BBC confirms which ten races it will show live in 2015

2015 F1 season

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The BBC has confirmed details of the ten races it will broadcast live in the UK during the 2015 season.

This is the fourth year in which only a portion of the calendar has been available to view live on free-to-air television. All the rounds of the championship are also shown on Sky’s subscription channel.

Among the races which will be live on free-to-air television this year are the British Grand Prix and the final two rounds of the season in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. The season-opening Australian Grand Prix will not be shown live, but the second round in Malaysia will.

Among the races the BBC will not show live are the Mexican Grand Prix, which is returning to the calendar after an absence of more than 20 years, and the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix.

Last year’s top three scoring grands prix in F1 Fanatic’s Rate the Race – Canada, Hungary and Britain – are all among the BBC’s picks for the coming year. However the lowest-scoring round – the Russian Grand Prix – is also one of the BBC’s choices for 2015.

RoundRaceCircuitDateUK live coverageForum
1Australian Grand PrixAlbert ParkMarch 13 – 15SkyForum
2Malaysian Grand PrixSepang International CircuitMarch 27 – 29BBC/SkyForum
3Chinese Grand PrixShanghai International CircuitApril 10 – 12SkyForum
4Bahrain Grand PrixBahrain International CircuitApril 17 – 19BBC/SkyForum
5Spanish Grand PrixCircuit de CatalunyaMay 8 – 10SkyForum
6Monaco Grand PrixMonte-CarloMay 21 – 24SkyForum
7Canadian Grand PrixCircuit Gilles VilleneuveJune 5 – 7BBC/SkyForum
8Austrian Grand PrixRed Bull RingJune 19 – 21SkyForum
9British Grand PrixSilverstoneJuly 3 – 5BBC/SkyForum
10German Grand PrixNurburgringJuly 17 – 19SkyForum
11Hungarian Grand PrixHungaroringJuly 24 – 26BBC/SkyForum
12Belgian Grand PrixSpa-FrancorchampsAugust 21 – 23BBC/SkyForum
13Italian Grand PrixMonzaSeptember 4 – 6SkyForum
14Singapore Grand PrixSingaporeSeptember 18 – 20SkyForum
15Japanese Grand PrixSuzukaSeptember 25 – 27BBC/SkyForum
16Russian Grand PrixSochi AutodromOctober 9 – 11BBC/SkyForum
17United States Grand PrixCircuit of the AmericasOctober 23 – 25SkyForum
18Mexican Grand PrixAutodromo Hermanos RodriguezOctober 30 – November 1SkyForum
19Brazilian Grand PrixInterlagosNovember 13 – 15BBC/SkyForum
20Abu Dhabi Grand PrixYas MarinaNovember 27 – 29BBC/SkyForum

NB. The Korean Grand Prix is not expected to take place

2015 F1 season

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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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73 comments on “BBC confirms which ten races it will show live in 2015”

  1. Lets guess how the 3 by 3 voting went this year.

    BBC – Silverstone, Abu Dhabi, Spa.
    Sky – Monaco, Australia, USA.
    BBC – Canada, Japan, Brazil
    Sky – Mexico, Italy, Singapore,
    BBC – Malaysia, Bahrain, Hungary
    Sky – Germany, Austria

    1. Ok, I accidentally submitted that and ruined the joke :(

      BBC – Silverstone, Abu Dhabi, Spa.
      Sky – Monaco, Australia, USA.
      BBC – Canada, Japan, Brazil
      Sky – Mexico, Italy, Singapore.
      BBC – Malaysia, Bahrain, Hungary.
      Sky – Germany, Austria, Spain.

      1. @optimaximal I suspect Mexico would have been a more popular pick – it’s likely to have a later start time so the audience should be good, and it’s a new(ish) race. Similar I think the BBC would have put Canada before Belgium.

        1. @keithcollantine surely Mexico should have a similar start time to Canada?

          I guess Sky deliberately pick the US races because they know the BBC will suffer in the ratings because the contractual delay for the highlights pushes them late into the night.

  2. Is there something stopping the Beeb having three live races in a row? That’s the only reason I can think of for not showing Mexico live…

    1. And I’d prefer Germany live to Hungary live.

    2. @raceprouk Yes, neither company can have 3 shared (in the BBCs case) or exclusive (in Sky’s case) races in a row.

