Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Monte-Carlo, 2016

Pay TV to blame for F1 ratings slump – Alonso

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says Formula One television audiences have fallen partly because of the move to pay television broadcasts.

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  • 101 comments on “Pay TV to blame for F1 ratings slump – Alonso”

    1. I’ve been saying this all along, and I’m glad that someone from the F1 paddock has finally brought it up. People underestimate just how much Pay TV contributes to F1 losing 200 million viewers within about 7 years. Most casual viewers either don’t value F1 enough to pay for it, or they can’t afford it. Then again, FOM seems to only care about short-term profit, even if it means risking the long term health of F1.

      1. CVC is the kind of business who only care about financial results. They are those kind of business people. Their ownership is a very long rape of the sport. With pay-TV, they are probably making more money than when before pay-TV came around for F1.

        Pay-TV makes sense for the super-detailed coverage that, say, Sky brings on F1. But the races by themselves should be free-to-air in Europe.

        1. It’s good to finally hear one of the “windbags in no position of power” speak out against F1’s repeat bad decisions. It’d be interesting if a few of them felt similarly and we had several top “windbags” threaten to leave the sport – I wonder if Bernie would still view them as having no position of power!

      2. F1 needs to be on Netflix.

        1. Sure, if the upcoming price increase doesn’t end up losing subscribers and then for an extra $20 people will re-sign because F1 will be included. Get real everybody, regular TV, netflix and whatever can’t afford F1. Pay TV is here to stay.

          1. Get real everybody, regular TV, netflix and whatever can’t afford F1. Pay TV is here to stay.

            Regular TV can’t afford F1 because the idiots who rule this sport are making it too expensive.

            Pay TV is nothing but an excellent way of not making any new fans, alienating the ones you have, and making it difficult for teams to find sponsors. All this in the name of some short-term profit. It’s amazing how the most advanced sport in the world is ran by such incompetent imbeciles.

            Guess what? I’m from Canada myself. I get FP2, Qualifying, and the race for free. This doesn’t affect me directly. Despite that, it still bugs me that a lot of people cannot watch the races unless they pay a substantial amount or use a laggy online stream.

            1. Really, for free… I doubt that. Over the air, without an antenna? Seems quite magical, actually. BTW, those “idiots” ran a business that made over a billion dollars last year. How much did your business make??

            2. Isn’t F1 on TSN in Canada? Isn’t TSN only available via a cable/satellite? If it’s part of a cable package you’re paying for it. If you can get it via an old style antenna then it’s free.
              In the US four races per year are free as they are broadcast on NBC, otherwise you get it via NBCSN which is only available via cable/satellite packages.

        2. F1 should copy NBA and flood YouTube with clips. F1 Teams are trying their best but FOM must be part of the effort and provide race footage in a modern YouTube channel.

          The sport must promote its technological advantages to the broader public, embrace drivers and teams off-track activities and look more human and young. This corporate thing is not going to engage more fans, only big heads who are minority.

          1. Yeah! It is a disgrace teams are not allowed to put on social media any footage from actual races.

            Just shows blunt missunderstanding of modern times by FoM.

          1. +1

            You get to chill fast 😂

          2. This programme is brought to you in partnership with Pirelli rubber

            1. SaturnVF1 (@doublestuffpenguin)
              9th June 2016, 14:55

              They’re designed to reduce grip. ;)

        3. I think F1 should try to get onto everything. Flood the media, youtube and other online sites, facebook, both pay and free TV outlets.

          The more coverage, the better the long term health of the sport.

      3. kingshark is right and if people can’t or couldn’t see it then that is quite worrying.

        The other thing is sponsors again is blindingly obvious that a sponsor will refuse to pay the same amount for a product(car space) that receives far less viewers. And the viewers it does get now is the hardcore F1 fans who don’t give a damn about the sponsor. The old casual viewer on a sunday afternoon would of paid more attention to a martini logo than we would.

        1. I completely disagree with “Pay TV” being a bad thing. We used to have free-to-air coverage in Australia and it was a disgrace. Qualifying on delay or sometimes not shown at all. Races full of ad breaks so more often than not you missed the most important parts and local commentators that had no idea what they where talking about. Now it’s on Pay TV and we get the Sky F1 feed for all practice session live, qualifying and races live and ad free and hours of pre race and post race coverage. Put simple, its just a better product and well worth the money.

          1. I totally agree that the coverage is way better on PayTV and I don’t mind paying either however if F1 had not been telecast on free to air TV I do not see how I would have ever become enthralled. Watching Nigel Mansell’s rear tyre spectacularly blow up thus denying him of a championship all those years ago was unforgettable.

          2. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
            9th June 2016, 9:25

            Fair point, and you are (and me as well) probably in the target group for Pay TV the way Sky provides it. But I think for many more casual viewers (i.e. the ones who do not post on forums like this one), it is not worth the money.

            Why I’m personally not paying for F1 is because Sky is unavailable in The Netherlands. F1 is not free to air here, and the pay tv coverage here (by Ziggo Sport) is ****balls. On the other hand, it’s relatively cheap (compared to Sky): €4 per session I guess.

          3. Levente (@leventebandi)
            9th June 2016, 11:02

            Well, here in Hungary, is it on free to air TV, and the coverage is great.
            On the other hand, I bought a subscription for the Wec season in their app, the app and website not sensing it alas I paid it, the customer support does not respond to my detailed mail, not even the developer… Pay per view, thanks but no

          4. @macca

            And what of the people who can’t watch it on pay TV?

