BBC BLOGS - Jake Humphrey
« Previous | Main | Next »

Gearing up for the new F1 season

Post categories:

Jake Humphrey | 07:26 UK time, Friday, 16 March 2012

Hello there? How's your winter been? I hope this blog finds you well, my friends, and that 2012 is being kind to you. It's certainly about to get kinder for us F1 fans as the season gets under way this weekend.

My winter flew by faster than Seb in qualifying as I juggled various TV commitments, along with the usual jobs such as visiting the dentist, watching Norwich City (amazing!) and doing a spot of gardening (thankfully my garden is tiny) - all things that between March and November there just isn't time for!

Thankfully, just a couple of weeks ago I managed to grab a week in the Maldives with my wife, and that break will be valuable as I jump onto a treadmill that will carry us to the end of 2012.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

For me it's the start of the F1 season, off to the European Football Championship, the British GP, two weeks at the Olympics and then the end of the F1 season followed by Sports Personality of the Year. So time to take a deep breath and dive on in as the stories develop, the drama unfolds and air miles continue to clock up.

As you know this weekend is the start of a new era of F1 coverage on the BBC, and the job for the team over the winter has been to best deal with the cards we've been dealt in terms of the broadcast rights.

Having sat through various production meetings, having exchanged emails, swapped ideas and planned how best to bring the season to life, I'm confident we will deliver a new-look season that you will enjoy.

It's been like the first day at school for some of the new faces to our team this weekend. Gary Anderson and I got the tram together to collect our accreditation when we arrived in Melbourne on Thursday morning and it was great fun being regaled by stories of F1 from the days when Gary was designing race winning cars.

He also had a few decent stories about being employed by Eddie Jordan but I think they're best left out off the blog - as entertaining as they were!

I'd also really like to welcome Ben Edwards to the fray. Ben is a great commentator who has raced cars himself and spent the last few years commentating on all forms of motor racing.

He's passionate, informative, hopefully likes a night out and a beer, and best of all he's as much a journalist as he is a fan. Good luck keeping David Coulthard in check Ben!

Talking of DC, we had our first dinner of the new season together last night as we both headed out for some Japanese food and a drop of sake here in buzzy, beautiful Melbourne.

Pastor Maldonado, Bruno Senna and Lewis Hamilton were all in there tucking into sushi and sashimi while working out whether to chat to each other or act cool and bag an early psychological advantage ahead of a year when the competition will be intense.

They mainly opted for the latter by the way. I'll post a blog later in the season about how the drivers live and work together while still being rivals - it's fascinating.

Meanwhile on radio we've got a whole new team - and it's a great line-up of commentator James Allen, pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow and co-commentator Jaime Alguersuari, who brings real insight having just stepped out of an F1 car himself.

So, what have I learned so far this week? Well I've been told that the two new drivers at Toro Rosso have made Mark Webber feel more motivated than ever.

I chatted to Jenson Button who (if it's possible) seems even more chilled out than he did in 2011.

I've also been to the other end of the paddock where Caterham say the decision to put Vitaly Petrov in the car instead of Jarno Trulli is the right move regarding both finances and the future - and I've heard plenty of speculation and gossip surrounding HRT and Marussia, who have not run at all in pre-season.

Anyway, it's amazing how quickly we all get back into the swing of F1. My 'no crisps' rule lasted all of 30 minutes, the first running order for Saturday's qualifying show has been written, and I've got a date with Chris Moyles on Radio 1.

We're delighted to be back, I'm really happy DC and EJ remain part of the team, and this weekend don't worry about setting your alarm.

We've got highlights of qualifying at 1pm on Saturday, and a full two-hour highlights show from 2pm on Sunday. We'll have all the important action, and plenty of driver interviews and race reaction.

Three years ago I started these blogs - there will be plenty more coming your way in our fourth season of coverage. But what you get is up to you - what do you want to see here during the season..?

Have a great weekend. We're back!


Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 2.

    Hated the idea of the BBC losing F1, and railed against it. However having seen the standard of the competition for FP1 and FP2, it has to be said you guys have a huge mountain to climb without upping your game across the board. Personally I can't see how this can be done with EJ bumbling, blustering, and trying to stand centre-stage. He was the weak link before and now he's enough for me to abandon ship. Sad to say really.

  • Comment number 3.

    Will the qualifying & race highlights be on iplayer?

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Jake, can't wait for the season and the BBC's coverage to start. It will be a shame not to be able to watch every race live (I wouldn't touch Sky with a bargeboard), but, like I'm sure many people will do, we'll just avoid the news and treat the extended highlights like the real thing.

    I was wondering, who is going to do the grid walk and elbow Martin Brundle out of the way as he hassles celebrities?

  • Comment number 5.

    If you want to beat sky, you're going to have to raise your game massively from last year! Sky F1 is so slick and brings you much closer to the action from your sofa! come on Lewis bring it home!

  • Comment number 6.

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

  • Comment number 7.

    BBC all the way for me. Sky dropped the ball by not allowing their channel to be in HD on Virgin Media. I dont wish to subscribe to them and an additional F1 Channel isnt going to sway me. Although it will make me watch the better picture quality on the BBC. Goodbye Sky advertisers!!

  • Comment number 8.

    Looks like a golden season..good luck bbc f1 team. Do what you do best and show them its not money cant always buy success. Enjoying the blog updates and video.

  • Comment number 9.

    Cannot wait for it all to start! Its going to be Button's year!

