Starting grid, Silverstone, 2013

Sky F1 ratings fall in second year as BBC’s recover

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Starting grid, Silverstone, 2013In the round-up: F1 viewing figures fall on Sky in the second year of the UK channel’s broadcast deal.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

The ratings picture: The 2013 Verdict so far (The F1 Broadcasting Blog)

“Versus the same races last season, BBC’s Formula One ratings have increased 21 percent, whilst Sky Sports F1’s ratings have dropped 9 percent.”

Red Bull to make final move for Kimi? (Sky)

Kimi Raikkonen may yet be the man to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull according to Tony Jardine.”

The Raikkonen and Ferrari link (James Allen on F1)

“Italian newspaper Gazetta dello Sport suggested that Montezemolo would sanction the move for Raikkonen if he was the best driver available. That would of course create some interesting questions for Ferrari, with Alonso and Raikkonen forming the strongest driver line-up on the grid.”

Jos?? C??scar condiciona la continuidad de la F-1 a una ??rebaja sustancial??? del canon (Laverdad, Spanish)

The organisers of Valencia’s grand prix say it will be essential to reduce the fee paid to FOM if it is to remain on the calendar next year.

We must stop missing opportunities ?ǣ Di Resta (NBC)

“I don?t want to let this championship get away from us. We started off really well and there is no reason why we can?t keep doing that.”

Spa: A challenge built by nature (Ferrari)

Fernando Alonso: “One lap of Spa is like twenty at any other track, in terms of the excitement and adrenalin it generates.”

Formula 1 scene, December 1977 (MotorSport)

“It was at the Swedish GP that I walked along the line of pits while the cars were being warmed up before the race. The variety of noises was wonderful, and made the adrenalin flow in anticipation of the race. The Ferraris were making that noise that only a Ferrari can make, the Matra was screaming on all 12 cylinders, the Cosworth V8s were making their hard, efficient sound and the Alfa Romeos were booming out loud and strong from their four megaphone exhaust pipes. It was glorious and each engine had its own distinctive sound and seemed to be trying to drown the sound of its rivals.”


Comment of the day

@MazdaChris believes F1 has benefitted from having higher weight limits.

I?m glad we no longer see the days of parts engineered to be so flimsy that they often failed just from the stresses of the race, endangering the lives of the drivers.

I?m also glad we don?t see the likes of Mark Webber being penalised for their greater body mass, or see drivers on extreme diets to get their weight as low as possible, risking their health in the process.

If they hadn?t increased the weight limit in order to accommodate the heavier new engines, then weight would need to be pinched back from other parts of the car, making them weaker and more likely to break. All for no real gain. If you look at how fast the cars were when the weight limits were lowest, they were nowhere near as they are today.

While weight is ultimately a factor in performance, it?s by no means the only factor. As evidenced by the much heavier turbo cars being quicker than their lightweight naturally aspirated counterparts. All other things being equal, the heavier car is going to be slower, but in F1 all things are far from equal, and the increase in weight limit is to accommodate a raft of technical changes.

The end result is likely to be that the cars will be broadly the same speed as they are now, although perhaps faster or slower at various points on the track. To simply say that heavier is worse is nonsense, or at best a massive oversimplification.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Carolynn Clarke, Socalf1Fan, Adamtys and Scuderiavincero!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Alfred Neubauer, who spearheaded Mercedes’ motor racing programme before and after World War Two, died on this day in 1980.

Under his leadership Mercedes achieved greater success in the pre-war period and won on their return to grand prix racing in 1954. However the programme was scrapped in 1955 after one of their cars was involved in a crash which killed over 80 spectators at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

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  • 86 comments on “Sky F1 ratings fall in second year as BBC’s recover”

    1. The organisers of Valencia’s grand prix say it will be essential to reduce the fee paid to FOM if it is to remain on the calendar next year.

      Goodbye Valencia, then !

      If they hadn’t increased the weight limit in order to accommodate the heavier new engines, then weight would need to be pinched back from other parts of the car, making them weaker and more likely to break.

