Ross Brawn slates ITV F1 coverage

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Ross Brawn, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2006The poor quality of current F1 TV coverage has finally been given regard by an important figure in the F1 community. Ross Brawn, on sabbatical from Ferrari, has watched the first three races of the F1 season on TV from the UK and reckoned:

It’s a very frustrating business to watch F1 on British TV. It’s definitely a new experience for me to watch it with a different perspective and also the quality of commentators on English TV.

We’re used to having all the data and all the split times and we can see the race developing. What’s clear when you watch it on the TV is that you don’t get that information. Our commentators don’t seem very good at conveying what is going on.

It’s very frustrating to watch a race and not have that information which is available to everyone at the track. So condolences for that.

Live split time information is available from the official F1 site but the data relayed on screen to TV viewers typically only shows how many pit stops each driver has had.

What is particularly interesting is that Brawn almost certainly watched F1 on ITV (unless he re-tuned a satellite dish to pick up Setanta) and chose to criticise the commentators. ITV’s Martin Brundle is well-regarded by many fans.

But James Allen is widely unpopular and there are even petitions to have him replaced – a fact that many ‘in the business’ choose to ignore.

Brawn’s specific remark, “Our commentators don’t seem very good at conveying what is going on.,” really struck a chord with me. Time and again when watching motor sport the commentators seem to spend too little time talking about what’s going on on-track up and down the field, and too much time talking generally about the drivers. This does not just apply to F1 – GP2 on Eurosport is the worst.

But now that someone important has spoken out, will someone even more important – i.e. Bernie Ecclestone – take notice?

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Tags: f1 / formula one / formula 1 / grand prix / motor sport

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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76 comments on “Ross Brawn slates ITV F1 coverage”

  1. you know what i find most disconcerting?

    the fact that this man has only just started watching GP coverage on TV. i know he used to be at every race, but you’d have though that maybe someone in the team would’ve have recorded it, just to see how it looks?

    do teams have no clue what viewers have to put with?

  2. I think that is a problem in Britain or wherever ITV is recieved.In most of Asia,broadcasting of F1 is on Star Sports and although the commentators are not former F1 drivers but I always like their commentary.Though there are the occasional goof-ups but overall I quite like the commentary and if nothing is happening on the track,they will start debating about this or that.Very informative as well.

    The problem isn’t one that Bernie can sort.Other than giving TV rights to some other channel,there is not much Bernie can do.It’s something to do with the channel and it can be solved only internally,provided they find someone less biased.

  3. Abhinav, bernie can do something. he can open up TV rights to more than one station, that would create competition.

    if viewers flocked away from ITV to an alternative channel, they’d have to do something about J.Allen.

    right now they have a monopoly because bernie chooses to let them.

  4. I always used to look forward to going to Ireland because the coverage was so much better, I hope Setanta is as good. Allen is useless, I wish Ben Edwards had got the job when Walker retired. I don’t find Brundle adds much to the experience but at least he doesn’t detract from it the way Allen does. Mostly I turn the sound off!

  5. James Allen has his good moments, unfortunately these are outweighed by his obsession on one or two drivers (generally Michael Schumacher or a Brit) and occasional tendency to spout total nonsense. Martin Brundle does a good job of analysis, but he can’t do the No.2 and No. 1 commentator’s job simultaneously (but then who could?)

    I’m not sure who to suggest as a replacement for James (or if indeed a better replacement is available) since I’ve only ever watched F1 on ITV. I have to admit that trying to watch it through Setanta on Freeview sounds tempting though…

  6. I guess I have to add to the general DIS-SATISFACTION in F1 TV coverage. Here in the USA I view F1 races on Speed Channel nararrated by deadbeats David Hobbs (who SHOULD have a good background) and Bob Varsha.
    I watch like Mary-Ann (above) …. with the sound off!
    I also tune in ‘Live Timing’ on my computer and can watch the sector and lap times and a coloured coded lap chart in real time.

  7. The class of the field in motor sport commentary is Eurosport’s Moto GP team. Bike racing is always exciting (Murray Walker prefers this sort of racing) and every week you feel that they may end up in hospital, getting so over excited.
    Martin Brundle was the perfect foil for our Muzza, I think he talks about motor sport very well but if I met that Allen bloke, well he’d better watch out! ITV finally booted out that useless Rosenthal and now they need to sort out the lead commentater.
    Talking of commen taters, would a bag of jersey royals do a better job? Me thinks so.

