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F1 editor, the best job in the world

Mark Wilkin Mark Wilkin | 11:50 UK time, Friday, 6 March 2009

OK, so I have the best job in the world... travelling the world, going to every Formula One race and telling the story for the millions of people tuning in to the BBC.

The good news is that you will be able to see every wheel turn, from practice on Friday right through to the race on Sunday and even a red button special after the race for all the analysis, stories and views from the whole paddock.

As you have already seen, we have put together what I think is a fantastic line-up to deliver the coverage.

David Coulthard, Sebastian Vettel, Jerez, 2009

Jake Humphrey will present the programmes from each of the races. There won't be a studio (we are not allowed to put one anywhere decent, or with a view of the track, for example) so we will present from the paddock, the pit lane or anywhere that is interesting and makes sense.

We will try to avoid competing with the engines, but we do need to be in the heart of the action, so occasionally you will have to bear with us as the teams try to drown out what we are saying.

Friday practice will be on the red button with Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary. The commentary team will be answering texts and e-mails during the quieter parts of these sessions, so this is a good time to get those questions in to the team. Saturday practice will be on the red button too.

We will be on BBC One for all the qualifying sessions (except Brazil on BBC Two) and all the races. And this is where the BBC has shown how excited it is at getting F1 back, because we will be on-air for an hour before qualifying starts.

In this hour we have time to look back at the previous race, take on any stories that have emerged in the last couple of weeks and we will also give the drivers a chance to tell us who they are. We will obviously be following Lewis Hamilton, and you will be getting plenty of stories about him, but we will also bring you all the other personalities in the paddock.

We have lots of other feature ideas - from explanations of general F1 terms to examining the rule changes, the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems, the efforts at making overtaking easier and what the drivers think of going back to slicks.

The teams have all told us that they are keen to work with us to de-mystify the sport and we are looking forward to their cooperation with the filming of these pieces.

Race day, too, will see one hour's build up on BBC One. The first part of this will be a chance to see more feature material; team profiles; what the drivers get up to away from the track; a track guide from Martin Brundle and/or David Coulthard; the story of qualifying and who to watch in the race.

Once we get to 30 minutes prior to the race, we will stay live in the pit lane as the cars go out to the grid and then on the grid as they sort out the last minute changes or problems.

Martin will do his grid walks (not necessarily every race - it will depend who is around) and we will hear from all the main players in these crucial last few minutes before the race is off.

Patrick Faure, Eddie Jordan, Monaco GP, 2008

During the race we have a number of analysis tools to enable us to work out race strategy for each of the cars. This will include the changing strategies if unexpected events occur.

All the teams prepare a number of scenarios and switch to these in the event of an early pit stop for a new nose, for example. We will need to be across what is going on and what the teams are planning.

Also new this year are the open team radios, which will mean that we will hear from the Ferrari and McLaren teams and drivers. This has always been encrypted in the past and we have never heard from either Lewis or Felipe Massa.

After the race we will gather the presentation team around a big monitor and discuss the race.

From the start to all the moves, overtakes, spins, crashes and pit stops, we will look at the replays, point out where drivers have gone wrong or done well and go through the race strategies of the teams.

Lee McKenzie and Ted Kravitz will be running around the paddock getting interviews with the drivers who finished outside the top three (we will already have heard from them in the post race press conference) so we should be able to bring you a comprehensive review of what went on. Once again, we will be inviting your comments through e-mail and texts, so we want to hear what you think.

On the red button during the race you will have a wide choice.

There will be a composite stream with the main race picture and an on-board camera (that we will switch to keep it relevant to the race action) together with a leaderboard and some other statistical information. We are not allowed to give you the timing pages incidentally, but you can see these on

For the first few races, where the time difference means that we can have more red button streams, there will also be the chance to have the on-board camera feed full screen and a choice of television commentary, Radio 5 Live commentary or even a new CBBC commentary that is especially aimed at our younger audience. Details of this new commentary are not yet finalised, but we'll be able to tell you the details soon.

The website, as you will already have gathered, has undergone a complete make-over. I think it looks great and there is lots of fantastic content already.

During the races, we will be streaming live video as well as the red button streams and I reckon quite a few of you will watch the TV with a laptop or computer open as well. We have tried to design it all so you can tailor your choices to show exactly what you want.

We will be feeding back lots of content for the website before it is transmitted on TV. So, an interview recorded on Thursday afternoon, for example, may well provide a short clip for a feature that you will see before the race on Sunday. We know that the rest of the interview is of interest as well, though, so we will put that up on the web for you to look at when you want.

So this is just a brief overview of how we are all planning to work together across all the BBC media platforms to bring the most comprehensive, in-depth, informative and entertaining coverage of F1 ever seen. We are excited by the prospect of the new season here in the F1 office and we are looking forward to hearing what you think of it all.


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  • Comment number 1.