            This is the thing, is the coverage better on pay TV? Of course, they have much bigger budgets.

            Should it be only visible on pay TV? HELL NO.

            If we could get a situation where we had both, great. But how is good coverage now, worth the death of the sport?

        2. The other thing is sponsors again is blindingly obvious that a sponsor will refuse to pay the same amount for a product(car space) that receives far less viewers

          Actually, this is not 100% true. At least, it is not the whole picture.

          Sponsors pay an amount, and expect to get at least that back in increased profit. If the advert is more targeted at their potential audience, they may receive the same increase in profit from fewer viewers.

          The thing about Pay TV is that those who get it are normally better off than people who don’t. Therefore they are advertising to a richer audience, which will result in more profit per viewer (in general, depending on the brand).

          Also, as you must subscribe to Sky Sports (in the UK), the majority of viewers will be sports fans. Therefore, if we take a sporting-based sponsor, their brand will be exposed to more “rich” sports fans, so should get a much better return per viewer.

          Whether this is enough to compensate for the reduced audience is a complicated equation, and will vary from brand to brand. But it is certainly not as simple as less viewers = less return = less sponsorship.

          By the way, I am completely against F1 being only on Pay TV. I completely agree that it will damage the sport in the long run, reducing the amount of new fans, and believe it will lead to a drastic decline in the sport over the next decade or 2. This is purely a point on the simplistic arguments being made on sponsorship.

          Also, I hate marketing, but unfortunately I understand bits of it having had to work with marketing people in my job as a software and website developer. I’m very much in agreement with Bill Hicks on this matter: see https://youtu.be/aU87UxCDPJ4

          1. I don’t subscribe to Sky for a continuous coverage of all their sports. When the race is live on C4 I watch that and pay £6.99 to NowTV for 24hrs sky.

          2. I think you mean turnover/revenue not profit @drmouse

            1. @baron

              Yes, you are right. Or, at least, I meant they expect profit to be greater than or equal to what it would be without the advertising, which isn’t quite the same, but yes, I got it wrong.

              The principal of my post stands.

          3. That is not quite right and that also depends on product.

            For example Rolex may be fine with a more limited audience that can definitely afford a decent amount every month for PayTv since many of them have a good chance to afford a Rolex.
            BUT what does Heineken get from this? Heineken probably sells more beers to average Joe’s buying a six back every week than the limited rich guys. Plenty of those average Joe’s see the pay TV charge and cringe and think “I ain’t paying that and i definitely ain’t sacrificing my beer and cookies to pay that”.

            Also even if your brand is about something expensive for limited audience you can still have gains by making it popular even with people that can’t afford buying your products. Take Ferrari for example.
            How many can buy a Ferrari? Hell probably most Ferrari buyers don’t even watch F1.
            So why does Ferrari care about the Tifosi when most of them can’t even buy a Ferrari and just look and take pictures of one whenever they see it park somewhere?
            The thing is that all this people bring brand awareness and status. And that helps sell the products to others even if those others have no idea where that brand awareness came from.
            If you were a rich guy buying a Ferrari and taking it for a ride and no one turned an eye to look at you like you were driving a damn Toyota then you will be like “What reason did i bought this for?”.
            So having all the peasants drooling over you shiny new Ferrari is what makes you glow and why those peasants are important to know about Ferrari.
            All those admiring Ferrari cars is what make Ferrari the name it is and not just really the guys that bought one.

      4. I always thought F1 should advertise using move previews. You have a captive audience most of whom have probably never heard of F1, a high def screen and quality sounds system, what better way to reach a new audience.

      5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        12th June 2016, 15:10

        The amounts I’ve heard to watch F1 in some countries were very high. I live in the United States and NBC Sports took over Speed 2-3 years ago – I think that was a great move to make F1 more mainstream as they also have Indycar and Nascar. So it’s absolutely fantastic they do that.

        MotoGP is now part of Bein sports which costs $200/yr (with taxes) but also offers LaLiga, Ligue1 and other soccer coverage. I pay for it because of my interest in soccer but most people must not be able to afford it.

    2. Whilst Damon Hill is perfectly entitled to his opinion, he just doesn’t get it. Losing pole at Monaco is, 95% of the time, like losing the race. In Hamilton you have a character who’s will to win is immense. So what do you expect him to do when he loses pole? The point Hill is missing is that when Hamilton loses in a fair fight he is perfectly magnanimous. When he loses when it’s a loaded deck e.g. spoiling his pole lap, engine issues etc he gets pretty grumpy. That’s what winners do. The fact that Daniel Ricciardo was anything but magnanimous two weeks ago in Monaco (which i have no problem with) when he had victory stolen from him after doing everything right seems lost on Hill. Ricciardo is like Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel and Schumacher – the best in the business. It’s a trait in all of them.
      In Damon Hill we have a “world champion” who had by far the best car for 4 years and still got destroyed by Schumacher. And for him to then quote Jackie Stewart’s values…the guy can’t stand Hamilton and takes any and every opportunity to take a swipe at him. A very bitter and resentful man in you ask me and not someone i’d be holding up as an example.

      1. He should also realised that any sports star or celebrity today is far more accessible (media wise) than ever before. Some of this is the individuals own choice, but the expectation from fans that stars are accessible is also there.