  8. Nathan Jones
    3rd May 2007, 9:16

    i live in oz (40mins from albert park in melbourne) and our treatment is absolutely pathetic!
    not until this year have we got qualifying on tv other than our own GP and even with the malaysia race being on at 3:00 in the afternoon we got to see it at 11:00 at night! same with qualifying!
    this happens year in/year out and no matter how much we complain, nothing ever changes. so for me looking at the live timing would just give the result away as with the euro races we see the start as the races end in real time! oh and did i mention that we don’t get GP2 at all!

  9. sue ratcliffe
    3rd May 2007, 9:52

    Ross always talks absolute sense and his comments have lifted the lid on the problem we face in the UK with F1 TV coverage. If Ross doesn’t return to F1 perhaps he would consider Martin Brundle’s job. And how about Schumi as his sidekick?

  10. I doubt Ferrari would get much criticism with those two commentating!

  11. Heh. Perhaps thats a bit too rosso corsa. The Star Sports team is OK (I’m from Asia), but Steve Slater can be a bit over-the-top sometimes. Chris Goodwin is a great analyst, but I’d still pick Brundle over him.

    A tidbit: we actually had 2 coverages of F1 in 2004, one with Star Sports, while another channel used the ITV audio with FOM video (meaning NO COMMERCIALS!) I simply loved that. Too bad the ITV-FOM feed never came back after that season.

  12. Journeyer,where are you from?I am in India and in 2003 and 2004 we had THREE channels broadcasting F1.One was Star Sports,another one(DD) was using ITV voice(I think) over FOM video,commercial free, and another one(Ten Sports,I think it’s not very popular outside the sub-continent) ,also commercial free but boring commentary.

    Ten Sports stopped broadcasting after 2003 while DD stopped after 2004.Reason?DD reported BIG BIG BIG losses.

  13. I’m from the Philippines. Funny enough, the two channels showing F1 in 2004 were practically one after the other, so it was easy to switch channels if there was a problem with the feed.

    I’m not sure why our ITV-FOM feed stopped. It could be due to losses, or due to conflict with the FOM-Star Sports contract (if they demanded exclusive coverage for SE Asia). Either way, they decided to replace F1 on their motorsports schedule with… well, NASCAR (thanks to fellow Murdoch-owned FOX Sports).

  14. I have just written a post called “has the genius factor left F1″ one of those geniuses was commentator Murray Walker.James Allen had to try and fill his shoes and can’t do it.Oh! how we all miss him back!.
    Another thing that they can’t get right is the programs damned theme tune!….bring back the one the BBC used…”the chain” – by Fleetwood Mac.
    But on a positive note ITV’s program has a good build-up before the race with some very interesting features in-it.The BBC just didn’t seem so good in that department.
    I do like it though,when Martin Brundle and James Allen give the circuit’s TV producer a bit of a kicking….ie,calling the one who missed a classic overtaking maneuver at Suzuka last year – a “numpty”.

  15. I really don’t think we have anything to complain about here in the UK. I have just returned from 3 Years in Australia and their coverage is pathetic. They never, ever show a race live (except for the one in Oz of course) and never in the 3 years did they ever air the qualifying. When they finally did air the race there was no build up programme and the commentators are about as enthusiastic as a wet weekend, the only good thing was that they cross to the ITV comentators for the duration of the race, just as the lights are about to go out!! Oh, and did I mention they have twice as many adverts as us!!

  16. The problem is that there are two roles in the commentry box. They should be divided up like a newspaper between News and Comment. And Murray used to do News and Martin did Comment. But James, desperately desperately wants to show off how much he knows about F1. It means that both of them end up doing Comment and we don’t have a clue what’s going on! It means that Martin sometimes, feeling embarresed no doubt ends up describing what’s going on. All of their descriptions are far too slow because James has been taking his lead from Martin.

    It should be like this:

    James: Somethings happening on the track, somethings happening on the track. Something very exciting is happening on the track. Why is it happening on the track?
    Martin: Because of x and then y and this is because of…
    James: Sorry to cut you off Martin something is happening on the track. Something is happening on the track. Something is happening on the track.

    When it is usually like this:

    James: This week I had dinner with somebody who told me something that was relevant before this race started.
    Martin: Really? That might mean the fuel in the race is going to be x.
    James: Well I thought the complete opposite because I’m completely stupid.
    Martin: That would be a stupid thing to think.
    James: Yeah I know. I’m stupid. I’m stupid. I’m stupid.
    Martin: Well while we’ve been speaking about that this is what’s been happening on the track.
    James: Let me re-cap everything that’s been happening since the start of the race again, I haven’t done that for 2 minutes and it’s not as if you’ve been watching the whole race or anything and as far as I can tell nothing could possibly be happening now and if it is then it can probably wait a minute or two and I’ll include it in my next recap of everything that’s happened in the race.
    Martin: You are stupid.
    James: Yes I’m stupid.