      1. @optimaximal – Sky have the live rights to all races where as BBC only have 10 races live. Sky just chooses to all races, its up to the BBC to not have 3 races in a row.

        1. Yes, Sky have the rights to all races, but they have the option of picking ‘exclusive’ races, basically forcing the BBC to be selective and give up some popular events in order to secure others. If it was just a case of auntie picking her 10, then surely they wouldn’t be showing hateful efforts like Sochi and wilfully giving up events like Monza?

  3. this system is highly detrimental to F1 in this country. i know people who were quiet into the sport and watched every race but now miss every non-live race, plus others because there’s no continuity. there is something to be said for having a regular slot eg. sunday 1pm every fortnight, 16 times a year. now, it’s all over the place, highlights here there and everywhere, live races at all sorts of times (i liked the old BBC and ITV practice of showing a far eastern race live (at 4am or whatever) and then as live at 1pm.)

    also, the viewing figures have dropped considerably (overall) – sponsors must be thrilled with that!

    1. Viewing figures have been declining in places where F1 is still fully on free tv since 2011 so the decline is clearly more than just the move to PayTV.

      I don’t mind the move to PayTV to be honest as the coverage were now getting on Sky is far better, Far more in-depth with far more viewing options & video feeds than anything we ever got on the FreeTV channels.

      At this point i’d be completely against F1 going back to FreeTV if that meant us losing the quality & depth of coverage & especially the additional video feeds for every session which Sky have been providing since 2012.
      It woudl also be terrible to going back to say ITV or something & going back to having commercial breaks during qualifying sessions & races, We missed a lot of key moments over the years thanks to those rubbish ad breaks & ITV’s horrible coverage in general.

      1. The fact there’s more coverage with Sky is nice, but I still much prefer the BBC’s race coverage to Sky’s.

        1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          7th January 2015, 19:54

          Really? I can’t stand Coulthards style anymore. All he does is go on about Hamilton all the time. Sky F1 is far more independent/balanced etc I feel. Brundle makes the sky coverage worthwhile on his own.

          1. SaturnVF1 (@doublestuffpenguin)
            8th January 2015, 6:03

            I love everything Ted Kravitz does, ugly sandals and all.

      2. Once again the man who pays defends spending on something that was free. You’d look foolish if you didn’t. Why not ask Sky to charge you £5000 to watch all races? Will that make you feel ‘better’? It makes me laugh. Remove something from the public then charge an obscene amount to get it back and wise men will line up to defend taking it up the back passage. $ky and Murdock loves you. One day someone will charge you for breathing. I look forward to comments of how much fresher the air is now that only the rich (misguided) can afford it.

        1. I’m not defending anything & I’m certainly not doing so just because I have sky, I just prefer the sky coverage & I love all of the extra content that they provide.

          I did watch the BBC coverage while we were on holiday last year & simply did not like it. I think Suzi Perry is awful, I hate Eddie Jordan just as much as I did before & I also do not like David Coulthard as a commentator (I felt the same in 2011 when the BBC coverage was all we had).

          I believe that the sky coverage is the best F1 coverage i’ve ever watched in terms of depth/content & me thinking that is not simply a case of trying to justify my subscription or whatever, Its a genuine belief based on all the F1 coverage i’ve watched over the years.

          Having every session live with a dozen additional video feeds including a dozen in-car camera feeds for every session is something which I enjoy, Especially for practice when there are periods of little track action & not much to cover on the main feed.
          Been able to watch some races last year from the in-car cameras of hamilton & rosberg as they were fighting for the lead/championship was awesome & something i’d not been able to experience until sky offered it.

          i’ve always loved the in-car camera footage & team radio discussions so naturally having dedicated video feeds for those things during every session was always going to be something i’d love over having just the main tv broadcast.

          The ITV/BBC coverage was free & at the time the BBC coverage was exceptionally good (EJ’s awful punditry & DC’s dreadful commentary in 2011 aside aside), But the extra’s sky’s coverage include & especially since there extras which i’ve always wanted to have as part of a weekends coverage just make it a better viewing experience.

