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Jake Humphrey's season review

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Jake Humphrey | 19:16 UK time, Sunday, 27 November 2011

I should have known what to expect from this season when we went on air for the first time in Australia back in March.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel went on to win the race in Melbourne without really breaking a sweat, while expert pundit David Coulthard ended up with cake on his face during the post-race F1 Forum thanks to a very over-excited world champion.

Dominance and madness in one go.

Since then, Vettel has won almost every race, while we've had masses of fun and games on camera as we traversed the globe. I have plenty of highlights from a season that has been, without question, the most rewarding of my three years. At the same time, it has been one of the most difficult and surreal. But more of that later...

First the fun! One of the things I've loved about the coverage we've provided since 2009 has been the genuine human emotion that only live sport can deliver. The F1 Forum, in particular, has given us a chance to see a side to the sport that was previously hidden, usually because all the TV crews had long since stopped work.

A stand-out moment for me occurred in the F1 Forum after the Monaco GP. We headed up to the Red Bull Barge - or the 'float-a-home' as it's nicknamed - where the team were celebrating their second successive win in the race.

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First, Vettel went into the pool, followed by various Red Bull team members, making it inevitable that Eddie Jordan would join them. I must confess that, as I challenged Eddie to go and grab the race winner, I knew he was likely to end up in the drink... and that's precisely what happened. EJ losing his glasses and proceeding to do duck-dive after duck-dive to retrieve them will live with me forever. All on live TV, let me remind you.

We then got a glimpse of just how brave the strong, fearless, race-winning F1 star DC really is. As soon as it looked like he would be the next one to get a soaking, he suddenly grabbed both his mic and the nearest railing for dear life. Cries of "No, I'm wearing white jeans!" and "No, I'm holding a microphone!" fell on deaf ears.

We often see drivers wearing race suits, helmets on their heads, wrapped inside a shell of carbon fibre. We never really get to know the human being behind the mask. I hope that, as the year progressed, you have felt you've got to know the likes of Daniel Ricciardo and Mark Webber as never before.

After the careers they've had and the success and the riches that have come their way, it would be very easy for Eddie and DC to not bother going the extra-mile for the good of the coverage, too. Yet they have. Early starts, late finishes, being asked to do ludicrous things and always buying into it... they've done it all. In fact, EJ refusing to go on the Abu Dhabi rollercoaster was just about the only time he has said 'no' in three years!

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I remember heading to a shopping centre in India to film a Bollywood opening to a show. When the nearby Metallica gig was cancelled, 40,000 very unhappy heavy metal fans suddenly surrounded the car. It was a little scary until EJ decided to engage them in conversation to find out what was going on. Moment defused!

That first trip to India was fascinating. I found it particularly difficult and struggled on a daily basis with the contrast between the glitz and glamour of F1 and a country with such obvious socio-economic issues. It was hard to see the poverty as we headed to the track every day, then watch million-pound cars going round in circles. I sincerely hope that F1 makes a concerted effort to give something back to India in the coming years.

It was good to chat that weekend to Rowan Atkinson. But after creating such genius TV as Blackadder, it's sad to think he's globally famous as Mr Bean! Great he could join us on the show, though. To have 'George McCartney' (copyright E Jordan) with us in Abu Dhabi was also special. The only reason McCartney and Atkinson came to chat to us was because of Eddie. It's amazing the power he actually wields!

At this point, let me congratulate Eddie on raising more than £100,000 for Children In Need with his signed Indian GP shirt. He forced all the drivers to sign it, as well as Bernie Ecclestone and Macca.

DC has also really come into his own this year. Whether he's taking on Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button in a pit-stop challenge or on a jet-ski, he's become a credible, eloquent and respected pundit. Added to that, he knows how it feels to win races, fight for titles and drive contemporary F1 machinery.

Sir Paul McCartney, Jake Humphrey and Eddie Jordan

Jake Humphrey and Eddie Jordan meet Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney. Photo: Getty

He's also rather naughty, using his weekly track guides to educate Sergio Perez about the perks of being an F1 driver, to tell Vettel about the German-speaking films he watched as a kid, or to make Karun Chandhok, who was busy minding his own business by cycling the track, re-enact Hamilton's crash with Webber in Singapore.

I'd just like to say how much I've loved working with both EJ and DC over the past three years. It's rare to find three people who just seem to click, but we have and it's been an incredibly rewarding time.

Despite Vettel being so dominant, I've really enjoyed the racing in 2011.

The new DRS overtaking aid on the cars has been toyed with by the FIA during the year but I think they've generally got the balance right now after the slightly embarrassing overtaking-laden Turkish Grand Prix.

What has really got me excited this year, though, have been the Pirelli tyres. Yes, the teams have worked really hard to nullify the effects of marginal tyres, but they have still added to the spectacle. Next year, Pirelli will be even smarter and more aggressive with tyre choice, so I think the tyres will really ask questions of the strategies that teams employ. If they get it right, Pirelli could again be the difference between a good season and a great season in 2012.

And what about my classic moments of 2011? Well, Canada stands out. We had international pop star Rihanna trying out Hamilton's car, DC demonstrating his knowledge of ornithology and Star Wars creator George Lucas chatting to us in the garage... all while a race should have been taking place!

When the racing eventually started, it didn't disappoint, did it? Button was incredible that day and I'd like to extend my thanks to him and all the other drivers who have made themselves so accessible this season.

The F1 Forum has been a magnet for race winners, from Vettel in tears as he watched our 'back-to-back champions' tape, to EJ, DC, Martin Brundle and me leaning over flight cases and around photographers in an attempt to get to Hamilton after his race win in Abu Dhabi. All great times.

It's worth pointing out that the drivers are not obliged to join us live pre-race, before or after qualifying, or on the F1 Forum. They choose to do it, which I think speaks volumes for both our coverage and about the drivers themselves. Thanks, guys.

After all that fun over the last eight months, we get to take a breath, grab a winter holiday, then do it all over again come March 2012. So what can you expect from the BBC next year and how will we make a very different season just as interesting to watch?

Well, the first thing to say is that EVERY race will be on the BBC.

I know you guys want live F1 but you will still get plenty of racing to watch - and often at much better times. Australia, Japan and Malaysia, for example, are races that take place in the early hours in the United Kingdom but we will show almost the whole race at 2pm. As well as that, the programme will be two hours long, so there will be plenty of action and reaction. For non-live races that are run at lunchtime in the UK, you can now enjoy a Sunday out, get home for 5.30pm and have 90 minutes of F1 in a peak-time slot.

The highlights will not just be a few token laps edited together either. We're talking extended, comprehensive highlights to really tell the story of the grand prix.

I can also reveal that the BBC presentation team will be at all the races, so the guys and I will be interviewing drivers, bringing you the usual banter and hosting the show in the way you've come to expect since 2009. So expect F1 Forums and the usual 60-minute build-up for live races. Plus we will have in-depth analysis from DC and others, as well as stacks of driver interviews for the highlights races.

Yes, it's a shame we haven't got 100% live F1. As a fan, I would dearly love to host every race live and you can only imagine how hard and uncertain it has been for all of us since Hungary, when the new rights deal was announced.

The team works so hard to make F1 a success on the BBC and it hurts that, after all that effort we've put in, things have changed. But the BBC has backed us with great on-air times and, as I have said, will be sending us to every race, while the usual back-room talent will be making every show special.

Thanks so much for your support, loyalty and viewership over the last three years. I promise you that, if you stick with the BBC, we won't disappoint in 2012. I am personally driven to make next year's coverage even better than ever before.

Have a great winter and I look forward to you getting a lie-in before I welcome you to the Australian Grand Prix in less than four months.

All the best,



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  • Comment number 1.

    Great season Jake, so sorry you and the great BBCF1 team got done over by the BBC management.

    I'll see you next year as I'm paying nothing to $ky.

  • Comment number 2.

    Jake just want to thank you DC. EJ. MB & L Mc TK and all the back room staff for another award winning season.
    It’s a pity the BBC has betrayed all of you and the fans. After reading how Sky are going to broadcast F1 with its own channel and the way the BBC have treated the fans, I have to say the whole award winning F1 team should move over to the sky channel with no sense of guilt or regret.
    The team has given great pleasure to thousands of fans over the last few years and deserves to work for a company that can live up to the standard s that you and the team have set. As much as I regret saying this” that is not the BBC”, sorry I will not be seeing you all on Sky next year.