    "We will obviously be following Lewis Hamilton..." - good, but please, please remember there are 19 other guys out there. Please don't turn it into the Hamilton love-fest we got the last 2 years from 'the other side'.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Mark,

    Great post thanks, i was just wondering if you could confirm when the interactive options would be available - will we be able to select the multi-screen & on-board during practice and qualifying?

    Good on you for trying new things but i can't see much of an audience for the CBBC commentary - surely most youngsters will be watching with adults (dads etc) who would not want to listen to a more basic commentary?

    I've also not seen anywhere confirmation of what exactly we will be able to see on the iplayer/red button after live programming. Will all on-track sessions be available in full on the iplayer? or looped on the red button (like was announced for motogp). Either of these would be very useful to viewers who can't watch certain races/qualifying/practices live.

  • Comment number 3.

    Would it be possible for someone to blog us on how we will get to see the pictures.

  • Comment number 4.


    Good to hear you 'will try to avoid competing with the engines' a pet hate of mine from ITV.

    Looking forward to three weeks time for the best coverage we will have had (hopefully) since the demise of F1Digital+.

    PS Try and persuade Bernie to release/sort out and HD feed (by 2010!) and also let you guys have the full data channel like he seems to for SKY Italia.

  • Comment number 5.

    The formula 1 link to see the timing is wrong.

  • Comment number 6.

    BBC, motoring, hmm...
    there must be some way you could squeeze Clarkson and Hammond into the mix, surely? A bit of humour always goes down well, the other lot's F1 coverage (Brundle aside) was always a bit po-faced for my liking.

  • Comment number 7.

    Is there really a need for two hours of the weekend schedule to be devoted to the "build up". I know ITV had an hour build up on race day, but that was with ads - and frankly sometimes less is more.

    It's a bit of an insult really when the schedulers couldn't spare 30 seconds to build up to the France v Wales Six Nations game.

  • Comment number 8.

    Your main presenter is bland and wooden, so i'm not thrilled by that, but the rest of the line up is great. But lets face it, the only important question is "Will the chain return in it's original format?" Please say it will!!!! we don't need any stupid modern twists or completely new tunes. Give us the music!!!!

  • Comment number 9.

    Is the TV show going to use the Chain as the title music???

  • Comment number 10.

    I think Brundle the other day on the Simon Mayo show confirmed the Chain would be on.

    Martins grid walks are always good (even if he can't find anyone decent to talk to, the fact that he's down there in the first place is good enough)

    Just need this HD business sorted out and Hamilton mania toned down a bit (although judging by the practice sessions so far, McLaren might be doing that job for us by giving him a dog of a car :P)

    Great work BBC!!! Sounds all promising so far.

  • Comment number 11.

    I will be quite happy if you make the coverage a Lewis-fest. Lewis is why ITV's F1 veiwership went though the roof.

  • Comment number 12.

    great blog - great news, cant wait to see & hear more.

    Really exicted about the start of the season what with all the new rule changes.

    It's also fantastic news about BrawnGP, not only for F1 as a sport but for all those jobs that have been saved. Well done to Ross Brawn and all his team!

    Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 13.

    Mark, can you say whether the different streams (onboard etc) will be available on Friday and Saturday? Thanks.

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi all,

    I'm responsible for the F1 coverage on the BBC Sport website, and I can address a couple of the points that you have raised here in response to Mark's blog.

    1) The Chain - yes, the TV theme tune will be the iconic original version of this track, as used by the BBC previously. We feel it is inextricably linked with the BBC and F1, and still the perfect soundtrack for the sport.

    2) The multi-screen option on the red button will only be available during the race.

    3) Lewis Hamilton versus the rest - we will obviously be devoting significant coverage to Hamilton as he is a) the world champion and b) the leading British driver. But we feel it is extremely important that we enable you to get to know the rest of the drivers as well. So we will be devoting a lot of time to introducing them and revealing them as people. This applies to the teams as well. We want to give as broad and rounded coverage of F1 as we can. As our F1 presenter Jake Humphrey put it on his blog on Thursday: "I, and I know the team too, are firm believers that Lewis will be well covered by us as a defending British Champion...but it's so important for all the drivers to be in the public conscience...if you don't know who Lewis is battling against then the sport, for me, loses a huge part of it's drama...and many drivers have great stories to tell...we'll tell them all don't you worry."

  • Comment number 16.

    1) The Chain - yes, the TV theme tune will be the iconic original version of this track, as used by the BBC previously. We feel it is inextricably linked with the BBC and F1, and still the perfect soundtrack for the sport.

    Woo Hoo! Great News! Can't wait now!!!!!!!! Hairs standing on the back of the kneck time when that kicks in! :-)

  • Comment number 17.

    Very, very unhappy that the multi-screen option is available only for the race considering when broadcasters like Premiere in Germany offer it for ALL sessions. Not a step up from ITV if you ask me.

    I really hope they put the FULL practice on a rolling-loop after on Red Button.

  • Comment number 18.

