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Your F1 questions answered - part IV

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Murray Walker | 13:17 UK time, Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is closing in on a second world title with the rest of the field fighting over second place in the drivers' standings.

What are the reasons behind Lewis Hamilton's form; why have Ferrari struggled to mount a challenge this season and will we see former champion Kimi Raikkonen back in Formula 1?

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If you are outside the UK, you can watch the video here.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Well Murray I think I pretty much agree with most of what you say here, I'm a big Lewis fan - on my TV room wall I've got a framed signed 2008 World Champion team shirt (behind me for every race), and I agree he has lost some form this season. JB is doing a fantastic job though and has prooven those wrong that questioned his move to race alongside Lewis at McLaren.

    Oh and the other thing to add "it would be very nice if there was consistancy of our race coverage next season too".

    NoToSky keep F1 fully live FTA next season on the award winning BBC F1 coverage.

    Be nice to have some questions answered by the BBC Sport management so support Don Foster and write to your local MP so that the BBC is questioned by the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee about the deal.

  • Comment number 2.

    "Your F1 questions answered - part IV"

    Really? Where?

    None of my question were answered ... Maybe they were just too difficult.

  • Comment number 3.

    No disrespect Murray, but the questions that a vast majority of fans would like answered are being ignored by BBC bosses!

  • Comment number 4.

    I find myself agreeing with you. - I think Mclaren are responsible for blunting Lewis's performance with cars that aren't good enough, and he has tried to push them faster than they are capable of going. Given that I don't think he is mentally in a good place at the moment. What we are seeing is a very frustrated and dis-illusioned Lewis Hamilton. Well he needs to reset himself mentally and the sooner he does that the better regardless of the car. If he does that he could still win a few more races this season. I suppose in simple terms he needs to get his focus back and concentrate on the sport he is so good at. Pity about Felippe Massa and I must agree, but I would like to see Kimi Raikonnen back in a decent car. There certainly does need to be greater consistency in the stewarding and I would be for a nucleus of stewards that would be present at every race. The contact between Hamilton and Massa was a pure racing incident and did not deserve a drive through penalty in my view.

  • Comment number 5.

    Thanks for that. I think Lewis has also in addition to having a poor year is also having some of Mark Webber's old luck, i.e none.

    Hopefully he can sort it and get another win or two in the closing stages of the season and get into second place in the WDC for what it is worth.

    Not sure if Williams need Kimi. Would be nice if he could be bothered and chasing the midfield isn't going to help him.

  • Comment number 6.

    Why do i get the feeling the BBC are not going to let you answer the most prominent question on everyone's mind and give you a fixed list instead?
    Shameful BBC!

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi Murray,

    Lewis is a great driver and your insights are in my view spot on. Have to laugh at Ferrari eh - Massa's engineer, Mr Smedley, instructs his charge to 'get' Hamilton yet they can't even sort that properly lol. Big kudos to Vettel, he has been the best all year and deserves to win.

    Agree with you on stewards - let's hope the change comes soon........

    Yes to FTA and no to SKY - pity you have been banned from addressing this particular big issue


  • Comment number 8.

    Hi Murray,

    We keep hearing from the BBC F1 programmes that when the stewards look at an incident, they have "all the camera angles and all the information available" so can we assume that in penalising Hamilton at Singapore for the Massa incident, that they DID hear the Ferrari radio transmission advocating that Massa should hold up Hamilton and destroy his race?

    If they did hear that and still penalised Lewis, it begs the question, do the stewards have it in for Lewis? If I remember rightly, Schumacher didn't seem to attract a penalty or even a condemnation from the stewards for blocking Lewis lap after lap, yet Lewis was penalised for blocking a Ferrari (with allegedly just one extra move) near the start of the season.

    The facts indicate that Lewis is being targetted and it's time the media put the spotlight on the stewards and why they appear to hate Hamilton. His driving is no different to any other legendary F1 driver.

  • Comment number 9.

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

  • Comment number 10.

    I would have reservations about using the same stewards for every race. At least, not all the same ones.

    Although I agree that their is a lack of consistency in some of the decisions, I do think that having new stewards each race means things are likely to stay fresher and remove any potential bias. At least by rotating stewards, you're kinda guaranteed a fresh view on incidents from race to race.

    Perhaps have 1 steward who follows the season around, and he is supplemented by 2 new stewards and an ex-driver on the panel for each race. The lead stewards job is then to ensure consistency throughout the season.

    Also they should perhaps fund regular stewards forums, where they get together, review recent decisions and their punishments, etc. Keep the pool of stewards large.

  • Comment number 11.

    You answered every question apart from the one about the elephant in the room !

    NO TO SKY yes to FTA

  • Comment number 12.


    Nice trousers, bad acoustics.

    Thanks for answering my question!

    - Estesark

  • Comment number 13.

    It's interesting that when Button hit Alonso at Canada and put him out of the race Murray claims "Alonso collided with Button".

    If Hamilton had been in Button's place the description would have been different.

    By the way folks, today's ruling on using foreign decoders to watch Premier League football has interesting implications for the 94% of us who aren't going to pay Mr Murdoch to watch his dumbed down footage next year ;-)

  • Comment number 14.

    Why is bbc filtering my views on FTA coverage - If you sell the loyal F1 fans down the river then surely allow us the right to protest.

    Join the 30,000 e-petition to get parliament to debate this disgrace, type e-petition on the search engines.

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi Murray

    Consistancy is paramount for the fair and equal treatment of all drivers involved in race incidents, no matter who they are, or at what stage of their carrear.

    We also need consistancy in the race coverage next year, you cant get that with edited highlights of reruns.

