of the day is a BBC employee. Just like Slater and Gallop. He is not an F1 nut, with his only focus on F1. He came up the BBC ladder to be the host of BBC F1 on the TV. I must ask the question, considering he has other BBC hosting duties, that if a better paid job came up with less travel away from home would he still be the F1 host on the BBC. As such until he makes a stand on the deal he is as supportive as those who struck it. I am equally suspicious of the other BBC F1 team pundits and reporters who don't show there lack of support like Brundle has. But these are all suspicions until they happily prove me otherwise.

    Does this answer your question?

  • Comment number 38.

    @36 fine, don't buy the Voice, or let C4 have it for a period.

  • Comment number 39.

    No to sky. Shame on the BBC.

  • Comment number 40.

    Interesting blog Jake, but I work nights twice a month so know all about eating at 3 am and breakfast at 3pm - Ive never got used to it!!! I must admit without the heat tho in the uk!!!!!

  • Comment number 41.

    It's time to face facts that there is no way, without government intervention, or Sky suddenly deciding to drop out, that this isn't going to happen. If the contracts have been signed, it's going to be a done deal.

    You can't really expect Jake Humphrey to suddenly criticise the BBC because he isn't just an F1 man. He also presents the occasional football match as well as gets involved with stuff like the recent Olympics event in Trafalgar Square, London, with Sophie Raworth. On the other hand, Martin Brundle is more of a freelancer being that yesterday he was tweeting about being on ITV4 for Goodwood motor racing coverage. It's a bit easier for him to voice his opinions more freely than the likes of JH.

    It's pretty obvious that once Sky are involved in a sport, they don't tend to give it up. They also have an economic advantage as well as not having a charter that requires them to be a public service broadcaster, which is what restricts the BBC.

    Until one of you becomes Prime Minister, you're going to have to accept it because sadly, there is very little you can do. If F1 is going to be profitable for Sky, they will not give it up.

  • Comment number 42.

    @37 It does. Was just wondering as to why you felt that way, that's all. Personally I disagree that unless they make a stand they're as supportive of the deal as the likes of Slater, Gallop, etc. It's entirely possible that they're against the deal, but have chosen to air their views to their superiors in private, or have just simply kept their views to themselves, though I do see where you're coming from in terms of them not saying anything publicly may make it seem like they may not be against the deal, especially as to some people, the presenter, commentator, pundit, whoever coming out and basically saying something along the lines of "I'm not happy either, it means less time on air for us, therefore less coverage for you, I don't agree with the decision to only have half the races live on FTA" etc would......give you extra backing, knowing that the team involved aren't happy either, they understand the frustrations, their futures are uncertain (especially those not under contract, such as EJ), etc, so as I said, though I disagree with what you said, I do see why you said it, which is fair enough.

  • Comment number 43.

    The anti-Lewis sentiment seems ever more apparent in the BBC's analysis.

    Apparently "he and Massa had an altercation after the race".


    Massa confronted Lewis and tried to goad him. Lewis was mature, didn't sink to Felipe Massa's level and kept his composure.

    How would it have been reported if Lewis had slapped Massa and said "Hey, well done" in a sarcastic and provoking tone?

    We need to have a feature on how the stewards work. Are they the same stewards at each race? Are they racist or do they just love Ferrari and ex-Ferrari people?

    It seems if you hinder a Ferrari you get a penalty. Yet if Schumacher blocks the only black driver in F1 through a series of repeated illegal moves on track, no action is taken.

    Those of us who have watched all the races for years know that there is clearly an inherent bias against Lewis when it comes to the stewards.

  • Comment number 44.

    Sky taking the rights could be the best deal Bernie has ever done. Money and commercialism are dominant now, and there can be no room for sentimental attachment to traditions like the BBC. About time everyone faced up to the harsh realities of life.

  • Comment number 45.

    Who cares, your lovely aunty sold us down the polluted river...why you bigging it up now!

  • Comment number 46.

    @ Eric Morecambe. You talk the most sense of anybody so far.

  • Comment number 47.

    #44 according to the reports, it was the BBC that did the deal, Ecclestone said that the BBC had a contract, so this was done to the BBC deciding that they had a commercial imperative which dictated them going for a shared deal with Sky. Ultimately, I guess it will benefit Bernie though so you may well be right. The thing to remember though is that the sponsors will likely require some terrestrial coverage (even if you forget the Concorde agreement which stipulates it be on terrestrial/FTA) so if they decide to start dropping out, I'm sure you'd see some action regarding coverage.

  • Comment number 48.