    @Nessy76, no thanks, keep the clowns in the circus. ;)

    @biglewisfan, hello again, I wouldn't. :P

    @Mark Wilkin, Firstly, well done and thanks for everything you've done so far. I just have a few questions for you to clear up some confusion.

    1) Will the interactive option's be available during Free Practice? These sessions are when the onboard channel will probably get the most use.

    2) Any chance that the chosen race from Andrew Benson's blog could be shown in full on the Red Button or at least online? Initially there was a lot of excitement about being able to choose a classic race to be rebroadcast, but this has turned to disappointment for many after finding out that the highlights will only be 5 or 6 minutes long. A replay of the original 35 minute highlights show would be a good compromise.

    3) Any idea when you'll be able to update us on where the F1 support races are going, seeing as (disappointingly) the BBC won't be showing them?

  • Comment number 19.

    I also feel that the Beeb are offering less than they could:

    - Have the rights to screen old races; but choose short highlights despite most wanting extended highlights
    - Have rights for full onboard during practice; but instead ONLY choose full screen
    - Could have chosen to screen GP2 - but chose not to.
    - Could have had a studio, but instead we get a loud pitlane where we can hardly hear the presenter speak.


  • Comment number 20.

    how long until the coverage will be in HD ??
    lookin forward to the BBC coverage but HD will be the icing on the cake.

  • Comment number 21.

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

  • Comment number 22.

    Hi, Mark, hi all,

    Yes, I do think you have one of the best jobs in sport in general. And especially if you love F1. Then even it is not a “job”, it is more of a hobby and just life. Doing something you love equals the best job…

    “So this is just a brief overview of how we are all planning to work together across all the BBC media platforms to bring the most comprehensive, in-depth, informative and entertaining coverage of F1 ever seen. We are excited by the prospect of the new season here in the F1 office and we are looking forward to hearing what you think of it all.”

    Ok, that’s fine and you definitely SET THE BAR HIGHER with this “we are all planning to work together across all the BBC media platforms to bring the most comprehensive, in-depth, informative and entertaining coverage of F1 ever seen”. That’s a huge task! It won’t come over night and as you plan to listen and look for some of our views IT MAY JUST GET BETTER. Like I always say recently – there are a lot of quality “writers” and posts/ comments on the F1 606 Forum and on your and your colleagues blogs. Watch out for them / us…Definitely you may GAIN more ideas and information and enhance your team’s overall performance.

    Hope you have already built a great team “in the office” as you say!! Otherwise may struggle a bit or a lot. : )

    Good luck with everything and best wishes with presenting F1 season this year! Hope we will all enjoy it!

    I will tell you more after I see some coverage at the end of the month and / or after some races. Right now – just the usual “we’ll see” : )

    Hope you all do a great job though!

  • Comment number 23.

    This is looking great. Thanks for the onboard channel changes that we requested.

    However, following up #18. A plea for you Mark!

    If you look at Andrew Benson's blog you will see that a great many of us want to see full length highlights (~30 minutes) rather than summaries to see classic races in their proper glory.

    Now I appreciate doing this for 1997-2008 would require enormous amounts of work. But would you not be able to show us the highlights shows from 1979-1996?

    You worked on many of these shows back in the day, and many of us would love to see them once again in their full glory!

  • Comment number 24.


  • Comment number 25.

    Ok, I have the same problem when posting on blogs before. Again!

    Do apologize for the PUNCTUALITY and how you see it! On my MS Word draft everything is fine …

    Will have to learn the “ Blog “ writing tricks. Especially the punctuality … Otherwise what you see and read is NOT CORRECT and may cause misunderstanding.

    Just a little example: “Doing something you love equals the best job …” – there is no question mark; because simple this is a fact …

    Apologize again and regards …

  • Comment number 26.

    I don't understand the attraction some people have to an onboard camera only channel. Would it not mean that you miss most of the race?

    I'd also agree with someone before me in that I think a whole hour of coverage before qualifying is far too long. If there was 30mins then I might watch it all, but with an hour I'll probably watch the last 5 mins.

    I noticed you pointed out the killer line on the grid walk:

    "not necessarily every race - it will depend who is around"

    This tells me that he will just be doing normal prepared interviews rather than his old brilliant grid walk. The good thing about was that he didn't know who was around until he bumped into them. There was rumours that he was going to stop this before.

  • Comment number 27.

    2) The multi-screen option on the red button will only be available during the race.

    Im a bit confused now, so what interactive options will be available during FP and Qualifying?

    Surely it cant be none?? Onboards during qualifying are essential.

  • Comment number 28.

    Sounds excellent. If the BBC pull off all of that, especially the interactive stuff and the on-board streams, effectively, I think it could make for fantastic coverage, and a real improvement.
    My only disappointment is that, as a Spanish student I'm living out here in Catalunya for the first part of the season, and the broadcasting and rights restrictions mean I won't be able to sample any of it even using the internet.
    Obviously, I suppose there's no way of me proving that I'd paid for a TV licence, but, given that each grand prix is a global event broadcast around the world anyway, surely rights aren't a particular issue, as I could watch the race here on Spanish or Catalan TV...It's a shame that I'm unable to enjoy the BBC coverage of it, when the technology clearly permits it.