    Or something like that.

  17. Roger Atkins
    18th May 2007, 19:55

    Coverage was far better when it was on Sky with Multi Screen options or abroard where the race is still shown in a reduced window through the adverts.
    This technology seems to be beyond ITVs capability, or do they feel they dont have to bother as they dont have competition. BBC and Murray Walker were much better

  18. Get rid of James Allen and PLEASE bring back Murray Walker you could at the very least have a good laugh with him.

  19. I’m a little amused by all the praise for Murray Walker. Sure he has an excellent knowledge of F1 history and it’s always worth listening to his racing reminiscences.
    However during live commentary,he drove me to distraction and I couldn’t wait for the day he retired.

    What bugged me most about his technique was his penchant for interrupting himself during an interesting point in the race, in order to go off at a tangent about some unrelated trivial detail, never to get back to his previous commentary.

    With his gaffes and his mad desire to predict the race outcome far in advance and thereby put the ‘commentator’s curse’ on the driver concerned, it was a relief for someone new to take over. I was pleased with James Allen at first but alas though he seems to have gone off the boil; perhaps like Ross Brawn, he too needs a sojourn.

  20. I’m glad I’m not the only one that has noticed that midway through the race we only get to see how many pit stops each driver has taken. Although this information is useful around the pit stop windows, it would be a lot better to have split timings instead.

    I can’t remember how long ago ITV started doing this, but it is getting beyond a joke now.

    As for the commentators, I agree with the James Allen verdict. Get him out! I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been screaming at the telly when he’s really excited about an overtaking move, when everything with two working eyes knows it’s a replay of a move made 5 mins ago, that HE commented on.

    The man has the memory of a Goldfish!

  21. I don’t think ITV have control over what the on-screen displays (such as the lists of gaps or numbers of pit stops) say – they’re provided by the director which increasingly these days is controlled by FOA.

    Broadcasters are often also not allowed to add their own graphics.

    I agree that, more often than not, I’m more interested in the gaps between the drivers than the number of pit stops they’ve made. If you’re following the race you’re going to know pretty much how many times each driver has stopped.

  22. Personally I can’t stand James Allen and have no idea why ITV stick with him, he is absolutely useless and is more interested in having his voice on the telly than in actually commenting on what is going on.

    My solution is to listen to the radio commentary on BBC with the sound off on the telly. If you have not tried this – do so, the commentary and analysis is great and you don’t miss all the good stuff which always seems to happen when ITV are having a money break (sorry, commercial).

    Unfortunately there is no such help with the WRC which is now squeezed into one programme. ITV these days are totally useless at sport full stop.


  23. Kerry Jordan
    16th June 2007, 15:21

    I think Brundle’s knowledge and analysis is profound. I don’t see the point of Louise Goodman and her shrill tones, usually interviewing some back marker who’s fallen off the track.

  24. will i think that james and martin seems to only focusing on one team?

  25. Could it be so difficult to flash each drivers lap time as they cross the line? Or are they worried that if they put up even more informations, they’ll make the commentators even more obselete?

    I love Martin, he doesn’t get too excited. Different strokes of course.

    I watch the ITV show from start to finish, and although I love the fact that there’s lots of coverage, it’s slightly annoying that JA and co. go on and on about BRITAINS LEWIS HAMILTON.

    last year it was just funny though, giving the same treatment to button, through all of his mistakes and equipment failures. That’s comedic, if slightly annoying when there is usually something more interesting happening on-track.

    “perhaps it might be a little premature, but it might be time to declare BRITAINS LEWIS HAMILTON the best F1 driver to ever have lived. Ever.”

    Go Allen, you cabbage. ;)

  26. re rodger atkins remarkes on ad breaks i have watched rtl2 split screen for ads but itv say it would upset the companies typycly they think more of there income rather than the viewers from who if didnt buy the things on adverts they wouldnt be broadcasting they just dont want to show any interest in the public

  27. I think that both commentators are brilliant

  28. All of the above comments are interesting.

    I think James Allen must be on a long term contract as although he is still commentating, his contribution to the pre-race build up is negligible, which to me shows that ITV are at least concerned about his popularity. As for the on screen graphics, they are provided by Bernie and as such ITV has no control over them (unfortunately) so log on to and watch that in tandem with ITV.