  • Comment number 10.

    thanks bbc for wasting yet more money you can not show F1 because of cut backs but you fly out jake to stand infront of a camera for what 10 15 mins what a job less work same pay never missed an opening race till now again thanks to the bbc for selling us all out

  • Comment number 11.

    #7 better picture every other race!!!! SKY F1 is so good!!

  • Comment number 12.

    Hi Jake,

    Just carry on giving us what you've been doing. Been great coverage and the channel 301 forum is always a great added extra.

    No matter what Sky do they can't beat the chemistry you, EJ & DC have on screen. Highly entertaining.

    Go Paul DiResta

  • Comment number 13.

    After watching an interview with Bernie on your website he stated the been could show a complete rerun of the whole GP. Why can't we have it shown in the morning a few hours after the race as filmed as a live version so if you avoid the news it's still like watching it live! Then a highlight programme later. Even better lets have a dedicated BBC sport channel!

  • Comment number 14.

    If the BBC wants to save cash, why has it sent the truly dreadful Mr Humfries all the way to Auz?
    The only member of the BBC production team with any form of credibility is DC - its my opinion that the BBC are up to something here. Making the whole F1 production so awful is clearly something that has been planned and a great deal of thought has been put into it. To be fair to the BBC, they seem to have succeeded.
    Is the plan to pull out of F1 altogether - watch this space.

  • Comment number 15.

    Will be a great season, and hopefully closer than lasy year.

    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Button
    4. Alonso

    You heard it here first!

  • Comment number 16.

    everyone needs to stop banging on about 6 world champions on the grid, the only reason there are six world champions is because with the financial restrictions in place its hard for a manufacture to dominate as they have in the past. the playing field regarding the machinery has leveled so its given the opportunity for more drivers to win. No doubt there are some very talented drivers around at the moment but a young Michael schumacher wouldn't have won seven titles during the last decade as he wouldn't have had such a huge mechanical advantage.

  • Comment number 17.

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

  • Comment number 18.

    I don't like any of this F1 arrangement. I don't know what many of you are moaning about - The coverage was fine on the BBC. The Forum was a good place for the true nerds of the sport to hang out, the input from Brundle and DC as a combo was invaluable, as they are both former drivers from a different time and can offer differing insight, the weak link that people call Johnathan Legard (aka. The guy who catastrophically failed to fill the shoes of the biggest broadcasting legend there's ever been) was kicked out in favour of them, NO ADVERTS which Sky insist on running...

    The Sky F1 channel is a bit of a joke, frankly. "Let's do a day's worth of programming, then show it every day for two weeks until a race happens, slot that in somewhere, then do a new day of programming, show THAT everyday for two weeks..."

    In a month, you probably get two days of programming, and two races. That's it. It's just rubbish.

    And where's 'The Chain' to warm me up at the start of the program? This question is rhetorical - I'm fully aware as to why it's not there, but it's like celebrating Christmas without a tree...

    Everyone seems to forget how much work the BBC has done for F1 over the many years it's had exclusive rights to it. ITV took over for a while, and it was just terrible by comparison. It's done it a great service, and if there was anywhere that I'd want the sport to reside, it'd be here.

    What irritates me more than anything is that F1 is the only thing I watch on TV, therefore 100% of my licencing revenue went into paying for me to watch the best sport in the world in a way that was completely unadulterated...

    ... So what am I paying for now?

  • Comment number 19.

    Its shaping up to be a great season, even the pro's can't decide which way it will go. Personally I'm hoping for McLaren to blitz the field, Ferrari in to 2nd and Merc 3rd with the Red Bulls struggling. Doubt that shall be the case but we can live in hope! Button or Hamilton for the WDC.

    Jake, could you answer one question for me. If the BBC are trying to save money whats the point sending yourself, the guys and the rest of the production team to every race? How is this a cost saving? It makes no sense and something that should be reviewed by the trust.

    I cant see what this is about Sky's F1 been good. So far its been beyond bland. The personalities just don't work, if it carries on in to the races I can see me been asleep by lap 5 of every race especially with Brundell and his hit and miss commentating, how many times did he make mistakes during last year! Regardless of that (I can always push mute) I shall be watching all my racing on Sky because the BBC do not deserve our loyal support, you sold the public out then act as if nothing has happened and we should still be grateful to have the morsels the BBC are feeding us. Please I urge all of you without Sky to watch your racing online and avoid the BBC all together.

    If I can get our lass to stop watching Eastenders now I shall no longer be paying our license fee.

  • Comment number 20.

    You got 8 hours to be spoilered due to the lack of live coverage. Better stay in bed till 2PM.

  • Comment number 21.

    #19 it's only to wind people who are anti-sky up!

  • Comment number 22.

    Hi Jake (and the team), I'll be watching mostly from Abu Dhabi, so not sure which coverage we'll get this year (BBC commentary in the past). Hopefully it'll be a closer one with 4 cars competing. Once again a plea for you to tell David C. HOW TO PRONOUNCE VETTEL's surname - it is a total embarrassment around the world to hear him say it - the rest of you manage - is he not listening?? Terrible advert for UK

  • Comment number 23.

    So excited for the new season, hoping Jenson can gain a 2nd World title :) I don't have SKY so I too will be avoiding all media until I can watch the highlights and in some cases listening on the radio. Jake, DC and EJ are fantastic presenters, so professional, never miss a beat.

  • Comment number 24.

    "Brundell and his hit and miss commentating"

    I'm pretty sure MB won a few awards for his commentary on F1, you want Tony Jardine back do you??