  • Comment number 29.

    redtimbo wrote:
    "I don't understand the attraction some people have to an onboard camera only channel. Would it not mean that you miss most of the race?"

    I've found it actually add's to the race coverage. I've watched F1 on German Pay channel Premiere the past few years & they have an OnBoard channel, during practice it was a nice thing to switch to during some of the more boring parts & ride OnBoard for a lap or 2.

    During qualifying & the race I always set the OnBoard channel up on a 2nd TV with the ITV Broadcast on the main TV so I could watch both, in this situation having the OnBoard channel actually added to the coverage because it often picked up things the world-feed missed altogether or didn't show straght away in replay. You would sometimes see a driver overtaking another from the Onboard channel or maybe have a big slide or a quick spin or whatever & some of them woudn;t always end up been replayed on the main feed.

    Having had access an Onboard channel for 2 years I can say its a big addition to the coverage & something thats great to have which is why I happy the BBC pick it up. Just dissapointing they won't be showing it during Practice which is when FOM often used some of the more intresting OnBoard angle's.

  • Comment number 30.

    Hi everyone,

    First of all, not a fan of Jake Humphrey presenting any sport at all, let alone something like F1, that I guess is more something that only I find irritating as no one else has raised the point. Happy with the rest of the team though, but it would be great to get the Top Gear team involved too, would make it a lot more appealing to an even wider audience.

    Secondly, I was not at all happy with last year's Lewis fest that ITV managed to put on. Of course, that is to do with the fact that I am Finnish and that I wanted to hear from my country's defending world champ, but also as there were a whole load of other stars that began to shine in the course of last season. I would be particularly interested in the Williams, the two Red Bull teams, and in Alonso. And of course, I would love to hear from the other half of McLaren - Heikki Kovalainen, as well as my favourite for the season, Kimi Raikkonen.

    Also, don't know about everyone else, but I love getting up at 4 in the morning or whatever crazy time it is and watching the buildup from the other side of the world. It's all part of the experience!

    Thanks, and watch out for the Ice Man, he'll be back with a vengeance this season!!!!

  • Comment number 31.

    ever since i heard that F1 was coming back to the BBC, this is the news i wanted to hear..well done BEEB..the countdown is on to Australia..and i cant wait!!

    Go Lewis for back to back titles!

  • Comment number 32.

    I don't think ITV did a bad job at all in their 10 years of F1 coverage they introduced a lot of new things in their time some of which like Martin Brundle's grid walk seem to be staying. It'll be good to see what the BBC do with future coverage and I'm really REALLY looking forward to the new season. However, can we please have the Lewis Hamilton hysteria at a minimum, fair enough he is the world champion but not all British people support him just be fair to the other 21 drivers including Jenson Button (who would have surely won the championship before now in a regularly competitive car like Hamilton has had since he started!)

  • Comment number 33.

    what happened to the top gear theme to the coverage?

  • Comment number 34.

    Why cant people understand...Lewis is British...therefore he will get more coverage....its the same over in Brazil for Massa, I bet you dont hear a word of Hamilton over there.
    Great to hear you Mr Benson but are your blogs going to be fair this year...I didnt like them last year, you seemed to attack Hamilton at every chance...thats not fair at all on the lad, yet if Massa mucked up, you didnt batter an eyelid!
    Also I am glad that no silly Studio in London and on the track will be used...I think that the team should be in the pitlane but AWAY from the engines...ITV seemed to be obessed that we wanted to hear the engines....well yes but not when Steve Rider is talking!
    Also could everyone stop moaning about the lack of HD, youve been told thousands of times, FOM wont allow it and it wont be for a get over it!

  • Comment number 35.

    Having followed Formula One racing for more years than I care to remember (50+), my disenchantment with it finally came to a head with the inane blatherings and hyperbole of the "other lot".

    I hope that the BBC will reawaken the interest I had in the sport, but it will never equal my interest in MotoGP which, thank heaven, is also on the BBC.

    Good luck, boys and girls, but remember - I'll be watching you!

  • Comment number 36.


    why did i emigrate??? :(

  • Comment number 37.

    hi, lads and ladies great to hear that your goin back to the old title music, can u please try and show some of the gp2 races as the provide some of the best action over the weekend esp the sprit race on the sunday morning.

    cheers and good luck

  • Comment number 38.

    Great news on the Chain, excellent, and loving the trailer too

    The one thing I am looking forward to... no adverts!!!

    Flashbacks of sitting in rapture as Damon Hill hunted down Schumacher's Ferrari in his Arrows at Hungary, going to ad breaks to find he'd passed Schumacher during the ads....grrr

    So, as long as we aren't subjected to promos for Eastenders or anything else during coverage, I will be tuned in and turned up loud

  • Comment number 39.

