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Saying goodbye to Europe

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Jake Humphrey | 11:06 UK time, Friday, 16 September 2011

Welcome to this week's blog, the final blog from a European race for 2011, which feels very strange indeed.

I can scarcely believe I'm writing that; where is my life disappearing to?

Firstly, let me apologise for the lack of a blog after the Belgian Grand Prix.

The only holiday I've managed to grab this season was the week after Spa and I would have been in serious trouble with Harriet, my wife, if I'd spent the first of our five days away writing a blog.

Anyway, back to last weekend, and the end of my love affair with a truck for another season. OK, you're probably thinking a love affair with a lorry is rather strange, but it's more than that, it's our European home.

You see, for the grands prix that are referred to as 'fly-away' - the long-haul races outside Europe, that is - the circuits provide the hospitality suites for the teams and the production offices for the television stations.

It is essentially to cut down on costs so the huge team 'paddock palaces' aren't transported the other side of the world.

But at the European races, we take a truck, which we occupy from the first European race in Spain to the last one in Monza.

It's a dressing room, edit suite, production offices and kitchen all rolled into one. It has even been known to accommodate the odd overnight stay if someone's working particularly hard and late in Monaco and can't face the drive back to our hotel on the way to Nice.

But now our European adventure is at an end for another year and so it was with a heavy heart on Sunday evening that we waved off Pete D'Lemos and the trusty silver truck he looks after; we'll see him next in Spain in eight months.

It feels like two minutes since I walked into that truck for the very first time in 2009. It was the same one ITV had been using, but their presenter Steve Rider's office had been turned into an edit suite so I couldn't quite say I was walking in his shoes.

Talking of getting his job, remarkably it is three years ago this week that the then BBC head of F1 Niall Sloane offered me the chance to be the presenter, and what a learning curve it has been.

I can still remember the fear and apprehension as I walked into the F1 paddock in Australia for the first time, and the nerves as I started listening to 'The Chain' down my earpiece, hoping the words would come out in the right order.

The good news is that doing this job never becomes 'normal' or mundane and I still cherish every moment.

For that reason, I asked someone to follow me with a camera this weekend as in years to come I'll fondly look back on what it was like to share the pit lane with Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard as a 30-something guy, lucky enough to see the world and follow the sport I love.

Fans at a gate to trackside at Monza, during the Italian Grand Prix

I managed to capture Paul di Resta's Force India while taking this shot of the Monza track from a gate near the pits

I've posted a selection of pictures with this blog. Have a look through and see what you think. The one I'm most proud of is the one directly above - and it doesn't actually feature much apart from a big silver gate!

You see, one of the oddities of this job is that I very rarely see a car actually on the track.

We must be out of the pit lane with 15 minutes to go before qualifying and the race and so by the time the cars are track I'm in the paddock and there is nothing to see.

Eddie Jordan, Jake Humphrey and Ted Kravitz prepare to go on our for the Italian Grand Prix

An hour before we go on air and Eddie Jordan, Ted Kravitz and I have to cram ourselves between Ferrari and McLaren's motorhomes to get our gear on for the show

One of the most common requests I get is from people who have tickets to the race asking to get into the paddock. I tell them they would soon be bored of sitting around drinking coffee and would see more in the grandstand.

Anyway, in Monza on Sunday, I walked out of the paddock and along the back of the garages and the photo is testament to how tricky it is even for me to get to the track during the action - I always say that in front of the TV you get the best seat in the house and this is proof!

And why am I so proud of the photo? Well, Paul di Resta's Force India is passing by me at full speed and somehow I managed to press the button at just the right time - trust me, it was far more luck than judgement.

Talking of luck, some people may well think that Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel has had his fair share of it over the course of the year, but perhaps in Monza he finally put the doubters to bed by doing something a few were questioning - pulling off a cracking overtake!

Vettel knew he had to get past Fernando Alonso's Ferrari for his race strategy to work, he managed it really early on, then delivered the lap times and the consistency to take another win.

I think that perhaps it was the race that finally broke his challengers and since then we've seen a few of Seb's rivals declare that he has now won the title.

Spa and Monza were the races where McLaren and Ferrari were expecting to challenge Red Bull, but Vettel won both. As for Seb's team-mate, Mark Webber, well, he only managed to collect 18 points to Vettel's 50.

So, with that in mind we had a meeting back at BBC HQ on Wednesday to discuss how we tackle the Singapore race weekend.

Our mantra is 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail'. With that in mind, we need to fly into Singapore fully ready to do justice to Vettel if he manages to win the title there.

I always enjoy Singapore. And if you want to read about how strange it is for us as a production team, as we stay on European time, which is eight hours behind where we are, my blog from 2009 will tell you about the perils of trying to get dinner when the city is asleep.

Before I sign off, I'm sure that there will be plenty of people reading this who are keen to know about our plans for the 2012 F1 coverage.

As soon as there is something concrete to announce, I know that the BBC will do that. However, I can tell you I am committed to helping the BBC make its F1 coverage next year as compelling as it has been for the last three years.

And thanks for your continued loyalty - all 5.8m of you who watched the race with us on Sunday.


Eddie Jordan, Lee McKenzie and Jake Humphrey

Lee McKenzie looks on as EJ and I check comms. It involves talking to each other while the team in the gallery talk at the same time to make sure the sound levels are workable

Roger Bines, BBC Sport's rigger, and Jake Humphrey

Roger Bines, our rigger, is our unsung hero. We wouldn't be on air without him and I've spent the past three years with him in the pit lane. He retired after 15 years in F1 on Sunday. We'll miss you, Rog!

Jake Humphrey chats to Ferrari engineer Rob Smedley

Two minutes to on-air and Rob Smedley, Felipe Massa's race engineer, pops over to say hello and have a chat.

Jake Humphrey notes down the finishing order after the Italian Grand Prix

Post-race and I am busy noting down the race finishing order, the championship standings and any other notes I need close at hand for 45 minutes of unscripted, unplanned post-race analysis

Jake Humphrey and Eddie Jordan on air during the Italian Grand Prix programme

I love this snap.. Eddie Jordan doing what he does best... having an opinion!