      I hardly doubt that…

      1. we all remember im alonso being so thin at the start of the 09 season due to the weight gain caused by KERS. He was so bad he actually collapsed after one of the early hot GPs

      2. If the rules didn’t mandate a minimum engine weight they probably wouldn’t have had to raise the car weight. IIRC Cosworth’s V10 was down to 95 kg. F1 is missing the boat with these engine rules. Everything is defined, including center of gravity, bore (and hence stroke), rpm, V angle, bore spacing, fuel pressure, electronics, materials, weight, mounting points, turbo location, battery (or capacitor) weight, fuel flow, etc. etc. About the only interesting thing left is turbo boost pressure. There were some interesting things being down with rotary valve engines in the recent past, but that was banned …… It seems sports cars are the new leading edge of racing technology. But we all knew F1 was a show.

        1. What new technology is sportscar racing showcasing? In the LMP1 field, Acura still use the same V8 engine they first developed in 2007, Toyota’s customer engines are little changed since 2010 and there has been virtually no development work on their own works engine (TRD doesn’t even have the funding to run two cars anymore – they are cutting back to just one car for the rest of the season, so you can forget paying for any further engine development).
          As for the LMP2 field, the regulations explicitly ban manufacturers from supplying anything other than a converted road car engine – the Nissan engine, for example, was converted from a road car engine originally introduced in 2002 and mostly used in the GT500 series now. In effect, the regulations make it impossible for track to road car technology transfer to occur in the LMP2 field – the technological transfer has to be the other way around (for example, variable valve timing is only allowed if it is an existing commercially available system already fitted to the road car).

          About the only manufacturer that constantly bangs on about road car transfer is Audi – and even then, what technology has actually filtered down from the R18 or its relations to their road cars? As far as I am aware, the only developments in that field have been injector technology, and that is really Bosch’s work rather than Audi.

          1. You have only listed things that haven’t changed. And please don’t tell me that you really think that road cars should use the same technology as the race cars – technology transfer is about using similar technology ie. based on the racecars and modified for the road, not the same.
            And speaking of Audi:
            – quattro
            – Torsen differential
            – S tronic transmission
            – LED lights
            – TDI improvement
            – safety improvement
            – aerodynamics
            – new materials
            – e-tron…

          2. You may or may not be interested to know that the hybrid systems used on the Audi LMP1 cars are actually the systems designed & built by Williams F1 for their own F1 cars & supplied to Audi with larger battery & recovery systems to fit in with LeMans rules. It was at one point rumoured that Toyota had approached Williams for a similar customer deal before eventually choosing to continue and develop their own, well pay an outside company connected to another F1 team to develop one to Toyota specs.

    2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      21st August 2013, 0:14

      Probabluy that “last try” just means more bags full of money than the ones offered to Kimi at first. And we are talking about Red Bull, a company that can really double an offer without generating scarcity in their vaults.

      1. Seems like a clever way of negotiation from Robertson. Red Bull made an offer, kimi was not convinced, so he put out the rumour that talks had broken down, and had the Ferrari rumour circulating. And it worked if Red Bull now propose a better package.

        It doesn’t have to be money alone @omarr-pepper, remember Kimi wanted support for his Ice-hockey team, his rallye cross (or something like that) team as well as relatively light PR job, its a complete package he seeks to make him happy.

    3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      21st August 2013, 0:18

      Ferrari, on the other hand, should be thinking what went wrong, to be considering now to ask a “lazy” and “lacking motivation” driver to get back (the same lazy driver who won for them the last WDC in a Ferrari)

      1. Very true! It’s literally a case of eating your words! :)))

        On the other hand I am now believing more that the talks are serious from the reactions of Ferrari: up to 3 days before Kimi was effectively axed, Ferrari categorically denied it, or said things like “we are focusing on this or that”. Same thing they are doing now.