    Interesting first few practice sessions, made even more interesting by the conditions. You do get the feeling that Red Bull are sand bagging, with them on full attack, they'll still be the team to beat come qualifying.

  • Comment number 25.

    Just seen the 'other' coverage and I am really appalled that the BBC decided to ditch F1 to save money and send the 'team' all over the world. Does not make sense. The 'other' coverage meanwhile is blazing away with coverage, shows and everything else that the BBC could have done. It's a shame but maybe it will return to BBC in the future. The BBC team have Ben Edwards which is great since he is very experienced with Eurosport shows but apart from that, you can lose all the others.

  • Comment number 26.

    18. At 09:51 16th Mar 2012, AudioFile UK wrote:

    Your talking rubbish mate, they have all the practice sessions, qualifying and race (no adverts) they also show all GP2 and GP3 races/qualifying etc.. and they have program's, documentary's and no doubt other bits and bobs...

    Oh and your paying for Eastenders and Antiques Road Show...Ouch!

  • Comment number 27.

    "the job for the team over the winter has been to best deal with the cards we've been dealt in terms of the broadcast rights"

    Without going into the underhand tactics that lead to the horrible deal for fans it has to be said you's have dealt exceptionally well with the very imperfect situation.

    Sky tried to steal part of the BBC's team and BBC replaced them with much better. Ben Edwards who I was hoping would be hired & Gary Anderson who I never even thought of and what a great great call. Also it is great the whole thing is going to be commentated on live for the delayed highlights and also that the whole crew is out there.

    I'm still trying to figure out why people who are watching on their £360 at minimum a year coverage feel the need to go to a BBC blog to try to advertise it. Like said before if you's were getting a commission on sales I would understand it but otherwise why??

  • Comment number 28.

    27. At 10:04 16th Mar 2012, mr-big wrote:

    firstly because I pay my licence fee (I have NO choice) so I'm entitled to use the BBC in whatever way I see fit and secondly in case you were unaware there is more than 1 channel on Sky... shocking I know!

  • Comment number 29.

    Nice blog as always Jake, however im somewhat confused as to why your at the race with the whole team? I understood that the BBC were trying to save money, how is sending all the team out to every race around the world going to save them money!?

    I presumed that the races the BBC werent covering wouldnt have any presenters on location, seems to be rather strange that everyones there when the race isnt even live!?!?

  • Comment number 30.

    Gary Anderson looks like the lonely nutter you see down the pub, milking half a pint for 2 hours in an egg stained jumper, mumbling to himself.

    The sky coverage looks glossy, the Beebs coverage is probably going to look like its being held together by gaffer tape.

    I hope do the beeb do a good enough job with the coverage, but after losing half the team, can't see it happening.

  • Comment number 31.

    After checking out the actual coverage of the various Grand Prix I am really disappointed. The BBC Website states "For the dedicated F1 fan, live coverage starts on Radio 5 live" - Ha Ha Ha! LOL! Who are you kidding! I'm afraid that for the really dedicated F1 fan, live coverage started by having to pay a extra premium to watch it on Sky! Watching qualifying or the race hours after it has happened is NOT an option. Particularly when accidentally hearing a news report about the result could ruin the whole event. BBC you've let the fans down and your licence payers down! Shame on you!

  • Comment number 32.

    @17. Hardly my friend. Same generation as Mr Humfry and never smoked a pipe.
    I am, however, concerned about how my money is being spent. If I disagree with the coverage, I am perfectly entitled to raise it in a public forum such as this.
    My issue is with the coverage - OK BBC abdicated to SKY - does that also give them the right to produce sub standard programming?
    My issue is that if they want to continue coverage any sport, it needs to be done in a professional way and I'm sorry to say that this years programming falls a long way short.
    Frankly, it shows a lack of imagination and management by committee - typical BBC.
    If you're not going to do it right, don't bother.
    I'll leave you with your CbbC!

  • Comment number 33.

    Hi Jake.

    An idea for blogs - I'd love to see something nutrition and fitness wise from the driver side. I'd love to know what types of fitness they do to stay so trim and lean and what kind of foods they eat, if they have particular diet plans they follow etc etc. I think that would be a really interesting article if it hasn't been done before. You could include how the teams all stay fit and healthy on the road all the time as well, I really do think it could be an interesting topic!

  • Comment number 34.

    26. At 10:02 16th Mar 2012, swindonbluearmy wrote:

    "Your talking rubbish mate, they have all the practice sessions, qualifying and race (no adverts)..."

    You clearly haven't been paying attention. I was up at 1AM watching the free practice this morning and through the build-up I had to fast-forward through countless (repeated) adverts for Continental tyres and Santander's irritating sponsorship message after each break...

  • Comment number 35.

    19 - Brundell? Not sure who that is... have Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell been fused together?

    I have much sympathy for people who are unable to watch all the races live (I'm one of them). But you have to understand, it was either going to be this or nothing!

    Whilst we'd obviously all like to have F1 back how it was for the last three seasons on the BBC, the fact is the corporation spent far too much to get the sport in the first place and made their negotiating position untenable with Bernie when it renewal time came around.

    I'm no Sky or Murdoch fan and will not be paying a penny, but criticising the on-air BBC team isn't really going to help matters is it? As Jake says, they've been dealt the same cards as the rest of us as it's the BBC Board that decided what was going to happen. Brundle's gone yes, but Ben Edwards is a fine commentator who will do a superb job.