    Nice to join you guys, the blog looks great and the site is very impressive. As a DC fan I am really looking forward to his insight on the racing. It looks like it is going to be a very good year for F1 and I am glad that the BBC has decided to get into the thick of it and not go for a studio. It makes the experience much more authentic and the engine interruptions are just part of the whole race weekend feel. It looks like we are going to be spoiled for choice with all of the streams available and no advertising to interrupt our enjoyment...

  • Comment number 40.

    I can’t wait for the uninterrupted coverage of Formula 1! I’d love to be able to choose different camera views during the race via red button interaction. Will there be more information released about this? I have hired Kangaroo TV the past 3 GP’s at Silverstone and it’s great so anything that get’s close to that will be fantastic!

    I love Hamilton and have since seeing him in GP2 but I really hope it doesn’t become monopoly coverage like it did in the Schumacher days!

    And yes, the Chain, unedited and in it’s original format would be the best way for the F1 coverage to return to the BBC. It brings back so many childhood memories of my Sunday afternoons!

  • Comment number 41.

    At last!. After all the years of cursing ITV for their adverts during the race , and their commentary competing with engines in the pit lane .We can settle down to watching the complete race and hearing everything said by commentators .

    It cannot be any worse than throughout the ITV years .So thank you BBC .

  • Comment number 42.

    Firstly may I welcome Mark and his team back into the F1 saddle. I was a huge fan of your production "Grand Prix" back in the day and look forward to getting the odd occasion to watch the BBC's coverage when 'in country'. Second of all.. I would like to echo StefMeister, thesniper89, dansus and others in bemoaning the lack of on-boards during practice and qualifying.
    This is indeed the time to watch an on-board feed, drivers pushing the limit, finding the edge and possibly overstepping it.
    During the race the World Feed is really the only way to stay abreast of all the action going on. "Race only" seems a waste of the on-board option.

    I am sure there are other issues surrounding this decision but I thank you for any consideration in this matter leading up to your exciting debut.


    PS...Did I hear correctly that my favourite journalist, Mark Hughes, is to have his own page on the site?

  • Comment number 43.

    OK Mark, fundlemental qeustion here. I know F1 record the races in HD, but will it be broadcast on BBC HD. I've always thought it would be but there was no comfirmation here.

  • Comment number 44.

    The one hour build up to qualifying and the race is great for people with an interest in the technical side of F1 and for those who only watch the programme for the 'shunts' - well they can go and do something else for an hour!

  • Comment number 45.


    Looking forward to 'back to the BBC' for F1, not least of which because I travel around the world for work and am fed up of listing to F1 in a language that I only half understand.

    Can you please though define what of the on-line interactive services wil be available internationally as one of the biggest frustration is about the 'Not allowed to be viewed outside the UK" messages that pop up against interesting videos..

    At least make it clear what we should be able to obtain when accessing internationally.


  • Comment number 46.

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

  • Comment number 47.

    NO! No! No! Don't let that balloon Clarkson anywhere near F1 coverage.

    BBC, motoring, hmm...
    there must be some way you could squeeze Clarkson and Hammond into the mix, surely?

    No! No! No!

  • Comment number 48.

    Sounds good but like alot of people I don't want it to be the Lewis Hamilton show. I quite like features on the smaller teams and drivers as they are more open.

  • Comment number 49.

    Can any of the BBC blog guys comment on whether there will be a preview show the week before the first GP?

    ITV used to do this, and it was a good way to catch up with any new changes in the sport i.e. rules, drivers and teams.


    Also, I 'd just like to add my support for onboard cameras during qualifying. IMO they would be much more useful than in the race as you are only interested in one particular lap at a time, whereas in the race you will be concentrating more on the whole coverage.

    Shame you couldn't get the live timings for the composite feed either. They are a great way to keep on top of any battles going on throughout the field, and who is pushing and putting in fastest sectors/laps.

  • Comment number 50.

    Hello all,

    Really looking forward to the new season and new coverage.

    Also not having breaks, and been able to watch the qualifying and race live, and not missing any build up.

    I had these problems with the other side as i only have "main" channels

    Anyway good luck BBC, and the team. and look forward to "meeting" you on the 28th March for the first round of qualifying.

    all the best

  • Comment number 51.

    I am afraid you in for a rather large disappointment. I too travel the world throughout the season and have been informed that ALL the F1 content whether live or on the i-Player is ONLY for UK viewers. I had petitioned the good folks at the BBC about being issued an access code which relates to my paid licence fee luck.

    The ITV live internet feed was successfully hacked last year. I seriously doubt that the BBC will allow this to happen in any way shape or form.

    Enjoy the language lessons.

  • Comment number 52.

    Who ever is making the suggestion that it would be a good idea to let Clarkson and co on to the F1 coverage must be mad. It would be like having Graeme Norton or Julian Clary do the commentary for the six nations, good that they are all in their own programs, but not for this.
    Brilliant .... No adverts, Great theme tune, half decent presenters, should be good, even better if Jenson manages to have some success.