        Then the press intrusion and desperation for a headline is, in my opinion, is much higher these days. The press will sensationalise even the smallest glance or twitter remark if they think there is a headline in it. There is more footage and interviews of Hamilton out of the car in one season of F1 than there was in the whole of Senna’s career (I exaggerate but you get my point). Heck, even the public can catch a star/celebrity off guard with a smart-phone these days.

        So the chances of us catching a “hissy-fit” or mood or unguarded comment is far far higher these days. Just think of all the sulking Vettel did in the past. All the f1 drivers are subject to it.

      2. you clearly didn’t watch F1 at the time then David if you think Hill had by far the best car for 4 years. Only in 93 & 96 was it by far the best.

        93 he was a rookie alongside one of the greatest, won 3 races and lead many more but retired due to reliability.
        96 he won the world title.

        what more do you want?

        1. I’m sorry, but he had the best car in 94 and 95 as well. Things were a bit controversial in 94, so I’ll let you have that one, but there was no one around at the time who thought the Benetton B195 was as good as the FW17.

          1. The Williams wasn’t the best car in 1994, Certainly not for the 1st half of the year when even the great Ayrton Senna was complaining about how poor the car was.
            I’ve also seen Adrian Newey say in the past that they never got on top of the worst of that car’s problems until Silverstone but that even then it still had balance problems through to the end of the year which Nigel Mansell also complained about.

            The 1995 the Benetton was at least as good as the Williams & something equally as important to bring up was fuel strategy & pit stops which was something Williams were constantly getting wrong & something that Benetton with Ross Brawn were consistently getting spot on. There were a few races that year where both Williams drivers lost out based on poor strategy call’s by the team, Monaco for example.

            And something else you have to bring up is reliability, Williams suffered from reliability issues with there hydraulic & gearbox systems all year & that again cost both drivers results, Coulthard especially who potentially should have won more races than the 1 he did had it not been for unreliability. On the Benetton side only 1 of Schumacher’s 5 DNF’s was reliability related (Hungary).

            1. As I said, I’m willing to concede things were pretty even in 94. The FW16 was more powerful was certainly a little more of a handful than the Benetton during the early stage, but from the mid season it was at least as good as the Benetton.

              And the B195 was not at as good as the Williams the following year. John Watson, Patrick Head Murray Walker all said the Williams was the better package. Gerhard Berger was also surprised at how poor the balance was when he tested it before the 96 season.

            2. @PeterG On the Benetton side only 1 of Schumacher’s 5 DNF’s was reliability related (Hungary).

              Yes the others were all Hill related from memory!

            3. @asanator 2 were caused by Hill (Silverstone & Monza). The other 2 were him crashing on a damp track while on dry tyres at Imola & contact with Jean Alesi at Adelaide.

              The Hungary Mechanical DNF was fuel pump failure.

        2. Tony Mansell
          9th June 2016, 9:28

          Yeh Williams sacked him because he was so good. He had the best car for all his time at Williams, he delivered once and he did it well but he was almost beaten by a rookie the next year. Still could’ve been worse for Hill he could’ve been Coulthard. Hill is probably the weakest world champ GB has had..but he still won it.

          1. that’s a very harsh assessment. he was decent in ’93 (won 3 races, lost 2 more certainties), coped with a pretty terrible circumstance in ’94 (came within one point and one vicious chop of the title), got hammered in ’95 (his third full season), then won it in ’96 despite the team clearly wanting rid of him (why they were so fixated on frentzen is beyond me).

            in ’96 he was never off the front row all year. admittedly it was a great car (top 5 of all time) but he did win the title!

            his win and pole percentages (remember he started fewer than 100 races) are pretty awesome too. in terms of GB drivers i would say he’s a stronger champion than hawthorn, his dad and maybe hunt too. (moss, clark, stewart and hamilton are a cut above.)

    3. What is Damon Hill talking about? What “hissy fit”? And who is he talking about really?
      “He has had a very unusual upbringing” he said. How ‘unusual’? I guess Hamilton was born on Mars.
      I must assume it is not the 44 time race winner he is referring to, definitely someone else, since both men are not on the same level comparatively.
      He compares Hamilton to Jackie Stewart but fails to acknowledge that Hamilton has since overtaken his beloved Jackie in F1 accomplishments. Shouldn’t both men therefore come to Hamilton for advice based upon achievements in F1?
      It never fails to amuse me how much unsolicited advice some have for a driver who has achieved so much more than they ever did in F1.
      Point is Lewis seems focused on today, leaving the future to take care of itself. In all honesty, I don’t expect him to ever receive much regard in England even if he wins 10 world championships. But I can bet that in Grenada, which incidentally isn’t his country but that of his father, they give him the respect he deserves. He is already the greatest F1 racer from England but, like Damon Hill, they keep talking about what kind of trousers he is wearing or how low he bowed after taking a beating and how it will affect how they rank him in the future as if the man cares.

      -“Which opponent did you most respect on the track? Rubens Barrichello, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso. And I had some great battles with Lewis (Hamilton), too.”

      I am surprised that Mark did not mention Seb. Of course Seb is greater than Barrichello and Jenson.

      1. Funny that, it’s almost as if the older generation doesn’t (want to) rate the newer crop of drivers.

        1. Tata @kingshark The question was “Which opponent did you most respect on the track?” Quite a different thing to how he might rate other drivers’ skills.