Jake Humphrey and David Coulthard chat to Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari

Whil you at home are watching the top three drivers' interviews, we decamp to the paddock, where Toro Rosso's Jaime Algersuari pops over to see what we thought of his charge into the points

Jake Humphrey, Eddie Jordan, David Coulthard and Martin Brundle after the Italian Grand Prix

This photo sums up the job for me, and I love it. The team, all four of us, owning the paddock as we go looking for stories. On screen it just seems to flow

The Monza banking

The last photo I took on my way out of the circuit. The Monza banking is a reminder of how much has gone before us, and that F1 will continue to evolve long after we've left


Page 1 of 8

  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

    Nice honest and humble blog, good work.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Jake, Nice Blogg, you and the team are doing a fantastic job and are pulling in the viewers the figures speak for themselves.

    Independent anaylsis for the BBC has concluded that the F1 coverage is exceeding it's targets.

    We just can't understand why the BBC has decided to treat the fans in this way, better to have given up the coverage totally so that C4 could have it than enter into this deal with Sky.

    The figures just don't work for F1 on Sky, it isn't like Football, would would be paying a crazy amount to watch the 10 races live that won't be live on the BBC.

    Keep up the good work for the rest of the season, let's hope that those in charge see sence and scrap this Ill-conceived deal, and that we will see the same team LIVE FTA on the BBC for the whole of next season.

    No to Sky - Shame on you BBC.

    P.S. Keep up the good work everyone. - Make some noise - No More Sky - No To Sky.

  • Comment number 4.

    "However, I can tell you I am committed to helping the BBC make its F1 coverage next year as compelling as it has been for the last three years."

    That's going to be a major challenge for you given that you've only got half the coverage to make as compelling.

  • Comment number 5.

    Nice blog Jake. Here are some more figures for you in response to your last paragraph (ON TOPIC):

    Viewing figures - August/September 2011:
    Sky Sports - Ford Soccer Sunday 2.1 Million
    BBC 1 - Monza F1 - 5.8 Million

    Based on those figures, how can ANYONE come to the conclusion that selling out to Sky was the right decision?

    Here was Bernies opinion on the matter before the deal:

    And here he is after the deal:

    It's no wonder then, that based on the viewing figures you give us Jake, and the figures for Sky that people are not only disgusted with the Sky deal, they are very VERY concerned about the future of F1 in the UK.

    As a result we've had to resort to our MP's and thankfully they have seen through the BBC's shady dealings, resulting in this:
    Don Foster MP letters to BBC and Bernie Ecclestone:

    And still the BBC refuse to comment on whether or not we will get full race highlights in 2012.

    This post is a direct response to Jakes last paragraph, it is on topic.

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Jake,

    Really enjoyed the coverage this weekend as well as the news your viewing figures were the highest since 1998. I wonder why the BBC decided to cut the most popular programme?

    This has to be my favourite moment from the race prog:


    (start at 2:35:30 if it doesn't start automatically)

  • Comment number 7.

    Really shouldn't have put that last paragraph in. That will open an almighty can of worms, because now "Sky talk" is on topic.

    Oh and before I forget....NO to Sky.

  • Comment number 8.

    It's 2011 :)

    (see first line!)

  • Comment number 9.

    Final European race for 2011, surely?

  • Comment number 10.

    Thanks to Jake's postscript mentioning the 2012 coverage in his article at least it provides an opportunity to discuss the Sky deal without being declared off-topic.

    I can understand peoples anger over losing something they're accustomed to, but I think the Sky tv deal will be much better for the sport in the longer term. This is all about increasing the flow of money to Bernie and the teams, and that is something the BBC just aren't able to do.

  • Comment number 11.


    Thank you for your blog and thank you for trying to tackle the thorny issue of next years coverage in your last paragraph- we appriciate your comments and understand the difficult position you are in.

    Meanwhile keep your chin up and carry on the good work.


  • Comment number 12.

    good blog Jake.... definitely one of the best presenters at the BBC!

    Enjoy Orchard Towers next weekend ;-)

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

    The problem is the BBC coverage can't possibly be as compelling next year as you'll only have half the season. Never missed a race since 1986, now ca't afford to watch half, shame on you BBC

  • Comment number 15.

    @ Excessbaggage

    im interested to hear how this deal is better for the sport. It will reduce viewing figures and interest in the sport, hence less money going into the sport.

    Btw jake, great blog, appreciate you're doing all that you can to reassure us lot. I do have one question - where did you get that black jacket with the quilted padded shoulders (think you wore it in Germany)? I've been looking for one for ages!

    I hope fashion tips aren't too off topic...

  • Comment number 16.

    Nice blog Jake. You are a lucky man to have a job you love. Despite the lack of glamour behind the scenes and the obvious toll it must take on your personal relationships you remain constantly enthusiastic and appreciative of what you have got. Keep up the good work!

    I've really enjoyed the extensive coverage this year and the way the BBC team works together. I think the viewers have been somewhat spoiled with the depth of coverage that really serves to lift the lid on the F1 world. Makes it all the more disappointing that we will only be treated to half of that fantastic coverage next year.

  • Comment number 17.

    Jake, you've done a terrific job fronting F1 on the BBC these past 3 years - well done! . From what you appear to be saying, you are committed to F1 on the BBC next year too. If that is the case, can you at least bring any influence to bear that you may have with your bosses that we at least get full race reruns next year on the GPs that the BBC is unable to show live. That would make the best of the bad job that is this awful deal that the BBC have entered into with Sky. You know how we fans feel about this - you've seen the crowds at Monza and Spa, and have seen the strength of feeling in the comments we have made on other blogs etc. 10 races on Sky at £500-600/year just does not stack up, does it?

    Save F1. No to Sky!!!

  • Comment number 18.


    There is no real extra money for the teams.

    They're getting 1 million a year extra from FOM management and if the figures i've seen are right that means FOM are actually down £3million quid trying to get the teams on side (9 million extra from deal, 12 million paid to teams),

    There is a fortune to be made by F1 being on sky but the teams won't see much of it, it'll all go in the sky coffers. Could maybe understand it if Bernie had got a couple of £100million out of the deal and given a share of that to teams but he hasn't.

    Then theres question of teams potentially losing sponsors or sponsors wanting to pay less.

    This isn't like the Premiership football or rugby deals Sky have done which have benefitted the sport and the teams. Its pretty much a giveaway with no benefits.