    Alastair, the ruling while obviously helpful for some, wont help those that cant have a sattelite dish for whatever reason, it leaves us in exactly the same position, reliant on terristrial transmissions.

    Unless the BBC show full reruns we still wont be able to see all the seasons racing.

    Yes to terristrial TV.

  • Comment number 16.

    superb in every sentence, couldn't agree more, also i seem to recall rosberg making up a few places at the start going off track and on the same corner later in the race hit perez sending him off the track because of aggresivly out braking himself......oooh not even a mension from the stewards.

    great blog by the way, thanks murray always waiting to hear from you

  • Comment number 17.

    Sorry Murray,
    you forgot to tell us if we will be getting full returns or dumbed down highlights ?

  • Comment number 18.

    Hi Murry, No Offense but I am disappointed that a person I grew up listening too and respected (and laughed at when you missed obvious events on screen) have become no more than a puppet for the BBC.
    We all know F1 is your passion yet you will not speak out for the majority of fans regarding the (ILLEGAL ?) SKY deal, no one with any sense can believe it is a good move for the sport, SKY have 1/4 the number of viewers than what the BBC attracted to Live GP's which means Sponsors will get 1/4 of the 'eyes' on their products and as we all know Sponsorship is a Major part of F1 funding and if the sponsors see they are getting less for their money they will reduce funding or abandon the sport.
    Please don`t get caught up in the 'look at the Premiership success story' as Football is a different sport with 20 different games TWICE a week, it is a sport people go to the pub to watch, a sport friends and neighbors have a tease about when they support rival teams, unlike F1 which has a much more selective audience.

    The BBC have managed to maximise that audience and more people now watch the sport, SKY will revert this back to how it used to be i.e a feature at the end of the news where we just see the big crash or the winner crossing the finishing line.

    Come on Murry SPEAK out for us fans don`t let them beat you into submission.

  • Comment number 19.

    Oh murry can you give you opinions on this subject please

  • Comment number 20.

    Hi Murray,
    Great trousers and honest opinions as always. Personally not sure I'd go so far as to say Lewis has regressed, but yeah, needs to calm down a bit. Schumacher has certainly got faster but his monza tactics showed a darker side. The 'old Schumacher' is returning in more ways than one.

    Have to say I'm also pretty disappointed Murray didn't address/update his view the most frequently asked question in the blog about the Sky deal. Bit unfair to expect him to do so again but I guess thats just the position this whole sorry business and lack of acknowledgement has put us fans in.

  • Comment number 21.

    hi murry

    I dont know what the point is of any one doing anything to stop F1 on sky there is no going back now. I feel ripped off by the big wigs again. As for the dark goings on it F1 there is lots and lots of back handers back room deals and so on that go's on you know it i know it everybody know it. The sport i love and have watch all my life is sadly going down thanks mainly to sky and B.E money graping little F***er. thanks for all the great time you are a legend

  • Comment number 22.

    Why are you and the BBC ignoring all the questions the fans want answering? I thought you of all people had not got a vested interest. Do you not even feel a little shame about the BBC 'spin' and blanking of those 'off message' ? Has the time really come when there cannot be a dissenting voice in the BBC?
    The silence if deafening and , frankly, disgusting. Where have the public service ideals of the BBC gone?
    Shame on the BBC and , sorry to say it, shame on you Murray.

  • Comment number 23.

    Hi Murray,

    Thanks for your blog and thank you for your opinions on the current F1 crop even though yuo have been a bit harsh with a couple of your choices.

    You will always be a legend with F1 fans and we greatly respect you and can understand that the questions for your video blog have been chosen for you. It saddens all F1 fans that their voice is not being heard and those that do hear tend to turn a deaf ear towards un.

    Meanwhile keep up the good work and it was nice to see you doing a gridwalk/interviewing MB on the Goodwood Special on Sunday.

    No To Sky
    Yes to FTA

  • Comment number 24.

    I am actually NOT going to comment about the same thing literally everybody else is - frankly, it's getting stale...
    I just want to say great piece as always by Murray and I want to know where this piece was filmed, looks like great fun. Anybody know?

  • Comment number 25.

    You quite right. Concepts like decency, honesty & integrity are all a bit 'stale' aren't they?

    No to Sky and Shame on the BBC, and sorry Mr Atari, shame on you.

  • Comment number 26.

    Where are all the f1 fans, it's claimed that the bbc has multiple millions watching f1, if so how come only 30k have signed the on-line petition getting parliament to debate the fta - sky issue?

    Either most have sky and won't be bothered or don't care period and those against this deal are a noisy few?

  • Comment number 27.

    Thank you sir, I knows my place and I'll keep quiet from now on I promise sir, I promise. I doff me cap. Bless you Sir .... bless you!

  • Comment number 28.

    I am one of the noisy few, I have to say I agreed with Murray pretty much. But I also have to add my frustration with the BBC's total lack of guts, they force this farcical deal on us and then carry on as if nothing happened. You know I do wonder if the BBC are even capable of making good television right now, they overspent on a totally un needed sports centre, the are showing the Olympics (yawn), and to top it all we have strictly bloody boring rubbish and whats this a celebrity bake off??? So can anyone tell me what percentage of my £145.50 goes to the beeb, to pay for the total rubbish that is called entertainment? I shall be seeking to cut back on my expenditure just the same as BBC.

  • Comment number 29.


    It's likely to be less than a 1/4 (25%).
    If you take Sky Germany as an example (Germany has slightly more viewers than the UK), then it's likely to be less than 5%, as Sky Germany pull in about 300,000 viewers for F1.

  • Comment number 30.