    @37 , Yay well put , Exactly man up Jake , Show us , Tell us how you feel , or is it just another job to you , Follow Martins example ..
    Watched the Monza forum and hoped it was a one off , Well it wasnt Singapore was the same , What has happened ? ,
    Yes to full coverage on the BBC .
    NO TO SKY . .

  • Comment number 49.

    @43 The stewards aren't the same at each race. I can't remember exactly how they decide who to have, but I think 1 of them is from the National Sporting Authority in the country that the race is being held, however I'm not certain on that. They're not racist, and don't just love Ferrari an ex-Ferrari people. Not sure why you're (seemingly) trying to play the race card by talking about the only black driver in F1, I think that's the absolute wrong thing to be doing, if you are indeed trying to play the race card. Bear in mind that the stewards are different at each race, and that includes the driver steward being different at each race, and everyone has a different interpretation of the rules, of incidents on track. You could have 1 incident, and 5 different people may have 5 different opinions.

  • Comment number 50.

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

  • Comment number 51.

    Great blog as always jake, and i always like the work that you and the team do. :)

  • Comment number 52.


    Good to see we discuss the finer points in more detail without the need for fighting. Quite refreshing.

    Please don't get me wrong though - for the best part I love the BBC coverage and feel the BBC F1 team are doing a great job (excusing the odd exception - especially since the summer break). But I still hold doubts about their true feelings and opinions with regard to the deal. Of course there is a chance they disagree with the TV deal on a personal level. But they are employees and therefore you would expect them to support it professionally. Yet on a personal level you wouldn't want to be out of a job (mortgage, bills, family to worry about), so your professional opinion sways your personal opinion. Ipso-facto, if Jake supports it professionally then there is a good chance he must also personally support it to a degree.

  • Comment number 53.

    @47 Dont believe a word he says, he's renowned for changing his mind, and statements for that matter.

  • Comment number 54.

    @44. ExcessBaggage

    It's only £90,000 per team more than the Channel 4 deal (if the money was split evenly between all the teams, which it won't be, the bottom 3 teams won't see any of the extra Sky money) ... The teams will how ever (assuming Sky deliver less than 1,000,000+ viewers) lose £3.4 million per race in brand awareness for the combined 141 F1 sponsors. Which may lead to a loss of sponsorship, that's why the teams are pushing for a change in clause 10.5 of the Concorde agreement, so as to get more money from an extra race(s), beyond the maximum of 20 currently agreed, up from 17 ... Simply because they'll probably need it.

  • Comment number 55.

    I reckon the only reason SKY got the deal is that actually agreed with bernie and will have "surprise" sprinklers on some race tracks to make it more "interesting". NO TO SKY.

    The select committe hearing will be sham as some members will probably be SKY board members who live next door to murdoch and whose children go to the same school, have ponies at the same stables and are godparents to each others kids. a-la-cameron-coulson-blair fiasco. Expect the outcome to be.... nothing at all, the deal will go ahead.

  • Comment number 56.

    @49. good comment. the race card was unnecessary (if it was being played), and Hamilton was in the wrong versus Massa. Also, the opinions of the F1 presenters showed how differing they can be.

    p.s. Being a marshal must have been wonderful, I am extremely jealous!

  • Comment number 57.

    I totally agree with 24 & 25 - Do your twits somewhere else. This is a motorsport website.

    Sorry,but again - NO TO SKY

  • Comment number 58.

    @ Czar-Orac. No sign of sponsors dropping out yet because of Sky. No sign of teams getting upset either. Longer term I think Sky can deliver more (cash) than anybody.

  • Comment number 59.

    @58 They haven't felt the pinch yet, thats probably why.

  • Comment number 60.

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

  • Comment number 61.

    Seems to be a universal view that the the BBC can do no wrong with F1 coverage, but to me it highlights the same old BBC problem; they can't just show an event without pre- and post event programmes, endless analysis, and it always ends up being a personality programme. The coverage of Hamilton is a prime example: endless coverage of every move he makes, but you practically ignore Paul di Resta. I'd like to know more about him, or Glock, or Kobayashi as other examples. On the BBC? Not a hope once you have decided for me who I have to support! So somewhat in agreement with @29, drop all the extras as a first step to cutting costs - that includes the hideously embarrassing Brundle grid walk BTW.


  • Comment number 62.

    Re 46 - Looks like the WUM is hungry again...

  • Comment number 63.


    Sponsors won't have definitive information until the end of 2012, they will then decide whether the expected loss of brand awareness outweighs their costs of sponsorship, they won't jump before the figures are in, but the teams are looking at ways to cover any shortfall ... That's why the teams want to renegotiate clause 10.5.