  • Comment number 3.


    A good season for once the DRS does make for some interesting moves and it also meant that back markers could be passed easily.

    Some faults that need rectifying:

    [1] During safety car period the back markers should be allowed to unlap themselves, this would avoid the situation we had in Singapore where there was a BM in second place and Vettel too full advantage of it. Jenson might have got him on the restart.

    [2] Bring back in season testing this would allow teams to accelerate their development and we would get a better season as cars would be closer more quickly.

    [3] Vettel is pronounced Fettel as in Fine Fettle in German V=F and W=V OK!

    The introduction of a driver to the stewards panel was a very good idea much better to have a poacher in the gamekeeper meeting.

    Now SKY this is the worst thing that could have happened to the sport. Personally I won't bother watching as the good races are not on the BBC i.e Canada, Germany and Monza ok we get Silverstone but who picked Spanish, European and Monaco.

    This just proves the art of negotiation has been lost at the Beeb. Sold down the river, not your finest hour. Still we do have the voice......... 22 million for an idea that the BBC started with all those years ago. Looks like the brains left the building with Elvis.

    SO ITV4 and BTCC next year whole days racing and adverts timed for toilet and snack breaks - couldn't be better.

    Auf Wieder bye bye F1. RIP

  • Comment number 4.

    Well thanks to all the team who have given so much pleasure to millions of people.

    At least the last race was worth it.

    Sky Hmmm waste of space. Not going to pay, sorry.

    So BTCC, Moto GP racing (all classes), Ginetta racing etc etc. next year.

    So after 30 years RIP F1.

  • Comment number 5.

    Bit gutted that we won't get the fantastic race build-up every time, it seems that the races which won't be live won't get the same treatment.

    And this is why it's so frustrating that Sky will get half the rights in 2013. A huge part of F1 viewing on the BBC is the fantastic pre- and post-race coverage, as well as the commentary. I love watching it and since the coverage has been on the BBC it has been so much fun.

    I doubt that Sky will go to the same effort. I was travelling over the summer, and saw some of the races in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. Their coverage was terrible. They don't care about making it entertaining. they just show races and maybe have 15 minutes of drivel before the race. It was a relief when I was in Australia, watching the British Grand Prix, to discover that they use the BBC's commentary, so at least on that occasion, I got to hear Martin Brundle & DC doing their thing. Other channels, usually sports channels, bizarrely just don't have the same quality of coverage. They often don't even have a presentation team at the races - just two people sat in a studio somewhere talking nonsense. The BBC actually educates, as well as entertains.

    I don't know whether Sky will bother with going the extra mile. And I will never find out. I refuse to be forced in to lining Rupert Murdoch's pockets by paying for Sky just in order to see F1 in 2013 and beyond. I love F1, but my hatred of Murcdoch and all who sail in him is far greater. And I have a feeling I'm not the only one.

    I just hope Bernie Ecclestone realises this; the BBC's coverage makes it all worth watching. I wouldn't be surprised to see quite a significant drop in F1 viewers come the rights change in 2013. I'm just going to have to soak up every second of coverage next year!

    Thanks to Jake, DC, EJ & Martin Brundle for such enjoyable coverage, and for getting us right in to the action. I feel like I know the teams and the drivers because fo the efforts they go to - and in no small part is their accessibility to the teams & drivers due to how much they are respected as presenters.

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Jake,

    Why did you mislead viewers by saying "all the races will be on the BBC?"

    Why did the BBC run to Sky when, by the BBC's own admission, they were aware of Channel 4 making a bid for the F1 rights?

    Would it not have been better for viewers if BBC shared with Channel 4? Yes or no?

    How is this deal "great for viewers" when we have to spend a minimum of £360 per annum on a Sky HD subscription (the cheapest way to view all the races next year)?

    Is that a good deal in these "austere times" or was it just a way for the BBC to save their ratings, their sports rights portfolio irrespective of whether viewers benefit from the deal?

    Did the BBC consider that had they held back from renewing the contract, F1 would not have been able to move to Sky?

    Was it a coincidence that the BBC released this news a few months ago to coincide with BSkyB's announcements to the stock market on Friday morning?

    People talk about the health of sport on terrestrial TV yet the fact Channel 4 were willing to make a full bid (which was reportedly in equal monetary terms to that made by Sky) signals its health. In fact, the only reason F1 is on Sky is due to the BBC.

    So thanks Jake, for a great three years, but I will not be getting Sky, I will not be watching the BBC coverage. I hope you enjoy your free flights and track access for the next five years, oh and of course your salary for the privilege of working so hard. It's a hard life, eh?

  • Comment number 7.

    Thank you all for your fantastic coverage over the past few years.

    I'm gutted that the BBC stitched themselves up by paying more than they could afford for the rights, and then having to go to Sky with their begging bowl.

    Unfortunately for the BBC my love of F1 comes first. I don't like the prospect of paying extra but I DO want to see all the races live, so I will be watching Sky next year.

  • Comment number 8.

    It was highly unprofessional of you to make snipes at Martin Brundle and the fact you didn't thank him on air for his professionalism and expertise over the past three years is a great shame. I wish him well with Sky - something which, let's be clear, only came about because of the actions of your beloved BBC.

    As far as I'm concerned, the BBC licence fee should be abolished. If the BBC is so great, let the people of this great democracy decide whether they watch (and therefore pay for) the BBC and let it be funded by adverts, not by Capita's TV Licensing goons.

  • Comment number 9.

    I want to watch live - it's nigh-on impossible to sync up pre-recorded with the live data stream from as I often do.

    I realise it's your job to sell the deal as something wonderful, but the only positive I will get out of this is not seeing your non-F1 related twitterings on the front of the F1 page any more.

    Please save even more money by keeping F1 coverage about the racing. The montages and celebrity voice-overs mean nothing and cost a fortune. Of course this may give you less to do, but you don't mind taking a wages cut in these austere times do you Jake?

  • Comment number 10.

    Personally I've never understood Bernie Ecclestone's concern about races being at times other at 14:00 in the UK, if people can't be bothered to get up at 5 in the morning they're not real fans. The big problem with not having live coverage is going to be avoiding the result! Maybe I'll have to stop following you on Twitter Jake!

  • Comment number 11.

    thanks for all the work, to you and the team.

    Can you shed some light on the changes on the presentation team next year. We've seen that MB has jumped ship. But what about EJ?

  • Comment number 12.

    Just wanted to say thanks for the great coverage, watching you, EJ & DC plus Martin's commentary, has been worth the licence fee.
    Like many of the others posting I won't be lining Mr Murdoch's pockets, so I'll have to suffice with the BBC's austerity package next season, but PLEASE get EJ back as life would not be the same without him & his shirts.

  • Comment number 13.

    Big thanks for the season, as you have all provided excellent coverage given the constraints imposed on you all regarding not speaking out about the deal.

    An admirable job and definitely the best F1 broadcasters we have seen in recent years.

    Shame its happened like this as there are a lot of F1 fans out there with an extremely sour taste in the mouth.

    Its also an even bigger shame that no one has had the fortitude to speak out, answer questions, or even acknowledge the amount of anger at the situation as it has unfolded.

    I might watch in 2012, but I like consistency, so therefore will be streaming every week and listening to English commentary, so I will be watching the same faces each week and I can grow accustomed to them.

    At least I won't need to read your tweets about breakfast and airport departure lounges now on the BBC F1 feed.

  • Comment number 14.

    "One of the things I've loved about the coverage we've provided since 2009 has been the genuine human emotion that only live sport can deliver."

  • Comment number 15.

    It’s been a great season. Even though Vettel and Red Bull have dominated, it has still been entertaining and exciting as ever with the highs and lows of racing and occasional ornithology lessons – I now know what a red wing blackbird looks like - I didn’t before the Canadian Grand Prix.

    Like most people yes, I’d love the BBC to be showing all the races live next year. Although not all the races will be live in 2012, I’m still looking forward to it. As a fan of a Scottish football club living in the South of England I rarely get to see a live game (no, I don’t have and don’t intend to get sky sports), but well-presented highlights with good punditry can go a long way for making up for it.