    @26 or The BBC mentioned the deal quickly early in SATURDAYS qualifying proram then hid all mentions of it from then on (apart from 2 lines in the Race program that most would not have understood if they knew nothing about the deal)

    Before you disagree try this for the next 2 days ask all the people you know who watch F1 if they know whats happening to F1 next year and you will be surprised that almost all will have no idea what you are talking about.

    The BBC have hidden all mention of the deal from the masses even on here the BBC own blogs there was a topic opened by the head of sport and when it got hundreds of replies within hours (by far the hottest topic on the blogs) it was removed from the main page so people could not find it.

    30.000 people have signed the petition now look at the other petitions and you will see they are of high interest to the public yet the F1 sits 7th most popular petition out of 16720 of them.

    Wait until the next season (once the first race that the BBC can not show live) the race if you believe most fans do not care about the deal

  • Comment number 31.

    I'm not a massive fan of F1, but I just had to watch this video blog because I grew up watching and listening to Murray Walker. I love the guy! Let's have more of these please BBC x

  • Comment number 32.

    @ Czar-Orac. Leaving aside the Sky coverage for a moment, do you think the number of viewers will be 1/4 of the current audience for those races that the BBC continue to show? What impact do you think the number of BBC viewers will have on sponsorship decisions by the major players?

  • Comment number 33.

    @26. john

    That's a ridiculous argument, because if you think that all the people who don't express an opinion but could have, are diametrically opposed to the opinion expressed by people bothering to vote, then you have a situation where you find that FOTA were told that only 0.0086% of F1 fans think that "Formula One must continue to go to classic venues like Monaco, Spa, Silverstone & Monza."

  • Comment number 34.


    Always respect your points of view, and as ever they are always carefully considered which is something many others who post on matters to do with motorsport would be well advised to follow.

    I think that your comments about Lewis Hamilton were pretty much spot on. Personally I do not think that he was done any favours in being put into the very competitive McLaren during his first season and would have been far better served having to drive for a smaller team in at least his first season. That I feel would have given the lad a far better perspective of what the sport was really about. Unfortunately he now seems to believe that it is his god given right to be driving the best car out there and that is sadly delusional. Always in this great sport have there been drivers who were acknowledged, mostly by their piers I might add, who were the fastest of their generation who rarely ever got the opportunity of driving the best cars available.

    The likes of true greats like Ronnie Peterson; Gilles Villeneuve; Keke Rosberg; Jochen Rindt and Tony Brooks to name but a few seldom had cars to match their talent but they did not let their frustrations lead to numerous on track incidents. Those guys just got on with it and drove with fire but also displayed level headedness.

    Felippe Massa has unfortunately become a sad case in that he is being pilloried by so many on these forums. It was only just a short time ago everyone was sending messages of goodwill to the guy after that terrible accident in Hungary. That obviously has left a mark on him. As the old Brabham designer Ron Tauranac used to say when a I guy has a big shunt it usually adds a few tenths to his lap times. However I will say that i believe the biggest psychological problem for Felippe was the incident at Hockenheim last year. He is a lovely guy but does not have the "I'll show 'em" mentality of a Mansell, and therefore is destined to be second fiddle at Ferrari from now on. I do believe that his success against Kimi at Ferrari was somewhat over exaggerated by many who do not really understand the mechanisation of F1 teams. The Ferrari at that time was an inherent under-steering vehicle that played to Felippe's strengths and it did not suit Kimi, any more than it suited Schumacher in his last season with the Prancing Horse. Mind you what Kimi did with that under developed pile of carp after Massa had his accident was something to behold, and for which the guy has never been given due credit. Alonso would have given up on it and complained incessantly about his lot, but not Kimi, he just drove the wheels off the thing.

    It would be a major plus for Grand Prix if Kimi came back in a reasonably competitive Williams next year for the guy is a truly awesome talent and that should not be squandered. His personality may not sit well with many Anglo Saxons or Latins but he is a Scandinavian and they usually let there talking happen on the track.

    One final observation; Jensen Button! It is a shame that many of the so called Grand Prix supporters cannot appreciate a real star when they see one. We constantly hear of idiots writing that Button is lucky or that Lewis is a tenth faster in practice. What the blazes does the guy have to do to prove he is one of the top three out there. The guy oozes class, and is one of the very few that I could see driving successfully in any bygone era. Sorry Murray, Alonso would not have got 25 points in Canada if he had not have collided with Jensen, he would have been annihilated by the McLaren driver. Alonso caused his own downfall there by being a complete prat in trying to drive around the outside of someone who had already beaten him into the corner, as the onboard footage proved.

  • Comment number 35.

    How many people think the film crew turns up with story board for all the shots they need, a script with the questions + answers, and so on...I really doubt Murray reads any of this weird online stuff, or gets much choice in which questions "he" answers, or even how he answers them, assuming they are fluffy enough answers.

  • Comment number 36.

    Hi Murray

    as always a pleasure to hear your opinions its just a shame the BBC wont answer the biggest question of all why they sold out to sky therefore denying most formula one fans the ability to watch a full season of the sport they love due to not being able to afford Sky's extortionate prices just to see the ten races the BBC are not showing live. And then having the cheek to tell us it is wonderful news for us all would love to know how they worked that one out.. They should have allowed another free to air broadcaster to buy the complete rights for all the races or why couldnt they have done a race sharing deal with another free to air broadcaster insted of sky NO TO SKY

  • Comment number 37.