    Martin Brundle is excellent and I am sure I can on occasion hear the frustration in his voice with JA. Am I the only person who finds his ‘and (insert driver name here)……..WIIIIIIIINS’ Muzza impression at the end of every race extremely annoying! he can’t even time it right FFS!

    Ah well, I could go on but I will try and show the restraint that JA should use!

  29. bernie's nemesis
    5th July 2007, 13:03

    I think it’s quite a rich comment from Brawn, now he’s finally having to endure what the rest of us have been cringing about ever since ITV got the gig and Murray retired.
    Does anybody out there think that James Allen is any good?
    I am quite sure anyone with google at their disposal and half a brain could provide as much insider/specialist knowledge and expert analysis as the current pairing.(Martin Brundle- not shaken, not stirred into life).
    Louise Goodman sounds like a school dinner lady- “So Ruebens, Jenson stole your dinner money again”

    The real point is that the bidder willing to add most to Bernies’s funds takes all. This goes for everything. Forget the real enthusiast, forget exciting cicuits with decades of history. Forget safety.(complaints about Canada? WTF Monaco?)Forget taking action against questionable driver conduct, as long as the country they come from provides plentiful advertising revenue( no 2 german gps,2 spanish gps now).

    And forget quality tv coverage.

    So sorry Ross if its not quite the overwhelming experience you expected, but welcome to the new win at all costs era of motor sport you helped introduce. Win at all costs. And the one with the most money wins.
    And its GO!!

  30. It’s so simple…….give F1 back to the BBC. No more annoying adverts !!!!!!!!!!
    Martin Brundle is intelligent,interesting and a good commentator, unlike Mark Blundell who’s grammar is terrible.

  31. I’m surprised at the criticism of Martin Blundle because, for me, he adds so much to an otherwise – generally – boring middle section of every race. Also, he can gather up so much from a fleeting glance and seems to be able to explain the correct cause of every incident long before a member of the team exposes it. I’m happy with James as a partner to Martin.

    The only time I turned the sound off while watching a GP was while I was on holiday in Spain. I don’t speak the language.

    It was pretty bad, and so was the TV coverage.

    Please KEEP Martin.

  32. I think you have Martin Brundle (co-commentator with James Allen) and Mark Blundell (co-pundit with Steve Rider) confused there!

    Funnily enough the two were team mates at Brabham and Ligier in the ’90s…

  33. I think the ITV team do a great job. Remember how boring Murray Walker used to be.

    Ross Braun was very fortunate to have had all this technical Information to hand, If that’s what he needs to watch Motor Racing. Now he’s not there,— Just sit back and enjoy watching it.

    Everyone has to improve along the way. Sure the ITV F1 Team makes the odd mistake. We all do! Its still a whole lot better than it was a few years ago.

    I dont notice Ferrari going backwards since Ross Braun left,so perhaps he’s not the God he thinks he is.
    Does he want us to have a computer and a stop watch by our sides when we are watching the Grand Prix.

    Come on its supposed to be Motor Racing we are watching here, not some not some Hi Tech University challenge.

  34. i thik the answer is a mix of radio 5 live and the by in spain they have a window for the race so that you dont miss anything in the adverts if they can why not us.

  35. Yes. Allen should go and something needs to be done to improve production
    where the camera work is often poor.During one race I recall watching two middle order cars for over 10 laps.Also too much camera time is spent on crowds or other uninteresting views.Avertising breaks at critical moments are also are also a pain.

  36. Camera time is mostly an FOM problem – they manage the camera work and direction at all but four races this year. Adverts and commentators, on the other hand, are squarely ITV’s problem. I can only echo your comments about the ads. James Allen just needs to learn not to obsess so much on one or two favourites, then he might make a good commentator.

  37. i agree that james should go.he has a bad habit of latching on to a driver for example montoya,jenson now lewis.he never seemed to put as much focus on michael in a positive light.always his the tech talk should be left to martin.james presumes too much like with 10 laps to go he names out who’s on the podium etc.i like martin i know he may have favorites too but he not as biased a james comes across and has the experience to back up what he says.james is forever cutting him off and being so cheesy.he gets too carried away with lewis and forgets that alonso has won championships,beaten michael within such a short time.just like newspapers seem to be doing at the a mclaren fan and see the drivers as equals and we are lucky to have them.also iv huge respect for ferrari for what they’v achieved but i wonder would the FIA hastliy upset the rules like they did if mclaren where winning title after title.why did everyone seem to go against michael and ferrari when they revolutionised aspects of car design and development??was it because they made ppl get off their backsides to catch up.

    that my rant over:)just wish it was solely about racing instead of money,biasness and manipulation!