  • Comment number 64.

    @14 Markj161 wrote:

    I'm finding the incessant sniping at Lewis Hamilton rather tiring. There is just something very ugly about the way the media and some drivers have poured scorn on his mistakes this year.
    It is about time the media appreciated Lewis for the wonderful combative style of racing he has brought to F1. The sport would be a poorer place without his participation.
    Here here!!! last weeks coverage and Bensons blog marked a new low in gutter journalism.

    I hope the torrent of complaints will lead to more balanced coverage in Suzuka but I won't hold my breath.

  • Comment number 65.

    Enjoyed reading this blog very much Jake.
    More the often, people don't realise of everything else and all those who work around the familiar faces we see on TV. Please pass our thanks to all those people which help making these shows better and better.
    We will miss you next year.

    NO TO SKY!

  • Comment number 66.

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

  • Comment number 67.

    Understand to a certain degree why the beeb has had to let some F1 races go...cost. The bug-bare is the money grabbing little englishman...(Ecclestone). Put the teams in charge of F1 and give ALL the F1 races back to the beeb.

    No to sky. I will watch the highlights on the races that are not covered by the beeb next year. I REFUSE to give Murdoch a penny of my hard earned.

    a big NO to sky.

  • Comment number 68.

    A lot of people here don't seem to realise that it is Bernie Ecclestone who has sold you loyal BBC F1 fans down the river... not the other way round.

    Some very naive people here as to the commercial realities of life, quite surprising the ignorance! Bernie and the people with the controlling interest over F1 were free to decide who to sell the rights to and for what price - how can you expect the BBC, an organisation with a budget that has to cover all form of programming (not just sport) to compete with a humungous, sports dedicated channel like sky sports? In these difficult financial times, they probably genuinely couldnt swing a bid for the full season.

    I think everyone should grow up a bit. If Bernie wanted, he could have simply renewed the full season contract with the BBC at a price that the BBC would be happy to pay, keeping all pro-BBC English F1 fans happy. Pigs, could also take flight.

    I was gutted when we lost richard keys and andy gray from sky, but you soon realise that the product is bigger than the bloke presenting it. don't have enough money for Sky? What tosh! Im sure alot of these people who dont have money for a sky subscription, do have enough money for their weekly visits down the pub or their cigarette habit?

    I actually thought sky's coverage of the ryder cup was superb, by the way.

    Anyway, one thing that we can all definitely agree on is that the BBC F1 coverage is indeed superb, and these cool insightful blogs by Jake form part of the brilliant coverage, sky does have a lot to live up to.

  • Comment number 69.

    @14 & 64 etc.

    Agree with this. The beeb are scraping round in the gutter with Lewis at the moment. His recovery drive after a simple mistake casued a racing incident (or that's all it would have been it it was anyone else) was excellent. If anything, its Massa who needs to attract the negative press. Let's hope the beeb's supporting cast can haul themselves back up onto the professional pavement.

  • Comment number 70.

    @ Czar-Orac. Well good luck to the teams! At least they seem to be adopting a pragmatic approach to this, instead of the hysteria we've seen from a minority of fans.

  • Comment number 71.

    Lewis Hamilton...! Now there's a good one. A immensely talented youngster, but a man in my humble opinion who has lost track of where he has come from. Compare him with Jenson. They are poles apart. Jenson seems approachable, thankful and appreciative of his F1 position. Lewis has lost touch with the general public (joe bloggs). Lost my respect the year he won the championship really. Didnt deserve it...should have won it the year before when he did. Playing catch up in a big way to most are this (& next) season.

  • Comment number 72.

    Great blog & great work as always Jake.

    To all those who are so 'NO TO SKY' - has it actually occured to you that SKY might deliver better coverage and more money to F1, ultimately improving it? How can you be so anti SKY when we've yet to see their coverage of it?

    And to all those free-to-air moaners, your still getting half the F1 live and extended race highlights! Well done BBC and YES TO SKY.

  • Comment number 73.

    So many Norfolk folk involved in F1! Great show no to sky
    A few suggestions for the BBC
    Cut back on so many crime/detective drama programmes!!
    Cut back on so many news reporters
    Cut back on so called celeb wages especially Eastenders actors because there rubbish!
    Total Wipeout! TOTAL WASTE OF TIME
    Cut back on the Olympics I'am sure that will be done to death!!!
    Lose BBC 3!!
    Why so many radio channels??
    Chris Moyles over paid!
    BBC Parliament BIG YAWN
    Lose BBC 4 BBC 2 is far greater
    Final Score is worthless why why why there is nothing to watch you can look the scores up online what a waist of airtime!
    Think that will do for now have I said no to sky!!