    Informed commentary and an amazing rapport with the teams will go a long way to keeping up the standards that have been set over the past season – not only have you all managed to cover the on-track drama and technical side of the action from the pit lane, you’ve also brought through the human side – Vettel’s emotion at winning the championship, Button celebrating in Japan, Hamilton’s candid view on why he’d struggled this season and the Barichello’s interview this week. That’s something money cannot buy – it’s down to the talent and ability of the people in the pit lane and the commentary box and behind the scenes.

    I can’t wait for March 2012 – I know where I’ll be on the 18 March at 2pm.

  • Comment number 16.

    Another great season, f1forum was brilliant, DC asking Paul from Pirrreli "how do you make rubber exciting"? Tv gold. I think the bbc coverage will be ok next year, just waiting for the bbc commentators to be announced before I decide to go to sky. Well done Jake, just one thing, if all the beeb team are going to every race, where is the cost saving?

  • Comment number 17.

    "I know you guys want live F1 but you will still get plenty of racing to watch - and often at much better times."

    Are you serious? Fans want to watch races LIVE. The only people that will watch bbcf1 next season will be fans that drift in and out of races. You have lost your hardcore audience.

  • Comment number 18.

    Thanks Jake and all the team for everything you have done.

    I am another one that will not be paying for Sky (Getting the message yet?)

    Sorry to see MB go as I love his grid walks and hope the rest of you manage to stick together.

  • Comment number 19.

    Me and my family have enjoyed sitting down together this season and listening to the fun and informing build up then the dramatic racing followed by the great F1 forum. Thanks to all the team for a great season.

    No sky for me next year. A shocking sell out that will no doubt harm the F1 following in the UK.

  • Comment number 20.

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

  • Comment number 21.

    "One of the things I've loved about the coverage we've provided since 2009 has been the genuine human emotion that only live sport can deliver."

    Kinda blows your arguments for the highlights shows out the water Jake

  • Comment number 22.

    Will you lot please stop moaning about sky and your hatered of Rupert M. Please use this blog as a way of congratulating Jake and the whole #bbcf1 team for their amazing coverage. The last 3 years have been THE best coverage I have seen in the 20years I have been watching F1. Even better than the 'Murray Walker' years.

    and as for 'mikew57' and the like who say they are going to stop watching F1 - you guys are obviosuly not real F1 fans.

    Cheers Jake.

  • Comment number 23.

    Agree with #8 comments, very very poor to ignore Martin Brundle's efforts your own self importance is getting the better of you.

  • Comment number 24.

    For those of you who keep going on about the move to Sky, change the record & get over it.

  • Comment number 25.

    This was an excellent year, to cap an excellent 3 years. Thanks to all of you.

    As for next year... I won't be watching Sky, but I won't be cutting off my nose to spite my face either - I will watch the Beeb's output when it fits my schedule.

    The only difference will be a lower level of commitment - Where I might make a deliberate, concious effort to watch a live show now, I'm less likely to make the same effort to watch a non-live show. And that will probably be enough to stop me getting into a proper viewing habit over the season. Today I just "know" when each show will be. Next year, I'll have to work harder at discovering & remembering, and so be less likely to watch.

    I will be interested to see how you manage to perform or replace the forum on the non-live weekends. That is probably a key issue to keeping the "feeling" going - and *not* having the forum would probably be the worst move.

  • Comment number 26.

    @Jake "but we will show almost the whole race at 2pm. As well as that, the programme will be two hours long, so there will be plenty of action and reaction."

    If the show is 2 hours long and the max race time is 2hrs; then why not cut the spiel & show the whole race?

    Whilst the features are interesting; most people are interested in the race more than anything else.

    Goodbye F1

  • Comment number 27.

    Jake, what a fantastic year! Drivers input, expert views from everyone in the sport from wheel construction, to chassis, to engines, even to the marshal's, simply great. Sometimes seeing the behind the camera team at each race spot on. Being let in on little personal jokes and mischief between drivers, engineers & team managers, superb.

    However, as most people seem to agree we, your loyal followers, are desperately disappointed at the BBC handling of this matter, and in turn, how we feel as fans, and the rejection of our input to the sport we love so dearly.

    I feel that the F1 audience increases that you and the F1 on-site team have orchestrated and been solely responsible for, have been totally ignored, which to all of us is still unacceptable. We have all felt protective of the F1 on-site team, as you were our live-link there and then, to the ever changing aspects of the sport as it happened. I won't be watching the Sky channel, not just out of principal, but because in the past, the coverage has been absolutely dire. Sky/BBC could have, in my opinion, kept the same team going on both channels, reducing the infrastructure costs as they would have been shared by both parties. This, I think, may have been a better way to go, even if the majority of people will not pay for the Sky channel. However, loyal F1 Team Fans like me will still be looking for a better explanation from BBC Management on our outstanding questions on how the decisions were made, and why we (the public) were not given the option to debate this matter after the statement made by Ben Gallop on the 29th July 2011.

    I think that, rather than watching the coverage, I will just be looking at your tweets instead to see what is happening as it happens.

    All of this said, very VERY well done this year on the best program content for F1 I have witnessed over the past 15 years, and I really hope that the BBC listen to all of us in future before making rash decisions.

    Have a good break all!

  • Comment number 28.

    Jake. It is good to see how well your career is going. As a 22 year old I remember you on CBBC when I was the target audience, and it's great to see how you have gone from being great at all the sport coverage you do now. I hope that this BBC/Sky deal doesn't represent a backwards step for you. It is so galling to have this amazing team ripped up just as it was perfected. After the excitement of advert free F1, it is gutting to know I can't watch every race live. But still, I'm looking forward to the races that will be live on the BBC, and until I become rich/lose my morals so I can justify paying money to Sky, will have to get used to missing half of them. Thanks for all your hard work. Keep it up. Chris

  • Comment number 29.

    Fantastic F1 season and fantastic BBC coverage!

    Such a shame that we won't see every race live on BBC next year, but I will definately be following the highlights/online feed/red button to see as much BBC coverage as possible!

    I'm not going to watch the other coverage as it can only be inferior in my opinion. The access that you all get to the drivers, teams, etc shows that they trust your coverage and respect the work that you do to promote the sport. That trust takes a long time to build up and other broadcasters may not be able to generate that level of coverage.

    I'm looking forward to the new season and seeing the BBC F1 Dream Team back in action for 2012!

  • Comment number 30.

    I thing your coverage has been great but as a fan I can never be happy with highlights of a sport where the excitement comes from watching live.

    I have a feeling that the BBC will live to regret there choices and yes we know it was money that dictated a change but there where other options. For those that hate sky or can't afford it are now going to experience 5years of sub standard coverage. Sorry its true highlights will always be substandard. I hope for those fans that once this deal is done they get back the live races and the coverage they deserve, just not with the BBC, i fear the BBC have lost the F1 fans loyalty for good this time. The lack of consultancy with the fans for what they want form the shows in 2012 is unforgivable. Good luck for the future Jake, i like you and the team but i will be with Sky next year there are some things I wont compromise on and thats live races

  • Comment number 31.

    Totally agree with Number 22 comment. Real F1 fans want to watch F1 live. I don't like having to pay Sky, but I also don't like having to pay the BBC.

    Everyone seems to hate Sky but if it wasn't for them, the BBC's actions would have resulted in F1 disappearing from UK screens altogether.

    Sure, the BBC had fantastic coverage, but are a couple of hours a fortnight likely to be better than a dedicated F1 channel, run by the most innovative Broadcaster sport has seen?

  • Comment number 32.

    All I can say is thanks Jake for three brilliant years of coverage, enjoyed every moment. It doesn't matter how you try and convince us that the deal the BBC has done is the best for eveyone is utter lies! Watching highlights/re-run of the race is not the same as live! Personally I could not watch highlights as its just not the same as watching it live, the excitement is not there as the race has already happened.

    I look forward to seeing you on Sky for 2013 when the BBC drop F1 altogether when they find the TV ratings reduce for 2012 as most F1 fans are not intrested in highlights (F1 is not football and should not be treated in the same manner!).

    How will the highlights handle all of the teams situation during the race? Under the current system we get access to live data streams so if the TV cameras are not on your particular favorite driver/team you can still see their progress, this will not be possible with highlights so they will always miss simething!!!!

  • Comment number 33.

    As much as I like - indeed admire the BBC coverage and really am sad that you won't be covering all races live next year, I feel that regular live coverage will win my viewing. In today's technical age, where a lot of F1 fans are signed up to live stats, driver times, lap charts etc etc. it does make watching re-runs a bit pointless. In an ideal world (for me anyway), I wish you had gone to SKY !!!!