        2. @kingshark They don’t. It’s always the same. To those people, only Fangio, Senna and so on are the best without a doubt, whereas for me personally, I think the current crop of top drivers are the greatest of all time and they’re not even willing to compare current drivers to past drivers as they simply cannot be put at the same level. They also complain about modern F1 and don’t rate it.

          1. @mashiat, when you look at the way that the viewing public votes for whom they think were the greatest drivers of their era, the results often are really more of a reflection of the drivers that they were watching when they were growing up.

            I recall a poster on another forum posting the results from polls which had been run in the past (by Autosport, if I recall well) and the results illustrated that trend quite clearly. The polls from the early 1990’s tended to be biased more strongly towards drivers from the mid to late 1960’s (such as Dan Gurney) being much more highly ranked then than they are now.

            Shift the time frame to the late 1990’s, and the polls tended to be weighted towards the drivers from the 1970’s (from Fittipaldi and Stewart in the earlier years through towards Andretti and Lauda from the mid to later part of that decade).

            As you get closer to the current day, the polls tend to shift again and become more heavily biased towards the drivers from the mid 1980’s to early 1990’s and the current era is compared to that time period far more often than any other era. In another decade, it is possible that we could begin to see more of a bias towards drivers from the late 1990’s to 2000’s, perhaps with figures like Montoya or Kimi Raikkonen seeing their respective rankings creep up.

      2. Lewis had the luxury of debuting in the fastest car on the grid and did start at the back or middle of the grid like others champions, not to mention get got his first wc because of interteam skullduggery..having said that, he is a worthy WC and a great driver..guys like DC and Mutton also started in F1 in fastest car..who prolly would of floundered in f1 if they started at the back…noway Mutton would of been WC without that Brawn

        1. Did not start at the back of the grid

        2. The only decent car Button drove in the build up to his WDC was the Brawn… Face it, he started in 2000 as a stop gap driver at Williams (who only needed to fill the space for 1 season, as they knew they were going to have Montoya), then kicked him over to the under performing Benetton… He then moved to BAR (or rebadged Tyrell) for 3 seasons, although the car did get better, it was never a race winning car… Next stop Honda and again, although improved, it still wasn’t competitive enough, before Brawn took over and managed to sort it out…

          Hamilton is also renowned for hissy fits when things do t go his way, including things like kicking the position marker boards post race

          1. I doubt there are many people on this forum who could watch a 23 second lead at the most prestigious F1 race on the calendar turn into 3rd place because of a strategy blunder, and not come out of the car swearing a blue streak. And he didn’t kick it, he drove into it.

            I love how being grumpy and taciturn is considered a hissy fit. Go look up John McEnroe on youtube. Now, THAT is world champion hissy fit material.

            It’s easy to find much, much louder and ruder “hissy fits” in the history of F1, from some of the biggest names in the sport.

          2. – Hamilton is also renowned for hissy fits
            Nope. Hamilton is not renowned for whatever it is you said. But he is rather renowned for being one of the fastest men ever to race in F1 and being one of the sports greatest achievers. Currently, he is renowned as the greatest racer ever out of Britain. It is a difficult pill for some to swallow hence the near constant attacks on his personality. What about his racing? Yeah, that too has been vilified. They have called him aggressive, munches through his tyres, burns up his fuel faster than anyone else, doesn’t have much brain power, very emotional, does not have a strong mental strength, cannot set up a car, etc. But evidence proves otherwise. In fact they couldn’t be farther from the truth. The man has shown that he is probably the best in the sport at conserving his tyres and fuel and is a master racer knowing when to push and how to maintain the minutest of gaps between him and those he is racing. You don’t storm or bulldoze your way into multiple wins and championships. That is impossible. You have to be an all-rounder. You not only have to be fast, you also need to be smart, have nerves of steel and a very strong mental strength.
            Of course those who don’t like him know the facts about the man, but they rather choose to say otherwise. I guess Hamilton does not really care any more especially at this stage in his career. He has nothing more to prove. And the people who keep spouting things of that nature are merely clutching at straws, searching for anything to hold onto to reinforce their cynicism because they simply cannot believe or come to accept what their eyes are seeing as the man keeps on excelling.
            Does he really care that much about British acceptance or ranking? I don’t think he does.
            The evidence continues to speak.

            1. Tata let’s not get carried away …best f1 driver to come out of Britan? Moss Clarke Stewart ect might disagree with you there..given The machinery he has driven compared to other Brits his achievements are good but not awesome.

          3. If schuey or FA, senna had Muttons seat in the williams they would not of blown it..schuey won a wc in a dog benneton , Mutton was a tidy average driver at best.

      3. I was slightly confused by Hill’s comments. Considering what has happened to Lewis so far this season, he’s been quite up-beat and hasn’t been blaming the team. He put an end to the various conspiracy theories on his own and has repeatedly said “we win and lose as a team.”

        Ricciardo however….

        1. He put an end to the various conspiracy theories on his own? No actually he added to them and then had to backtrack. His comment that they switched crews between he and Nico ‘for no apparent reason’ fueled the conspiracy theorists and he immediately had to tap dance to cover that comment, and Wolff put out a letter to the public defending the team. LH hardly ‘put an end to conspiracy theories on his own.’

          1. He said “for no apparent reason”. If nut bags use that for proof of their nut bag theories… So be it.
            They use that to forward their own little conspiracies, and people like you use it for theirs, it’s proof of absolutely nothing.