    BBC live broadcasts are likely to remain the same or show a slight decrease over time.
    Highlights if shown on BBC1 will hold up well (if live events like Canada and Brazil are anything to go by).
    Highlights if shown on BBC2 will be dramatically down, as seen for the Italian GP highlights test showing on BBC2 recently.
    Re-runs on the red button should achieve a similar figure to a Sky live race, the red button forum gets about 12,000,000 viewers for the whole season, so a half race season on the red button should do the same.

    As for sponsorship, Brand Awareness has suggested (based on 2010 figures) that unless Sky can get their hoped for 900,000 viewers, and assuming the BBC can't attract more viewers, then the combined loss in brand exposure for all 141 sponsors would be £3.4 million per race.

    Some have suggested viewing figures will increase, with people watching Sky then watching the BBC highlights, but the figures I've seen don't include the people who currently watch the BBC3 Highlights, which are higher than the projected Sky figures, and if they're removed then there will be a shortfall of 'viewings', and a dramatic loss of 'unique viewers'.

    I eagerly await how the figures are going to be spun, I think some will go for the viewings while others go for unique viewers ... At the moment unique viewers are used, eg: a 5.51 million peak for Singapore would become a 6.26 million peak with highlights added, but most of those watching the highlights would have already seen the race, so are not unique viewers.

  • Comment number 38.


  • Comment number 39.

    All this talk of stewarding consistency, its the best it can be. Its consistently varied. Everyone is twisting it because of Hamilton - If Schumacher got away with it, why did Hamilton get penalised? The answer, different stewards, different races.

    Imagine if the stewards elected were biased towards a certain team or driver, then they would be helped every race, or punished at every opportunity.

    By varying the stewards, you've got to agree that its the best way to average out 'fair'.

    A different steward for each race is brilliant. They weren't at Singapore, so when they are at Japan and Hamilton undoubtedly crashes into someone, they would assess it without considering how he last drove.

    On a side note, wouldn't it be good to see penalties affect the next season? You can expect some close battles to come between Button and Hamilton. Hamilton being last out of the top 5 can just drive it like he stole it. If he hits off button anything can be argued. But Considering the WDC is over now (-1pt) penalties should be carried forward i think.

  • Comment number 40.

    By the title I thought the BBC were going to answer the Fans questions but no that would be asking for too much.

    Come on BBC at least admit you can't answer any questions while you are still negotiating with Sky.

    Season is drawing to a close and Vettels win will mean it's all but over getting sadder and sadder that it will not be worth watching half live next year.

    No to Sky - as if the BBC even bothered listening never mind answering the questions.

  • Comment number 41.

    Same drivers, same, mechanics, etc etc - same (Murray didn't mention) Charlie Whiting.....Charlie should be championing Murray's point, no?

  • Comment number 42.

    I have subscribed to Sky for the last 4 years to watch the team I love play football. It was cheaper than travel, tickets etc. I would never subscribe now to pay for what has always been paid for (the mandatory license fee) for F1. I applaud all the fans that don't. We, in this country can be charged with a criminal offense for not having a mandatory license, now BBC who we can not betray legally rob us. NO TO SKY, I will unsubscribe if this deal goes through, we cannot be whipped, make sport a lower interest to the TV providers, take a break from it, they will freak out before you do.

  • Comment number 43.

    Well Murray as usual you are spot on, as a huge Lewis fan it is very sad to say that this year there have been mistakes and that the pessure is becoming too much to take. nThe mistakes have been not only on his part but also from McLaren. It seams that the team have put him in difficult situations which they need too. Had these mistakes not been made then Lewis would not have had to drive quite so aggresively and he would have scored more points and victories which would mean he would still be in with a shout of the championship. Think it's time to pull them selves together and really push for victories so they can go into the winter with confidence and the konwledge that thwey can beat Red Bull.

    Oh and one more thing NO TO SKY

  • Comment number 44.

    Let's be honest was Lewis ever that good he had one good season in which he drove very well but lady luck shined on him and a very slow Toyota that decided to stop half way round helped, plus the McClaren was really a copied Ferrari.
    If Lewis wants to win again he has to leave McClaren go to a team and make it a winning team just like shui,Alonso,button,all did Vettle will have to do it as well at some point but I suspect red bull will dominate for a few more seasons just like Williams McClaren Bennaton,Ferrari ,then Renault F1 has always been the same the next team to dominate will be Mercedes any F1 fan who has followed the sport will have to agree that we are seeing a young man who is set to become the greatest ever just to clear that up I mean Vettle sorry Lewis fans

  • Comment number 45.

    There's nothing wrong with Hamilton. The problem is that the racing has been sanitized to such an extreme extent, that a real racer who likes to take risks like Hamilton suffers, whereas a non-risk taker such as Vettel excels in such conditions. 10-15 years ago, Vettel wouldn't have been able to cope... he'd have been bullied off the track.

    It's a shame for the sport that the health and safety anoraks have got their way, as year-on-year the sport becomes less of a spectacle as a direct result. What's next? A penalty for not indicating when overtaking? It's a shame. F1 used to be the pinnacle of motorsport, yet now it's only the pinnacle of automotive engineering for the geeks.

  • Comment number 46.

    Anyone notice how the above 'on message' 'fan' cannot even spell Mclaren, Benetton, or Vettel? Are the BBC & Sky employing agency staff to ask the correct questions and get us all 'on message'?
    No to Sky - No to the Lies and Deceit of the BBC

  • Comment number 47.

    Mclaren have let Lewis down since he won the drivers championship. Their cars are simply not been good enough. But Lewis always tries to get the best of of these duff cars and this season has had no luck at all. It must be so hard watching Vettel about to win his 2nd title. I reckon Lewis will give them one more season and if they don't produce a great car, I'm sure he'll be ringing Christian Horner.