        I would really prefer Kimi in Red bull though

        1. This is why I don’t think Ferrari will take Kimi. If Ferrari signs Kimi, they are more-or-less admitting they made a mistake dropping him. Ferrari might encourage the Kimi speculation to light a fire under their current drivers, or to put leverage on anyone else they are talking to, but I just don’t see them taking Kimi back.

    4. Lewisham Milton
      21st August 2013, 0:22

      I didn’t know the Valencia GP still existed. Or Tony Jardine, for that matter.

    5. All it takes is a comma and a different smiley and Van Der Garde’s tweet would look like he’s been indulging in Hollands finest:

      Had some good weeks off, training intensity, was very high and enjoyed the time with the family, iam ready for the 2nd half of the season 👍😉

      1. Sorry but I couldn’t resist, this is how is tweet could have looked with a change in punctuation and moving the smiley:

        Had some good weeks off, training intensity. Was very high 😉 and enjoyed the time with the family, iam ready for the 2nd half of the season

        1. Haha nice one DD42 ;D

    6. BradandCoffee
      21st August 2013, 0:36

      I can’t help but feel that the FOM is missing out on a big opportunity by not offering up all of its content online for a yearly fee. If BBC can’t afford the yearly fee to present full races live, then they should sell their commentary and production to the FOM and then the FOM should sell season passes that can be viewed on the web or via an AppleTV channel, etc. It could be a great symbiotic relationship. As an American, I would gladly pay $200 (~$10 per race) for a year of great coverage that included all sessions and commercial-free live races.

      I’m assuming they might be avoiding as to not piss off other broadcasters around the world, such as NBC, but they’re going to have a hard time surviving as more and more people are leaving expensive digital cable packages behind in favor of Netflix, Hulu, and online sports packages.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        21st August 2013, 11:36

        Completely agree!

        I’ve been getting the NBA league pass for several years now and it’s been one of the best investments I’ve ever had.

        I can’t watch it at all on tv, but thanks to the league pass I can watch every game, anytime I want.

        I would buy an ‘F1-league pass’ in a heart beat… If they ever made one.

      2. BBC already sells their commentary, I get it from a South African sports channel (broadcast-ed all over Africa), I miss Brundle but DC is making a excellent job.

      3. I can’t help but feel that the FOM is missing out on a big opportunity by not offering up all of its content online for a yearly fee.


    7. Good to see DiResta is concentrating on building up team morale, then. Wonder how he’s going to achieve that?

      1. Maybe complain more about the car and team?

    8. I think the most interesting thing about the Sky F1 ratings is that they drop by about a quarter during the races which the BBC show live. You’d think that Sky’s customers would rather watch the channel they’ve paid for rather than watch something they’d get for free anyway. That seems to speak a lot for the quality of Sky’s coverage compared to that of the BBC. Clearly a lot of people only watch Sky out of necessity, not because it’s any better.

      1. I find that very odd, because I though Brundle’s commentary would be sky’s biggest draw.

        1. @matt90 I have Ben Edward’s commentary much more exciting, sort of Murray-esque.

          1. Exactly. And Brundle has started making too much judgemental comments and even mistakes that had to be corrected lately

        2. I do have Sky F1 but always watch on BBC if I can. I like Brundle but I’d rather have Coulthard and Gary Anderson to be honest, biggest mistake ever giving the coverage to Sky full stop.

      2. dodge5847 (@)
        21st August 2013, 2:05

        I agree, I have sky HD, buy whenever the BBC have full coverage, I switch over, however it was better with Jake humfreys, albeit suzi is very good

        1. Perhaps I have to start doing that too. What’s the next full BBC coverage?

          1. Belgium is definitely live on BBC this weekend and I think Italy will be as well. After that, it’s Japan, India and Brazil, if memory serves.

            1. Thanks!! Will give it a shot!

      3. Gary Anderson is worth his weight in gold.

        1. +1, I thought I was going to hate him but he’s absolutely brilliant.