    It's not ideal, but like a lot of things in the current climate we live in, petrol prices, fuel bills etc, so are a lot of things. The 'I pay my licence fee therefore i'm entitled to this, this and this' argument makes no sense, we all do and it's the same for the rest of us. Whilst I don't agree with the fee, it's the way it is. My other great love is football, yet the only time I see Premier League matches is at the pub - it's been that way since 1992.

    Sure this is jarring, but let's enjoy the coverage BBC does give us.

  • Comment number 36.

    Well Sky's first attempt at showing F1 was a bit of a disaster, cutting away to presenters during the action, cutting away to adverts as cars were getting into trouble on track, cutting away from team radio, I want to see track action ... Isn't that what the premium is paid for?

    I'd also like to know why Sky is nearly a minute behind the world feed.

  • Comment number 37.

    32. At 10:12 16th Mar 2012, Fast Pete wrote:

    Hey! In the night garden is immense! haha.

    I see your point about the BBC, and as many posters before have said I fail to see the logic in sending a whole team to Oz whilst the whole point of "selling out" was to save money! seems nonsensical to me!

  • Comment number 38.

    Some common sense at last!
    It was only free practice, are you really that upset you missed the HRT's breaking down and coming to a halt out on track. Come on, wait until qualifying and the race before passing judgement.

  • Comment number 39.

    34. At 10:20 16th Mar 2012, AudioFile UK wrote:

    Oh sorry I see, agreed that's a massive annoyance! at least the race it's self is advertising free... ITV nearly put me off for life

  • Comment number 40.

    39. At 10:27 16th Mar 2012, swindonbluearmy wrote:

    THAT'S what I'm taking about. Yes the coverage itself is advert free but as soon as it's over, marketing rears it's ugly head. It wouldn't surprise me if the moment the victor crosses the line, a voice-over would swing in to say "Pirelli - Driving You To Victory" or some equally terrible one-liner.

  • Comment number 41.

    Will definitely be looking forward to WATCHing the new F1 season. See utube paulreedcomedy - formula 1

  • Comment number 42.

    Sky F! is the definition of quality!! Hard luck BBC viewers :)

  • Comment number 43.

    BBC are saving huge amounts of money by not paying the broadcasting rights to Bernie. The cost of sending the guys out there is tiny in comparison and means we can watch amazing highlights coverage in HD. Highlights are so much better to watch when you didn't get a chance to watch the race live (often the case on a busy weekend). Sky just re-run boring programmes for two weeks. No adverts and Jake is a ledge. Keep it up mate.

  • Comment number 44.

    @18 Sky having a channel makes sense it means people who don't want Sky Sports can just have the basic package + HD. It also means they have flexibility and not having to move on to another channel/the red button to make room for something else. Yes it's not 24/7 but it's preferable to the alternative.

    Sky had an up and down first day but credit to them for listening to feedback and acting quickly. They stopped their 'meet the team' VTs and removed the PIP which was partially the live timing screen.

    The BBC ignore feedback generally and still think F1 fans want sub-Top Gear style 'banter' about bad shirts etc. They've hired Gary Anderson but it remains to be seen if he'll get any real airtime to do proper technical analysis or just have to join in the '3 amigos' act. At least Sky seem to be moving the 'fluff' to the magazine show.

    Delighted though that Ben Edwards has finally got the mainstream role he should of got when Murray retired.

  • Comment number 45.

    So, the BBC are saving money by sending the entire team to Australia for the sake of a couple of highlights programs- i mean really? I am sick of the BBC trying to make out that nothing has changed from last season- people like the forum, the interaction in the pit lane, etc but fundamentally people tune in for the live racing, or have you forgotten that. The BBC made it clear how little they valued their loyal F1 viewers when they broke a contract which they had signed until 2013 and now they can't even be bothered to show full re runs. I expect that within 3-5 years all F1 races (bar maybe the British/Monaco GP's) will be live only on Sky, thanks to the clueless BBC bosses, who opened the door to Sky. Then like cricket and boxing, F1's popularity will nosedive. A very sad state of affairs and a grim future awaits for F1 in the UK.

  • Comment number 46.

    It's too early to judge and compare the different coverage. Besides, the beeb haven't really shown their hand yet. From the little i've seen so far, I'm expecting Sky to be flashy, colourful, "entertaining". Probably a little shallow to be honest.
    I'm expecting the beeb to be less "entertaining" In the x-factor sense but be more personal and in depth. Just look at their team - a championship contending driver, a team owner and a designer. The breadth and depth of the beeb's team's credentials can't be beaten. The question will be whether that's enough to create loyal viewers. For me, I could have subscribed to Sky over the winter break, but the beeb earned my loyalty with their coverage over the past 3 years and I'm not ready to give up on them yet.

    As a request to Jake, I'd like to see more video content online. I like behind the scenes stuff. I loved Ted's video blog last year and that's one thing I'll definitely miss. More of that kind of stuff would be wonderful!

    Good luck for the year ahead!


  • Comment number 47.

    I just woke up this morning to find nothing available for the dedicated fan that was worth it. Oh wait there was radio coverage! Holy smoke Batman now I feel much better. In a visual sport that definitely requires something to look at this is a massive failure! But wait there is a video of the practice sessions, wow, 1.40 minutes of footage; there's 3 hours available of the stuff and you chose nothing. Please stop spoiling us!