            The man is a man, and speaks as such, I would much rather a driver that occasionally accidentally flames on conspiracies thru casual language, than one who speaks in press release. Like Vettel or Alonso.

            People love Lewis because he’s real.

        2. Petebaldwin ….Yeah but the team won’t let Ric win

    4. Michael Brown (@)
      9th June 2016, 3:25

      Of course, pay TV isn’t an issue here in Cnaada, because we get F1 for free. We get practice 2, qualifying, and the race all live. The feed we get is Sky’s (personally I prefer the BBC’s).

      I said in another post that free-to-air is why I became a fan of F1. I found the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix when going through my channels (of course, due to the time zones in Canada, the live race is at about 2am. I found a re-airing in the afternoon). If I had to pay extra for it, I would have decided that it was not worth my time, and so I wouldn’t be commenting right now.

      1. @mbr-9 There’s no bbc anymore unless it’s the 5 live but of course radio commentary is different. It’s channel 4 that’s following bbc’s footsteps, I guess it doesn’t matter whether sky is a premium channel or not, not even on free-to-air people pick sky over the bbc/channel4

      2. Exactly. I found F1 through FTA, and started following it, especially when One HD in Australia made a commitment to every race live. I now follow F1 closely, but wouldn’t be here if I couldn’t discover it through FTA to begin with. No way I can justify the $50 a month for the Foxtel subscription (Sky) now to watch every race live. So the races which aren’t on FTA live, I usually download the next day, avoid all media, and watch with the “Live Timing” app (which is pretty good these days, still a bit dear, but is great).

    5. Strange comments from Damon Hill….you get the feeling that they are part of a continuing conversation and have been quoted out of context. Else they would make no sense – what “hissy fit” is he talking about??
      It’s really difficult to understand why British F1 ex-drivers dislike Hamilton so much. Is it his accomplishments that make them feel small? Jackie Stewart takes every opportunity to throw garbage at Lewis. Johnny Herbert is usually a bit neutral, but I can’t help noticing that even when Lewis is on pole, Johnny always picks someone else to win the race – consistently, always, all the time. Makes no sense given Lewis’ race-winning ability. Martin Brundle, the less said the better – in 2011, he called Lewis so many bad things that one would have thought the two had a personal disagreement. Even Jenson Button is not left behind, with his memorable quote about Lewis’ leaving McLaren being a mistake that Lewis would come to regret, or words to that effect.
      Why do they hate Hamilton so much??

      1. He’s incredibly easy to hate. Could be the chains, haircut, singing career and general demeanour – but that would be splitting hairs.

        1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          9th June 2016, 8:39

          Those are really petty reasons to hate another person.

        2. Tony Mansell
          9th June 2016, 9:34

          What about his driving? Rather than whether you think his fashion sense is as good as yours

        3. LH is held to a different standard than other drivers as fas as I can see. It is really sad that people think he deserves to be disliked because of ‘his haircut’.

          Pathetic really.

        4. @Johanness
          No Hamilton is not “incredibly easy to hate”. When you hate people because of their appearance, it speaks volumes about you and not the person you hate.
          You may hate people when they do bad things but never because they look different or are percieved to be different.
          There is a term for those kind of things.
          Let me add here that hatred of Hamilton runs quite deep by those who don’t like him hence the pleasure of jumping on any chance to flogg the guy be it for any minor reason.
          Your statement above proves my point. There is no body who is incredibly easy to hate unless the person is a very evil person. But here you are proudly spouting that because of someone’s hairstyle, he is according to you “incredibly easy to hate”.
          I think you and the likes should cut to the chase and say exactly what your reason is. Stop beating about the bush.

        5. Singing career? Funny, I can’t find any discography or tour dates for him.

          As for “general demeanor”, I’m reminded of people saying that a certain Illinois Senator Obama was “uppity” during the 2008 election.

          1. Hmm..now that is interesting. I think you can draw parallels between both men’s career. For both, no matter what they do, their detractors will hate them. Hated if you do, hated if you don’t. A recent example: Hamilton was largely criticised for Monaco incident with Ricciardo and that of Spain with Rosberg. Hated if you are behind and hated if you are in front. In each case they flip their arguments without any qualms.
            And wait for it, the ‘explanations’ for why he is ‘wrong’ on both cases are coming.

      2. Michael Brown (@)
        9th June 2016, 12:44

        Well, the 2011 comments were warranted; that was clearly a bad year for him.

        And given McLaren’s form relative to Mercedes in 2012, the move seemed to be a mistake. Of course, McLaren made the mistake of taking on Pérez and Mercedes won three races in 2013 while McLaren won zero.

        1. They weren’t really. He had a bad year but the whole accusations started from Monaco after his collisions and comments but reality is he had a good reason to be frustrated since none of his collisions in that race were his fault and they were accusing him of being a loose canon.
          Both Maldonado and Massa turned on him and it was proven enough by people showing pictures etc after the race that Brundle apologized for saying it was Hamilton fault when the collision with Maldonado happened. Even Williams pretty much admitted it by saying “Let’s just say it was a racing incident”. That was basically an admission, considering the stewards gave your driver the right and you have every reason to defend your driver.

          This year we had Barcelona with people go back and forth when you can easily put the video in frame to frame and see that Rosberg wasn’t going right but simply stayed a little in the middle waiting for Hamilton and turn AFTER Hamilton turned his wheel. Toto admitted it that Merc know the truth by mistake basically in an interview by saying it in a way that showed they know Hamilton was simple run out of the track.