        2. Agreed.

          And that’s a >lot< of gold…

          1. My thoughts exactly.

        3. Totally agree, I record BBC as well as watch sky for Gary Anderson’s technical insight & ted kravitz’s notebook

      4. Sky’s actual race commentary is ok — I like Brundle, and find Croft passable. I like Kravitz but the rest is horrible. Lazenby is *clearly* more interested in lunch than the racing and in general the whole thing is dumbed down to a point where you wonder if they’re trying to drive their viewer away.
        The only thing that bothers me about the BBC’s offering is is McNish, who also dumbs down his approach.

        1. Kravitz has become my least favorite part about SKY, he gets way to much time and freedom. I didn’t mind him so much when he was on BBC but now all his nonsense is too much.

          Croft is okay in the FP sessions but to hectic and shouty in the race.

          1. +10 re Kravitz. He drives me bonkers; I have to turn off the sound.

          2. To me, Ted is the best of them all.

            I used to watch BBC build up and post, Sky for the race. Now its all Sky.

      5. It shows that F1 on the BBC is still viable and that a big budget broadcast like Sky with all their tablets and super analysis still doesn’t match the simplicity and quality the BBC delivers. In my opinion it would be better if the BBC did the full season again and gives F1 back to the people. Why not a trio of commentators like you have in cycling form time to time? Martin Brundle – DC – Ben Edwards.

        1. Yes I’ve often wondered why they don’t use more commentators, or have them wandering in and out. It works a treat on Radio Le Mans and in cricket too (where Sky, for example, use different pairs of commentators from a pool of 6 or 7, who just do short stints that leave you wanting more). I guess communication and access around the track is restricted during a race.

          With the “talent” split between broadcasters, neither has the ideal line-up, and Sky seemed more concerned with raiding the BBC than getting people who really add value. Sky’s coverage just looks to me like a continuation of ITV’s with extra gimmicks, and it’s a pity BBC’s stupidity meant we never got to hear Ben Edwards and Martin Brundle together.

      6. @jackysteeg – In almost every other sport, you get a variety of commentators, hosts and guests for different events but in F1, it’s always the same guys race after race. I don’t like Sky’s pre-race show as much as BBC’s and hate their theme tune with a passion!

        Overall, there isn’t much difference but I enjoy the variation in opinions, style and commentators so watch BBC when it’s on live.

      7. I don’t really understand the drop in Sky’s viewing figures: actually, I find their coverage to be really rather good and the quality of analysis is excellent (in terms of their use of graphics etc.). I love the commentary team also – Crofty is incredibly passionate in the box and Brundle is as insightful as ever, almost playing a support role ironically considering he is lead commentator officialy.

        @petebaldwin I like Just Drive (I don’t like the editing of the lyrics though!) but you cannot beat The Chain – that is the definitive theme for F1 IMO. Sky should’ve bought rights to using The Chain I think ;)

      8. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        21st August 2013, 19:07

        Sky’s coverage and of football is excellent and you can see that they are trying carry that style and level of analysis across to the F1 coverage and at times I personally don’t think it fits.

        Their football presenters are more opinionated and argumentative and their passion for the game really comes through and as a result the coverage is a great watch and a key reason for it’s success. Lazenby and Crofty seem more built in this mould this but Lazenby seems to lack real passion and Brundle doesn’t rise to much from Crofty. The F1 personalities (i.e. Hill, Herbert and Brundle) generally seem more inclined to avoid arguing and the combination of presenters just seems to create fairly flat coverage.

        The BBC presenters have good personalities and all work well together, something which Eddie Jordan plays a big part in and I just find their coverage much more entertaining.

    9. Well, the Ferrari talk surely gives Kimi leverage. Absolutely no team wants Ferrari to have TWO world champions driving their bullet proof cars. That way Lotus are gonna have to try harder, and he might force RBR to take him instead of Ricciardo.

      1. you think? then RBR will end up with TWO world champions in the fastest car on the grid.