  38. Lilly Patricia
    23rd July 2007, 14:42

    I think until F1 sorts it coverage out there is little point changing presenters. Moto GP coveage is excellent complete with presenters and graphics that actually mean something unlike the F1 graphics.
    what F1 needs is i overall director for TV coverage rather than the partisan local directors, in the USA we spent an equal time on each car irrespective of what was happening on track, it italy italian drivers and so on.
    Slso they should give us graphics with the splits and colours like Moto GP rather than the 1980s graphics that we are currently stuck with.

  39. On the end of my Boot

    The Ad’s: for obvious reasons.

    Louise Goodman: She would be the last person i’d want to see if i were a driver.

    James Allen: Mmm…not quite, an aqquired taste maybe.

    Steve Ryder: mr nice as pie cheesey smiling vomit inducing puppet.

    Mark Blundell: Send him off to the Grass growing championships with the above.

    Not on the end of my Boot.

    Martin Brundle: Can’t think of anyone better.

    Suggestion: Train up Gordon Ramsey…

  40. Luke Duffield
    24th July 2007, 9:18

    Brundle does a great job – he’s the best commentator F1 has ever had. Allen on the other hand isn’t! What annoys me more is that after the race Mark Blundell and that other dude state the bleeding obvious! I’m not sure who should have Allen’s job, but please dont bring back Tony Jardine!

  41. There is nothing wrong with Allen and others. My complaint is that lately it has been all about Lewis Hamilton. The chap has been in cars all of his life and right now he has the very best car in F1. Not much can go wrong. Can we Please have a more balanced programme. The other drivers Kimi, Heikki, Fernando etc deserves better covering. Keep up the good work.

  42. I agree Martin is a superb man for the Job. As for that James how about daytime TV for airheads? There are many articulate and knowledgeable ex-F1 drivers available why don’t ITV give them a trial. Remember how good and informative Jenson was?

    Oh and let’s have live qualifying for every race………or go back to the BBC.

  43. I think in Mr. Brawn’s case it is obviously a situation of being used to having access to an abundance of information, more than TV could ever provide in its current format. Adding to the fact that anyone with his former job title would be irritated watching a race relayed by ITV, unless Lewis Hamilton/Jenson Button/DC/Ant Davidson was driving for Ferrari in his case.
    It would be nice if ITV could speak to Mr. Brawn, and maybe get some tips from him on how to improve the viewers’ experience.

    Martin Brundle is a commentating genius, and I’m impressed by his original ways of describing a situation. His views are quite balanced even though one can expect and tolerate a certain amount of favoritism towards British drivers, especially knowing he is DC’s manager. He seems to noticeably keep himself in check. One can certainly appreciate and respect his efforts, even though on the whole it is unfortunately heavily distorted by James Allen and the others total and utter prejudiced preferences.

    Someone should tell James Allen that the fact that you are English speaking, does not mean you are British, or that you support British drivers. Take your cues from Martin, talk less nonsense, don’t speculate (Nick Heidfeld waving to the flag marshal?) and try to be objective. You are making us dislike Lewis Hamilton or any British driver who is the flavor of the day; even though I’m sure all of them are great guys. Being a DC fan myself I get highly irritated with James’s well-known, never ending praise or overly exaggerated enthusiasm around DC.

    I found myself recently wishing Lewis would have a problem (and felt terrible when he had his accident) so that James could stop going on about him, then again when he has a problem he never stops going on about that either.
    James, you should stop telling us and raving about him, we can see for ourselves how good his achievements are. Repeating it all the time does not make us believe it more.

    ITV should also steer clear from trying to sensationalise everything, like the recent “Michael Schumacher has left the building comment” during the Nurburgring race by Ted Kravitz, when Michael left early to get ready for the podium ceremony. Ted that was laughable, and made you look like a tosser! F1 is sensationalised enough as it is. We don’t need tabloid-esque TV.

    If ITV ever lose Martin (Bundle), they will be in trouble. Murray Walker was great, and seen by many as a commentating institution, and a comedy to listen to. It certainly taught me to make my own decisions based on the information available, while looking forward to his next classic blunder.

    As a last comment I would like to challenge all the couch commentating experts, to see what it is like to commentate live during a race, what with instructions from the producers, and all other involved parties in your ears, while all the while keeping an eye on the on-screen action, interacting with your commentating partner, and talking sense non-stop for 90 minutes. I know it’s their jobs, but not easy by any means. See for yourself one day, and try to commentate at home as you see things happen on TV. Then imagine someone talking in your ear while doing so. It’s a mad house, which is why ex-drivers sometimes make better commentators. They can handle the pressure.