          There’s also the daily archive races, weekly f1 discussion shows & other programs which include some archive stuff i’ve not seen before & I just really like all of that stuff.

          There was a german broadcaster called premiere sport which offered interactive coverage, live coverage of every session & archive races & even though I didn’t have access to it I still appreciated what they were doing so my enjoyment/preference of the sky coverage is not simply me justifying my subscription or anything of the sort.
          I’d also point out that i was a sky subscriber long before they got F1.

          1. Have to agree: The Sky coverage is the best I have ever watched – bar the God awful theme tune.

            I agree with the point that the Sky and Sky Sports subscriptions are way too expensive just to watch F1 – but there are people who don’t just watch F1…

            I use the other Sports channels much more than the F1 channel despite watching (as near as makes no difference) every F1 race and qualifying session live and sometimes the support series.

            Also – TV licensing: BBC != free. If all I watched was F1, I would feel that my TV license was too expensive.

          2. Exactly, the BBC coverage was pretty good up until Suzy Perry. Now I even think about streaming the Sky coverage when the BBC are showing a race live.

          3. You guys in the UK are so lucky to have Sky F1…the rest of the English speaking world envy what you get!!..well at least here in Australia we do.

            The good news for us down under is that Foxtel (which is our Sky..and mind you, it is exactly the same…just has different sticker on the box..even the remote is the same!!) will be picking F1 from FTA TV in 2016. So we are hoping that the quality of the programming will improve significantly.

          4. @jaymenon10 the ONE coverage is second only to Sky from what I’ve seen so far though — don’t they actually delegate to Sky during the race itself, and only add pre- and post-race coverage? I actually quite like Alan Jones as an anchor, though like Coulthard he has a bias for Australian drivers

        2. Once again a man who got something for free thinks its his right to do so in perpetuity. Welcome to the 21st century. Your, and my “right” to see anything for free are zero. Get used to it, don’t blame a man who decided to cough up.

          1. Just because it’s broadcast on FTA TV we’re still not getting it for free. The FTA broadcaster, in our case the BBC, pay for the rights from money we pay for the TV license and everyone who pays for a product or service that sponsors F1 is paying a little bit towards F1 too.
            The BBC make it free at the point of consumption but it still isn’t free. Pay TV is just a way to charge you twice for the same product.

    2. By “this country”, I assume you mean the UK.
      You complain about “live races at all sorts of times”, but the races occur LIVE at different times around the world. Start times are normally driven by local time, not UK convenience.

      1. Actually race times are set to achieve the largest audience figures which is typically at times that maximise viewers in Europe – that still remains the largest market for F1 – rather than convenient local country times.

        1. Well, let’s count them off. Outside of CET/UK time, we have Japan (local), Australia (compromise), Singapore (Europe convenient), Malaysia (local), China (local), Bahrain (Europe convenient), Abu Dhabi (Europe convenient), Russia (local), Canada, COTA, Brazil and Mexico (local) . . . have I missed any?
          So that makes 8 local, 3 Europe convenient and 1 compromise. That looks like ‘Local convenient’ timing rather than ‘Europe convenient’ dominates the non-European races to me.

          1. @timothykatz yes, exactly why is said i liked the old bbc/itv practice of an ‘as live’ re-run at the usual european start time of 1pm. i watch all the races anyway, but for the less committed fan (you must realise people who frequent this website are in no way representative) this kind of regularity is necessary.

    3. Fact is, you aren’t the only country that enjoys watching F1

  4. I think it’s poor value for the BBC. They went on about saving money but they wrecked the product. Now they’re in a tailspin over how much to resource the limited coverage. I’m guessing they won’t renew in 2018, unless Bernie can get them into another all-night meeting.

    1. @lockup I’d be surprised if F1 has any live coverage on free to air TV in the UK in 2018 as the bidding war for live rights is going to be between Sky & BT Sport.

      I can see one of the FTA broadcasters bidding for highlights but unless something changes in the next few years I can’t see any of them been able to afford to do full live coverage let alone be able to out-bid Sky or BT.

      To be honest I think its going to be the same with all sports with very few big live sporting events left on FTA TV as the cost’s of not just buying the rights but also producing the broadcast’s for the events is massively expensive.
      There were reports late last year that the BBC were looking to offload Wimbledon to BT because they simply cannot afford to buy the rights & produce the same level of coverage for 2 weeks that they have been until now.