    10. If Sky offered online live stream service in HD with red-button to the USA….

      Why wouldnt they? its competition same as BBC vs. Sky in the UK, here we have NBC or whomever that broadcasts the races, with massive volume of commercials during the race, lackluster on-air talent and sometimes doesnt even play the race live.

      How hard could it be to allow the service to USA IPs? Add a few servers for a few bucks and boom, let us stream.

      1. I’ve been wondering this for at least the past two seasons. Sky’s coverage is much better… hence why I have to turn to ‘illegal’ streams of Sky.

      2. I doubt Ecclestone would allow that, because its impacts the exclusive deal for US coverage he has with NBC (and where they payed for it)

    11. The reasons are simple. First off Sky Sports F1 HD is far too expensive for the casual fan. I heard £510 for the whole
      season. Personally i prefer the BBC coverage I like the commentary more. Jake was better however Suzi is good also. So when BBC is a full race, i usually
      dont bother switching to sky. so £510 for 10 races simply
      isnt worth it (this from an F1 fan who fell in love with the sport 10 years ago)

    12. Kimi’s agent said that the negotiation with Red Bull were finished a while ago, we know that Helmut Marko has the upper hand regarding both Red Bull & Torro Rosso drivers line-up (I just remember JEV talking about his chances to take Mark’s seat & he said that it is complicated because Newey, Horner & Marko are involved in the choice)
      Christian Horner & Adrian Newey were actually pushing for Kimi so that’s why they were negotiating with him but Marko clearly was pushing Dan for 2 reasons : the first is that another driver for Red Bull’s young driver program will be promoted to the first team , the second is that Felix Da Costa another Red Bull product will be promoted in F1
      I don’t know why but i have a bad feeling for the choice of Ricciardo ,Marko who isn’t the best talent scout is the same man who insisted on enrique bernoldi over Kimi to get the Sauber seat in 2001, i hope i’m wrong because i really like Dan

      1. Don’t underestimate the role of Didi Mateschitz in driver desicions @tifoso1989, he was a big fan of having Webber there to push the team, and Vettel. I think he is with Horner in wanting to have Kimi there. Actually I read the whole Ferrari rumour more as a step by Robertson to have Red Bull up their bid.

      2. At the end of the day, Dietrich and Christian have the more important opinions. Helmut Marko is an advisor, Christian and Dietrich run the show.

        1. It’s really Dieter’s call imo. As a good business leader he would listen to his advisor and his executive, but he can’t leave such an important decision to technical people as it will have impacts beyond RBR on the Red Bull business.

          I don’t wanna second guess Dieter, but I feel that Kimi is over all a better choice for the whole business, but then I am a Kimi fan and I want him in a more competitive car, so my analysis might be biased.

        2. @bascb,@lord-stig
          I’m not underestimating Dietrich Mateschitz role in the final choice after all he is the Boss, but before he made his decision he should have the opinions of Marko, Newey & Horner
          What i meant is that Marko has the upper hand over Newey & Horner in this kind of situations
          Mark Webber’s very good relationship with Dietrich Mateschitz is the exception here, even Vettel negotiates his contract through Marko unlike Webber who negotiated his contract directly with Dietrich, If Webber decided to continue in F1 the seat would be his
          Red Bull will continue to support Webber in endurance racing, another thing is that if Horner, Newey & Marko had anything to do with Webber’s seat in the team he would have been sacked in the end of 2010

    13. After watching the Jardine clip I can see why Sky’s customer aren’t that loyal, they can’t even spell Kimi’s surname correctly…wow.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        21st August 2013, 11:41

        Wow! Good spot!
        I completely missed it.

      2. Another is Valtteri Bottas, His name can also be seen in many different variations! Most common: Valterri Bottas. Perhaps not on sky but on various different sites.

    14. “Italian newspaper Gazetta dello Sport suggested that Montezemolo would sanction the move for Raikkonen if he was the best driver available…”

      OK, quickly somebody, name a better driver available for next season! Just name one driver better. I’m waiting… (tap tap tap)… still waiting.