  • Comment number 19.

    good blog jake... is it me, or does it come across with a bit of a 'last horahh' taste in the mouth? (excuse my spelling)

  • Comment number 20.

    Please Jake, invite one of the BBC managers on your program. Even if nothing concrete is to report they can tell us that "nothing concrete is to report". Because in the last seven weeks we heard nothing, even not that "nothing concrete was available".
    On these blogs only a handfull of your 5.8 million viewers read your last line (the first comment on this issue in 7 weeks). That means that these 5.8 million viewers (bar the veiw here on the blog) still have had no communication from the BBC at all.

    I think even your PR department can agree that this was handled badly, silence is never a good PR tool.

    Thanks for the blog.

  • Comment number 21.

    Hi Jake,
    I too enjoyed the coverage at Monza - especially the chanting UK fans. I'm guessing that this was a quick thinking, spur of the moment move by the presenting team? Obviously the BBC would never have knowingly permitted fans to express their views on this horrendous deal on live TV. Eddie was obviously enjoying it!
    Sad to say this is my final seasons viewing after 25 years as I have more important things to spend my money on, like feeding my children and paying the mortgage.
    Enjoy the rest of the season Jake. I'll try to but the elephant in the room keeps disturbing my view.

  • Comment number 22.

    @ Excessbaggage, there is no way the sport is going to hit the same figures next year as it did this year, especially on Sky. Consider that the flagship show (a football program of course) hit 2.1million viewers at the end of August, Monza on the BBC hit 5.8m as mentioned by Jake in his blog.

    Less viewers means less interest in sponsorship and less money.

    Bernie is trying to turn F1 into football by increasing the cost to the viewer and increasing the number of races in the season. He then hopes CVC will sell the golden egg at its peak value. Understandable, that's what the investors want.

    The trouble is, an F1 fan is not a football fan.

    No to Sky!

  • Comment number 23.

    5) Why haven't you aired your views publicly, as Martin Brundle has done?

    At the end of the day, Jake, you're not passionate about F1 are you? You only care about your career at the BBC.

    Yeah Jake!

    Passion these days is measured by blog posts! How very dare you protect your career instead of sacrificing it for blog posters you've never met! The cheek of it...

  • Comment number 24.

    Jake, great coverage of the race, super analysis of the result. IT just gets better and better. Veiwing figures up. Your team won the Bafta award earlier in the year.
    Record numbers view the candian GP.
    Its just a shame your lord and masters are committed to commercial suicide with the deal.

    Keep F1 fully on the Beeb. No to Sky!!. I will not pay for a sky package for either 50% or 100%. I cant get sky full stop.

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Jake

    Your blog has been the first one to finally get me to sign up so i can post my own comment rather than just reading others. Great blog, thank you so much for mentioning the coverage for 2012 - i'm sure you've been put in an impossible position with how to deal with this and even though you're not giving your opinion on the deal, thank you for at mentioning it! And great news to hear you will be staying with the BBC for next year.

    I'm as yet undecided whether to watch F1 next year as we won't be getting Sky so its whether I can cope with only watching 10 of the races live. My favourite parts of the qualifying show and the main race show is the hour of coverage before and the post-race coverage (including the F1 forum). So for me watching the other 10 races without this (whether it is highlights or the full race) is the bit i'm going to miss so much and is what is making think i'd be better off just not watching any of it rather than only get half.

    I've signed all the petitions and read all the blog comments since the announcement and clearly so many people feel the same. I just hope that something is going on behind the scenes to try to make the BBC deal a better offering for its viewers.

    Thanks again Jake, you're a star and you've made F1 for me. As a woman in my 30s I am exactly the target market that has helped see the F1 viewing figures rise as your coverage makes F1 so watchable and brings the race to life. Well done - I just hope I'm still watching F1 this time next this space!

  • Comment number 26.

    Yourself and the team do a stellar job with the BBC's coverage (tv, news, blogs etc)....F1 is as compelling as it ever was, but who is the mastermind on the decision to commit broadcasting suicide?
    The only upside to SKY getting a (huge) slice of the pie is that I'll get my Sunday afternoons back....I'll not be watching, along with, it seems, thousands of others. Boy, the sponsors will be chuffed!

  • Comment number 27.

    In the end the bbc is cutting costs, plain and simple. F1 gets fantastic viewing figures relative to other sports and even primetime entertainment programmes, so they thought theyd try and hang on to that by offering a sop of half the races. So theyve ended up creating the worst of both worlds: sort of free to air but ensuring that nobody else could show it free to air. I suppose if theyd called it 'Antiques F1', or 'F1 motor homes to buy' it'd be supported by the Thompson et al. Re: the Lee Mckenzie - Lewis Hamilton thing, well thats her job to ask questions and in the light of what happened on track at Monza she asked the questions i wanted to hear. Its up to the interviewee to respond appropriately. Shes not there to ask them about their holidays, shes there to ask them about the sport, which she does.

  • Comment number 28.

    @23 - Martins contract with the BBC expires this year, Jakes set to host the Olympics in 2012, he's not going to put that at risk we understand that.

    It is very difficult for all of us though when the front man doesn't even acknowledge chants of "no to sky" 5 metres behind him live on air.

  • Comment number 29.

    The Sky deal will eventually pay out benefits over the much longer term. As fenix_2k1 has alluded already, Sky can raise huge amounts of extra cash that the BBC can't. Most of that comes from selling advertising slots.

    It's possible that this arrangement might affect the numbers of viewers but it will be a mainly local phenomenon in the UK. The worldwide audience won't be troubled all that much, which is why the really big players in team sponsorship won't be ruffled either.

  • Comment number 30.

    Oh I am so looking forward to Strictly Come Dancing NOT, but according to the Chairman of the BBC Trust that is what the BBC is about, to Entertain.

  • Comment number 31.

    @29 - No it won't affect worldwide viewing, because Italy, Germany, France etc all have F1 on free to air television.

  • Comment number 32.

    Hi Jake, Thanks for the interesting blog but I'm not sure BBC Management understand why we're angry. As I understand it the BBC had a contract until end of 2013. Because of the need to save money the BBC approached Sky and so gave them a foot in the 'F1 Door' that otherwise would not have been possible because of the FTA proviso in the Concorde agreement. If the BBC wanted out of F1, a fairer thing to do would have been to walk away and let other FTA broadcasters bid, instead the BBC have secured the worst of all possible worlds - a Pay TV operator locked in until 2018!! No other operator could bid because the BBC were sitting on a current contract.