    James is a gifted writer and provides a lot of insight in most of his articles and books.
    I don’t think he should be commentating, unless some habits change.

  44. Ross has had a dozen screens in front of him (and god knows what else) and we have ONE! He should be grateful he got to see more in his career than we will ever see!

    Saying that, I agree James Allen is no Murray Walker (damn I miss that guy) but British TV coverage isn’t THAT bad, apart from when they don’t show the interviews half the time… I really wanted to the see the last race interviews because Moaning Massa must’ve been on a right bender!

  45. Finally an insider relegated to watching “public” TV F1 coverage voices an opinion on the weakest link in all of F1. The general low quality of the comentation offered. This is an enigmatic problem found in all the countries who’s language I speak. Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Wherby the UK is from all the countries blessed with the competent inside info Martin Brundle offers. He is the only one truely plugged into the F1 circuit and speaks the language. Otherwise the educted F1 fan is confronted with verbal diarrhea, merely commentating the same images which we can all see on screen, there and then.
    What Brawn has not yet had the priveleg of is the be relegated to the second and related issue: The the editing/image montage. Some countries obviously employ directors for scene editing and camera direction who have never done a motor race let alone a complex F1 event. We the global F1 spectators are subjected to frequent and frantic attempts to capture the course of events at times culminating in random selected cameras as well as out of sequence timings. It is the one aspect Bernie has overlooked. Yes, he’s made it big, but the subject of international F1 event coverage as well as the national event commentary is where F1 has not kept pace with the F1 circus. Bernie ought to have one global F1 TV director/crew. This will immensely improve the spectacle due to the focus applied and the general spirit to hone and engineer for the better, which after all is the spirit of F1. My guess is that Bernie never saw a need for such an expenditure since it would have to come out of his pocket and the general TV ratings have not given him adequate inducement to do so.

  46. just to many adverts!the 1st half hour off the race they musts put 4or5 adverts on and doesnt get any beta as the race goes on!!! WHY does itv have to spoil it? please cut down on the adverts! as its frustrating enough trying to watch F1 at the moment with the martin and james drolling on but least i can turn the sound down!!!!

  47. Sorry F1 fans still the most boring motor sport on tv carried out by the most boring drivers just one big commercial enterprise no wonder people are switching off in droves.

  48. Its about time somebody has seen the F1 UK coverage or should i say the lack of it, I have been saying for years that it should go back to the BBC there is nothing worse than watching tv and then its full ads there are no ads in the football untill half time so there shouldn’t be ads in F1

  49. I am neutral but thanks to the ITV press coverage of F1, I really do not want English drivers to come anywhere near the podium. I am thankful that most of you guys feel the same about the biased nature of the commentary. Granted that some bias will be there and it should be there but with some limits on it.

    e.g in the last race Raikkonen started almost at P21 and came up to P5/P6 before his 4th pit stop after which he was P11 and then finished at P3, despite this Hamilton was the driver of the day…what rubbish…

    Similarly in the Spa race when Alonso was having a 0.5 sec advantage, the commentators were saying that he should share his experience with Hamilton…why? they are competing for the same title…

    Similarly in the spy scandal, rather than maintain a neutral stand commentators were saying that this happens all the time whne people copy framework…but framework is visible to all not the configuration of engine etc is not..

    I wonder how much they actually think before commenting…

  50. yes james needs to go and blundell and ted jesus that blokes less useful than a chocolate fire guard. i’m afraid i have to put up with the crap they all produce (not listen to five live) or else i’ll miss the analysis from martin which is more often than not excellent, i also enjoy martins grid walks. cant wait to see what spin itv have put on “nasty toro rosso picking on our lewis”
    i agree with all your comments alex andronov

  51. Give the contract to the BBC, then we wouldnt miss a quarter of the race because of adverts. appoligies in advance for the incontinent tea drinkers who need the toilet breaks.

    It was always better in the BBC.

  52. steve bancroft
    21st October 2007, 20:03

    Surely Mclarens’ 3 stop strategy for Lewis cost him the World Championship, despite his earlier mistake. Failing to fuel him to the end of the race at his second stop wrecked his chances of recovery

  53. Dear Ross,
    Instead of criticising the coverage ITV and other TV channels give, what about you returning to an intermideiate team that requires some seasoned technical input to bring them up to the same standard as McLaren and Ferrari and then we might have something to watch. After all, I think you have done quite well (as has some of your previous drivers and engineers) and it would be nice to see you guys putting something back into the sport.