      The wording of that statement just sounds funny. Obviously, there could be more drivers become available before next season. Out of all the drivers who might become available for next season who is a better driver than Kimi?

      Yes, there is a reason they call this the silly season. Funny now how maybe Red Bull might be reconsidering their position regarding their driver choice for next season. Surely the thoughts of rivals Mercedes with Rosberg/Hamilton and Ferrari with Alonso/Raikkonen turn into the real possibility of the 2014 coveted WCC slipping away. It is obvious that Kimi’s first choice is to be with a team that has better resources than Lotus for 2014. Red Bull or Ferrari would be better off with Kimi than without him for 2014 in their quest for the WCC. Either team that does not sign him may look back with some regret. Kimi is in the driver’s seat.

      1. Ok, I’ll Name Hulkenberg. He might not be better than Kimi but he is hardly worst and i’m sure he can keep up with the results. And he is young and ambitious, he will work hard instead of demanding. I think it will be crime against the sport if he doesn’t get the chance to drive faster car. Honestly i wish Kimi in RB and Hulk in Ferrari. This will make 2014 really interesting.

        1. Yes, that’s my dream scenario as well.

          The other one I like is: straight swap of Vettel and Alonso with Hulk to Ferrari. But this one is way too far fetched, but a man can dream :)

        1. Vettel will not be available until 2016

          1. @tifoso1989 yea I don’t see a Vettel (insert name of top driver here) dream-team until then as I doubt he’d be able to break contract (nor would he want to). I’m personally very excited by my self proposition of Hamilton and Vettel at Mercedes in 2016, but for now ideally I would’ve had Kimi-Vettel and Alonso-Hülkenberg (only the latter is probable though at the moment it seems).

            I think that Ferrari partnership would be excellent however and Ricciardo isn’t a bad driver (I’m sure he has greater potential than Webber). The other main question is, what of Grosjean? Do Lotus tolerate his inconsistency in the hope that his obvious speed shines through? Is his lack of spacial awareness beyond remedy?

            If the answers are no and yes respectively, then who will take his place? My bets are on Valsecchi.

            1. Lauda said that Vettel’s contract with Red Bull is very strong, there is no chance that any team would get him before its conclusion (unless if they want to spend a pharaonic amount of money from their budget just to get it )
              BTW Ferrari are keen to get Vettel in the team but that depends on Alonso, on how many WDC he can win & his driving form by the end of 2016, he is the key factor just like Webber this year
              As for Grosjean i think that the only reason that he is still driving for Lotus is his Nationality, we all know that he is managed by Bouillier & Renault has been pushing for French drivers in F1 in the recent years ,the guy is fast but his inconsistency has cost the team valuable points, if another driver (a driver like Sutil not fast but consistent) was driving that lotus, things maybe would be different but i still believe he will stay with Lotus next year

    15. Regarding COTD,

      I’m also glad we don’t see the likes of Mark Webber being penalised for their greater body mass, or see drivers on extreme diets to get their weight as low as possible, risking their health in the process.

      Sutil back in 2010, so may be outdated:

      “Adrian Sutil, also one of F1’s heavier drivers, dismisses the German media theory about Schumacher’s weight. “Seven kilograms makes only about a tenth difference,” the Force India driver told Auto Bild Motorsport. “It may sound funny, but Michael has to learn how to drive an F1 car again. ”

      Newey last year:

      “First of all, it puts an emphasis on light drivers, which is, as long as we’re in a situation where we don’t have ballasted seats… for instance, with Mark Webber, we have a driver who’s on the heavier end, compared to Sebastian. That means he has less freedom on weight distribution. The obvious solution to that would be that drivers have to carry ballast on the side of their seat but that’s something that has been discussed and it hasn’t happened so far. It really means that if you make the wrong move, you’re locked into it for a while, so I don’t have a firm opinion on this. It’s one less variable in a way but on the same for everybody type basis, I’m not too worried about it, one way or the other.”

      The heavier drivers are still disadvantaged, should only be a tenth though.