    Soon the BBC won't be able to afford to keep F1 and it will all go back to sky and will always be known as the corporation that sold F1 to the pay per view market. Please stop sounding so excited about your own coverage, it won't make the grade compared to watching it all live especially if it's one of those days I have to wait until 22.30 in the evening just to see highlights!

  • Comment number 48.

    "Everyone seems to forget how much work the BBC has done for F1 over the many years it's had exclusive rights to it."

    Not me mate, I'm highly aware of it. In my opinion the BBC spent the last couple of years adding strength to the F1 brand and making the broadcast rights more valuable in the process. I'm highly aware of the economics of what a great job they did. Which is why the person responsible for losing that valuable commodity should be sacked.

    Sky have been extremely lucky. The BBC really did polish up F1 broadcasting in the last couple of years and put some real value on it. Sky then waltz in and they've got a ready made brand, polished by the BBC to flog off to sky customers who were getting it for free beforehand.

    Oh yes, I'm highly aware of the job the BBC did, which makes it all the more sickening. Add to that the snakes that have jumped ship and you've got an impotent broadcasting service, one that SHOULD command more respect but doesnt.

    I dont know whether to hate the BBC or feel sorry for them. They DID build up F1 as a broadcasting brand, and some of the snakes HAVE bit them on the back. But if they were so weak as to let that happen, not to mention preferring that outcome to seeing it go to another terrestrial broadcaster.....its like I said, I dont know whether to hate them or feel sorry for the fact that they have no clout whatsoever in the business they are in.

  • Comment number 49.

    It's a staggeringly obvious comment I know; but if you're that affronted by the BBC's decision or coverage, there are things you can do about it.

    A: Don't watch
    B: Get Sky
    C: Buy a satellite dish and watch the continental European feeds for free, completely legally
    D: Wait 24 hours and download the race from online sources, questionable legality
    E: Watch live on streaming websites, questionable quality and legality.

    The decision was made months ago now. It sucks and just like some of the other people on here I was deeply annoyed and concerned; but the fact of the matter is we've had it very good for very long on British TV, many countries around the world had already forced F1 behind a paywall.

    I, like many others will be missing out, but like I said earlier we can continue having a little cry about it, or we can get on with enjoying the season. The choice ultimately is yours.

  • Comment number 50.

    There are 2 live football matches on ITV over the weekend, why on earth has the BBC decided to clash a repeated race and quali with them? All it will do is dent their viewing figures I assume it is intentional so they don't even have to bid for half next time as we won't be able to complain because no one was watching!

  • Comment number 51.


    The BBC provide live GP coverage to Canada for example, so the commentators need to be there.


    I guess I'm just used to live uninterrupted coverage.
    It's odd that Sky break away from track action to show an advert for Sky F1
    Especially as a premium is being paid so as not to miss any action.

  • Comment number 52.

    The BBC has done the same with F1 as it did with Football, you've formed a team of ego's who think being flash is the way to go! One who knows nothing but with his nodding dog rutine thinks he knows it all! Second a man that sold his way out of F1
    years ago, and how is George!! Thirdly, a Driver that thought he was but never was
    a number one in the RB, McLaren and others before and lived the high life, but never
    gave his full worth for the money he was paid! Some team this! Sky has done it again and they've taken your best and left you with a bunch of DA's! And this you do
    in the comfort of the liecence fee! Shame on YOU!

  • Comment number 53.

    hahahahahahahahahahahahaha highlights! Seriously what is the point in showing half a season. Take my cap off to Martin Brundle for jumping ship. Rather pay an extra £40 a month for Sky.

  • Comment number 54.

    Nice to see that Murdochs astroturfers are here in force turning these comments into one big sky f1 advert

  • Comment number 55.

    52 - Waveylines I wouldn't watch it then if I were you. Am guessing you won't enjoy it.

  • Comment number 56.

    From 3 hours of practice action, the BBC has created a highlights video that lasts for just 1 min 41 seconds. Truly pathetic. That just about sums up this farcical rights deal. Yet our licence fee goes towards rubbish like 'the voice' and yet more antiques programmes. I agree that within the next few years we will see all live races go behind a paywall, which will be a sad day for F1 in Britain.
    Hope all you BBC toffs are happy with yourselves. BBC Sport is an absolute joke!

  • Comment number 57.

    I do argree with you on the 'we need to save costs, yet we'll send the entire team out to the races' which the bbc aren't covering live, that I doubt understand.

    Sadly, logic doesn't tend to prevail on the comments in these blogs.

  • Comment number 58.

    I know I know, it's a fair point, and they have rather 'slipped' that one in there.
    But given the length of the sessions, at and times the relatively low on track activity, if it gives you time to make a brew, not the worst thing to ever happen is it? (only acceptable during the practice sessions though)

  • Comment number 59.

    So, for the first time in gawd knows how many years I'm not going to see the first race of the new F1 season. Great. Smashing. Super. Meanwhile, Jake and chums get to fly out, see the race live (and at the circuit), all the while getting paid for the privilege with my money. Huh.

    Sincerely, have a good one chaps and please remember what jammy, lucky sods you are.

  • Comment number 60.

    Oh dear BBC Management, that's another fine mess you've gotten yourselves into.

    Congratulations Mark T, Babs and Ben.

  • Comment number 61.

    Can't understand why BBC Management ditched F1 and 7 million viewers, especially when it blows so much cash on reality telly, overspend buildings, dead channels and dead languages etc etc etc.