  • Comment number 34.

    Congratulations Jake, All your colleagues on F1... fabulous coverage magical season,
    you're probably now know what Caesar felt like now!!

    I wonder how many cuts BBC management will make to Eastenders..

  • Comment number 35.

    Its a shame we will not have the same coverage enjoyed over the last 3 years, the guys done a great job and will be missed.

    What is amusing however is the expectation that the BBC MUST carry on with the same coverage like its their divine right.

    Get sky and watch them all, or dont get get sky and moan about it.

    If you cant afford sky, stop drinking,smoking and save the money till you can.

    If you regularly drive then walk, save the petrol and buy sky, if you dont drive then the chances are you dont like F1 in which case you dont need to save up for sky...

    Everyone is making cuts, it may not suit everyone, there are people who dont have running water and they get on with it with less fuss.

    Go Hamilton! :o)

  • Comment number 36.

    Jake - we know that you, DC & Lee McKenzie are on the BBC; we know that Martin (alongside likely Crofty & Kravitz) will be on Sky. Can you clarify whether EJ will be joining you.

    Additionally - constant reference has been made to the highlights from Far East & Europe GPs. What about Canada & US which will not be covered live by the BBC. When/what time/for how long will highlights be from those races?

  • Comment number 37.

    Get over it, I'm not a massive fan of sky's cornering of the market or adverts either but they have a dedicated channel (not exactly not putting the effort in are they) and no adverts during the race what so ever! The BBC don't own or have a god given right to host F1!

    I'm not being argumentative either and would love the F1 to stay on BBC with the amazing coverage and knowledge but it's hardly the end of the world is it... If you love it that much you'll watch it on Sky....if you don't you'll give it a miss! End of!

  • Comment number 38.

    So may of us get up/stay up and watch the races live from wherever - it's been ever thus amongst fans. Can't believe I won't see Monza or Hockenheim live next year. Not too worried about Bahrain though, as that's Bernie's bloodmoney special, and will sit well with Mr. Murdoch's other output.

    To the Murdoch apologists and Sky fanboys, then get over to the BBC's comprehensive coverage of the Levinson enquiry and watch as we try to deal with the consequences of yer man in action.

  • Comment number 39.

    Thanks so much for the last 3 years. It has been a journey and then some.

    The dedication of the whole BBC F1 team is beyond doubt. Just awesome.

    Like all good things in life, they always come to an end.

    I look forward to seeing F1 on both the BBC and Sky next year.

    Have a great winter to all.

  • Comment number 40.

    Great blog to top off a great season Jake.

    I would just like to say how dissapointed i am with the BBC schedule for next year. I think that sky will take away the majority of your viewers with a dedicated channel. I also have concerns that the drivers will be more inlcined to give more input to the Sky coverage next year and that your show will not be as good because of that. Whilst i don't particularly want to watch the Sky coverage they are offering something that you can't and for that reason i think the BBC have shot themselves in the foot.

    Good luck for next season.

  • Comment number 41.

    It's a season review.. so my comments are strictly about Jake & The Team's coverage this season.


    Thank you so much guys and gals.

  • Comment number 42.

    Many thanks to you and the rest of the BBC team for another fantastic season of F1 coverage.

    As for 2012, I still don't understand why the full race distances can't be shown for the non-live races. Bernie has said that they are available, so why reduce the coverage to edited highlights? Was it a requirement for only 90 minutes for the European races so as not to upset the viewer of "Songs of Praise" or "Countryfile"?

    We know we can't have all the races live on the BBC, but if the full race distance is available then please try to convince the powers that be that the best way to placate the angry F1 fans that feel angry, let down and betrayed by the BBC would be to show the FULL race distance.

  • Comment number 43.

    This ridiculous BBC/Sky deal is to do with the BBC trying to save money, so my question is, what is the point of flying a production team and presenters around the world at a cost of thousands of pounds? Surely for the non-live races, you could do just as good a job from the BBC's new £400million wendy-house in Manchester?

    I'd rather the BBC had let Channel 4 show the races instead of being greedy and treating the fans as if they are worthless.

    I am undecided as to whether to invest in Sky at the moment, I'm going to have a long hard think about it and then make a decision, however, if I do pay for sky, why on earth would I then watch half the races on the BBC - I'm going to want to get my money's worth from Sky, plus it'll have MB, who is the best commentator in my opinion.

    The BBC have done a FANTASTIC job over the last three years but I'm afraid the fans have been sold up the river by the over-paid pen pushers who don't care about us.

  • Comment number 44.

    I would like to say a HUGE Thank you to the whole team,You have made these three years a great must see.
    To JH,EJ,DC,MB,TC,LM i am really going to miss you.
    I have had Sky for many years,and only a few weeks ago,i got HD,not planning to of got Sky Sports,but with the news that we will have a channel just for F1,i seem to have been gifted almost free F1,as i had the bits they now tell us we need.
    I just hope the coverage will be worth watching,i saw Indy 500 on Sky many years ago,it was dreadful.
    I feel great anger that the bbc has gone down this path with award winning shows,and i so wish that ben and babs are made to pay for the way it has been handled,sack them both!,save a bit more money.
    I wish you all luck on the coverage you are being made to sell,it will be poor ratings,and my guess will get F1 dropped.
    Such a short sighted deal.
    What an insult the bbc has shown us over the whole sorry mess.

  • Comment number 45.

    Regardless of the politics - i like to say that this year was the best ever coverage for Formula 1 - and no one can take that away from you. Thank you

  • Comment number 46.

    I have to say I will miss the BBC team being together - one of the best teams that have ever been put together to present on a sport - so much so that I know several people who are not F1 fans but who actually just enjoy watching the coverage as its done in such a good way.

    I am not sure who is to blame exactly but the real person who got this one wrong was Bernie - he's misjudged here the popularity of F1, which has been skewered by the increasing number of casual fans who quite like watching it if it happens to be on when they're flicking past BBC.

    I do have Sky, but I already pay enough for Sky Sports and despite being a big F1 fan, I am not spending £10 a month to watch 19 races a year, half of which will be on the BBC anyway and the other half which I probably would watch recorded live otherwise. If anything it will allow me to wrestle some of my life back now from being wasted watching the dull tracks that should never have been on the calendar in the first place (ie. Korea, Valencia, Singapore, Abu Dhabi).

    I know for a fact that I won't be alone in that and I think Bernie will find that in one of F1's key European markets that the ratings will drop. The truth is though, he won't care as he's too busy trying to crack the bigger markets like India, Korea and the US etc. Fair enough to him, but he's got it wrong here in terms of the UK market.

    Brundle may find in the end that his voice is heard by less people on Sky F1 than it would have been if he'd stuck with the BBC.

    People need to realise that F1 is for a large number of viewers, a casual interest, and not the sort of sport that commands the sort of popularity in this country as say football or tennis - of course F1 is popular, but in my view it does not command the sort of interest that will see people shell out another £10 a month to watch. It would have been much different if F1 was to be on the usual Sky Sports channels.

    Those who stay with the BBC team will have the last laugh I feel - Sky has proven itself capable of delivering superb coverage for any sport it buys but the fact of the matter is the BBC team that remains will be before a greater audience.

  • Comment number 47.

    Been and very good season with very good coverage!

    It is such a shame that the beeb didin't see fit to keep this F1 fully. Being a massive F1 fan and not being able to have a sky dish in the area I live is going to cause me some real headaches.

    On the brighter side you still get to go to every race and we will still get the award winning coverage of every race, just not live from time to time. Hope the team stay together as you all of you have your own styles which work very well together and the watching wouldn't be the same without all of you.

    That doesn't mean I don't think I would be better in the commentary box however! Sorry MB

    Favourite moment of the season: Has to be Vettel's overtake on the grass at Monza for me, amazing!

    Favourite Race: Canada, Jenson was unreal coming through the field and showed us all that Vettel isn't invincible!

    There are so many great moments and races from this season and I will look back fondly at the year when lots of records were broken! (Mansell still got them quicker!)

    Have a wonderful winter Jake and all on the beeb coverage.

    Here's hoping next season will be even better with some fine tuning of regulations.


  • Comment number 48.