      1. Only a tenth? Could mean several places on the grid and a totally different race outcome.

      2. Well, heavier drivers will always be at a disadvantage simply by virtue of their increased mass. Even with ballasted seats, you are still going to place that ballast in the best possible position in the seat for keeping the CoG as low as possible. Not something that’d be possible with a heavier driver. But I do think that a minimum car+driver weight which is fairly heavy at least takes the pressure off the driver to shed literally every pound they can. F1 is a physical sport of course, but I do still believe that drivers should be judged on their driving skill rather than their inertial mass and how they can facilitate the packaging of the car. If the weight limits on the car were significantly lower, then the emphasis would be on having drivers who are as small and light as possible in order to meet the technical requirements, and taller drivers would end up losing out no matter how skilled they may be. We are probably all familiar with David Coulthard’s bulimia, but I’m sure there are plenty of others who have never ‘come out’ about it. There does come a point where the physical (and mental) wellbeing of the drivers becomes a concern.

        1. Even with ballasted seats, you are still going to place that ballast in the best possible position in the seat for keeping the CoG as low as possible.

          Not if regulations ensure an even spread.

      3. I remember Webber being just a tenth away from Vettel on pole runs many times a few years ago – this means they were basically even!

    16. I’ve sampled a bit of Sky this year, and it was ok, and BBC TV coverage is good (thanks to Gary Anderson), but the thrill is always from having it live, happening somewhere else in the world whilst we watch here. So when BBC doesn’t have it on the telly, I go for the radio now. The coverage is poor, unreliable, doesn’t always start on time, is interrupted, but is always live. Not being able to see the action means you use your imagination, and being the sort to romanticize and over-dramatize (like many nostalgic F1 fans are) it quickly becomes very exciting. It also makes you concentrate more on lap times, and makes me more appreciative of a good, quick lap pulled from the bag at just the right moment. The responsibility of making the race exciting is shared more towards the listener, and F1 fanatics are knowledgeable, fair and observant. I think everyone should try it, at least once, particularly at a race that isn’t live on BBC TV. You can always watch the highlights programme later anyway!

    17. Thanks to everyone here for their comments on the Sky package.
      I was really starting to pine for it over the BBC. I struggle with missing the ‘flow’ of the races when watching highlights, can’t stand EJ and am finding Suzi’s stuff still quite awkward.
      I still fear for the possibility that we’ll lose it on the BBC in years to come – but for now you’ve all put my mind at ease. I’d rather be a bit dissappointed and struggle to follow the flow for free, than really dissappointed and be £500+ out of pocket!

    18. Oh god, Valencia wants to come back. There are very few people who actually want that joke of a track to return.

      1. I’ll always remember that joke of a circuit for producing one of the most thrilling races in recent memory, demonstrating that the issue with the sport is the cars, not the circuits.

    19. Lovely article from Jenks on MotorSport – too bad I was born way too late to enjoy the F1 atmosphere myself :(

    20. While I agree with the COTD in some parts (driver size making less of an impact on weight), I would like to see cars with at least a hint of the “Chapman way” of shaving off weight here and there, if only to decrease reliability. I am not talking massively so as to impact safety, just in the sense of early-iteration Newey cars are usually prone to failures (normally due to these exact kinds of circumstances). I miss the days where races were about mechanical attrition as well as racing hard and you do notice that retirements from attrition do tend to decrease after a weight increase (possibly an over-generalisation with other factors to take into account obviously but still one worth noting).
      While it is understandable that the weights are increasing with the new engine to accommodate for that, I would like to see them decrease after a year or so once the teams are used to them to bring back a bit of that spirit of literally shaving the car to shave tenths.

    21. Jardine says he is still talking to RB
      EJ says he is now focusing of Ferrari

      There are no sources however saying he is going to stay put at Lotus, except one and that is Eric Boullier himself. The mean seems holy convinced about it or he is a good actor. What this proves is that he most certainly doesn’t want to stay there…….