    I mean, did the committee not see that F1 is as 'falsely diverse' as the voting panel for your new Voice programme. It's got a woman driver for Marussia! It's got an old dude in Bernie! It's got multi-national and multi-race players throughout. Not since the Spice Girls were formed has there been someting that ticks all the BBC boxes.

    Good luck to the remaining F1 production team though, you were great (last year).

  • Comment number 62.

    I can appreciate that 80% of the sports viewing public won't give a second thought about F1 when the Euro and the Olympics kick off - Sky are in a better position to give it the attention it deserves.

    What I can't understand is why BBC need to send the TV presenting crew to races they are not showing live? Is it because F1 is a boys club and they don't want to miss out on any of the nice nights out??

  • Comment number 63.

    Dissapointed at the sky deal etc.

    Cant wait for the new seasonm going to be great, at lwast the half i can watch... or rather the 3 interesting races i can watch...

    I really want to see the veiwing figures for sky and the bbc, then we'll see how much people really care and how stupid managements have been.

    If the BBC are getting rid of things to pay for the Olympics, does this mean we can get new sports for 2013?

  • Comment number 64.

    Hey y'all, there's another way to share F1. It's called SkyGo Share.

    You need a mate that has Sky F1, he gives two friends access via Sky Go and they can choose to watch it on their laptop, computer or mobile. Two devices can be used and can be altered each month.

    They could contribute say £5 a month to his Sky, or buy him a couple of beers.

    Think of it like car sharing, everyone wins, and they're not downloading Sky F1 torrents :)

  • Comment number 65.

    I can't wait for the season to start. Watched some of practice on Sky and it looked spectacular. I used to love watching the practice sessions when Eurosport used to cover them back in the day. Who will I watch come race day? Haven't decided yet but I like the fact that Sky can devote more time and money to the build up. I know BBC put a lot of stuff on the red button but unfortunately I love filcking around channels so I rarely watch anything on the red button as it takes too long to go in and out of. With everything being on the SKy F1 channel I can flick around to my heart's content. I appreciate it won't please everyone but you never can please everyone. From a personal point of view I'm looking forward to comparing the coverage from both of them and picking the best.
    And as for the racing not sure anyone should be looking further than Vettel. One of the strongest drivers and surely going to be the strongest car again, I just hope the chasing pack put up a better fight this time round.

  • Comment number 66.

    48- sky aren't flogging SKY F1 to any sky sports customers as we get it for free!

  • Comment number 67.

    #24, Are you for real? If you actually listen to his commentary you will see its littered with errors, wrong drivers in wrong cars, pit stop counts. My left ball could win an award if thats the standard to keep up too. If anything i want Murray back!

  • Comment number 68.

    #54 I am no fan of Rupert Murdoch or of Pay Per View TV - but I am a big fan of Formula One - and LIVE is the only way to watch it! I have watched the Practice sessions so far on Sky F1 and was rather hoping that I could find fault with there coverage - but I can't. It's not at all flash - it's professional, informative and as good as the BBC ever produced.

    Do I feel let down by the BBC - massively!
    Would I prefer to watch F1 LIVE on the BBC, rather than pay Sky - certainly!
    Do I think that things will only change if we keep reminding the BBC what a huge mistake it was to sell out to Sky - definitely!

    BTW - Martin Brundle & Ted Kravitz are better than ever, the replays of incidents were well handled and even Anthony Davidson seems to have sharpened up his act.

    I know it's very early, but so far it's definitely Sky 1 - BBC Nil

  • Comment number 69.

    good to see you back jake. you did a fantastic job last season. helped with being one of the best seasons in f1 since I became a fan. can't belive so many from the bbc have jumped ship and went to sky. traitors. I suppose money talks. I haven't heard lee mckanzie's name mentioned yet so I hope she is still there; because that would be the straw that broke the camels back. maybe this could be her big chance to get a bit more air-time, and even host another race; seeing as her last effort was spoiled by the weather. it's going to be difficult adjusting to highlights for half the season. its really spoiled it for so many. I think sky might have gone a bit too far with a station dedicated to f1. I love the sport, but the bbc were expert at condencing all the off-track footage and technical talk; always keeping it exciting, whereas sky looks like it will bleed it dry with too much air-time. why oh why oh why did bbc have to give f1 to sky??? anyway jake...have a great 2012 season. take care...alan

  • Comment number 70.

    Well so far, im impressed with Sky F1 - so much so that i was late to work becuase i was watching FP2 instead of Breakfast. Maybe they should put a clock in the botttom right corner of the feed so people dont get confused...

    I really dont understand why people are so mad about this deal. I'm now paying an extra £10 a month to watch a sport that i love. I have no right to get this for free. One day, i'll probably fork out a bit more, so that i can watch cricket and football too (what ever happened to BBC showing the odd Championship game, anyway? last i watched was the first day of the season...)

    The only people i feel sorry for are the people who can't have a dish on their house.

    As for Jake - I'll still follow your blog, and watch the races when they're on the Beeb - but if your coverage has slipped from the excellence you produced last year, I may well jump ship on those too.

  • Comment number 71.

    Looking forward to the new season, after the first couple of practice seasons it looks quite interesting. A shame a lot of it will be without the previously excellent BBC live coverage (cant forgive the shameful deal they did though). I wonder about the standard of what remains will be, the internet coverage over the closed season has been abysmal.

    Watched the Sky pre-season intro show on FTA the other day and thought it pretty poor and with advertising interrupting much of the flow so they won't be getting anything from me.