  • Comment number 53.

    Some of the clips on the "F1's greatest hits" really are some of the greatest moments. In your build up to the races please can you show a similar clip history of each track? The history of each event really helps build up the anticipation of the upcoming race.

    Please also avoid interviewing the slebs on the grid who care little for F1 but are just there to be seen!

    Your plans for the coverage sound exciting and fresh, with plenty of motivation behind them. Above all I'm glad to see the back of adverts in a sport that cannot be interrupted!

    All the best for 2009.

  • Comment number 54.

    does anyone know if the chain is coming back? Surely it must do and as an earlier comment stated it nust be in the original format. It will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on edge..... do the right thing bbc.

  • Comment number 55.

    For those all asking about The Chain; the Beeb have already confirmed it IS coming back. You can hear a teaser here ( last few seconds.

    I second what sdc_uk says about the history of each track; that'd be a nice feature to have. ;)

  • Comment number 56.

    Well another season is due to begin. It's been a long winter without F1.

    I'm not sorry to see it back on the BBC. However, I do feel that ITV did an excellent job of the coverage thoughout their spell. (with the exception of the horrid adverts)

    Martin's grid walks were a scream, him constantly longing to meet someone on the grid who had a remote interest in F1, many people just there for the glamour of the day.

    ITV also made great insights into F1 that the BBC never seemed to do (I hope the BBC can replicate this feature).

    It's a shame James Allen couldn't join Martin commentating or even better Murray Walker!

    As for the pit lane coverage that seems to be getting to everyone here, it's all part of the action, the noise, atmosphere. I never had a problem with it. Miles better than going back to a studio every 2 minutes.

    Great to see that BBC has learned from ITV about the all important 1 hour build up. Great for those who like to know the in's and out's of everything F1.

    My ONLY gripe with ITV was the fact that they sometimes used to cut the all important press conferance short, after just hearing from the race winner, just to go back to Steve Ryder and Mark Blundel to waffle on about irrelavent items wasting time when we all wanted to hear the comments from the 3 best drivers in the race!
    Please please please BBC don't do that.

    Roll on 27th March

    and come on Lewis lets make it 2 in a row!

    Anthony Barber

    P.S. great news about Honda

  • Comment number 57.

    I hope

    "We will obviously be following Lewis Hamilton"

    Doesn't mean turning the F1 coverage into the 'Lewis Hamilton Show' like ITV did.

  • Comment number 58.

    I was really hoping that there would be a raw, commentary-less audio stream.

    I think watching the race without anyone making any comment at all would be really nice. It would be akin to being at the circuit where there isn't normally a commentator.

  • Comment number 59.

    shame to see no female presenters on the team

  • Comment number 60.


    well i am just happy that coverage is no longer on itv, the ads and (james allen) did my head in and was a real turn off, just switching to bbc is a step up for me, and the team looks really good, all the proposals for the new coverage interactive etc, looks cool and regardless of what other tv companies show, the beeb is showing more and giving us more than itv ever did.

    Mark Meredith

  • Comment number 61.

    Really looking forward to the uninterupted coverage.

    I'm not that fussed about most of the interactive plans but please please please sort out the HD feed, what is the problem? this is 2009!!

  • Comment number 62.

    I am sure the BBC will make sure F1 is un interrupted and will learn a few tricks from ITV having got Ted Kravitz and Martin Brundle on board

  • Comment number 63.

    You've got to laugh at the short memories that some posters here seem to have.... did we not put up with years and years of the media having their heads stuck so far up Schumi's rear hole that all we heard about was him??? We have a British World Champion - he's going to get coverage and frankly deserves it.

    Next time I watch the cycling, I expect that the glorious Olympians will get loads of coverage, and rightly so. Why should it be different in Formula 1? We are a nation that longs for success in everything and then does it's best to knock the people who are successful.

    @#59.. I think you'll find that there is indeed a female presenter in the team: Lee McKenzie!

    I really can't wait for this season to start. New cars, new teams (great news about Honda/BrawnGP) and new coverage.

    Don't be fooled by testing - we had Force India topping the time sheets last season!!

  • Comment number 64.

    It is great that the BBC have got F1 back especially so that the theme tune, Chain, is back. Will also look forward to hearing Murray's comments. Can't wait roll on the start

  • Comment number 65.

    It is great that F1 is back on the beeb.

    However I am shocked that it will not be transmitted in HD!!

    Or did I miss that announcement?

  • Comment number 66.

    February 2007

    How strange. It seems that my comment regarding Lewis Hamilton’s dad was appropriate enough to pass moderation and in fact lasted two days before it was removed.

    Anyway. I'll ask again.

    Will you please not focus in on Lewis' dad as much as ITV did? No other manager or family member of another driver received so much unwarranted publicity as he did.

    It would be nice if the BBC keep his appearances to a minimum (although preferably none at all)!

  • Comment number 67.

    Since this is essentially a very loud spectator sport, why not userp ITV's coverage by allowing us to maximise our TV speakers and boost the car sounds?