    "I promise you that, if you stick with the BBC, we won't disappoint in 2012"
    Sorry Jake but as good as you are, and everyone else on the BBC team that haven't accepted the Sky $ , you won't be offering 100% F1 action in 2012 only 50% plus 'highlights' -- we have been given a lot of mis-information over the last months including assurances that the non-live races would be shown as delayed re-runs not highlights.
    As good as you are we don't turn on to watch you we turn on to watch flag to flag F1 action -- which now we are being told will cost us a Sky subscription -- fine for those who already have it and the few [not many] who can afford to join -- but even if you added race commentary from the cockpit by Sebastian Vettel it wouldn't make up for less than 100% action.
    I really enjoyed the ITV coverage, apart from adverts, and when BBC got the rights was excited to be able to watch all the action without disruption - the bonus has been the BBC F1 Team who have been just brilliant.
    Bottom line BBCF1 THANK YOU!

  • Comment number 49.

    So European races will finish between 2.30 and 3.00. Highlights will then be on 5.60-7.00. So will this very website be waiting until the end of the highlights program at 7 to put up a report about the race? No, they'll have the race results on here as soon as the race is over, which means in avoiding the F1 results until the highlights package I will also not be able to get on here to see how the Sunday football matches are going in fear of finding out the F1 result.

  • Comment number 50.

    Fantastic coverage all year. The team has come together so well this year, and delivered entertaining insight and exceptional coverage. I especially look forward to watching TKs pit walk on a Monday morning.

    I have Sky, but we'll wait and see if they expect more for their new F1 Channel. Either way, I suspect I will watch the Beeb live coverage next year.

    Great job everyone.

  • Comment number 51.

    It's a real shame Jake and the team have to be subjected to all this one-sided blather...

    I'm still staggered by F1 'fans' and their reaction to this - completely missing what's happened to Premier League football and Cricket to name but two sports. This (the move to pay-TV) was always an inevitability, and the failure to recognise the Government (and Bernie's) role in all this leaves most arguments here utterly based on spite and devoid of reality.

    I can hazard a guess why a mooted C4 tie-up didn't work - Sky offered more money. Simple.

    There is no God-given right for F1 to appear on terrestrial TV. As most know, F1 is not considered a 'crown jewel' by the government. To ignore these points and slavishly bash the Beeb is sheer arrogance.

  • Comment number 52.

    Now that the BBC have passed the live F1 season baton on to Sky I would like to say it was good while it lasted (for two years less than the BBC signed a contract for).

    First up once again I really enjoyed Martin Brundle's part in the team and feel his new role this season was very good. No wonder Brundle has gone to Sky. Sky clearly recognise him as the face of F1 in Britain and rightfully so. I also applaud Brundle for his stance and comments in light of the BBC selling off one of it's most viewed and respected broadcasts. He clearly had no option but to go as the BBC lacked F1 ambition and he deserves to commentate on every race live.

    I also felt that DC was just as impressive in his new roll as co-commentator alongside Brundle. I had my doubts at first but the partnership of those two during the race was just right.

    I would also like to credit Lee McKenzie with her continuing improvement as a pitlane reporter, even if she still has a bit to go before fully winning me over. In fact I would like to see Lee presenting F1 more than reporting from the pitlane.

    Then there's the bad side. Eddie Jordan just leaves me cold. His rambling and incoherent comments lack the quality provided elsewhere during the broadcasting.

    And of course yourself Jake. You are the reason why I don't like watching the pre-race build up and post-race analysis. You are the weakest link in the BBC F1 machine. Everything about you is a miss. If anything makes me subscribe to Sky it will be you - just so I can watch the full GP weekend broadcast without any fear of having to listen to you. Funny thing is I didn't object to you the previous two years. It's just this year that the straw has finally broke my viewing back.

    As for the 2011 season. Great performances by Vettel, Button and Alonso. Not so good from everyone else. The Red Bull in Vettel's hands was just too good.

  • Comment number 53.

    It's alright for you and the others Jake as you'll all be watching the racing LIVE even though we the paying public will have to wait for the 'highlights' Brundle & Kravits followed the £ signs which makes me think that you must be getting paid far to much by the BBC

  • Comment number 54.

    Lets keep this brief...

    "Plus we will have in-depth analysis from DC and others, as well as stacks of driver interviews for the highlights races" - If we've only got 90 minutes, I want 90 minutes of racing, not stacks of interviews and 45 minutes of racing. I can live without EJ selling ice creams or the 3 stooges on a bike. Nothing should come second to the track action

    "BBC presentation team will be at all the races, so the guys and I will be interviewing drivers, bringing you the usual banter and hosting the show in the way you've come to expect since 2009" - why don't you spend what little money the beeb has on showing THE RACE. You can link to the race from your gorgeous new £115m pad in Salford, save on the air fare and accommodation for 40 people and bring us what we want. The race!

    Well, the first thing to say is that EVERY race will be on the BBC. - lie / propaganda - the truth is "we'll show at least some of every race"

    "As well as that, the programme will be two hours long, so there will be plenty of action and reaction. For non-live races that are run at lunchtime in the UK, you can now enjoy a Sunday out, get home for 5.30pm and have 90 minutes of F1 in a peak-time slot - so that's 90 mins to include "extended, comprehensive highlights to really tell the story of the grand prix" as well as"interviewing drivers, bringing you the usual banter and hosting the show in the way you've come to expect since 2009" - It doesn't add up Jake. You need to check your maths!

    I wont spend any more energy on this cos it always falls on deaf ears, except to say... so much for your much muted "power of fans" when no-one at the beeb replies to these comments... and i'm honesty sick and tired of you (and Ben Gallop today) trying to dress up a disaster for the fans as something good, with your myopic insistence that if you tell us often enough we'll start to believe it

  • Comment number 55.

    I won't be tuning in for highlights im afraid. Both Bernie and Martin Whitmarsh have said the BBC is able to show full race re runs, so why are you not doing so? Very disappointing when you consider full re runs could easily be shown on the red button, or on BBC2/3/4.
    Thanks for the excellent coverage this year, just a shame those making the decisions above you have thrown it all away.

  • Comment number 56.

    So European races will finish between 2.30 and 3.00. Highlights will then be on 5.60-7.00. So will this very website be waiting until the end of the highlights program at 7 to put up a report about the race? No, they'll have the race results on here as soon as the race is over, which means in avoiding the F1 results until the highlights package I will also not be able to get on here to see how the Sunday football matches are going in fear of finding out the F1 result.


    Or you could get Sky and watch both. I have sympathy for people who genuinely can't afford it but some who are on here saying 'I won't out of principle', your loss i'm afraid.

    Sky offers a good service in my opinion.

  • Comment number 57.

    Hi Jake
    Not sure if this is the right place to ask but I'm a little confused as to the TV deal for next year. If you guys are going to be at ALL the races, in what way has the BBC 'saved' the money? Surely, the production costs will be the same (well, maybe a little less now that Martin has left to join SKY).

    Also, since you're going to be showing the other 10 races anyway (in shortened format) do you still not have to pay Bernie the fees that he was asking for? Wasn't that the reason for effectively handover the rights to SKY?

    Ben Gallop has stated repeated that decision was made to save money, so how much exactly did the BBC saved, in terms of millions?

  • Comment number 58.

    A BIG thanks to yourself Jake and the BBC for another brilliant year of F1 so looking forward to next year on the BBC of course!!! :)

  • Comment number 59.

    It is a shame that we will lose 100% live F1 coverage next year, but plenty has been said on the subject already - everyone knows the true F1 fans opinion.

    There are many things I will miss when the coverage is not live, the best of these being Martins Grid Walk.

    We can only hope that this so called 'deal' lasts just one season and we can look forward to a resumption of normal service in 2013.

    Great coverage Jake, keep up the good work for all our sakes. Thank you.

  • Comment number 60.

    Congrats to all for another excellent season of F1 coverage. It's a shame it's ended the way it has with this column just another example of BBC's poor attitude towards those who are F1 fans and doing a job they love.

    I don't recall Jake getting too much baiting from the team (at least in front of the camera) when he bailed for the Commonwealth Games... I suppose that's the difference between a presenter who claims to be a fan of the sport in order to progress to his end goal and the ACTUAL motorsports fans like MB.

    MB only had a chance to go because of the stupid deal, he's not interested in being a media/sports groupie, just F1. You can't fault him because he wants to stay with a LIVE coverage full-time, besides we all know BBC won't be showing any races live as soon as they can weasel out of this contract.