      I said last year that I was told that a big part of the problem with the BBC’s F1 coverage is that they badly underestimated how much it was going to cost them. The actual broadcast deal with FOM is 1 thing, You know if you can afford that or not but its everything else that becomes a problem as to an extent that is a constantly changing figure & when you already have limited budgets (As all FTA broadcasters do, BBC more so than others) the actual cost of producing the coverage you produce is what becomes the biggest issue.
      I was told in late 2008 that a few months after the BBC got the rights for 2009 they contacted ITV to see what ITV were spending on production & were horrified because it was way more than they had anticipated, The license fee cap which the current UK government introduced in 2010 just put them in even more trouble.

      1. Yep @gt-racer, the trouble is the government allows too much advertising for satellite broadcasts on top of subscriptions, so they simply have too much money to spend; and their business model is fundamentally to take an established sport exclusive then milk its fans to make even more money. And the politicians daren’t upset Rupert!

        The only thing that might keep some FTA is the Concorde Agreement, whatever is left of it. That did stipulate FTA, though teams were amazed to notice, too late, that it didn’t say ‘all races’ or ‘live’! People think F1 teams are clever, but they’re just innocent nerds IMO :)

        Anyway our salvation awaits in Bernie’s eventual demise, we can only hope.

        Sky do put a lot into it to be fair, as you kinda say. It just winds me that they raise the price by £1 every single year! I’m nervous about the cost of the 2015 F1 timing app too.

      2. @gt-racer I agree; they should have looked to cut costs earlier – the production was great, but not necessary when working on a tight budget, same for having a ‘star presenter’ etc. How could they commit to the coverage without an accurate knowledge of how much it may cost to produce?

        F1 will probably become like Match of the Day a late highlights package, with those wanting to see it live paying a premium. Once Button retires and Hamilton is 33, it’s fair to say that that is fairly inevitable.

        1. How could they commit to the coverage without an accurate knowledge of how much it may cost to produce?

          Its a fairly common mistake in the broadcasting world.

          The issue with a sport like F1 which travels the globe & where there is often the need to put together features to describe a particular incident/controversy, Technical device or maybe shows need to be delayed/extended a bit is that the production costs are always changing based off what you need to do.

          Its also not just production cost’s, You have the travel expenses for all the equipment/crew you send out, You need to pay for hotels & food for that crew, You have to buy/maintain all the equipment & ensure you can upgrade that equipment if necessary.
          Then there’s the buying of satellite time & having the backups in place if the main goes down & nowadays there’s also all the streaming content thats almost expected online & on mobile devices.

  5. I’m reasonably satisfied with the BBC’s choices and given the selection process it could have been worse. If they switched Russia for Mexico I’d go as far as to say it was a very good selection. Missing Monza is a bit disappointing but I can live with it.

  6. It’s not the best arrangement in the first place, but if they can only do 10 races then that’s a pretty decent selection.

    1. Russia not Monza?

      1. If Sky had already picked Italy as one of their exclusives, it’s not their choice.

        1. Thanks for the explanation, makes sense.

  7. Make the most if it because by 2018 we’ll be lucky if any races are live. The cost/return just isn’t worth it. Sky are learning that fast.

  8. Are we still going to be subject to Suzi Perry’s inability to string a sentence together and fumble all her words!

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      7th January 2015, 13:44

      It really is cringeworthy at times.

      The BBC should just let Leigh McKenzie present the damn thing already!!! She’s a thoroughbred motorsport’s journalist with all the enthusiasm and knowledge that Suzi so desperately fails to feign, week in, week out.

      Its a bit of a joke in this day and age that they continually demote the perfect candidate to ‘pit-girl’, because some poll suggests that dads over 40 prefer Suzi because her ass looks good in leather trousers. Shes all aero no engine.

      1. QOTD for that last quip!

      2. Its a bit of a joke in this day and age that they continually demote the perfect candidate to ‘pit-girl’, because some poll suggests that dads over 40 prefer Suzi because her ass looks good in leather trousers. Shes all aero no engine.