  • Comment number 74.

    I agree with post #10.

    Sadly, I am also well aware we are likely to never get answers to those questions.

  • Comment number 75.

    *when I say, "not the other way round", I meant that it is not the bbc selling the fans down the river, but Bernie who is doing the selling down the river. I was not of course intending to suggest that anyone thought that bbc f1 fans were selling bernie ecclestone down the river!!

    Lazy language my apologies, trying to fire this post in without being detected by line manager! thanks.

  • Comment number 76.

    @TeniPurist What was the most boring race of the year?
    and If the BBC wanted to save money as WAS the reason, they should have just given it up (even incurring the penalty would have meant they saved money) How is paying MORE till 2018 saving money Einstein?

    So was their deal in the best interests of its forced paying subservient? er answers on a post card. If BBC are making a Profit I want a cut - They should not/are not operating like a normal corporate business (as an efficient entity of course they should) I think most fans can acknowledge that F1 would have gone at some point from the BBC and perhaps even FTA but in this manner and the scheming behind close doors done by the BBC in the interest of the BBC!! rather than its viewing public has been absolute contempt.

  • Comment number 77.

    On topic of F1,Google Don Foster,Culture,media and sports select committee,27 sept 2011 to see latest from effort Don has been doing for the F1 FANS and shame of bbc.

  • Comment number 78.

    @68 - TeniPurist

    But a key point you omitted was that Bernie couldn't have got Sky involved at all for the next two years without the BBC's agreement.

    Bernie might have brokered the deal but it was the BBC who wanted it. Instead of losing F1 for definite at the end of 2013, the BBC now have F1 until 2018.

    Instead of honouring a binding contract the BBC broke the contract at their own request so that they could secure the Sky partnership and to prolonge their involvement with F1.

    I like Plan A better. The BBC honour their contract and then let the other FTA channels fight for it in 2013.

  • Comment number 79.

    Thanks Jake for the excellent blog, giving a really clear idea of how much thought, effort and planning goes into giving us all such great coverage and insight into F1.

    I think those people moaning on this blog about the SKY deal, should take it elsewhere. I agree the SKY move is rubbish, but no need to have a dig at Jake or ask how he really feels. The guy is a true professional and at the end of the day the BBC pay's his wages, so please give him a break. In fact it's pretty obvious Jake is sad about the situation....

    Roll on Abu Dahbi where I shall be in attendance with my best mate for the most amazing holiday :-) :-) Marina Grandstand tickets booked, After parties, Ferrari World then on the Monday.... wonder whether we can blagg our way into the pits.... Mmmm, doubt it, Bernie would want me to sign my house over first haha...

    Peace x

  • Comment number 80.


    Ecclestone's job (which he was paid about $8 million to do), is to maximise the revenue for CVC and the teams, it was Adam Parr of FOTA who criticised Ecclestone in June for NOT maximising the TV deals, Parr said F1 should seek out the highest paying deals and not those that put eyes in front of the TV.

    The BBC went to Sky because the combined revenue would easily turn the heads of Parr and Whitmarsh, they supported the deal, and the current contract stopped Channel 4 from showing F1, a bid Ecclestone praised, but was unable to take unless the BBC dropped F1 and therefore reneged on their contract.

  • Comment number 81.

    Great show again on Sunday. MB and DC were insightful and entertaining as always. I can't help but wonder how Sky will match this level of production, the truth is they wont. It will be a start stop production like ITV which will have adverts instead of quality film links and of course there will be an end to "uninterupted coverage " of the race!! Sky think that by buying F1 broadcasting rights they will get extra viewers / subscriptions but it looks like that will not be the case. People can not be bought Mr Murdoch. NO TO SKY

  • Comment number 82.

    I really enjoy F1, and I enjoy the BBC coverage.

    To all the "suck it and see" crew, I do not see how going from BAFTA award winning coverage to listening to Tony Jardine and Georgie "give us a lift" Thompson is going to be an improvement.

    NO to SKY

  • Comment number 83.

    Great Blog, Great Show, Love It!

    Shame it won't be the same next year, NO TO SKY!!

  • Comment number 84.


    Alternatively, turn your television off.

  • Comment number 85.

    sorry, I don't get this "excessbaggage" guy..
    he's not really interested in F1, is he?
    He's only interested in arguing about the BBC/sky deal, exposing his antagonistic views..