    The white-washing of his contribution reflects poorly upon the writer & organisation as a unit.

  • Comment number 61.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed BBC F1 in 2011 and especially the forum which allows you to really get a sense of the action and EJ is always a particular highlight especially in his quest to find out the latest gossip.

    However I have to question that if the new agreement is about making savings at the BBC then why do they find it appropriate to send full production teams to the races they are not covering live?

    They will still have access to the FOM feeds, why not do as Match of the Day does adn offer a critique of the race from a [Salford] studio? Whilst I love the forum I love live racing more.

  • Comment number 62.

    Jake, I was led to believe that the BBC would be showing full re runs tape delayed (as indicated here: So why are you not doing this?
    I am not in the slightest bit interested in highlights and certainly won't be tuning in for them. I was willing to give BBC F1 2012 a chance but if you cant be bothered to show the whole race even tape delayed then I wont bother. For the sake of an extra 30 minutes the races could be seen in full. I just can't understand why the BBC isn't doing this when it is allowed.
    Thanks to all the team for 2011, but unless the non live races are re run in full then I wont be bothering from 2012 onwards.

  • Comment number 63.

    Thank you all. I've thoroughly enjoyed the F1 package for the last three years. I appreciate others' frustrations, but as someone who likes F1 (rather than loves it) I enjoy the whole programme experience (especially the Forum) rather than specifically the racing. I shall miss MB and hope that you can persuade EJ to stick around as the 'three musketeers' are great fun (I also wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of DC).

    I think it's a great shame that the BBC cannot/willnot afford the full package next year, but appreciate the prioritisation decisions that need to be made - especially in an Olympic year. The great loss however is that the BBC now has no 'on-going' full-season sport and only covers tournaments / special occasions.

  • Comment number 64.

    In a 19 race season, 11 wins for Vettel is not 'winning almost every race'.
    Be objective please.

  • Comment number 65.

    Question: Jake are you taking a cut just as the fans are?

    We will not be able to watch as many races live on the BBC due to being constantly told about the supposed BBC cuts.

    So have you also been told that due to the cuts your F1 pay will be cut too?

    I can't speak for everyone, but if it transpires that you have indeed accepted a rise in pay for your F1 duties in light of these cuts then it would be an absolute disgrace and travesty.

    Maybe I will see your response as a tweet on the main BBC F1 homepage, inbetween your adulation of Norwich (football related) and your shopping trips (domestic related).

  • Comment number 66.

    What I find hillarious is that despite the beeb throwing the same f1 fans who made up their big viewing figures - under the bus - theres still the usual collection of brown-nosers here with layers of toilet paper in one hand for their tears...and then in the other hand a big spoon to spoon-feed themselves from the rear-end of the beeb f1 team.

    I used to like the beeb f1 coverage UNTIL I realised that they were SO biased.

    My message to the beeb f1 team is good ridance and I hope it all fails miserably next season.

    ....and when it does I will constantly repeat the famous words used by the famous Nelson Mutz: "Ha Ha!".

  • Comment number 67.

    I must admit I found the forum not as good this year, spending time while watching people jumping into Red Bulls pool is not my idea of post race discussion, and generally I have ended up just tuning in for the races. Thanks to work I managed to miss watching the British grand prix and followed it on the radio and live timing. I did not tune in for the later highlights show and didn't feel I missed anything, I expect I won't be watching the highlights shows next year either.

    Since the Sky/BBC deal went public I have thought about what I'm going to do next year, and realised F1 is the only programme I am bothered about watching live. Having seen which races the BBC have picked to show live, and that there's no Martin commentating, I can't see anything I'm bothered watching any more. So when my current TV licence runs out I won't be renewing it, after all if I want to watch the highlights I can watch them even later on iplayer. I will still be watching F1, just at a friends house where the money saved on the TV licence will go towards a Sky subscription.

    I don't feel I can contribute to the BBCs coffers when they cut F1 while spending £22 million just getting a licence to create yet another copycat singing show, which appear to be on their way out judging by X-Factor viewing figures, and spending a fortune on the Olympics which due to not living in London I couldn't care less about.

    It's been good while it lasted.

  • Comment number 68.

    First of all Jake, thanks for 3 years of excellent coverage. The whole team has done a stellar job, and the enthusiasm and knowledge spread through the team, has been evident right from the start.

    I now need to make two confessions.
    1). I work night shift. And as such, I haven't watched every race in a season 'Live' since about '96.

    2). I have a whole other issue with F1 and it's accessibility by fans, and why I think this deal is good for Bernie/CVC, Sky, but nobody else.

    However. Being willing to drag myself out of bed for European races, and thanks to the wonders of VCR, DVD-R, and recently DVR, for those fly away races that inconviently occured when I didn't have a weekend off, I watched every lap, of every race. Hell, I even attended both Friday practice sessions at Silverstone '09, when I should have been catching some quality REM sleep. Right up until Hungary this year.

    Since then, I have struggled to find the interest. Nothing to do with the racing, thats been better than in the recent past (I'm thinking the Schumacher/Ferrari dominant era). But as F1 moves into this new situation, it won't be taking me with it. I'm not going to pay for the privilege of recording the races and watching them at a later date, and I'm not going to make an effort to record a highlights show to watch at a later date either. Looking through the race calendar, I see 4 races I can concievably watch without booking holiday shifts from work. Thanks, but no thanks. Perhaps I'm being selfish, but as an F1 race is effectively a 90min advert for a multitude of sponsor logo's, I'm rather reluctant to fork out to watch it.

    I can only see the BBC's audience for F1 taking a downward trend from here. There is no sign that Sky are going about this in a half baked fashion, with poor production values, so anyone who is willing to stump up the cash to Sky (i.e. a good portion of the 'hardcore' fans), isn't going to then jump to the BBC for the 50% of live races you have. And I fail to understand how the 'casual' viewer, who make up a good chunk of this years excellent viewing figures, is going to be enthused by a highlight package, no matter how you try to hype them up.

    I fully anticipate the BBC pulling the plug completely after this contract runs it's course. That is assuming they can't use declining viewing figures, as a reason to get Bernie to release them from the contract early.

    So now, I'll just have to make do with reading about F1, and look forward to the season review DVD each year. After 24 years as an avid watcher, I have to admit to shedding a tear to the season ending song. Even if it wasn't quite as good as Just Drive.

    Long live the BTCC, its support package, and YourRacingCar*dot*com.

  • Comment number 69.

    Hi Jake,

    Let me start by saying that the BBC's efforts over the last 3 years have been nothing short of brilliance.

    Having watched the sport previously on ITV and to be free from adverts was a god send.

    The whole BBC Sport F1 team have done an outstanding job and this has really come across over the last 3 years.

    There have been some awesome races/seasons, too many specifc items to mention and this year to have the sport in HD was another huge step forward which I know fans were crying out for.

    All I can say is a big thank you to yourself, EJ, DC, Martin Brundle, Lee MacKenzie and Ted Kravitz - what a remarkable presentation team that was!

    Next year I shall watch all the live races on the BBC and watch all the other live races on Sky - but I am no way in favour of the BBC's decision, its just that I'm a huge fan of F1. I wonder if the BBC will have F1 at all in 2013?

    Anyway thanks so much again and one things for sure, watching F1 next year won't quite be the same as the last 3 years.

  • Comment number 70.

    "Thanks so much for your support, loyalty and viewership over the last three years.................."

    Oh please Jake, the thanks fans have been given by the BBC is to be ignored and for F1 fta coverage to be sold down the river to SKY. Further shoddy treatment is not necessary.............

  • Comment number 71.


    Just to add to all the comments praising the BBC F1 team for the fantastic coverage this season. Both on screen and off, you've been a class above the coverage from ITV - advert-free and now in HD.

    I think the politics and finances that have led to next season's shared coverage are sad, and that Sky will have to go a long way to get anywhere near the level of entertainment from you, EJ, DC, Martin Brundle and all. I hope the team stays together for next season, but whatever happens this season has been a blast.

  • Comment number 72.

    As you say Jake "IF" we stay with BBC

  • Comment number 73.

    If the BBC are so committed to cost cutting then the 90 min highlights should just show as much of the racing as possible without all the hosting and interviews...this can be read or watched online afterwards.

    The BBC staff and commentators should also be kept in Salford rather than travelling to every race.