      3. To be fair, in 2011, Hamilton was driving like Maldonado– full speed ahead, damn the torpedos and no gap is too small to wedge one’s car into.

        It’s part of why 2012 was so frustrating for Hamilton (and his fans)– He drove an absolutely perfect season (well– except for Valencia) and lost at least 100 points due to operational and strategic blunders by his team. If McLaren had their act together in 2012, Hamilton should have been a strong contender for the title. Doing that after a disastrous 2011 season was an impressive turnaround.

      4. Because he’s the Justin Bieber of F1.

        1. Truer words haven’t been spoken

    6. Ham’s doing fine and RB very rarely throw races away. There’s nothing to talk about? there’s so many races to go!

    7. What is it with Alonso and his flow of commonsense?

      Does he just wanna, just wanna be adored?

      1. Jimmy Price
        9th June 2016, 4:13

        Flavio is his good friend and manager.

        Never forget.

    8. Would Alonso be ok making less money if F1 stops using pay TV? Because I can imagine why F1 needs pay TV when their drivers demand 40m a year salaries…

      1. @hahostolze that’s completely flawed thinking. if the sport has less money in it overall than salaries will go down. when he was at ferrari his entire salary was paid by santander – they might not pay as much if they know fewer people are watching the sport on tv. in fact, that’s exactly what has happened.

        1. He’s paid by Honda now.

    9. Harikrrishna
      9th June 2016, 7:33

      As a kid I watched F1 free on TV star sports for India. The Ferrari n Schumacher combo pulled me in to F1 now I watch all the races but the magic of F1 to produce great races has gone.

      1. Star Sports was never free. F1 has never been on Free TV in India. Star Sports is a part of the overall package you pay for. Either by cable or DTH service.

        1. Harikrrishna
          12th June 2016, 8:05

          @brainfrank- you are correct but in those days it came with the basic package now I have to pay separately for star sports, F1 missing lot of audience.

    10. Neil (@neilosjames)
      9th June 2016, 8:21

      I don’t object to a bit of sportsmanship, but there aren’t many things worse than seeing a sports man or woman pretending to be indifferent to defeat. Apart from those who genuinely are indifferent to it.

      Being a good loser just means you’re a good actor. I’d rather see emotions on display, not hidden behind a plastic, sponsor-friendly grin.

      1. Sharing champagne with your best bro-mance before sharing it with your team is the new F1…

    11. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      9th June 2016, 8:36

      Damon’s wrong. He should have kicked up a fuss when he was cheated out of the ’94 championship, he refused to do so because he wanted to emulate his dad, but the hurt seemed to gnaw away at him for the rest of his career.

      I like ‘heart on your sleeve’ sportsmen, they witness the ups and downs of their sport with far more intensity – and honesty – than those with buttoned down lips. And we can cheer or boo along with them as we please. F1 is a passionate sport, its fans are devoted, the drivers need to reflect that.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        9th June 2016, 11:18

        cheated out of the ’94 championship

        IMO it would feel wrong for anybody else but MSc being crowned WDC after winning 8/10 races he finished/qualified (and finishing runner up in the other 2).

        1. Yeah, but, Schumacher did out right cheat after he crashed in order to gain the WDC in 94… In fact the manoeuvre he performed was far more severe than the Prost/Senna incident in 89, that resulted in a 6 month ban for Senna.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            9th June 2016, 15:53

            6-month race ban?

    12. It’s not just FTA TV that will hurt F1. F1 is the only motorsport event in the UK where you have to pay for kids to watch for general admission (correct me if I’m wrong). This means that my 8 year old daughter, who wants to watch motorsport with me will only see F1 if I pay for her too. Yes, we still get F1 on Channel 4 but this soon will disappear.

      In contrast, I took the whole family this year to BTCC at Thruxton, with grandstand seats on Sunday. The only payment for the children was the additional grandstand seat. From this event, with the access to the paddock and meeting the drivers (Jack Goff became her favourite), my daughter was hooked. The following weekend she wanted to watch the BTCC on TV and we could. I recorded the highlights of the F1 too, but she wasn’t interested. “Just tell me the result”, she said. That may well be the norm in the future. A bit like cricket. I used to watch test match cricket as a kid and therefore I loved playing it at school. Now I just check the results of that sport and I see F1 going the same way.

    13. Many will disagree with me on this, but I really hope Formula 1 can follow the idea of the “WWE Network” set forward by the pro wrestling company.

      For those who didn’t know about this, “WWE Network” is a service that charges users 10$/month, and subscribers can watch all of WWE’s pay-per-views, all past episodes of the WWE company, special shows starring WWE wrestlers, etc.

      I would love it if there is such a “Formula 1 Network”, where I can follow Free Practices, Qualys, and Races live regardless of which country I am residing in. I can also see special shows and interviews with the drivers, watch the race from different camera angles if I want to, re-watch past Press Conferences and any sessions of any Grand Prix, etc.

      I think paying for what you watch is a good practice, and something like NowTV in the UK can be acceptable, but many would still argue that it’s still overpriced. In the US though, there’s no way I can watch F1 without buying the whole cable subscription for at least 40$/month. That’s just way too expensive for my F1 needs.