    Stuck a motor on my satellite dish so I'm now geared up for the RTL live video and BBCR5L audio for the live races that Beeb aren't doing. The R5L radio coverage of this mornings sessions was very good and I look forward to hearing it for the live qualifying and race.

    Don't forget BBC many haven't forgiven you and will be watching your off screen antics

  • Comment number 72.

    Can we just remind all the sky bashers, this isn't sky's fault. All your anger needs to be aimed at Ben Gallop, he is the man who needs to be forced out of the BBC! He is the one who sold us out, he is the joke here and the man who should pay with his lively hood for selling out the public and over spending on some running show this summer.

  • Comment number 73.

    72. At 12:48 16th Mar 2012, Gloss wrote:

    HAHA some running show, Brilliant!

  • Comment number 74.

    Sky is absolutley quality

  • Comment number 75.

    Great to have the Beeb team back, but gutted I can't watch all of the races there.

    It will be interesting to see how Sky F1 goes. They certainly have a slick set up, and the preview show was pretty impressive.

    I hope you have hired the German TV lady to do the grid walks and exact revenge on Mr Brundle.

    McLaren all the way this year, with Lewis just edging it (although I would rather it was JB), and give as much coverage to Kimi as possible please!!!

  • Comment number 76.

    surely this is not the place to applaud sky f1 productions.

  • Comment number 77.

    Very sad day, sitting here getting excited about the start of the new F1 season, but knowing that I'll not be able to see a live race for a whole month.

    The highlights package really needs to be the whole race unedited. The edited highlights races were just a waste of time, no sense of build-up or of the race unfurling.

    This could be an utter disaster for F1, flopping ratings on BBC1, disappearing from terrestrial, and suddenly F1 has gone the same way as the World Rally Championship.

    Remember when the WRC drivers were household names?

  • Comment number 78.

    There are lots of comments about how much better Sky is than the BBC coverage. However, that's of no use to those of us that don't have, and can't afford Sky. Since I have to pay the licence fee whatever, I prefer to watch my motorsport for zero additional cost. Therefore, I either have to avoid the news until the highlights show comes on, or listen to commentary on the radio - which I don't think I have done for 30 years!

    Surely the big saving the BBC has made is by not paying for the rights to show the race live. The cost of sending the team to Oz pail in comparison.

  • Comment number 79.

    I've just about made my peace with the new format, and now I just want it to start!I know you and the team will bring us the same fantastic coverage you always have and I'm really looking forward to following another season in your company.
    All the best for the first race in Oz, and for the rest of the season too.

  • Comment number 80.

    Sorry Jake I still think you are putting a brave face on it. It cant see where BBC have saved money. I have looked at the sky f1 web site but will not under any cicumstance sign up to sky. I know I am lossing out but wont pay twice. The BBC sold us down the river which is unacceptable. Lets just hope sky make a complete mess of it but that is unlikely. BBC have bottled it and comparing the 2 web sites seem uninterested, sky web site wins hands down.

  • Comment number 81.

    To begin at the beginning, I have the full Sky package, but am really looking forward to the coverage on the BBC to kick off. Yes, we've been shafted by the suits at the BBC Trust, but we have to live with it until 2018.

    A few things to think about regarding the BBC v Sky:

    1. At least there are different accents amongst the BBC presenting team. Sky has cornered the market in posh public school Oxfordshire dialect. Yes, I like Eddie and DC.

    2. At least we no longer have to put up with the fawning Ted Kravitz. Someone should tell him that F1 would carry on without him. I'm currently watching 'The F1 Show' and he's trying to prove he's related to Lenny Kravitz without a hint of irony whatsoever!

    3. Luckily the BBC is not broadcasting their sound in 5.1 surround, or they'd have to remind us every 3 minutes as David Croft did during FP1 and FP2.

    4. Oh yes. No more David Croft. Ben Edwards will blow him away.

    So, to summarise, don't be fooled by the graphics and the touchscreen plasma screens. The teams will not be giving Sky any more information than they did previously to the BBC, so all the special programming will be the same information re-hashed over and over again. Roll on China.

  • Comment number 82.

    #75 - It will be interesting to see how Sky F1 goes. They certainly have a slick set up, and the preview show was pretty impressive.

    I thought the exact opposite, all they had was a fancy 3D car which isnt exactly hard to set up. The presenters are boring and they told us nothing new, in fact i felt quite condescended, they were treating the viewers as it was the first time watching F1. Needs a big, big improvement now for it be a success.

  • Comment number 83.

    I'll be honest, I was very vocal initially at the news of the Sky "sell-out". However, as time has progressed and we've got closer to the start of the season..... my feelings have changed somewhat. I'm actually quite looking forward to the season ahead and having listened to the coverage of practice on 5 live, I am suitably impressed with what is potentially on offer for the year.

    Ben Edwards has great experience as a lead commentator and for me, is a great addition to the commentary team. As an earlier post said, getting Gary Anderson on board to provide technical insight is a real coup and in the short time he has been the technical analyst for the BBC, I've learnt a heck of a lot about F1 cars... and when I say that, I mean the finer details of how things work and what they're designed to do. Even James Allen, he's a much better radio commentator than his ITV stint and Alguesuari I thought did a good job in practice... able to offer a current insight into the Pirelli compounds/tyres etc.

    All in all, I am cautiously optimistic of good times in 2012 and for as long as the BBC keep their hand in the coverage, I will continue to watch the award-winning coverage that has been offered. I don't understand the people being negative about it all. Yes, we all know what has gone before and all that in terms of not getting responses or a statement from those in charge but the new season is here, it is time to 'accept' and get on with enjoying the racing.