    £££ should not be spent on Kasabian playing out the end of the show.

  • Comment number 74.

    Good blog as usual Jake, tho not quite as good as they were in 2009/10 but always an excellent read..

    Now I know its nothing to do with you (I have sky so will watch F1 on there next year, sorry, well if they get a top notch presenter like yourself and not some idiot) but if you have any information as to why the BBC can still afford to send you and the others all around the world to do the F1 highlights shows yet cannot afford to show them live??? It makes no sense whatsoever and the lack of an explanation is extremely frustrating and confusing! If they told us the license payers why im sure there would be some mutual understanding and less of an uproar!

    Anyway another great season (despite Vettel winning again, come on McLaren get it together), well done Pirelli, tho what happened mid-season? and thanks to all the BBC staff, going to miss it next year!

  • Comment number 75.

    All these years of watching F1 on terrestrial TV, now I'll have to give up something like food or heating to afford the extra £20 per month that Sky want for the Sports channels. Bernie is such a money grabbing gnome that he wants big money for the TV rights. RIP British viewing of F1.

  • Comment number 76.

    Don't know why some people are asking Jake certain questions when he has no say in the bbc-sky coverage deal.

    Has been a fantastic season this year, full of exciting and thrilling grand prix racing. Shame about the eventual winner as a Mclaren fan.

    Thanks Jake for your superbly presented shows, thanks Eddie and David for their banter, and expert in sight during the build up and post race coverage. Martin has been brilliant in the lead commentating role and again David was brilliant alongside him. The Canadian GP is a standout for me think they handled it brilliantly.

    Shame about the move to sky, i will be upgrading my package to include sky sports but can understand why other viewers wouldn't. Think it is appalling how the BBC have gone about this.

  • Comment number 77.

    I am very disappointed Jake that the BBC won't even be showing full re-runs of the 10 non live races next year. I am sure you understand part of watching F1 is the drama, strategy and development of how a race unfolds. No matter how hard you try you cannot convey this through a highlights package where parts of the race will be cut out.
    I myself have previously watched recorded races later in the day due to work commitments, and although not ideal it would of at least been an amicable compromise. The fact the BBC can't even do this for its loyal F1 fanbase who have brought record viewing figures means that I will be turning my back on the coverage from 2012. I would much prefer to watch on the BBC but as I cant even see the whole race tape delayed then it looks like I will be forced to watch the races on Sky. For the sake of an extra few minutes on a Sunday evening, you could have shown re runs in full which would of been 100% better than the current situation and I for one would have definitely tuned in. With highlights I wont bother.

    Of course these farcical decisions are not the fault of the on screen team, who were superb throughout 2009, 2010 and 2011. It is a massive shame that BBC management couldn't see what an asset live F1 was for the BBC.

  • Comment number 78.

    Well I will be watch it on RTL Germany next season with BBC radio 5 Commentary !

    Funny how RTL in Germany (Much like BBC in the UK) & Sky Deutchland both show all the Races Live each race weekend......

    Also this will impact Setanta Sports coverage in Ireland with most 50% of the races now missing .......

    At least we are now able to by Satellite subscriptions for other countries far cheaper for Football and now F1 .........

  • Comment number 79.

    Hi Jake, I'd like to take this opportunty to thank and congratulate you and the team for everything you have given us over the last 3 years.
    Yourself, MB,DC,EJ,TK and LM should look back on what you have done since 2009 with immense pride.
    I was incredibly skeptical when I heard you were to be the anchor but you proved me (and a lot of others) very very wrong.
    It is incredibly unfortunate that the money men decided to sell each one of you up the river in such a thoroughly unscrupulous manner and I actually squirmed with embarresment, for you, as you tried desperately to talk up the offering for next season.
    I'll be moving with Martin for next year so I probably won't be seeing much of the rest of you from then but I hope that being asked to spend so much time away from your family to present a show, that can only ever be a fraction of what it was, does not become too much of a burden and I wish you all the best with the Olympics.

  • Comment number 80.

    Can't wait for F1 to be on sky!! We'll probably end up with someone like Garry Neville as expert pundet, can't see sky coming at all close to the coverage on BBC

  • Comment number 81.

    Hi Jake,

    As usual brilliant coverage by yourself and the team. The past three years have been the absolute best viewing in all the years I have been watching F1, (although obviously the less said about Ledgard the better).

    I already have Sky Sports so I expect I will see how they do, although I don't expect it will be any better than their Indy Car coverage which is just a couple of blokes in a UK studio. I will watch the BBC live coverage for every race that you cover next year.

    I still find my blood boiling when I remember Ecclestone saying that F1 is not for sale and will remain free to air only to then immediately sell out the sport and it's fans. And, like someone else asked, how are BBC saving money by sending the entire team to every race next year. Sorry I know it isn't your fault but the fault of the money grabbing beaurocrats that don't care about the sport or the people who follow it with passion.

    I also noticed Red Bull showing their opinion on potentially losing millions of viewers by having the Sky logo on the car.

    All the best to the team and see you next year.

  • Comment number 82.

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

  • Comment number 83.

    Good luck to MB. May the BBC rot in hell!

  • Comment number 84.

    I have really enjoyed what you as a team have provided. I feel sorry for the abuse you have received since the announcement in august where your hands have been tied. I can't deny that when I first heard of your appointment I was sceptical but I can now see why you are essentially the face off BBC sport.

    Just a comment to those of you attacking sky. As a cricket lover I can tell you the job sky do is first class. Whilst it's a shame to lose f1 on the BBC please don't tell me sky will be poor. Sky will up the coverage as they always have done because they are dedicated to sport and not like the BBC trying to please everyone with a tv licence.

  • Comment number 85.

    I wasn't a massive fan of the BBC coverage, seeing Jake Humphrey always standing there advertising his ipad always annoyed me. I suppose all the build up and stuff never really interested me that much which is why it didn't blow me away. It was however much better than ITV's coverage. Commentary from DC and MB was awesome though. Shame F1 is now dead to me. When I found out SKY had coverage I cancelled my Sky sports subscription. I am not paying Bernie or Murdoch a penny more especially if they are gonna take F1 away from my beloved BBC.

    For me this has been the worst season in F1 since the end of the Schumacher era. I am a Brit and to see yet another German dominating the sport completely ruins things. I don't mind that Vettel won last year as it was close, but this year was a bad year for the sport - to much dominance of one person/team wrecks a sport.

  • Comment number 86.

    I have just read an article about viewing figures for Sunday sport and 2 sets of figures stand out - very sad!

    BBCF! coverage of final race of 2011 in Brazil -- both championships won and dusted -- BBCF1 Brazil got 4.8 million viewers [27.2% share of the audience] with a peak of 6.1 million for 5 minutes.

    Sky Premier League is their 'jewel in the crown' of sport coverage -- Just over 2 million viewers tuned in to Sky Sports 1′s coverage of Liverpool’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Manchester City.

    If Sky can't even get 50% of BBCF1 viewing audience figures for their top product how on earth are they going to increase coverage of F1?

    NB: I would like to say one thing about you - Jake - I have mentioned before that when BBCF1 announced their line up I never thought you were right for the job -- how wrong I was -- you convinced both me and the vast majority of viewers that you were deffinately the best candidate for the job and I want to say a personal Thanks for the last 3 years.

  • Comment number 87.

    When I found out SKY had coverage I cancelled my Sky sports subscription. I am not paying Bernie or Murdoch a penny more especially if they are gonna take F1 away from my beloved BBC.


    So you were perfectly happy to pay for SkySports, they then added another channel dedicated to a sport you like at no extra cost to you but this is somehow a bad thing?


  • Comment number 88.

    Hi Jake, Absolutely excellent coverage this year. You guys make a great team, and Martin Brundle is still the best commentator. I loved the build up and Martins gridwalk - superb!
    But I am not giving that crook Murdoch my cash. And shame on you Bernie, for not stepping in and sorting this out. F1 should be free to air! You've got more than enough billions, give something back!!

  • Comment number 89.

    Adios F1. It's been nice knowing you.

  • Comment number 90.

    We keep hearing about how we'll get to see all the races but someone somewhere (Barbara Slater?) doesn't seem to have understood the difference between watching something live and watching recorded highlights. True, some of the races each season always turn out to be processional and less than exciting, but when you watch something live you never quite know what's going to happen next, even on the tracks that aren't known for producing great races. Watching recorded highlights loses the natural ebb and flow of a race and the build up of tension during the quiet periods when you're just waiting for something to crack. It's a totally different experience.