    The BBC keeping half the races live is as much use as half a dog. Even if the other 50% are the full race delayed, its not the 1970's where the likely lads can avoid the football results! Imagine a race like Canada or Hungary being run delayed with all the suspense removed because you will inevitably know the result beforehand.

    The BBC seriously need to think about what they have done here. I don't accept that its a 'done deal'. The BBC's original 5 year contract was a 'done deal' until it wasn't a done deal any more, so anything can change. Please will all those at the BBC who care about this (and I think you do Jake) keep badgering BBC management to rethink. We need to wear them down. Cheers.

  • Comment number 33.

    Hi jake, nice blog.

    On the topic of choice, Sky.

    I am as disgusted as everyone else with this move. Not only because being forced to pay a licence fee to own a TV, when the only things I use the BBC for are F1, Moto GP and QI, WHERE IS MY SAY.

    But there is still a chance. Sky can handle football because so many people - not me - are interested in it, F1 fans are a smaller bunch. Give it a year, make sure we all boycott Sky's coverage but support BBC's, and they will realise its a waste of their money.

    We might get really lucky, and the hacking scandle bring down Sky as we know it...

  • Comment number 34.

    Great blog as usual Jake but it feels so much like a farewell! You must be in a very difficult position at the moment. Good luck with whatever the outcome is. I won't be watching F1 on Sky.

  • Comment number 35.

    Thanks again for the great coverage, love the blog too Jake. I believe you when you say you are committed to providing great coverage for 2012, just a shame that those who make the decisions in BBC Sports/F1 coverage dept who have made the decision to sell out to sky don't share your professionalism and commitment. Heads at the top should definitely roll over this, with viewing numbers as they are and F1 as exciting as it's ever been feel very let down by BBC. The whole presentation team just rock, keep up the good work Jake!

  • Comment number 36.

    Gutted it's going to Sky...I for one will not bother watching it anymore (and I love it) It's like watching half a football match...pointless! Such great coverage and viewing figures on BBC... Jake and the rest do an immense job and make my Saturdays and Sundays far more enjoyable!

    NO TO SKY!!!

  • Comment number 37.

    Here's a quick survey, which asks if you will buy F1 on Sky or not:

  • Comment number 38.

    The last photo sums up the British F1 audience next year - empty and long gone. The BBC shouldn't be allowed to get away with such loony decision making.

    No to Sky

  • Comment number 39.

    @ HCumber. If worldwide viewing is unaffected, I think it's unlikely we'll see any of the major sponsors bailing out. The Sky involvement here is just a local issue and it's net effect on the overall audience figures and exposure for the sport will be minimal.

    Reduced interest in the UK does not necessarily mean reduced money flowing into the sport. Over the long term future Sky will be able to raise far more money than the BBC, mainly through sales of advertising spots, and that will find it's way into the hands of Bernie and the teams.

  • Comment number 40.

    in answer to all the 'f1 will be poorer due to sky' people - surely we need to know exactly what the figures are? yes 2.1m is less than 8m viewers, but if F1 gets x% of subscription costs, surely x% of £600 p/a per person is bigger than x% of £100 pa pp they would get from TV licence?

    yes my maths is basic, and figures are rough. but you see my point?
    Does this out-weigh the reduced sponsorship? no idea

    there have also been rumours that Sky might have to reduce its cost (people choosing to tune in to RTL etc) so maybe that will coincide with this?
    I doubt Bernie would indulge this idea unless its beneficial. And i hope its beneficial to the sport - not just him

    (just to be sure - i am not for F1 on Sky, but i business isn't always about the majority of customers)

  • Comment number 41.

    @ TimmyNorfolk. You make an excellent point, and its similar to my own. The net result is that in future the sport will be richer financially because of Sky, even with a smaller audience.

  • Comment number 42.

    cant wait til 2012 when its on sky... makes me laugh that you think comparing motorsport viewing against football viewing, especially given a lot of people watch the matches in full on football first...

  • Comment number 43.


    Great coverage and I completely disagree with MartinAlonso who suggests you are not passionate about F1. I love at times the kid in the sweet shop feel you bring to hosting the F1 coerage.

    With all the chaos of anchoring live coverage at an F1 track with thousands of people milling around, both you and the team do a fantastic job.

    Those of us with a little insight into the finances of F1, know it is the greed or Bernie Ecclestone and his CVC partner's that drive up the price enormously TV, Tracks and Sponsors have had to pay, and pocketed somewhere between $7-10 billion since 2005.

    This money should be in F1 and its good to see that Fota have appointed advisors to investigate taking "an equity stake" in F1 commercial rights. The fact that at the end of the Concorde agreement the teams can just walk away and set up their own commercial team that negotiates with the venues, TV rights and sponsors.

    This wasted billions could be used to drive down the cost for free to air TV, the fee paid by certain circuits struggling to make money (who don't have government funding) and increase the money available to the team.

    The conflict over exhtorniate fees is caused by Ecclestone's greed to profit for himself and CVC. The teams and sponsors don't want F1 on subscription or pay-per-view TV as it reduces their exposure.

    Why doesn't the BBC do a feature (or even seperate programme if it compromises Jake & the team access in the paddock) on the finances of F1. This in turn will make clear why free to air TV can't afford Bernie's fees and get themselves of the hook with fans who don't understand.

  • Comment number 44.

    No I don't want to know what the plans are for next year. No practice, no red button, no forum, half races. We can't even follow with twitter fans because at best it will be delayed or even worse hi lights. Whats the point, being an F1 fan involves more than the race. As you say yourself you get a real thrill from being involved even though you probably get the worst view of the race. Make the most of the viewing figures they will soon end.
    As for the BBC keeping fans informed, thats a joke. We have forced closure of blogs, 30k of us have signed petitions and many of us have officially complained and the only mention has been one sentence on the news channel in the middle of the night via Chris Patten, we are cutting F1 coverage, sharing with Sky who provide excellent sports coverage. Yes if you have £600 to pay for it or no concerns about giving Murdoch money. Must not forget he also stated that it was important to keep the worldservice going for 10k Bangladeshi farmers and overseas news programme cos "people trust us". No Mr Patten the people paying for the service do not trust you. The people paying are sick of their money being used to support channels rarely watched, constant repeats and Rehashed travelogue shows advertising English heritage properties etc.
    Here's an idea, remove all the repeats from BBC2, relocate all the news programmes to BBC News the enormouse gaps can then be replaced by shows from BBC3 and 4 which are often repeats or at the least on a constant loop. Think of the savings closing these channels. I watch BBC Parliment but imagine very few others do so whats the point of it. Again important debates could be shown on news channel.