  • Comment number 48.

    I love Sky!

    They are the best, ever!

    That guy who runs it, he's my fave!

  • Comment number 49.

    Hamilton's problem is that he drives only with his right foot.

  • Comment number 50.

    NO TO SKY!!!!!

  • Comment number 51.

    great answers however how have you missed the biggest question asked to the bbc of late? BBC when are you going to give us a straight answer on whats happening next year.....? no to sky! good news today though about viewing football from abroad cheers all

  • Comment number 52.

    Murry i agree to some degree about Jenson doing better than Lewis this year. But I think that Jenson is a good driver, but Lewis is a better driver. Ok Jenson brings the experience but for out right pace lewis is better and because of this I think jeson is only looking better this season because lewis is having a bad one. If lewis was having a good season i would really like to see if Jenson could take it to Lewis. We still havent after 2 seasons had the privelage of watching both the mclaren driver go head to head, they've always been out of sync and chasing the redbull.

  • Comment number 53.

    Great blog Murray, thanks - enjoyable as always.

    Agree with the comments above - the Sky deal is a disgrace and makes me feel ashamed of the "British" Broadcasting Corporation. I do wonder what upside the BBC get from the deal; clearly they were always going to be slated for it and gain bad publicity for it, but what's the upside?

    If they'd just said, we can't afford it, let ITV or Channel 4 have it, it would have been sad, but kind of fair enough. By doing the grubby deal with Sky, they were always going to be slated!

  • Comment number 54.

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

  • Comment number 55.

    It's no longer a question of when will the elephant in the room be acknowledged, it's one of "how big is this elephant going to get!!!"

    NO TO SKY!

    Murry, don't lose your integrity like the BBC is doing. Stand up for what you believe in.

  • Comment number 56.

    'Dear Murray,

    firstly, many thanks for selecting my question! I was really pleased to see it being answered, specially in such a well thought-out way with some choices that, at first, made question them, but eventually made a lot of sense.

    Senna and Button are more or less obvious choices, but Vettel and Schumacher have shown tremendous improvement compared to last year; similarly, Massa, Heidfeld and Hamilton are pretty clear cut cases, but now that you've pointed it out, Webber really has regressed significantly since last year.

    So I'd say you're pretty much spot-on.


    The rest of the blog was also pretty insightful, specially about Raikonen.

    So please keep making these video posts! Each one of them is interesting and fun even when I disagree with you.

    So many thanks!

  • Comment number 57.

    Thanks for the blog Murray. Hope it stays open longer than Jakes, which only lasted 3 days.

    Was a bit surprised that you'd included Bruno Senna among your 'most improved' drivers - he's only had 3 races, and seems to have been a bit 'hit and miss' so far. Though I guess you've seen something special in his driving which isn't obvious to my very amateur eye? Sticking with Renault, I've been disappointed with Petrov this year. Started off so well with his 3rd place, but seems to have faded since then, though the car seems to have a lot of technical problems - will be interesting to see how close Force India can get to Renault by the end of the season.

    Personally, the season hasn't had the same excitement for me since the Sky news broke. It seems to have overshadowed everything, and the BBC wall of silence is very disappointing. I'd echo fellow posters here asking for information on what coverage we can expect next year. If the final deal hasn't been done yet, please BBC listen to the viewers and at least provide the option of full races rather than, or as well as, highlights.

    The pressure isn't going to fade away over the winter. No to Sky.

  • Comment number 58.

    The point I was making was that now is the time to protest against the sky deal, once sky begin their coverage then it's pretty much too late and ministers will wash their hands of it and promise some nonsense about lessons to be learnt for the future.

    Over the last decade we lost so much sport to sky that it's ridiculous. In a few years I'm sure events such as champions league and six nations will also be lost.

  • Comment number 59.

    Ministers and my Tory MP have already washed their hands of it. Nothing is going to change SKY will get their coverage and F1 will take a hit in viewing figures and as a consequence sponsors will want to pay less and Bernie will be knocking on Sky's door saying give me more and they will tell him where to go and we then get the poorer teams going bust and the whole edifice will crumble and we will see the demise of yet another hi-tech industry to follow BAe and Bombardier down the tubes.

    Because we all know that mass unemployment is a price worth paying so we get the country's books squared away and Rupert gets his payback.

  • Comment number 60.

    Murray I have to say you are the only member of the BBC able to give a balanced reasoned view when it comes to Lewis Hamilton. You do come over as someone just giving an honest opinion rather than pushing an agenda to influence public opinion against Lewis.

    The rest of the BBC teams antics have reduced the level of journalism to nothing more than a sensationalist tabloid.

    I hope Lewis refuses all interviews with the BBC this weekend.

  • Comment number 61.

    Lets all leave Murray out of the politics - like us he's interested in the racing.

    The only thing he got badly wrong here was about Kimi - he was a bad communicator, yes, but that is exactly what I liked about him. He says what he feels, tells it like it is - how many people you know proudly claim the same? Yep - quite a few.

    If Kimi returned and became a sponsors puppet I'd be very disappointed in the man. Sometimes the old devil-may-care attitude of a Graham Hill, a Hunt, a Berger, an Irvine or a Jaques Villeneuve is refreshing.

  • Comment number 62.

    Dear Murray, I am afraid that I have to agree with what most people are saying here, including -

    @ 1 Paul Davis who said:

    Oh and the other thing to add "it would be very nice if there was consistency of our race coverage next season too".
    Great way to start off a blog; Thanks

    Just to Re-iterate about another point that was raised by you:

    If you want to support Don Foster MP, who is doing a great job, then please contact your own MP asking him / her to write to the Select Committee Chair, John Whittingdale MP, and ensure the F1 broadcasting deal is discussed at the next House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. Simples…... :)

    @42 Jono Mutiny

    Nice to see a commitment like that – total respect to you.