  • Comment number 86.

    Good Blog jake.

    Why did the BBC block the channel 4 bid and insted sold us all to sky ??

  • Comment number 87.


    he/she... (just in case..)

  • Comment number 88.

    Has the BBC broken the law?
    Everyone in the UK that owns a TV has to, in theory, pay a TV licence.
    As a result the BBC do not advertise. I think that the case is that they may not promote one company over another - here's where the crux lies.
    By selling half the season to Sky they are aggressively promoting a commercial TV company - in that anyone who wants to watch the full season has to buy Sky.
    Is the "highlights" nonsense a way out of this?

    Surprised that ITV and C4 never thought of this, so I guess they have and decided it wouldn't float.

  • Comment number 89.

    @ regina. I most certainly am interested in F1. I've been watching since 1978 and have a very good knowledge of the sport.

  • Comment number 90.

    Interestingly, most of the posters here are part of the same gang.. We discuss, debate and argue regularly about Formula 1 related stuff such as teams, drivers, cars etc..


    Anyway, to the latter ones.. get a life!!!

  • Comment number 91.

    Jake is a cool ambassador for Norfolk!! No to Sky again.

  • Comment number 92.

    I expect a follow-up reply quickly.. over to excessbaggage...


  • Comment number 93.

    @ regina. Sorry I'm not part of your tiny clique. This deal has motivated lots of people to comment here for the first time, on both sides of the debate. Some of us regularly contribute elsewhere and normally just use the BBC to catch up on news and read the opinions.

  • Comment number 94.

    @regina. with reference to your assessment of one particular poster:

    The emphasis is on the fact that a wind-up merchant gets some pleasure from getting a reaction from people.

  • Comment number 95.


  • Comment number 96.

    Before we know it we will be at the end of the 2011 season so I just want to say something or two...
    Thank You to ALL front and back staff for another proof of just how good the BBC can be when they put their mind, skills and our money to good use.
    In my humble opinion the coverage given to F1 over the past few years has just got better and better.
    When the F1 season starts I make sure that the required time is set aside on Friday's for the excellant free practice coverage by Radio 5 Live which I can't find a single fault with - then again on Saturday for free practice 3 - Qualifying for me is on BBC1 with Jake, David, Eddy, Martin, Ted and everyone else who convey everything to me so effortlessly - again on Sunday BBC1 gives me all the pre-race info then the unbeatable Martin Brundle Grid Walk followed by Martin and David seemlessly commenting on the race with an F1 drivers perspective pointing out things that I might have missed.
    Red Button time for a perfect dessert - The F1 Forum - we never want it to end even when it is obvious that teams and drivers have other things on their minds than talking to us - the BBC crew cover the gaps perfectly.
    For over half a century of F1 coverage the shining star has always been the BBC and it is hard to imagine a television company dropping or reducing a hit show.
    It is going to be very weird next season only being able to watch half of the races live and the other half time delayed and maybe only highlights.
    In line with other comments here I too say "No to Sky" but realise we don't count - money talks!
    One last word from me - Jake when you were announced as the front person for BBC F1 coverage I wasn't impressed but you have won me over and it took very little time to do it - Thank You Jake :)
    And again Thank You to ALL the BBC crew on F1

  • Comment number 97.

    indeed SirAdam
    It amazes me the "particular poster" is permanently online, waiting for the first comment on sky/bbc deal to surface..
    I suppose it's all rather pathetic.. ultimately the "particular poster" should just been enjoying the fruits of the deal rather than punish his fingers trying to convince the rest of the world about his opinion.. the particular poster got what the particular poster wanted anyway.. so, leave the rest alone...
    some are never satisfied, are they?

  • Comment number 98.

    Hi Jake another great blog and program.

    One thing I think is missing is that the sky deal in 5 races time is never discussed on the Forum after the show, we would all like to hear the BBC teams views on what's happening.

  • Comment number 99.

    @ 97 regina.

    It never ceases to amaze me either. I can understand being online all day, as I am too, I sit at my desk in the office and like to keep up to date with most things too. However, the big difference being that I listen to other people's point of view and don't object to everything posted. Constructive or not, its a pain in the pipes.

  • Comment number 100.

    No to Sky

    Just wrote to my MP, every little helps.

    On topic I would like to see more interviews with smaller teams. At the beginning of the season they used to talk to the lotus guys but not any more. Surely now that the title is all but won a look at the middle and back of the grid would show up some really interesting features??

    Just to be clear, NO TO SKY!


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