    Saying goodbye to Europe, lucky you I am saying goodbye to Formula one

  • Comment number 45.

    Nice post mate, had to say it was fantastic race and nail biting all way through. Good show overall.

    And ya before I forget NO TO SKY

  • Comment number 46.

    Good blog Jake, and thanks for acknowledging the "you-know-what" issue. I look forward to seeing you guys next year, but for the rest of next season I'm guessing I'll be down the pub for the other half of the races. Really not prepared to line Murdoch's pockets.

    You guys (JH, EJ, DC, MB and all the other unsung peeps) do a brilliant job, and have made the coverage the best it's ever been! It was good to have an insight into what goes on behind the scenes. It can't have been easy for you all, not knowing what lies ahead for your TV work next season, thanks for continuing to do a brilliant job!

    I do have a gripe with some of the moaners. Yes, I'm as unhappy about the TV deal for next year too, but how many of you have signed the petition?? 5.8m watched (quoting Jake above) the race on Sunday, yet just short of 29,000 people have actually bothered to sign the petition?? Don't be apathetic, sign it and use your voice in the right place. It's here...

    Love the pic of Monza's old concrete banking, and yes F1 will continue to evolve (like it or hate it).

  • Comment number 47.

    Enjoyed the Monza race, one of the best this year so far.

    No to Sky.

  • Comment number 48.


    The sponsors will already be advertising on Sky so where do they put the extra adverts? During the race??? Can you just see the Hamilton v Schmacher battle being interuppted by a Vodaphone advert with Jenson & Lewis or a dubbed Alonso trying to flog me a Fiat! What of the size of the audiance they are reaching? As has been said before the Sky Sports subscribers fall short by over 3.5 million viewers....

  • Comment number 49.

    Jake Humphrey wrote:

    "I always say that in front of the TV you get the best seat in the house and this is proof!"

    That may be true but from next year it will only be half true for a lot of F1 fans. Try not to rub our noses in it too much Jake.

    Looking forward to you twitting how wonderful it is getting Sky Sports installed via the BBC F1 website too if that is your attitude.

    With that in mind...

  • Comment number 50.

    ''...trusty silver truck....we'll see him next in Spain in eight months''

    Does this mean Spain is one of the BBC picks? Or that the team will be touring round every circuit to cover the highlights shows?

  • Comment number 51.

    @ jacksoda. You might not believe it but Sky will likely acquire new and more lucrative advertising clients as a result of showing F1. Don't forget that at present the market for F1 advertising in the UK is nil due to the BBC. That leaves an awful lot of untapped potential cash just waiting to be unleashed.

  • Comment number 52.

    Yes thanks Jake for a good blog. Thanks for mentioning 2012 season as that means we can at least talk about this very bad BBC/Sky deal & keep 'On topic'; hopefully now we will not be so heavily censored, (sorry moderated), as we have been over the past 7 weeks.

    I've got a lot too say, but words do fail me? Some has already been said by the regulars & new bloggers on here.

    You said that you love the Sport, that I do not doubt. Are there any other High Profile people, (not contracted to the BBC), who love this sport as much as you do, that you could tell/tweet to us about?
    All of these numerous F1 Fans who have failed to get any form of answer from the BBC for the past 7 weeks, could do with some extra support.

    @1 HCumber
    Very good comprehensive list. Covers quite a lot. There is one more that might be of help to anyone who would like to 'talk' moderator free. It is a nice club & all are welcome. Put this into your search box " 'The official Petition to stop F1 being broadcast on Sky' on Facebook".

    Last word to Jake, I will try and think of some moer questions, where I am not venting any anger at you & the BBC production/F1 team, as you all have done a wondrefull job.

    No to Sky.....

  • Comment number 53.

    Nice blog entry Jake, as nearly everyone here has said.

    But "No to Sky", also as nearly everyone here has said.

  • Comment number 54.


    FOM don't get a %age of subscriptions. They've agreed a flat rate for a number of years which isn't much more than the old bbc deal and was matched by the C4 offer (& bbc still have to subsidise that deal remember).

    Sky will make money, but F1 will be no better off, thats part of the problem.

    As for worldwide audience. The UK audience is over 10% of the worldwide audience.

  • Comment number 55.

    Mediocre Blog! Never really been a fan of the condescending type of presenter.

    Schumi made this grand prix! Best driver ever! If Mercedes fix the aero on the car for next year Schumi will be right up there.

    What happened to all the tweets on the F1 forum about the dodgy bbc dealings with sky?

    When will someone explain why CH4 AND CH5 got rejected?

    Highlights & Full Re Runs are not good enough. Shocking Decision Making
    The Olympics is costing us in all sorts of ways!

    NEGATIVE to sky!

  • Comment number 56.

    @46 Scott Coe

    While I agree that the e-petition could do with more people signing, there appear to be over 7,000 currently open petitions at the Direct Gov site and the F1 is 8th in terms of numbers of signatures. Only 2 petitions have over 100k signatures. So it's not bad going.

    Back to the blog, interesting to read that the BBC took over ITV's truck! I wonder what else they got into the bargain. Certainly the difference in quality of the coverage from back then to now is astonishing.

  • Comment number 57.

    People have to stop having a go at Jake. You can see all the time that the BBC presenters would like to have their say on the subject, but ask yourself, would you put your career on the line for the sake of having your say?

    You've done great things Jake and I'm sure it must be so hard to keep your thoughts to yourself. Every race i've watched since the announcement has been with a tinge of sadness at how much less enjoyable it will be to watch highlights next year.

    No more live timing, no more live twitter updates, no driver tracker, no mclaren pitwall no longer feeling involved.

  • Comment number 58.

    just a reminder that people who wish to watch F1 next year could (if your permitted) install a dish and tune in to RTL to get free german coverage. then tune your radio to 5Live and you still get the beautiful BBC. total cost would be under £100.