    For all those of you who would also like to help you, please do not forget the Official Government petition at:

    As well as the one in post: @19 by ShaGGy_UK in which this deal could very well be illegal:

    To all you F1 fans who care about what is happening & are dead against this BBC/Sky deal then you can also come on over to our Facebook Group:

    @59 Dave & all those who says it is a done deal. I have to disagree with you all. It is not over until the 'Fat Lady Sings'.

    What shall I say to now? Oh yes; No to F1 on Sky & Yes to F1 on FTA

  • Comment number 63.

    I'm hearing lots about Murray not commenting on the sky deal. But you should know that Murray posted a video blog shortly after the announcement in which he said he was saddened about it & wished it hadn't happened, but that the deal was done & he accepted that.
    Short memories people! none of us are happy about losing our award winning coverage on the BBC but don't blame Murray he's a legend!!!

  • Comment number 64.

    Thanks Murray,

    It's a shame you've had to defend your opinions on Lewis and Kimi as yours for fear of any backlash.

    I'm a fan of Hamilton's but I think this could be his worse season in F1.

    Interesting point about Stewards. Massa almost won the 2008 WDC? He didn't did he! He was only in the running and conveniently keeping the championship going for the global auidence and commercial reasons because Hamilton was stripped of his win at Spa.

    The McLaren is slightly inferior to the RBR explains the number of mishaps from Lewis that have cost him and his team points? Was it Canada when Hamilton hit the back of Button? Button won that race, so Hamilton could have been on the podium too if he hadn't driven into Button. Button is outperforming Hamilton this season.

    Hamilton has forgotten that to win first you have to finish? Didn't Brundle say during the Singapore commentary that Hamilton hit Webber last year at the same place he hit Massa this year?

    I can't be the only Hamilton fan that's disappointed at what seem like silly errors.

  • Comment number 65.

    Agree about Lewis. He is a quick driver but i wont say he is a great driver. Control is the mark of a great driver, Lewis is very inconsistent in that department. May be it will come to him with age. Agree about Bruno as well, if Renault can give him a competitive enough car he should perform much better. On Vettel well it was pretty obvious from last couple of races in last season that he is improving. Schumacher improved a lot and agree that given a good car he still can win races. Button is an obvious case as well. I wont say Massa lost pace, its just that more better drivers are in good cars at the moment than when he fought for the tittle in 08. Webber has regressed but very slightly i mean his main problem has been actually starting off the line rather than raw pace. Yeah it would be great to have Raikkonen back.

  • Comment number 66.

    That raikkonen overtake at suzuka was breathtaking. I dont have a clue why anyone wouldn't want to see this man back in f1, love the way kimi lets his driving do the talking. and people should reserve their judgements about his attitude until they're an f1 champion! of course there are people that can't drive a car that think they know better than him

  • Comment number 67.

    I came on here to read comments and feedback on Murray Walker's latest observations and what do I find? A whole load of whingers still banging on about next year's coverage. So folks, a couple of points on this:

    1. Why are you all so astonished at the attitude of the BBC? Haven't any of you read George Orwell's 1984? That was a parody of the BBC and he wrote it in 1949!

    2. More than half of you - wittingly or otherwise - come across as total illiterates. Unable to spell, typo-ridden text and completely unfamiliar with the concept of syntax. How can you expect the intellectual leftist snobs at the BBC to take such poorly presented arguments seriously?

    By the bye, none of you appears to have suggested that we deduct our Sky Sport subscriptions from the license fee. Or did I miss that jewel?

  • Comment number 68.

    So once again, a puppet employee disregards the real questions. Although the Sky deal is wrong on all counts and I will be saying goodbye to viewing, there is also an irony here. The BBC does many things well but there is a complacency and a conceit apparent in it’s coverage: how many presenters do they need at every long haul destination? Just how much more spoilt and self-indulgent can Jake Humphrey’s sickening blogs get? I, for one, can think of cost savings that could have been made had the BBC remembered the word ‘service’ in Public Service Broadcasting. Some things I won’t miss.
    Click to EditRequest Deletion (1 minute and 37 seconds)

  • Comment number 69.

    Well done Murray, great comments as usual.

    For those that have asked, this was filmed at Beaulieu National Motor Museum in the New Forest - Well worth a visit

  • Comment number 70.

    The biggest questions F1 fans have in this country are being completely ignored by the BBC (and to be fair, pretty much everyone in F1).@67 Itsaspade, this why us "whingers" are still "banging on about next years coverage".What's wrong with having the courage of your convictions?You may be happy to just roll over and get shafted but there are many who aren't.

  • Comment number 71.

    Have to agree with most of what Murray said, except with Hamilton... I think winning the title in 2008 went to his head, and he seems to think he has a right to be in the lead of the race since then, which has led to him doing things that have ruined other drivers races... Still can't get my head around how a public service broadcaster isn't responding to the public's demand of a service in terms of answers in terms of the elephant in the room, no to sky!

  • Comment number 72.

    Good stuff Murray, keep up the good work.

    Now, down to business though... No to Sky. BBC please can you explain why you sold the fans down the river? Its a disgrace that you used you position to prevent legitimation FTA bids from being considered. You've not saved license fee money, you've wasted it because no-one wants to see edited highlights!

  • Comment number 73.

    @#8 (alastair)

    The fact that Massa was told to "destroy" Lewis's race has nothing to do with the incident. It was not Massa who turned into Lewis. Lewis went on the outside, outbreak himself in a move that was never going to work and turned into Massa causing "an avoidable accident".