      For many young people nowadays, TVs just aren’t “cool” anymore. People now tend to just sit back or lay down on their beds and watch the shows on their laptops or iPads or smartphones. Even for those who own TVs, they are more and more buying devices like the Fire TV and enjoy NetFlix and other shows (WWE Network is on the Fire TV by the way). A gradual switch to internet-based subscriptions now, I believe, is a nice move forward for Formula 1.

      If F1 offers a universal, price-acceptable service with supporting shows and capabilities, I’d be the first one to buy it.

      1. Very good idea! :D I would pay 10€ per month just to see HD versions of old races.

        This is super sane and good option.

        But the problem is Sky buys rights for all video from races for Great Britain. FOM cannot then just compete with it and offer a stand alone product.

        All pay per view chanells pretty much justify the price for the thing you do want for giving you the price of what you want.

        However WWE is a niche sport. F1. has how many regular viewers? 10M per race? way more? would all pay 5€ per race to stream it online? How would this work for “older” viewers?

        For us Millennials no problem, we have no TV or cable anyhow. But FOM is known for sticking to old ways.

      2. This sounds very similar to MLB.tv for baseball here in the US. It is a subscription based service, but it has every game, plus options for minor league games. 30 teams; 162 games a year (4860 games each about 3 hours long a piece), plus bonus content all in HD. Most OS’s, browsers, web enabled devices, and gaming consoles have this app available. Streaming on your phone and every game is available all year for live and replays. 21 races with practices and qualifying would be a fraction of the investment. Maybe even a GP2 add-on option. I would pay $100/yr to know I can watch F1 anytime I want. Of course at this time I have other ‘options’ I utilize that has all these things in HD… I just have to wait 6 – 12 hours after the event finishes.

    14. Hill chatting bubbles again. Alonso chatting sense again, just another day in F1.

      …next

    15. Sky’s new UK rights deal will hopefully mean they do some clever stuff with online-only streaming, hopefully for just F1, and hopefully in 720p minimum HD & 5.1.

      Fingers crossed.

    16. Formula 1 is losing it’s audience mostly because it can’t decide who it’s audience is. Let’s not pretend that the powers that be in the sport are not old men who believe everything was much better during the War. Maybe they’re right, but but it doesn’t excuse their actions today. When Bernie, Charlie and his other Brabham cronies were entering F1 the sport was noncommercial and a family environment, albeit a rich, elitist band of brothers who enjoyed the exclusivity of their industry. We can add Ron and Luca into that generation too. When the penny dropped that the sport could make them all billionaires, they all defaulted to a stuffy, professional outlook which is to be expected. This is old news for most of us but it does explain why Formula 1 appears to be so backward when addressing today’s electorate. The public are voting with their feet and it doesn’t bode well for the sport.

      Those who’ve read my opinions on the future of F1 know that I think it is bleak until there is massive change soon, but with that said I still love the sport. I love the racing. The racing has been as good this year as any since 2010 for me and I can’t understand why ratings fell between 2008 and 2010. 2010 was a golden season in what should be a golden era for the sport on track. I feel the sport has not reached it’s potential on track but that is another issue.

      The problems of F1 are multifaceted but engaging with the public for the product we have is still unacceptable. The F1 website is largely improved from a couple of years ago but little youtube presence makes the sport seem outdated. The sport is saved on social media by fans contributions, not the sports.

      A deeper argument is that the sport is losing appeal because it doesn’t have a DNA. The DNA of the sport should be the fastest possible cars given a free choice of tyres with the fastest car on pole and and the winner the one who crosses the line first. In order to spice up the show we have tampered with this too often. Too many restrictions, penalties and generally being overly officious make the sport seem so much more boring to the man on the street than it is. With pay TV you will never get new fans. How many people on here would take up a new sport if they had to pay £20 a month to get into it? The fans who are loyal get nothing in return from the sport other than doomsday news reports and changing rules. Penalties for reliability is something that should be reviewed too.

      The sport has no direction and as long as it is rudderless it will lose both the fans it has and the fans it would have if it had left it alone.

    17. Didn’t want to respond to any one specific poster, but just to say I think the response to DH’s opinion on LH has been heavy handed and far from magnanimous.

      First of all DH didn’t use the words hissy fit. The author of the article does. DH is only warning LH about not becoming known for ‘bitchiness’ which is the harshest thing he says. Read his actual quotes and not the verbiage of the author.
      DH is actually counting LH among the greats and just doesn’t want to see him blow that with attitude. That’s all.

      But instead of just saying they disagree and why, it becomes a brawl against DH and what he hasn’t done in F1 himself, even though he’s a WDC. Talk about hissy fits. Someone said look at how unmagnanimous DR has been the last couple of races…like that gives LH permission, yet DR is not a 3-time Champion going for a 4th and he lost a few races that are hard to come by when you’re not in the best car. If DR responds the same way after being a multi-Champion in the best car with an opportunity to respond to a bad day with a likely win, then the same criticism will be levelled at him no doubt.

      The fact is LH admitted to off-track distractions costing him on the track in 2011, a year which someone referenced as when Brundle couldn’t stop running LH down. Jackie Stewart has also been further insulted for his past comments on LH here, and yet in his era off-track distractions could easily have cost one his life.

      Personally I think the problem is that today’s cars and the format of F1 and it’s dumbed down tracks do not lend themselves to great feats and it is hard for me to think of any of the drivers today amongst the greats. So when WDC veterans see someone who they perceive as needing some perspective, in a time when they are so coddled, no wonder they have an opinion. Their one allowed opinion. One that doesn’t just come out of the blue without some reason for having been formed. In their opinion.