    I know he has won awards for his commentary but I felt Martin was a little out of his 'comfort zone' last season as lead commentator. For me, he sometimes tried a little too hard to 'mimic' Murray Walker (and failed miserably at it) and well, I have to be honest and say that I don't really miss Ted Kravitz or Natalie Pinkham. Crofty is a good sports commentator, but is better suited to darts than F1 IMHO.

    To sum up, long live BBCF1. It doesn't change that the anger I felt about it all but I'm getting on with it now and going to enjoy the coverage this season.

  • Comment number 84.

    Hello streaming websites. Goodbye BBC F1.

    It's a shame really as your coverage was awesome (although last year's was rather tailing off).

  • Comment number 85.

    #82 - I thought the exact opposite, all they had was a fancy 3D car which isnt exactly hard to set up. The presenters are boring and they told us nothing new, in fact i felt quite condescended, they were treating the viewers as it was the first time watching F1. Needs a big, big improvement now for it be a success.

    Not surprised TBH. The moment Sky had Tony Jardine on when the news was first broken to us all, that was a sign of what was forthcoming! Lol.

  • Comment number 86.

    Just been on the sky sports website for F1 videos- amazing every video played all the way through! Not sure about Ted- he was good in the pit lane not seeing him when he was on the bbc, but he's trying to be something he's not.

  • Comment number 87.

    After watching the brilliant documentary on Senna it has rekindled my interest in F1.

  • Comment number 88.

    I just want a season where a car/team are not dominate. Taking nothing away from Seb's 2 great championship wins and that he is a great race driver, you have to say he had one hell of a car which for me took the gloss of last year slightly.
    If it happens again i'll be turning off!

  • Comment number 89.

    when Jonathon Ross made his comments on his radio show and a lot of people complained it was national news and he lost his job.But when thousands of people complain to the BBC about there handling of F1 the board and the trust just ignored us and make up some lame reason why they carnt afford it.We need to vote on TV licence fee and do away with it because i would not pay to watch the rubbish im forced to pay for.Afriend of mines made a digital tv and radio that can not pick up the BBC he just needs a internet service provider to block him from all BBC sites then no tv liesence to pay for, if he can do that il fund him to sell these products as many would pay to get away from a waste of money company as the bbc.

  • Comment number 90.

    Gloss, you are right about ben gallop. it was the top brass at the beeb who sold us down the river. I bet they all have sky HD, because they can all afford it. unlike us who are earning well below the poverty wage...yet still have to buy a tv license. it is very tempting to sign up to sky, but its a lot just for the f1 races.

  • Comment number 91.

    Haven't managed to catch Sky's coverage just yet - looking forward to sitting down in front of the telly all weekend and seeing what they have to offer!

    BUT I do hate the fact the BBC don't have all the races. The BBC told us that they could no longer afford it - so it was nice to see they've blown £20m on television rights The Voice UK recently................I know what I would rather be watching!

  • Comment number 92.

    maybe it is time to stop complaining and get on with life.

  • Comment number 93.

    92.At 14:28 16th Mar 2012, rammstein_alan wrote:
    maybe it is time to stop complaining and get on with life.

    If only we had something else to do to occupy our time, maybe watch some F1 prac....OH WAIT NOPE!

  • Comment number 94.

    actually, to be honest, a lot of the times I fell asleep during the live races. its a very relaxing , chilled-out type of viewing. plenty of time to think and enjoy. what I usually did on a race day was 1. get up early to watch the race 2. watch the complete rerun of the race later in the afternoon and 3. watch the highlights at 7 in the evening. so I suppose if I record the extended highlights of the race I can watch it again and again. and hopefully get the feeling of lots of bbc f1.

  • Comment number 95.

    I agree with Paul Farrant...EJ is the weakest link by far and his inane comments and non sequitors are embarrassing and pointless. BBC will certainly have to up the game this year, especially losing Martin Brundle's grid walk , which was always entertaining. So come on BBC , see what you can do...

  • Comment number 96.

    evil-weazel....we will get highlights of the qualifying sessions

  • Comment number 97.

    Highlights just don't cut it. End of.

  • Comment number 98.

    Not interested. I will never give a penny to Murdoch, and as ever the BBC came away from the negotiations with all the appalling races and left S*y with the cream. The only race the BBC have that's worth seeing is Spa.


  • Comment number 99.


    You're an idiot.
    Brundle played his part in making the BBC's coverage as good as it was, both during the race commentating and in the post race forum.

  • Comment number 100.

    You can try and make it seem all is normal, everyone looking forward to the new season (as I have done for 20+ years) after the agony of a 4 month break. Truth is, purely because of the BBC, millions of fans are going to miss the first race of the season, for the very first time.

    BBC viewers are now the poor relation because, yet again, SKY have taken what was once everyones. Do I have to hide away, avoiding the news because the BBC feels it needs to produce rubbish like The Voice! I can't watch the opening race because the BBC are pandering to the ITV audience, providing a platform for the talentless masses to embarrass me and themselves.

    Would rather SKY had taken the lot, rather than this hopeless half-way house (50/50 the deciding race won't be on the BBC).

    The BBC website is full of features, pushing the excitement of the new season but they are forgetting (or ignoring) something, I can't watch it live!!

    Goodbye F1, thanks BBC.

    Although, having said that, I could start watching some of the other sport on the BBC, darts maybe...


Page 1 of 3

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.