    I would agree with your post if it was Massa who did something bad, or turned and hit Lewis, but that's not the case. Massa had the racing line, and was ahead of Lewis. The fact that Massa was slower has nothing to do with it. You fight for the position no matter what your speed is or if your car is slower then the guy behind.

    Just as other of my fellow F1 fans here, I wished if Murray would've asked some of the questions that we really want answers...shame on BBC.
    NO TO SKY!

  • Comment number 74.

    @59 Dave, I agree with your gloomy forecast. This goes much further and deeper than upsetting a few million sports fans, and hopefully any politician with a bit of wit about them will be looking into the economic impact of this, and asking why promote STEM subjects when the engineering industry is dissolving around us?

    But it's not over till the ink dries on the final contract. Bernie has made dramatic u-turns in the past. The BBC have made u-turns. The BBC Trust have overturned BBC decisions. There is also pressure and powers from DCMS, Ofcom, the teams, the sponsors, etc etc. Please don't give up on this Dave, you've been one of the most informed posters since this news broke.

    On topic, I've been thinking about Murrays opinion that drivers need to be charismatic 'characters' outside of the car. I wish driving skills were enough, but I think it's probably true of any sport these days.

  • Comment number 75.

    @67 Itsaspade.

    Are you really on an internet blog critisising people's spelling and grammar? Oh dear! It's come a long way since you were on a blog last.

    And furthermore, I will keep banging on and on and on and on until somebody listens or at least acknowledges my points.

  • Comment number 76.

    and NO to SKY

  • Comment number 77.

    Murray, As always I find your views thoughtful, balanced and fair-minded. A very interesting video.

    If only the BBC had been more thoughtful before their massive TV rights blunder!

    No to Sky!

  • Comment number 78.


    Your're a legend.

    I would have loved to hear your views on Sky coverage next year...

    ...about that to anyone who is interested. I tried to sign the e-petition but the link that I was e-mailed did not work. You can't use the same information twice and so I am stuck without registering my opinion. I wonder how many other people this has happened to...

  • Comment number 79.

    Good views as ever Murray,
    Total respect to you,you made F1 so much better when in the box,i grew up with you.
    With regard to Massa,i think he is a great driver,but i feel he has lost his edge after the accident,and the way his team has treated him.
    I think a new team would bring the old Massa back,take Rob with him,and watch the pair regain the form of past.
    Murray can only tell us what he is allowed to tell us,so the whole shameful saga of bbc/sly CONtract,please lets not attack Murray.
    I have written to Don Foster,and my MP,he will support Don,we can keep pressure up,but not sure anything will change yet re getting told what we will be getting next year.
    I have sky broadband,phone and Tv ,but not sports.
    I only watch F1 ,so the cost of total sports pack,not for me.
    Not keen on highlights,but if that is all i get,i will watch,for how long?,it depends if i feel i have enjoyed them,better than nothing,but shame on bbc for getting us into the mess.
    NO TO SLY!!!!!!,OR SPY.........

  • Comment number 80.

    I hope Murray lives and lives and lives.... I hope one day I get to meet you, just to shake your hand and say thank you x

  • Comment number 81.


    That happened to a lot of people when it was first launched, those that registered but couldn't confirm were said to be over 7000, although they said after initial teething trouble about 2000 did confirm, but that's still a loss of 5000.

  • Comment number 82.

    @78 I had the same problem at first but I tried again a few days later and it worked with no problems. So persevere as we need as many signatures as we can get.

  • Comment number 83.

    Hi everyone - new to the posts but feel I should join the blog to raise the numbers on the petition John mentions (blog15) please if you have time fill in the form we will need everyone.
    After following F1 for as long as its been on TV it looks as if this is the end because I will not/can't afford to pay to view. Thanks

  • Comment number 84.

    Until the majority of F1 enthusiasts get to know about the deal there will be a reduced amount of complaints. When it does strike home it will be to late for 2012 but when the viewing figures drop next year then the sponsors may decide to act but then the damage will be done and another of our hi-tech industries will be on the way out.

    The problem is greed. FOM and FOTA see an extra couple of bucks because of this deal and are looking in the short term and not 5 years down the line but this has always been a trait of the UK short term Finance is till the end of the week and long term finance is till the end of the month.

    So UK plc has given up the trains and the planes just leaves the automobiles to go and we will have the whole film. This is just the next tranche of the British malaise from our multi millionaire cabinet's let them eat cake scenario.

    Murray I am surprised with your lack of reaction. You fought alongside my father to eliminate this sort of dictatorship and censorship from Europe why are you accepting it now?

    F1 is a multi-billion pound sports industry in the UK and this will send it down the path to destruction. F1 may be watched worldwide but it is essentially a European idea and sport with all teams based in Europe whether they are owned by outside Europe interests or not.

    F1 will never have the same appeal in China and India as it has in Europe and that is reflected in attendances. Perhaps the teams need a reminder next year when no-one turns up at Silverstone except for the corporate boys. I'm just about weaned of F1 now and getting into BTCC which gives you a full days racing on ITV4 (Silverstone is next 16th Oct) from 11-1800.

  • Comment number 85.

    Bernie has said Ecclestone he might 'allow pubs to show F1 for free if that helped to increase viewing figures and, by extension, commercial revenues'.

    Well that won't please Sky, but surely allowing F1 on FTA TV would be even better.

    He also said: “As far as we're concerned the most important thing is to get the largest number of viewers possible to watch F1."

    But, as for people using RLT and BBC radio comms' he said: "That's if 5Live still have the rights,” he said. “We could stop that."