        Perfectly summed up and very amusing.

      3. Mckenzie was given a go and was hopeless. Perry Perry irritating is awful as is that professional clown Eddie pink trousers Irvine. How bad they are is they make David Pedant Coulthard seem normal.

        Ben Edwards is excellent, really first rate and I quite like McNish but you cant believe he was an f1 driver, he looks like our IT guy.

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          7th January 2015, 17:23

          Technically Murray Walker was also a hopeless presenter, always correcting facts which he had gotten right in the first place, but his unrelenting passion for the sport shone through to where you couldn’t help but join in his excitement. This is something that Perry is totally devoid of, yet McKenzie has in droves. You can teach presentation, you can’t teach passion.

        2. Lee had the unfortunate baptism of fire that was the chaotic Japanese GP where everything was cancelled and rescheduled for Sunday. She floundered because she had to basically adlib for 2-3 hours.

          She also wasn’t given Jake’s iPad, instead making do with a soaking wet clipboard.

        3. I have to disagree with Ben Edwards being an excellent presenter. He squeals like a baby every time 2 cars get remotely close to each other. It’s embarrassing to listen to, and Coulthard seems to find it a bit over the top, judging by his first comments after the “child squeal”
          I don’t think James Allen ever gets the recognition he deserves for taking over from Murray Walker – a seemingly impossible job but he did it. An excellent biographer and a wealth of knowledge about Formula 1, not to mention a great commentators voice along with Brundle.
          I’ll always be baffled as to why the BBC didn’t take James Allen along with Brundle. Instead they chose the incredibly dull Jonathan Legard together with his ridiculous F1 terminology eg “Kubica is buzzing up the inside of Petrov”. Buzzing? Really?
          Allen, Brindley, McNish and Jordan. Like him or loathe him, he has respect in the paddock and gave us the scoop on Lewis to Mercedes and also VW/Audi into F1 in the near future.

          1. Bundle not Brindley
            Damn auto-correct!

            While I’m at it, Ted Kravitz has become an expert in making humorous comments during dull races and Natalie Pinkham just loves to flirt with the drivers in the same way that Suzy Perry used to do with the bikers!

  9. Pardon my ignorance, but why is BBC showing only these races? Are these the best races that BBC feels worth showing?

    Also, for the ones BBC is not showing, can they not show a full recording, at a delayed time obviously.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      7th January 2015, 13:33

      The BBC pick 3 that they want to show, then Sky pick 3 exclusives, then BBC pick 3 etc…

      BBC are not permitted to show the full race at a later time, only extended highlights.

      1. @fullcoursecaution – Sky just picks all races its up to the BBC not to choose 3 in a row but in the end only get 10 instead of all of the races.
        @BasCB – at least Australia doesn’t have this problem after 2015, from what i have been told from a reliable source. It will remain with the same broadcaster but a new broadcaster will be involved

    2. As shown in comments above, the 2 broadcasters take turns in selecting 3 races each they want to show and then there are rules about not having more than 2 in a row each.

    3. @fullcoursecaution

      Thanks. But why can’t BBC show all the races?

      1. They don’t have rights to all races, only 10 of them following the BBC’s decision to part sell their rights a few years ago when they decided F1 was too expensive for them to retain the license for.

  10. I will continue to watch high quality illegal streams until FOM lets me give them money for the same thing. My wallet awaits Bernie, get your act together.

    1. @spawinte You could be waiting a while to get live streaming from FOM in the UK at least as the Sky/BBC deal gives them the exclusive rights for online distribution of live content, The same exclusivity clause is in many other broadcasters contracts.

      Because of those exclusivity deals if FOM were to start a live streaming service it would be Geo-Blocked in those regions. For instance WRC, DTM, The Blanchpain GT series among others all have live streaming services but all are blocked in the UK due to licensing issues with the broadcasters.

    2. I vote with my time, by watching live streams from series that allow those in preference to F1 :)

  11. @spawinte You could be waiting a while to get live streaming from FOM in the UK at least as the Sky/BBC deal gives them the exclusive rights for online distribution of live content, The same exclusivity clause is in many other broadcasters contracts.