    Jake - when someone does answer our question of 'what are extended highlights' can i also ask if you will be showing any pre-race bumph for the 'sky' races? or just the race / highlights?

  • Comment number 59.

    @fenix_2k1. You are only focussing on the here and now. But as part of that you also make my point by admitting that the sport is no worse off because of this deal due to monies paid remaining at the same level. A level it has to be said which all parties seem content with for now.

    I've repeatedly stressed that over the longer term, beyond the limit of this BBC/Sky arrangement, revenues will likely increase much more than they are doing now.

  • Comment number 60.

    @ Fenix - i agree people shouldn't have a go at Jake or any other presenters - they are the reason F1 is more popular than ever.
    But in truth, bar the odd troll, i dont think people are having a go at Jake

  • Comment number 61.

    Interested that the Sky coverage has come back up. I have read various commentaries on this, but I wonder if the BBC can't afford to cover the GP how the British public are each expected to be able to afford the £600 a year that Sky want for us to be able to watch it? On top of that not everyone in the country can get Sky even if they want too. My parents were recently denied an installation as the signal wasn't strong enough! More though, if the BBC are at the track filming the races for highlights why can't they broadcast them? Lets get rid of all the extra costs, we need to keep Martin Brundle and share commentary with Five Live, who do an excellent job, and cut out the extra costs that way. I watched a race on Asian TV last year, that had no commentary at all - but at least I got to watch the race..... all of it!

  • Comment number 62.

    Good blog. It seems to me that since the announcement about Sky that the spark has gone out of yours and the the rest of the teams presenting. I suppose you must all be as fed up as us about it.

    NO TO SKY.

  • Comment number 63.

    Isnt it a bit of an assumption that sky will pump money into f1, surely they will just pay the rights fee, and thats it, so in this case an alleged 15million a year, which is a tiny amount compared to the overall revenues, even if they did, its only the uk coverage that is in question, so even if they did put extra money in is it much when compared to the overall takings from tv rights and circuit payments. It is then up to cvc/fom to divvy the money up to the teams, and why would they give them more than they already are as cvc is a business afterall they will want more money for themselves.

  • Comment number 64.

    Nice Blog Jake..hope you enjoyed your holiday after Spa...and it's always good to put family first.

    With regards the 2012 coverage, I do think BBC have hit upon a real "sweet spot" with their current mix of presenters who are likeable, knowlegable, and clearly really love would be a real shame if that does not continue into 2012.

    However, Free-to-air is a massive deal to the fans. It's not just about paying to watch the races. If formula one moves to Pay-tv it will lose its kudos as the highest profile sport in the world. Back in the 60s and 70s Le Mans sports cars had nearly as high a profile as Le Mans sports car racing is exclusively for "petrolhead enthusiasts" while F1 is still in public Awareness. How many people on the street could name 2 current Grand Prix Drivers? How many could name two current Le Mans sports car drivers? Surely that says it all? Primetime Free to Air TV is what makes that difference and if F1 looses that it will kill it stone dead.

    Finally, I think the intelligent viewers realise the difficult diplomatic situation that the presenters are in here, and can read between the lines with comments you make on-air and in your blogs. Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 65.

    I imagine next year the viewers will be saying goodbye to Europe a lot earlier than the presenters!

  • Comment number 66.

    Missed your blog so much Jake that was great! I hope the coverage next year is as good as the last three cause I've enjoyed it so much. I actually got into F1 in 2009 so the BBC's coverage is just what F1 is all about. I can't quite imagine watching a race without you DC and EJ and Martin analying it!!! One feature I loved was watching the different camera angles while filming live on air. Could you do another feature about that in the future? I'll be watching in Sinagapore! Holly.

  • Comment number 67.

    Thanks for finally saying something about the Sky deal. Speaking for myself I do not want concrete details announced, I want the deal scrapped so F1 can reamin free to air. That the BBC is using its position as the current rights holder to negotiate a deal with a pay TV service is disgraceful and people can say that it happens with football and Rugby but that is besides the point, the sports are different. Football has nearly 50 games a week in the football league and you cannot follow all of them. F1 has 20 races a season. Very different when it comes to coverage.

    On the Sky topic one thing that people pro the deal are saying is that Sky has exceleent coverage of the sports it follows. As a Football and Tennis fan who had Sky until two years ago I will admit its football coverage is excellent, top notch and superior to any other channel IMO.

    Its tennis coverage is dire, vastly inferior to Wimbeldon! Its advertisments so far for Formula 1 have been atrocious and I hope that they intend to package it like that as people will not pay for that in any way shape or form.

  • Comment number 68.

    @62 I agree.

    They have certainly been a bit more subdued since the announcement (or lack of). And we are left to ponder over whether certain conversations have subliminal messages and context.

    No one is going to walk out over it, and therefore we will continue to get the standard corporate responses,

    No to Sky, no really, don't do it, it would be suicide.

  • Comment number 69.

    i should add i meant an extra 15 million on top of what the bbc alone would have payed had they not backed out of the contract.

  • Comment number 70.

    It's not helping anyone's cause having a go at Jake as it is obvious he isn't happy or any other of BBC F1 presenters but they obviously can't say anything against their boss the BBC.

    This deal is really annoying to say the least, even if Sky coverage cost a fraction of the outrageous cost I wouldn't pay them a penny as I have morals. BBC blocking the Channel 4 bid by teaming up with Sky is beyond out of order and they should be held accountable.

    To anyone who hasn't heard the song just Google "Imagine Theres No F1" as I don't want to put a link in and get the post put in moderated mode.

  • Comment number 71.

    Hi Jake,

    Thanks for the blog.

    Monza for me was an interesting experiment as I was not able to watch the race live, so I recorded it and watched it "as live" later on Sunday.
    IE, it was a good experiment to try out what next year's coverage will be like.

    It was good to be able to watch the full race, and I was able to enjoy the drama and tension through the race as normal - BUT, I was not able to have the live timing on my laptop, nor was I able to have the BBC website with onboard footage and circuit tracker. So for me, it was disappointing, and definitely removed a lot of the emotion and excitement of watching the racing.

    F1 has become a real immersive experience for me and I will really miss that.