    Well that'll please Sky.

  • Comment number 86.

    That should be "Bernie Ecclestone has said"

    I usually blame predictive text, but I have no excuse this time ... Well maybe shock :)

  • Comment number 87.

    Under the High Court ruling yesterday they cannot prevent you from obtaining your TV service from any where within the EU as long as its for private consumption

  • Comment number 88.

    @78 Motor Racing Fan

    Totally agree with you:

    Murray, Your're a legend. (But a shame that you cannot speak again & update us on your views on the subject of the F1 Deal with SKy).

    Sorry about that; but after nearly 10 weeks of fighting this deal, I did miss-spell the link. I put an @ sign in instead of a full stop. Here it is again:
    If it does not work, then put in, [ e petitions direct gov F1 57 ] into your search engine. It will be the first one.
    Also remember if you have anyone else in your house, they to can sign, as long as they have a seperate e-mail address. If not get one from Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, AOL etc. Simples........ :)

    @ 79 Coach Driver 56

    Nice to see you here, like all the other regulars, still fighting the cause.
    I am not sure how long your contract is with Sky Broadband, Phone & TV? I have been with Talk Talk now for 6 years & although they do not do the deal that I am on now, they still do similar ones. I have Broadband & phone with unlimited calls at any time of the day to all UK numbers, 01, 02, 03 plus 36 International Numbers. Try them out if you can or want to & boycott Sky!

    For those who want to see a copy of MP Don Foster's letter:

    Just in case you forget... No to F1 on Sky. Yes to F1 on FTA

  • Comment number 89.

    @87 A pub I went passed this morning had a sign outside saying " Football, Live and LEGAL". Also I can watch next season on RTL, conscience free whilst listening to 5 Live.

    Who are SKy anyway?

  • Comment number 90.

    From Bernies comment quoted earlier it is clear Bernie is not au fait with pub etiquette. When football is on Sky that is shown, not F1 free or otherwise. Methinks Bernie is starting to get cold feet and he has realised why he said a move to Sky would be suicide earlier this year. He might just be beginning to think the "fans" are a tad annoyed and will a famous Yorkshire and England cricketer Sky and he already knows what happens when his mate R doesn't get his extra subscribers as per A1GP

  • Comment number 91.

    @85 Czar-Orac

    Where did you read this?

    This sounds like Bernie is starting to get pressure from the Sponsors and teams and he is trying to appease them with more waffle :)

    Bernie accept the facts the figures with SKY are not and will never be in the foreseeable future be anywhere near what the BBc have managed and to make things worse SKY's money bank (Football) and the other money bank (movies) are looking in trouble as they are both being investigated and once they lose their hold on these their subscribers will fall.

  • Comment number 92.

    @90 I agree Dave, It looks like Bernie is getting a little worried hence the 5 live comments.

    Agree with everything Murray apart from saying Kimi needs to be more media friendly. That's his thing and is one of the traits that sets him apart. Who can forget the Brundle interview when Martin asked Kimi why he wasn't at the Schumacher award thing! "I was having a s***!

    It would be great to see you at a few races next year Murray apart from just the British GP.

  • Comment number 93.

    @48 are you Ben or Bab's???? Must be Bab's because nobody has seen Ben. BTW how is your handbag you got in Monza?

    @84 BTCC is fantastic viewing either on ITV4 or trackside!

  • Comment number 94.

  • Comment number 95.

    Ecclestone, though, said he does not believe viewers will want to watch foreign channels with foreign commentary and he hinted he might fight their ability to watch it allied to 5Live commentary.
    "That's if 5Live still have the rights,” he said. “We could stop that".

    A little quote from Bernie, he;s definitely a people person.

  • Comment number 96.

    @94 mr-big

    Bernie seems to be all over the place with his comments in that article and I just loved:-

    "That's if 5Live still have the rights,” he said.

    Now tell us BBC what does that mean?

  • Comment number 97.

    @96 it means Thank you BBC for being mugs and entering into the deal now I have got what I wanted i.e SKY you can go and whistle.

    BBC you should have research Bernie Ecclestone before you got yourself into this deal :P

  • Comment number 98.

    At 11:07 5th Oct 2011, Jimps1973 wrote:

    I hope Murray lives and lives and lives.... I hope one day I get to meet you, just to shake your hand and say thank you x

    I did at the BTCC meeting at Thruxton this year - a very nice Gentleman :-)

    Oh and NoToSky YesToBBCF1 Full Season Live FTA

  • Comment number 99.

    just read the Telegraph article - how does Bernie's mind work? Surely if he is worried about eyes seeing the sport then trying to block people watching a foreign ''stream'' with 5Live commentary is the wrong way to go - we may not show up on UK viewing figures but we will be watching the advertising hordings going round the track??????? The more this goes on the less sense any of it makes .... or here's another thought Bernie, put paid to the SKY/BBC deal insist the BBC sees out it's current contract or at least until the end of next season and give C4 a chance to get themselves sorted so they can start coverage from 2013..... simples....

    Interesting insights Murray as always.

  • Comment number 100.

    The Ecclestone comments seem to suggest Sky are pressuring him to somehow stop people watching RTL with BBC commentary, and the sponsors are pressuring him over the loss of viewers, hence the 'giving it free to pubs' line.

    Here's an interesting thing, F1 currently has an average reach (that's the % of all available people watching TV at a given time) of 54%, however Sky are likely to get less than 3%, while BBC highlights at prime time are likely to get 30%, so even if the viewing figures stay the same, the more important reach figure (even when combined) will be significantly lower, not good if you're a broadcaster.


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