  54. Michael Coombes
    1st November 2007, 13:11

    I see where he’s coming from on the commentator side of things especially this season. Brundle’s fine but someone might want to remind James Allen theres 22 (maybe 24 next year) drivers on the day of a grand prix not just one by the name of Lewis Hamilton, it seems that Hamilton is the only driver Allen notices over a whole weekend and I’m fed up of having biased opinions about a race fed through the speakers to me instead of cold hard facts about whats going on. To conclude Allen out or at least tell him theres more than one driver.

  55. Chris mcerlain
    7th November 2007, 22:18

    I would have James Allen any day compared to Murray walker !!!! I remember what a revelation it was when ITV took over from the BBC,it was fantastic, (apart from adverts, but a nessesary evil) Im very happy with itv`s coverige hell what do you want for nothing !!!! im sure its better in other counties as i watch when im on holiday but you would have to pay to recive it !! the commentators are very good in my view, keep up the good work ITV

  56. It could improve if a telecommunications satellite would fall down over the head of James Allen while he is on live. The rest of commentators are more balanced.

  57. Michele O'Leary
    16th November 2007, 13:42

    I must say that I quite like Martin Brundell as a commentator. I think he is quite interesting and knowledgeable. I miss Jim and Tony Jardine though. Cant really take to Steve at all!

    My main crib about the ITV coverage is the amount of ad breaks. And the total love affair with Lewis Hamilton (whom I’m allergic to). I live in Ireland and keep switching between Setanta and ITV.

    Setanta tends to melt my head a bit though – they keep asking their “expert” Gary Anderson for his opinion. God help us! I wouldn’t believe the radio in his car. Clueless!

    Michele O’Leary

  58. I think Martin and James should invite Ross to their commentary box to show them how he would do it. Am sure that it is very easy to say someone is not doing a good job but quite another to show them how it is done. If you have heard Ross in converstion would you say that his voice will be exciting to listen to? i have only watched a couple of races at trackside and its far more intense than watching it on tv. Time flies by so i can immagine how demanding it must be to make decisions about the race in time.

  59. hi…..just found this website,,,,,,would like to comment about comentators on itv…….now not interested in gp any longer because of the commentators,namely because of mark blundell, a man who cannot even speak his own mother tongue let alone talk about the races/racers, also his bias towards button and hamilton. not all the people who watch gp are die hard english driver fans, some of us actually support personalities rather than who the driver represents countrywise. i also believe that just because mark blundell did race for awhile (dont think he won a race or even got a podium finish) does not qualify him as a commentator or pundit, in actual fact, ive contacted itv and expressed my views….lol…waste of time
    terry brawn….maybe related to ross,,,,,,,lol

  60. Well done to Ross airing his comments.ITV should have a look at the way DSTV in South Africa screens F1. James and Martin should remember that there are more teams in F1 than Mac/Ham.

    What has happened this year to the sport has really done alot of damage. Time to forget this year recall Murray and train F1 team on the sport.

    Well done to all the teams and drivers for a good show even though there was alot of back stabbing and name slinging.

    Well done Kimi on your great season.

  61. How many times do we have to cut to the reaction shots of the pit crews when something exciting is happening on the track?? WE never see the action, not that there is much. Most of the events are replayed after the advert breaks which is when most of it happens…hardly live.

    ITV’s coverage is abysmal apart from Brundle who’s fairly knowledgable, but hardly a champ like James Hunt. Then we have the sychophant Steve Rider who’s doey eyed interviews with Lewis are sheer embarrasment, not to mention Mark Blundell who is illiterate (“what he done was” etc) and another non-champ. Hardly a glittering array of commentators. Ask Damon hes’s got nothing to do.

    You don’t get an ad break 20mins into the live Champions League cup final, so why in a live Grand Prix? What is even more deplorable is the hatchet job performed by the editing team for the highlights show. They never ever make sense. One day lets hope it gets back on the BBC who’s coverage of the GP bike races is miles superior in every respect…and they actually have a race.

    Gone are the days it seems, when people actually race cars on the track. Instead we effectively watch for two hours to see who does the smartest pit-stops. It’s all computer aided, so I’m sure if you put me in a Maclaren I could blow the championship. The aerodynamic packages means no-one can overtake, and now they limit the revs so we done even get decent engine blow outs.

    Meanwhile all we are doing is making Bernies pockets bulge even more. He doesn’t give a toss about anything except the money otherwise he would always guarantee a British GP which is the home of motorsport not Singapore. Instead we have a GP in the middle east which was attended by zero fans …well maybe a couple of camels.