    By the way, I just wanted to thank you - you posed for a picture in the paddock with a Northern Irish girl, who is best friend of my sister-in-law, and has recently been diagnosed with a serious illness. She really enjoyed the event in Monza and will treasure the picture.


  • Comment number 72.

    Great blog and great coverage too. As a fan since the mid 90s I can say it's the best I've seen.

    There's a lot of complaints about the Sky deal referred to in your blog but I can't see why.

    Champions League football doesn't suffer with 1/16th of it live on FTA TV.

    Live F1 isn't a human right. Either watch your half, or pay up for the other half.

    If you really have a "problem" with Murdoch (which I doubt) ask Branson to run a cable into your house, it'll get the Sky Sports as well and will allow you to broaden your horizon's on several other sports.

    Thanks again for the great coverage I'm sure you'll really step it up when going toe to toe with Sky.

  • Comment number 73.

    @ zuban_zagrius. In simple terms Bernie and CVC know that Sky tv will make money out of increased advertising and subscription revenue. This would be reflected in an increased asking price for the rights during any subsequent negotiations for the future. FOM are committed to paying the teams a percentage of the tv income, so if that increases, so does the share out to the teams.

  • Comment number 74.

    Monza was a great race and thanks for the great Blog.

    You say "I can tell you I am committed to helping the BBC make its F1 coverage next year as compelling as it has been for the last three years"

    Big problem here is we are only going to get 10 out of 20 races live and 10 highlights. This is not good enough, the BBC is a public funded company and it is beyond me how a company that is payed for by the British tax payer can make a deal with another company that will result in the British Tax payer having to pay £400 plus a year more to watch what the BBC has a duty to show.

    3 month on and no one from the BEEB has come forward to answer our questions. The BBC is a disgrace by the way they have handled this issue.

    This is one lost fan of F1 as I will not be buying Sky and am not interested in highlights. The BBC will be getting highlights of my licence fee next year.

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

  • Comment number 75.

    I watched the F1 Forum last Sunday and I have to say that Martin brundle looked as if he had lost the will to continue, I hope everything is ok for him.

  • Comment number 76.

    @ SirJGP. You have a choice whether to participate in watching F1 or not. The BBC only has a duty to provide public service broadcasting, not F1 per se. Unfortunately while there is certainly a lot of interest for Formula 1 among the public, the increasing financial demands of Bernie and the F1 teams mean it doesn't stand up to a cost benefit analysis as the best use of licence payers money. Remember that there are many more licence payers who don't watch F1, and they need programming catered to their tastes as well.

  • Comment number 77.

    Nice blog Jake, as always.

    I've really enjoyed seeing the BBC F1 productions and all the background it brings to my favourite sport. It's high quality stuff and like to think that the fact that it's the BBC bringing the coverage means we get a little bit more access to behind the scenes stuff.

    I wish there was a way of reversing the decisions made so that this free to air coverage can be maintained for the forseeable future.

    NTS, save BBC4, and for gods sake look to save money from BBC3

  • Comment number 78.

    @73 for sure i understand that, but some things dont make sense, if i was playing that game i wouldnt have them signed up until 2018, i'd have gone for a much shorter contract. Also it doesnt match up with whats happened elsewhere, germany for example where rtl who are free to air (where i will be watching the other half of races incedently) have the rights until 2015 (if i remember correctly) which is a deal signed only months ago, and sky in germany who also broadcast f1 but with more features to justify the cost, have only managed to sign up for a year. Sadly the costs of those rights arent available. As sponsors are largely global its difficult to see ratings changing enough to effect them, but perhaps it will just enough to offset the costs, 15 million extra a year until 2018 when divided amongst the teams could easily be lost by sponsors coming and going.

  • Comment number 79.

    @72 99dndd wrote: If you really have a "problem" with Murdoch (which I doubt) ask Branson to run a cable into your house, it'll get the Sky Sports as well and will allow you to broaden your horizon's on several other sports.
    If you get Virgin you still have to subscribe to Sky sports, so you are still giving your money to Mr Murdoch, So this option is no different than getting Sky. I do have an issue with Mr Murdoch, I have not bought a paper which is owned by his organisation for over 10 years and I will not be giving my money to him to watch F1.
    I am aware it is not a human right to have Free F1 but the BBC have a contract to the end of 2013 and they should stick to this then let CVC open up the bidding to all broadcasters, the BBC have done a deal with sky to cut out other FTA broadcasters and this is costing the tax payer more money, this can not be right in anyones view.

  • Comment number 80.

    Can I echo the majority of all posts. I have loved your coverage and each year you have raised the bar. I think your blogs are both interesting and informative, and I certainly get the depth of feelings/love of the job, you want to convey.

    Pls carry on as long as you can, I appreciate what a brave move mentioning the Sky is, and wish some people would allow you credit for this. Without saying anything you have I think explained your views.

    I will miss half of next year, I'm a FTA only person, but I hope you are allowed to carry on with excellent work for the 10 I will get to see!

  • Comment number 81.

    Would the lone Sky employee that is very active here please go and post somewhere else. Thanks from all the true F1 fans.

  • Comment number 82.

    Excessbaggage exactly how long term are you talking? I'm focusing on the next 7 years after which point there will no doubt be no FTA clause in the concorde agreement and Sky can do their usual landgrab as they already have one hand on the prize.

    Its fine saying the sport is no worse off if by the sport you mean simply the teams and the rights owner. Is that the whole sport though? Surely the fans count for some of it, the teams always claim we're a huge part of it and from a fans point of view we're expected to pay out £4-500 a year and not see that sport benefit from that money for the next seven years. Whereas we could have had the sport still completely FTA, and in exactly the same financial position as it is with the Sky deal.

  • Comment number 83.

    @ 99dndd. You are correct. There is no "human right" to watch F1 and as I explained to SirJGP, the BBC have no "duty" to show it either.

  • Comment number 84.

    I echo what Scott McDott says above, I haven't missed many races since 1988 either. Its cheaper for me to go to Silverstone and Hockenheim next year than get Sky so that's what I will be doing. No free-to-air coverage of 10 of the races is a huge shame and I feel let down by the BBC, and Ecclestone.

  • Comment number 85.

    @ excess - a fair point, but i think 6 hours every fortnight is a fair percentage for the ~5m F1 fans.