    Would certainly add to the experience when watching on my 50" plasma :)

  • Comment number 68.

    Why isn't it in HD?

  • Comment number 69.

    BBC HD???? Please please can we take the high def feed!

  • Comment number 70.

    They can only provide what is provided by FOM.

  • Comment number 71.

    There is currently no HD feed for the BBC to take.

  • Comment number 72.

    Really REALLY looking forward to the new season, all this talk of the changes BBC are thinking of making is very exciting, I'm excited to see how it all pans out. Good luck to the new F1 team, not that you need it, I think you've got it pretty easy this year - an formula 1 show with no ad breaks and 'the chain' as the opening tune is already on to a winner as far as I'm concerned!...what you guys do ontop of that is just a bonus!


    p.s I for one use to like it when an engine was fired up in the background of the host talking, yes it made it hard to hear, and you had to strain just to lip read for a few seconds, but it makes you feel a little bit more like you're actually there, and lets face it there is no finer sound in sport then an F1 engine being kicked into life. People who don't like it should take the chance to go and put the kettle on - leave the noise for the true fans to enjoy!

  • Comment number 73.

    Can you start providing us with the testing times in a table at the end of your articles rather than having to read through the whole narrative to figure out the order?

  • Comment number 74.

    The BBC want's a great new start to it's why is it not on the best thing to happen to TV for years HD! or have i missed somthing.

  • Comment number 75.

    why do people keep asking about hd?

    its been answered a billion times already,the people that provide the bbc with the f1 broadcast (fom) dont broadcast f1 in hd yet.

    since the fom dont broadcast f1 in hd bbc cannot show it in hd!

    read before posting people!

  • Comment number 76.

    Surely, the best news here is that The Chain is making its return!! One of the best pieces of theme music ever!

    Well done BBC

  • Comment number 77.

    Delighted to hear about the return of the Chain - one of the most iconic sports themes, alongside Match of the Day and (sadly departed) Grandstand.

    Not so delighted that Martin Brundle's grid walks will be "not necessarily every race - it will depend who is around". These were one of the better parts of ITV's coverage in my opinion - they were always fun and interesting, if only to see who he could manage to grab a word with and who snubbed him! Please reconsider, and make the grid walk a feature of every race!

  • Comment number 78.

    I think the decision to not have a studio is a bit strange and also, CBBC commentary? Who thought that one up then? Dont we dumb enough things down for kids as it is? I have to say, that idea sounds bizarre. Will be interesting to see how thats carried off.

    Other than that, looking forward to the start of the season. To be honest, the fact that we will have unbroken coverage of the races means everything to could get kids themselves to commentate the race and I wouldnt care as long as the coverage stays unbroken. That always has been and always will be the whole point to watching F1. Adverts be damned....F1 has been freed!

  • Comment number 79.

    All I ask for is not to make it ''The Lewis Hamilton show'' like ITV did last year.
    On-board cameras in qualifying via the red button woul be nice too though;-)

  • Comment number 80.

    Please don't go along with Nessy76. The last two people we need on F1 coverage is Clarkson and Hammond. We need people who know about F1 not a couple of presenters who would use it increase their already over inflated egos.

  • Comment number 81.

    good stuff - few comments

    you must have a grid walk at ALL races - it really doesn't matter 'who's around' because when there is 'nobody around' it gives Martin Brundle a chance to do what he does best and ad-lib a bit more - so don't think we want 'celebs or nothing' for the grid walk.

    will be interesting to see how EJ & DC react to being on the Beeb - both have been opinionated in the past - hopefully this will continue and develop - and you really do need to take advantage of their recent indepth knowledge of the 'behind the scenes' stuff - can be good - hope it is.

    CBBC comentry - why!!! don't waste your time with that - kids will watch with their dads anyway so it's pointless.

    as for the though of the top gear lot getting in on the F1 act - don't be rediculous - completely aweful idea - don't even consider it seriously will you - please !!!!!!

    finally we get all the on track action - practice sessions as well - better than the ITV coverage, which is what you need to do to keep everyone on board. (remember eurosport did the practice sessions for years - fantastic)

    as for the rest of the team - well time will tell - it's got potential - lets hope it all works well.


    Good Luck !!!!

  • Comment number 82.

    I cannot wait until the season starts. It will be so much better this year. The BBC Website is already better than last years ITV site.

    I will miss being reminded about the white stripes on the tyres, thank goodness.

    I used to watch ITV pictures and listen Radio Five Live for the excellent commentry, sad thing was when I worked Sundays I watched later then I could not have the radio commentry.

    The year ahead looks very open and we should have a great year.

    One thing could you produce a wallpaper for the next race for my desktop after each race for the next one, so I can count down the days to the next race.

  • Comment number 83.

    What i really want to see is classic F1 races with Murray Walker and James Hunt re-broadcast on say BBC3 or BBC4. Fuji TV in Japan do it and i believe other chanels have as well.