    18. Feernando :D I like this guy now. Every year i like him more. This year i can declare myself a firm fan. He would make a much better champion than those Mercedes drama princes.

      Every time I compare F1 2016 and 2006 in simulator I get shocked. Tire grip is terrible in 2016. What it must be like in real life to drive those things in anger… only to then drive in race 6-7 seconds off pace. Then your friend Webber gets to do Le Mans flat out.

      I guess it is tolerable if you are in a winning car, but position 6-12… must be so frustrating. And we see many massive talents under performing. Take Lewis Hamilton this year, nobody can dispute his natural ability, but under regulations, tire pressures, etc… Nico Rosberg is often better.

      Maybe Top guys of F1 should start looking elsewhere if F1 2017 is not all its cracked up to be.

    19. The problem isn’t so much that F1 has gone behind a paywall, but rather the way in which it has done it. Mostly due to the short-term-ism of the CRH. I don’t think there’s really much wrong with a model as we have in the UK at the moment whereby some races are shown FTA with some shown in highlights packages, while all are shown in full on pay TV – the issues really are down to the lack of visibility of the FTA content, the price of the pay TV option, and the lack of other streams of engagement. By restricting F1’s visibility almost exclusively to TV, in an age where the internet is King, F1 is losing out on lots of very important touch points. The real bonus of internet content is that it can be shown in a hugely condensed form – highlights lasting little more than a few minutes – which can then be distributed and shared by fans.

      US motorsports seem to be much better at this. While it’s a very different sport, Monster Jam achieves massive viewership because Youtube videos of incredible moments of action are shared almost immediately – even in the commentary they make a point of talking about how many hits a video of a moment might get. By contrast, FOM jealously guard every single second of footage featuring F1 cars, ensuring that any content which cannot be directly monetised is immediately taken down.

      I’d like a model whereby there’s a huge social media presence with regular short highlights packages showcasing some of the most incredible moments of each race, as well as the most contentious. The two Mercedes drivers runing into each other is marketting gold, but there’s no appetite to capitalise on it. But this sort of viral promotion propagated by F1’s millions of fans would ensure that some people would at least be interested enough to watch the odd FTA race.

      FTA could also have more content available. While I think that generally the highlights packages are pretty good, why not have coverage of other sessions covered in the same way they cover football fixtures – with presenters in a studio presenting content and giving updates, and going live to reporters in the paddock, without actually showing the FOM feed of what’s happening on track? That sort of coverage is hardly expensive, it just needs signoff from FOM.

      The pay TV section of the coverage I think is relatively good – SKY have decent presenters, good diversity of content, and so on. But it could be more in depth. The restriction to using the standard FOM feed means that what you see on SKY is basically the same as what you see on C4, once you strip out all of the pre-and post race show bits. As a radical idea, why not allow Pay TV to be covered by a single, global supplier who can then tailor everythign about how the racing is filmed and presented? A company like Amazon seems perfect for this. Then allow people to pay specifically for the content they want. At the moment I have to pay a huge amount to get Sky F1 – it’s not available separately to Sky’s other sports channels, which I have absolutely zero interest in watching. Why not allow someone like Amazon to create a tailored motorsports service in conjunction with people like Eurosport and SpeedTV, so that motorsports fans can get access to global motorsports coverage from one single source, with content streaming in from all across the world?

      This is why Pay TV isn’t working. Not because it’s a bad idea, but because it’s dreadfully implemented. F1 fans have to pay through the nose for a service which they mostly will never use. We’re being shafted so that Sky can keep bidding on their football coverage, and we’re treated like criminals if we want to watch videos online.

      As I say, short-term-ism from FOM. Just flog the rights out to the highest bidder and let them charge what they want for it. No interest in investing in anything which can’t be directly monetised, and no interest in building decent, long term relationships with global providers who can genuinely improve the product.

      1. Here here. Worst problem is every year of this policy young childern fall in love with F1 less and less.

        No way kids can afford subscription. So F1 has a very poor future prospect for finding new viewers.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          9th June 2016, 15:57

          hear, hear. ;)

    20. I am a dedicated fan but watch it on freeview TV a ) I cannot afford sky. B ) don’t want too C) formula 1 is not exclusive so get all sports and I only watch f1 D) my internet signal is below average / non. Existent E) probably won’t even come to my house so freeview tv it is IF that’s the way I may drop f1 and watch other motorsports like wrc wec. British gt and British formula 4 Etc.

      Oh yeah I am 26 years old

    21. Lee Porcelli
      10th June 2016, 8:50

      Good on Damon for stating the obvious.Love how when someone questions an aspect of Lewis all hell breaks out . suddenly Damon s driving record has been brought into play. . Sometimes l question whether Lewis actually enjoys what he does on the track. He is a prickly customer for sure.

    22. I do not get what Hill is all about. Especially the timing. If anyone was throwing a fit it was Riccardo in Monaco. Sure Hamilton was down after qualifying but he just seemed a little depressed, nothing more really. He didn’t have some big reaction.
      And Hamilton’s down moot was the result of all the races until Monaco being negative. He was actually harder to start becoming unhappy that usual this year because it took quite a few bad races for him to stop being smiley.

      Hill really chose a time to make such comments that his comments really do not apply. Hamilton took the bad quite calm this year.

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