    The other thing to take into consideration is the increase in fans since BBC took over. I doubt there will be an increase under Skys next 6 years.

  • Comment number 86.

    @ fenix_2k1. Realistically how much influence do you believe "the fans" actually have? In the overall picture the fans are a mere speck.

  • Comment number 87.

    @ ExcessBaggage

    The BBC have a contract to show F1 to the end of 2013, this cost of buying the rights for this was paid for by the British Tax Payer, the BBC should stick to the agreed contract and then at the end of the contract time CVC can then open up the bidding process to show the rights from then on.

    I am well aware I have a right to view F1 or not.

    The BBC should not be doing deals with a company that is going to result in the British tax payer haveing to pay more to see what the BBC have already bought.

  • Comment number 88.

    BBC are doing the F1 justice with the coverage. Sky will not.

    It will come back to the BBC eventually just like when it went to ITV, so why not just quit messing about and keep it where it belongs.

  • Comment number 89.

    @ 20 Piet Boon wrote:
    Please Jake, invite one of the BBC managers on your program. Even if nothing concrete is to report they can tell us that "nothing concrete is to report". Because in the last seven weeks we heard nothing, even not that "nothing concrete was available".
    On these blogs only a handful of your 5.8 million viewers read your last line (the first comment on this issue in 7 weeks). That means that these 5.8 million viewers (bar the view here on the blog) still have had no communication from the BBC at all.

    I think even your PR department can agree that this was handled badly, silence is never a good PR tool.
    I agree with what you said & that you also had very good points/comments over the last 7 weeks; as well as some very good newspaper clips, (especially if I remember about Mark Thompson).
    Put them onto an external site for us all to see. I think you once mentioned that you had one of your own? There is also one at Blacksheep Racing . com. He has said that we can leave anything on his site, that is of interest to all F1 Fans out there.

    As already said - Great blog & No to Sky......

  • Comment number 90.

    @ SirJGP. No the BBC "had" a contract to show Formula 1 in it's current form until the end of 2013. And that contract is between them and Bernie. Regardless of the way the BBC is funded, there is no explicit contract between you and the BBC telling you what you're getting for your money.

  • Comment number 91.

    Good blog Jake. For those asking Jake questions about the deal, he can't exactly answer questions such as why did the BBC block Channel 4, as he'll have no idea as to what went on in that regard. Also again, don't expect him to answer questions about it on air, because they mentioned it in Hungary when it was big breaking news that weekend, and there's really nothing he or any of the team can say because they don't know the ins and outs of the deal, how it happened, who did what, who said what, who blocked who, who went to who, etc. All he can do is promise to put in the same effort that he has so far in his F1 presenting career. If there's nothing to report, then nothing is going to be reported. I appreciate and accept that some people want answers (I have Sky and I'm not happy about the deal as I really enjoy the BBC coverage and don't see how Sky can improve on it), but unfortunately constantly asking Jake questions on air (well, via Twitter when they're on air), or on here, is a little pointless, for the reasons I mentioned. I'm sure if he could answer some of the questions (eg why the BBC blocked Channel 4's bid) then he would, but in all honesty, he can't, because he doesn't know exactly what went on. That's nothing to do with him ignoring people, or the BBC saying "don't tale about it on air", it's more a case of he can't answer questions on a topic he doesn't know alot about (and let's be honest, he won't know alot about what happened with regards the deal and how it happened). I'm sure Jake and the team were just as stunned as the rest of us, and are unhappy as the rest of us, but the questions aren't for Jake to answer unfortunately. The only questions he can realistically answer at this stage are "what are your plans for 2012, are you staying with the BBC, are you still going to be doing the F1", and that's it. At this stage, neither he nor the rest of the team can say much else, because there's not alot for them to say. Hopefully people realise this, and for example don't tweet or email about the deal asking questions that the on air team can't answer. Yes, they could answer questions such as "what are your plans for 2012", but they can't answer questions on air about why they went with Sky, etc. I may have Sky, but I'm not happy about the deal, and so like many other people, I'll end my post with NO TO SKY (yes, I realise the irony in that as I have it already, but I want F1 on the BBC, not Sky).

  • Comment number 92.

    re Martinalonso
    You are spot on, again it is the punter who suffers, (tv licence, sky subsription)
    Jake and his crew would never answer the main question they are to busy sucking up to the powers that be, yes lee mckenzie did try to get Lewis to play but Lewis has his head screwed on and would not play.
    shame on the bbc shame on the presenters (not martin b and david c) shame on all who think the sky deal is good for the sport.

  • Comment number 93.

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

  • Comment number 94.

    Re: Fan Power

    Read "An epic sindle: 44 months with a pair of cowboys" by Brian Reade.

    30,000 emails a day made RBS sit up and listen, even pick up the telephone
    30,000 emails made Meryl Lynch Listen they confirmed the next day they were not advncing Hicks any money
    30,000 emails to another Wall Street Equity busines also made a difference.

    The Spirit of Shankly website organised by Liverpool FC fans made a huge difference. But then to them football is life itself. Most F1 fans won't feel that strongly

  • Comment number 95.

    No to Sky. Yes to internet streams that will cost me nothing. F1 is going to be the big loser here.

    oh, and did I mention: NO TO SKY.

  • Comment number 96.

    re stevvy1986
    Are you related to Jake or is it just a crush, he is quite capable of answering questions and he knows more than he is letting on.

  • Comment number 97.


    We will see in the coming months. The fans have spoekn and keep repeating the message, we now have MP's asking questions and team bosses alluding to the fact they're not totally happy with this deal. Getting the teams to take notice is the only way the fans can stop the rot.

    No business would be happy losing 10% of their market share.

  • Comment number 98.

    @f1fansp, think it's fair to say you aren't the Sky promotion employee on this blog!

  • Comment number 99.

    Excellent post as usual Jake, really looking forward to Singapore as well as 2012.
    Its a great shame that these blogs are vandalised by people hung up on the joint Sky / BBC coverage for 2012.

    F1 is the greatest sport in the world and watching it is a privilege and not a right! While it is sad that the BBC will not be covering every event live it is to a certain extent understandable. People still get highlights and everyone has the choice to pay for Sky.

    I just really wish people would stop posting on these blogs about it and get some perspective!

  • Comment number 100.



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