    On a different note, I'd be interested to know if anything has changed or been salvaged since the initial announcement of the Sky deal, as a result of the strength of reaction from F1 fans. ie has the BBC done anything to try to improve the situation since then in terms of the resources that it's now decided to provide for next season.

  • Comment number 91.

    2012 will go down as a benchmark year for UK F1 coverage, with MB and DC providing excellent commentary with the pictures. The 5Live race-day commentary on the Red Button was a must in 2009 and 2010 (and was perfect this year for the Practice 1, 2 and 3), but everything came together for excellent coverage from the BBC TV team in 2011.

    Reading through the comments three regularly made points are worth addressing: first, MB (and likely Ted Kravitz) has been able to move to Sky because his BBC contract was ending and he was free to move. Other team members may have moved too if they were not still contracted to the Beeb.

    Comments about the quality of Sky's race coverage are easy to deal with too. There should be no concerns here at all as the pictures of the race are all controlled by F1 and fed to all the broadcasters (hence the F1 copyright swoosh just as the BBC switches to the commentary box on rave day). Sky's cameras - like the Beeb's will be restricted to the paddock/pitlane for pre-/post-race coverage.

    And finally, what many people don't recognise is that the biggest cost to the BBC is not the price of sending a team to the races, but the cost of the rights to show the races live. This is where the savings will come.

    I'm afraid I'm firmly in the 'must watch the races live' camp, so my fingers are tightly crossed that Sky will offer Virgin cable viewers a reasonable deal for its F1 channel in 2012. David Croft's rumoured move to Sky means finding free-to-air race coverage online combined with 5Live commentary is no longer very appealing.

    I will miss DC - and I do fear he won't gel as well with another commentary partner as he did with his long-time friend and manager MB – but I won't miss EJ and his rambling questions and poor taste in shirts.

    In closing, I must say I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the farcical end to the F1 Forum on Sunday. OK, there were technical difficulties, but it was sad way for the season to come to a close.

  • Comment number 92.

    What more can we say.The motor racing has been great this year.Jake and the team have done a brillant job.Next year wont be the same.The BBC have ignored all the comments from the fans.No to Sky.( we cant afford the 50.00 a month for sky) We are self employed business who have had a wage decrease over the years so therefor just cant afford it.Well done Jake for doing great job. No to Sky.

  • Comment number 93.

    So why was the coverage so great anyway? reading a 'poem' over some slo-mo footage at the start is not exactly original.. anways - the positives for me:

    Dc is a reasonable and fairer than most guy with humour and is a worthy pundit, Kravitz was rightly moved to sky as he has knowledge of F1 staff and is *respectful* to them. Brundle, although a bit egoist these days, is a good commentator.
    JH handles the horrors of live tv with aplomb but his dealings with F1 people is more often than not disrespectful and questions that are asked are either not relevant, time fillers or tabloid prod n poke fare, like we saw in the forum on sunday.

    Note to Jake:

    making drivers SQUIRM on camera is not good tv or very nice!!! it was awful.

    They don't know their driver/career situation or cannot tell you, so leave it - those who are interested will find out in due course. it was cringe worthy.

    Please be more humble and respectful and realise that an award for a promo VT doesn't make you that special. * noone is special *

    your role is to be the connection to the common fan, not going around exuding an air of "greatness" that is not particularly accurate.

    shall wait and see how this new coverage goes, but what amount of our 'money' is saved and where i don't know.

  • Comment number 94.

    I have a tip for everyone - if you have sattelite and get it tuned correctly you may be able to pick up French TV and get free-to-air F1 live for all races. I live in France and all races are live on TF1, (the main commercial channel). I hope I haven't mislead anyone with this, (it may or may not be possible), but its worth a punt and if it dents SKYs revenues, great!
    BTW - jake humphries ... next to Top Gear presenter, possibly the best job on the planet?

  • Comment number 95.

    Hi Jake,

    I just wanted to say a big thank you for great coverage over the last 3 years. You, EJ,DC,MB,L'MK,TK have been great.

    It was a bit dissapointing not to have a title race like last year, i hope red bull win less races next year.

    So we know Lee is staying with the BBC even though The BBC has lost 100% live coverage. Why only 10 races live, how will the highlights work, people will know who has won each race before they see the highlights, what is Bernie doing to the sport i love.

    And now we find the Martin is moving to sky, so now the BBC has lost the voice of F1.

    I will understand if you guys all go to sky, as sky do not have a clue about F1, but i will not be paying £350-£400 to sky.


    NO F1 ON SKY!!!!!

    So now F1 will slowly die on sky.

  • Comment number 96.

    I really can't stand this mantra that, because the BBC will be bringing us lashings of "reaction", it somehow makes up for being massively short-changed by this deal.

    95% of Formula 1 fans couldn't care less about the "pre-amble" or post race coverage.

    I'm really not fussed about the drivers' lives after the chequered flag drops and, if anything, lots of "reaction" from people who were either in or saw the race live is just adding insult to injury for us non-sky TV Brits.

    The move away from free-to-view TV is going to kill F1 in Britain, which is a great loss considering that it's the only sport we're consistently good at as a country and such a great inspiration for budding young engineers.

    Although, to be fair, if it was up to me, the beeb would only ever show F1, Attenborough and Reithian style lectures on the Cathode Ray Tube.

  • Comment number 97.

    And now we find the Martin is moving to sky, so now the BBC has lost the voice of F1.

    I will understand if you guys all go to sky, as sky do not have a clue about F1


    Obviously they do by poaching Brundle and Croft.

  • Comment number 98.

    It's sad to see the break up of an award winning team. Another good year for the presentation team who I have believed all along were gagged from mentioning the new deal. With Brundle and David Croft going to Sky the new commentators will have a lot to live up to - I wish them luck but fear the worse if budgets are the new king.

    Half a seasons of live races can never compensate me for watching Formula 1 on terrestrial TV for 50 of my 62 years. I don't believe for a minute the drivel we've been fed about budget cuts being the reason for tearing up the exclusive contract is any where near the real truth. My opinion is that the cost of broadcasting the Olympics and moving TV Sports to Salford Quays are the real reasons. I hope the Media Select Committee tear the BBC Management Executives to shreds when they give reasons for this outrage against license payers under oath.

    I won't be buying into Sky and after seeing the schedule for next year I doubt my interest in F1 will last out the year - Formula 1 was good while it lasted but if commercialism is more important than viewing figures then Formula 1 has lost the plot - and it's roots.

  • Comment number 99.

    I'm a Greek F1 fan currently living in Belgium, 38 years of age and F1 has been the only sport I've closely followed (watching every race LIVE etc...)
    I've had the opportunity to watch full seasons, in Greece(85'-93' and each time I'm there on hols), France(93'-95'+00'-03'), Italy(95'-00'), UK(03'-07') and Belgium=been watching on BBC (10'+11')
    Prior to the BBC experience, my ranking for top broadcasting was 1)Italy 2)France and far far last: Greece (unfortunately for Greek F1 fans, the presenters there really do a bad job)

    Today, after two intense years of F1 racing, I can honestly say that the BBC experience was the most exciting, most complete, most informative and with the most in-depth coverage that a F1 fan could ever wish for.

    Of course, mostly responsible for the above statement was the Racing itself and the joys and tears it has offered us all, but your entire team, just did and amazing job and I congratulate all of you for bringing F1 into our living room as never before.

    At the same time, I'm frankly saddened by the fact that I will not be able to experience the same amount of joy next year and that I can understand the emotional frustration expressed in this blog, but wanted to tell to some rightfully angered fans here, that it's not Jake's fault if BBC is ditching us, JH+DC+EJ+MB and the whole team behind them have done the best F1 coverage ever if you ask me, so they deserve all the compliments.

    A big FAIL goes to the BBC management BBC however.

    Looking forward to March 2012 - for me it will be LIVE on TF1 probably and then BBC for the highlights

  • Comment number 100.

    anybody remember boxing? The heydays of Eubank, Benn, Waston, Nas Hammed - all on live FREE terrestrial tv. They drew millions of viewers. SInce it went to SKY nobody knows or cares who the current great world champions are since almost none of us watch it apart from die-hard fans. sad.


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