    And how come Ferrari was never penalised for it’s illegal car in the first GP in Australia? Has everyone conveniently forgotten this? Ferrari seem to think they deserve to win regardless every year, and I am so glad Ross Brawn stuck two fingers up to them and went to Honda, because he MADE Ferrari champions. Maclaren were made scapegoats for all the spying, as technical staff swap teams every year surely.

    Now all the driver aids are gone lets see who really cuts the mustard.

  62. Where do you begin on ITV coverage, this business of adverts is totally ludricous, how many times does anybody get up during a live “TV” coverage to make a cup of tea and risk missing that all important overtaking manouver or that equallising goal or even that one moment that means all is lost or won, which in sport of anykind is possible least of all motor racing.So why do ITV think that any point in a race is a good point to have an advert I will never know.
    As most will know the information on screen is put there by, but not directly by, Bernie Ecclstone. So therefore if Ross Brawn would like us to see more, which would be really great, then he should have a word with him the next time he bumps into him at a hospitality suit.
    I am so glad also that I am not the only one that thinks J.A. is usless at the commentry, I cannot remember the amount of times I have found myself shouting at the tv trying to tell him that the driver, manouver or position he is talking about is totally wrong. I know that they have a lot of information to take in but a true fan of the sport knows this sort of info and they are supposed to be proffessionals with a lot of training and support behind them.

  63. Have u all gon mad… James allen is fine. ok he is not as good as murry was but he is ok, Martin’s insite on the drivers is fantastic, I prefer the qualy sessions to the race though as there is all the technical info and it is more exciting. Keep up the good work ITV. Dont let setanta make us pay

    F1 should be free and if it stays on itv then it will be….
    nuf said

  64. F1 will never go to pay-per-view as the manufacturers would complain that the potential audience for their products would be massively reduced. James Allen is a rubbish commentator as well.

  65. James Allen is fine. The whole ITV coverage is fine. So stop slating it then!!!!!

  66. In my humble opinion, the only thing good about ITV coverage of F1 is Martin Brundle. His own insight into F1 gives the viewer an informative view of the sport and therefore helpful comentary – the rest, well – I wouldn’t miss any of them! The adverts drive me crazy.

    Whilst I am a huge Lewis Hamilton fan, there were times during this season when the viewer muigh have been forgiven for thinking that he was the only driver taking part. I hope that next year we get a more balanced view – but some how I doubt it.

    Give the sport back to the BBC – having seen what ITV can do, I’m confident that they would do it far better.

  67. alan routledge
    25th May 2008, 11:26

    The bias on ITV is dire.The name”Lewis Hamilton” is mentioned in nearly evey sentence.The commentators are besotted with the lad.There are other British drivers who hardly ever get a mention.
    It is now so out of control that I turn off the commentary.
    The lad is mediocre to say the least.The trouble is that the commentators latched on to him at the outset and now he’s not doing too brilliantly they are stuck with egg on their faces.
    Let’s get rid of the commercial breaks,the current commentators and let’s stop that twit running round annoying everybody down at the start just before the thing starts.

  68. Perhaps try listening to BBC on Radio 5 instead Alan?

  69. As long as they don’t bring back the bungling Murray Walker but retain the services of one M. Brundle, it’ll be all good.

  70. well firstly i would like to point out that F1 is going to be SHOWN ON THE BBC as of next season, so for alan this would mean no commercial breaks, which is probably the best thing about the switch, and also i am asuming there will be a new commentating team also. also despite the fact im british, i do agree that lewis is talked about too much, and even in some cases is spoken of like god, like at the end of last season it was the worse thing in the world that he did not win the championship, nothing about the fact kimi won it, and that it was so very close, also as noted earlier, there are more then just 1 british drivers, there are 3 (4) currently racing this season.

  71. oh and another thing, itv catch up is shockingly s***, i do not know if it is just me, but when i tried to watch the f1 on their catch up player, it just looped the adverts, you wouldn’t get that on bbc iplayer. so thats another reason its good its being shown on bbc next season.

  72. What realy gets up my nose, or is it ears, is the interviews between Steve Ryder and a.n.other in front of the teams garages when they start the engines. WHY?. Atmosphere ?, (no swearing) but rubbish.We know what an F1 car sounds like, so b—-r off to a quieter place, ITV’s think tank room.

  73. I feel sorry for the people in australia,but on the other hand if you want to here LEWIS HAMILTON,s name 68 times before the race starts move to the uk!cause believe me you better off listening to it on the radio mates.BRING BACK BBC1 AND FLEETWOOD MAC

  74. it’s about time max went back to his tarts and left f1 to racing

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