    The time has come to unlock these races from the archive and let everyone enjoy them, don't hide them from us forever. Unless you take the illegal route any F1 fan can only watch a quick highlights season available still only on VHS and not DVD (apart from the last few years)!

    The time has come to dig these races out and re-broadcast them. How about a classic race each GP weekend before the race begins as an appetiser? Come on BBC we have paid our licence fee for these races we deserve to be able to see them again they are just gathering dust in the archives, what a waste!

  • Comment number 84.

    What I'd like to see is BBC Scotland actually reporting anything at all about Scottish motorsport !!!

  • Comment number 85.

    This will be the 1st time I will have watched F1 on BBC. It will be strange because I've only ever watched it on ITV since I've been following the sport. So I can't picture watching a race with commercial breaks can't wait.

  • Comment number 86.

    Hi Mark,

    Could we please ignore comment number 1!! :-)

    Yes, give us an objective view on all 20 drivers, but Lewis is actually GOD in a racing car - the more we see of him the better.

    I can't wait to see F1 back on the BBC - all sounds great and long overdue...

  • Comment number 87.

    Hi Mark,

    Very excited about the new season and very much looking forward to BBC's coverage.

    On the HD point I am very suprised and disappointed that the video feed is still not available in HD (I appreciate this is not within the BBC's control).

    To those that are fed up with reading comments about HD's availability (or lack thereof), what i think this demonstrates is how keen people are to see F1 in HD. But remember, if we say nothing, there's a good chance nothing will happen!

    BBC F1 team - please do all you can to get the feed in HD asap!!!

    Best of luck for the season.

  • Comment number 88.

    Hi, I'm looking forward to F1 without advertising breaks again and hope you can get your formula right first time - although I'm expecting some problems.

    I would like your website to be better than this. At the moment under your menu on the left, you have an empty vertical column running all down the screen... poor design.

    I would like more up to date news, and latest news top of the page-ish. At the moment Button is top of practice and I have to follow a link to to get a story on it.

    It's great to have links to all these other f1 sources, but shouldn't you have upto date expert and celebrity comment on your own website? I certainly would.

    Do you want to do this properly or not?

  • Comment number 89.

    I'd like to know if there will be any differences between the interactive feeds across the platforms - Sky, Virgin, Freesat and Freeview. My concern is that Freeview may lose out when there are other events which also merit interactive feeds.
    Can you re assure us that Freeview will always get all the feeds ?

  • Comment number 90.

    I agree with arbymore we do not need Clarkson or Hamond anywhere near F1,
    I could think of a dozen people whithin my friends and family who would not watch F1 if they appeared, and I am sure there would be a lot more fans
    feel the same way,

  • Comment number 91.

    will the BBC be showing any races in HD?

  • Comment number 92.

    comment 91 is ace!!

  • Comment number 93.

    Some people just don't read other people's comments.

    They can only provide what is provided by FOM. There is currently no HD feed for the BBC to take.

  • Comment number 94.

    hi mark,ive got a question for you.:
    i have sky+ & i have recorded every race and qualifying over the past years & i was woundering if i will be able to record all the practice that will be on via the red button?so i can put to disc & add to my collction.

  • Comment number 95.

    hi mark,i have sky+ so will i be able to record all the formula one thats on via the red button?so that i can watch when i get home fron work.

  • Comment number 96.

    so happy your back. itv got better with age, but the beeb will be on pole first race,great to bring brundle along.he had to come, team braun and jenson, i hope will bring results, they deserve it and the red button coverage cant wait.

  • Comment number 97.

    Really interesting info Mark, thanks. Can you please try to do all you can to stop the really annoying blood boiling practice of the camera cutting to the pits to see the faces of a wife/father/mother or some other face,whenever there is some action on the track. I think this was outside the control of the ITV crew as the local producer controlled the cameras, but it ruined so many great moments in the 2008 season.
    Thanks very much

  • Comment number 98.

    Good to get some information on the BBC coverage- I just wanted to add support to a few issues that have been raised in previous comments-

    1. Would it be possible to treat Hamilton as one of the top drivers on the grid, rather than the only driver that anyone British is interested in hearing about? There are too many great stories in F1 to spend half the coverage talking about one driver / team.

    2. An hour build up to qualifying and race sound great, but what about post race coverage? I am hoping that if BBC want to pull the plug on the coverage 5 minutes after the end of the race to make sure last of the summer wine starts on time, there will be full coverage of the press conference and analysis of the race available via the red button?

  • Comment number 99.

    Will there be a fantasy league on the site?

  • Comment number 100.

    So this is how to do it then!

    Main TV feed on 46" LCD TV in the centre of the room, a second 22" LCD TV with the 'red button' on-board feed on the right and a 22" monitor with the 'live timing' feed off the internet from on the left hand side

    'F1 Techie heaven' !!!

    So all we need now is the feed that the F1 teams get on their pit-lane monitors showing where each car is on the circuit and life would be near perfect LOL

    Cheers AF


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