      1. Jardine says he is still talking to RB
        EJ says he is now focusing of Ferrari […] What this proves is that he most certainly doesn’t want to stay there…

        Unless Kimi or Robertson says they’re not talking to Lotus, I think they might still be talking to Lotus. If Boullier says so, Robertson might not feel the need to talk about talking to Lotus. Mind you, Kimi nor Robertson was very vocal about talking to Toyota about 2010 (or denying it), even if the team later said they did.

        1. I never said they weren’t talking to Lotus @npf1 but you make a fair point. I just don’t think Kimi is really willing to stay. He isn’t getting paid, the team has lost Allison (the creative mind that has built their cars since 2009), there is 120 million in debt hanging over the team like a sword of Damocles, those new Renault Engines are reportedly going to be very expensive. There are just some aspects about next year that could hit Lotus really hard. I feel the Fin is not going to stay around to watch his world collapse. He’s either going to Red Bull or Ferrari. Which isn’t to say Boullier hasn’t kept a hand in there somewhere ;-)

    22. Seems I may be the opposite to most, I love the sky coverage & now hate the BBC’s.

      I don’t like Suzi, I always found EJ annoying & I can’t stand the Ben Edwards/DC commentary duo. I didn’t like DC when he was alongside Brundle that 1 year either.

      On the sky side, Lazenby isn’t great but has improved, Herbert often offers some interesting insight as does Hill, Davidson is great on the sky-pad & I enjoy the Croft/Brundle commentary.

      I also love the rest of what sky offer, Multiple video feeds throughout the weekend including several in-car feeds & the wonderful pit lane feed with its extra team radio. All available on multiple platforms, I can go between the different feeds on my tv, watch using my i-pad, laptop etc…

      having all these extra feeds throughout the weekend really add’s something, especially during parts of practice where not much is happening & you can go listen to some team radio or watch some in-car stuff, really a massive plus over the bbc’s very basic & often quite dull coverage of practice.

      on sky we get far better analysis post sessions, far more content in the way of classic races, documentary’s, legend interviews, the wonderful friday night f1 show & live coverage of the gp3/gp2 support categories.

      the bbc’s coverage from 2009-2011 was good, but for me sky’s is miles better, its the best coverage i’ve seen of f1 since the digital ppv service we got from fom in 2002.

      1. I’m with you, SKY’s coverage keeps improving every race and the £20 a month I’m paying for the SKY Sports package is money well spent as it means I no longer have to endure the horror that is Eddie Jordan.
        All of the extra features from SKY are great and I really like the F1 show and other programs they put on between races, some of the Architects of F1 programs have been brilliant and the multiple classic races they show are always worth watching.

    23. The Tony Jardine article reads like a stab in the dark to me.

      We saw last year that Eddie Jordan got a huge boost in the reputation stakes when he correctly predicted Hamilton’s move to Mercedes. With Raikkonen being such a popular driver, anyone who does the same for his future will face similar gains. And with so much focus on his move andsso many contradictory reports about his plans, people are only going to remember the person who got it right. They’re not going to remember it care about whoever got it wrong, which I think sets a dangerous precedent as it turns journalism into a combination popularity contest and game of Russian Roulette.

      As I said in the forum thread on Jardine’s prediction, I think he has painted himself into a corner. I think he hitched his wagon to the idea if Raikkonen moving to Red Bull, and now he’s trying to come up with an explanation for everything when the team makes a contradictory statement (a statement that is actually consistent with their announcement that they wanted to resolve their driver situation before the end of the summer break).

      If Red Bull announce that they are

      1. If Red Bull announce that they are taking Ricciardo for 2014, then I expect that it will be about ten minutes until someone comes to us with an explantion as to why it means they are really taking Raikkonen.

        In fact, I’ll spare everyone the trouble and do it now: if Red Bull announce that they are taking Ricciardo, then they are obviously not intending on racing him, but are clearly trying to scare Raikkonen into realising that he passed up the best drive on the grid.

        Sky, if you’re reading this, can I have a job?

    24. Why would they do that?

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