    Because of those exclusivity deals if FOM were to start a live streaming service it would be Geo-Blocked in those regions. For instance WRC, DTM, The Blanchpain GT series among others all have live streaming services but all are blocked in the UK due to licensing issues with the broadcasters.

    1. This can be deleted, No idea why/how it double posted?

  12. I think the BBC presentation is perfectly adequate. We don’t have SKY because we object at having anything to do with Murdoch. I hope there’s an alternative in the future.
    I used to quite enjoy the itv coverage as well apart from the ad breaks of course. I think people are generally way too fussy. Eddie Jordan comes out with some right rubbish sometimes but Coulthard’s OK.
    I hope that there continues to be a free to air package of some sort in the future but I suspect this is going to become another negative point against F1s ongoing popularity.

    1. By the above I mean it will loose even more viewers if it’s not free to air in some form.

      1. Lose not loose(!)

  13. the BBC should just show the lot on free e at the time of the event and not worry about stupid sky who cares about sky
    ALL F1 should be shown on free tv not giving a jot about pay tv who cares if sky go,s bankrupt not one person

  14. If the process is BBC before Sky, then how on Earth did they end up with Russia?

    This is poor. Very very poor.

    1. @strontium Executives from both companies meet and pick three races at a time. The BBC pick first (agreed because they are disadvantaged by the deal), then Sky, then the BBC etc.

      The remaining chaff is then split amongst the pair.

      Items of note include:
      – The BBC cannot show 3 consecutive live races, whilst Sky cannot claim 3 consecutive exclusives. My guess is this was stipulated by FOM.
      – The BBC have committed to their audience to always show the British GP and the season finale live (hence two of their first round of picks are likely to be those races, otherwise there’s probably nothing stopping Sky grabbing them).
      – the BBC is contractually prevented from showing their highlights show for between 3 & 5 hours after the live race has concluded.

      Apart from the above, there seems to be no specific criteria that define how races are picked other than general popularity and scheduling. The BBC do seem to prefer live races closer to Europe, because these fit better with the old Sunday afternoon for the race schedule, rather than a trip to the editing room to make the highlights show.

      This does, however, have the side effect of highlights for races in the US time zones being shown extremely late at night, harming their ratings and viewer share massively.

    2. @strontium – There’s a lot of animosity to the Sochi track but we’ve only seen one race, and that with high-durability (safe, conservative) tyres. We don’t have a representative view yet, so it may be much better this season.
      As for the politics of the region, I’m sure will continue to be bad – but the racing should be better this year. Don’t write it off as a lost cause!

      1. @tribaltalker @optimaximal

        Fair points I suppose.

        I guess the real problem here may have been the 2 consecutive races limit. If the BBC didn’t have Russia maybe they would have had to have the US, which could have already been claimed. I wasn’t aware of that rule.

  15. Meh. You know, I actually prefer the highlights these days. With two young kids it’s impossible to watch live and watching the entire race in the evening on the PVR just isn’t the same.

  16. I am aware that most of you are not wrestling fans but check out what the WWE are doing. For years fans have had to pay £20 per month plus £15-£20 for the PPVs but now they have gone realised their own network for £10 per month. Which enable way more fans to have access. I for one hope it takes off because if it does other sports hopefully f1 would adopt the same policy. And it would mark the beginning of pay as you go tv instead of paying for bulk packages that only have one or 2 shows you like

    1. It’s the ideal solution that we’re all waiting for. The problem is Bernie has inked loads of fairly watertight TV contracts with additional web content licenses included and they’re not going to be torn up anytime soon.

      This is largely the reason why people keep wanting some massive controversy that ends the FIA/FOM 100 year deal, so the rights can go to a new, forward-thinking company.

  17. Now here’s something I just thought off, is Sky going to show the last test live this year like it did in 2013?Because its back in Barcelona not Bahrain and they can get the Cameras down there.

  18. Here in Australia, Ten will televise all MotoGP races live, live Formula 1 qualifying and race, V8 Supercars only for 6 big events with the rest highlights, and panel show RPM. Ten is your Home of Big Event Motorsport.

    From 2016, Fox Sports will be televising qualifying and the race and Ten the race but the network will show all 3 days. It hasn’t been confirmed at this stage but a reliable source Speedcafe told me this.

  19. Still makes me sad.

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