Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2018

“A little screw” was behind Vettel’s unusual radio message

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel reveals the cause of his amusing radio message about “something between my legs”.

What they say

I said what had to be said and then I thought maybe it came out wrong. I thought it was funny. We found it in the end, it was a little screw.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

If there’s any country Liberty Media should be successfully broadcasting F1 in, it’s the USA. So how are they doing?

The switch to Liberty Media has already had a huge impact on the US coverage. The switch from NBC Sports to ESPN was very abrupt and I’ve personally missed at least six qualifying sessions as it airs on ESPN News which is not a standard ESPN channel.

For Verizon, one of the largest cable providers in the US, ESPN news is only available on the Extreme package which is their top-of-the-line package. It’s only $10 more per month in my case but that’s almost the same as a Netflix/HBO subscription just to watch a few more qualifying sessions so it’s not really a super deal. If Liberty Media forces the US fans to subscribe to a F1 exclusive streaming channel, I fear it will be the death of F1 in the US.

I love F1 but I, like everyone else, don’t like to be forced to do anything so I might just switch to watching IndyCar and NASCAR like my compatriots. We have two competing racing series we can watch for free in the USA without dealing with Liberty and I think many folks might make the switch or simply take a hiatus from F1.

Getting those folks to tune back to F1 in the future will be a colossal undertaking – a lot of children in the US (especially the F1 market) participate in sports activities that the parents need to be present at so F1 is not only competing with professional sports like Moto GP, soccer, tennis, football but also competing with our children’s sports leagues over the weekends which sometimes take four to five hours or 10-12 hours or require a full weekend for tournaments – asking for one hour on Saturday and two hours on Sunday is almost like asking someone to add another religion.

Liberty Media should be making F1 as easy to watch as possible. They had such a victory getting F1 on NBC Sports and they squandered it away…
Michael (@Freelittlebirds)

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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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  • 28 comments on ““A little screw” was behind Vettel’s unusual radio message”

    1. I wonder what McLaren is even doing?

      1. @alfa145: Alonso has been wondering for years….

      2. They want to make sure that not only their car, but their pit crew are a joke as well.

      3. @alfa145 – British tradition/charity money raiser. Actually I’m shocked that they weren’t in drag. Probably a safety issue with the big skirts and flowery hats (for the men; women usually dress as boys). The British can be… odd.

        1. @tribaltalker – thanks for that context, it would have been fun to see that :-) It might have fitted in even better with Mexico’s carnival atmosphere!

    2. Re QOTD:
      ESPN has done little to help promote F1 in the US with it’s mediocre (at best) coverage. Commercials not in sync with Sky’s coverage, qualifying not even being covered at some of the races, no FP1 or FP2 (Brazil for instance) at many races, abrupt end with little or no coverage extending post race, and the list goes on. I’ve written to Liberty Media and have yet to have a response. Guess they don’t check anything other than (maybe) social media, as email seems so last century. Wonder when (and not if) ESPN will drop F1 mid-season as they did on their first time around. If this is the best media outlet they can find to cover it, then no wonder viewership in dwindling.

      1. I watched both FP1 and FP2 from Brazil today, and I haven’t missed a qualifying session all season…all on ESPN channels (with the exception of a couple races that were shown on ABC). Aside from the season opener, all qualifying and races have been shown in their entirety without any commercials at all, even the ones on ABC. The problem for some is that ESPN shows some sessions (practices and qualifying typically) on ESPNEWS, which isn’t included with many basic cable or satellite plans. I suspect that’s why you haven’t been able to watch some of these sessions, but you probably could have viewed them on their streaming service, ESPN3.

      2. @no-6

        I live in Raleigh-Durham and have Spectrum cable w sports channels. The last two races haven’t even available in the program guide, and are not part of a series I can record. I can only record them by going to the time slot in the channel guide.

        Which lead me to miss the live broadcast for last week’s race. Had to wait till end of day. Should have recorded the Spanish version.

        Plus I miss the old NBC team. I don’t mind Paul de Resta but I don’t like the rest of the crew. I miss Will Buxton’s especially.

        But seriously, I have to know what and when I’m looking for to find qualifying and the race.

        I needed two things to hook get hooked. Enough familiarity to care, which I got from top gear. Then opportunity to watch, which I got when I stumbled onto a race mid season in 2012. I don’t know if it could happen again because the content model has changed so much. US viewers won’t even see F1 stuff in their news.

        1. @slotopen I live in NC also, all the way out west in Cherokee county. The tier that I have with Dish satellite has all the ESPN channels I need for F1. In fact, motor racing is the ONLY thing I use ESPN for. Anyway, you may or may not have already found this site – It is a very simple one page list of all the following week’s motorsports events, with channels and air times. I miss the NBC team also btw, but I sure don’t miss the commercials. It will be interesting to see if they carry on with their commercial free race and qualifying broadcasts next year. Hope so!

          1. @slotopen

            Small world. I also live in Raleigh. I have at&t fiber with uverse TV. I have the DVR setup to record f1 as a series on all the ESPN channels and it works great. Haven’t missed a session yet. They are also available online via espn3. I would expect that even if you don’t get ESPN news, You could still watch the sessions on espn3.

            Personally I like f1 on ESPN. I do miss Hobbs, matchett, and Buxton, I think the sky crew do a better job. I REALLY like that there aren’t commercials during qualifying or race. Thanks Mother’s polishes!

    3. I still think the best thing liberty could do is to put the f1 broadcast on as many paid packages as they can. TV is outdated media and internet is where you need to be. But making your own streaming service or trying to push exclusive deals via single services regionally is a huge mistake. In this era services like netflix, amazon prime, hulu etc. are the free to watch alternative to old age television. Not because they are not free but because literally everybody has subscription to at least one of those. When f1 tries to make their own service they are just competing against giants with already existing massive userbases. And they are asking people to switch from one of those to f1 service just to watch couple of races per month.

      People don’t want to and won’t subscribe to multiple services. Just like they did not get multiple cable packages. They pick one or two and don’t watch the rest or pirate the rest. The big companies are already moving back towards more exclusives and the market is becoming too cluttered with more and more services appearing each with their own exclusives. Adding f1 streaming service into the competition is a good deal only for the most diehard fans (because something is better than nothing). For the rest it is just a surefire way to make the sport invisible for new audiences and kill the growth.

      The best way to get new audiences is to make your product available to everyone in all or as many as possible streaming services. That way you get people to tune in who are interested or just curious. You have children seeing the races and qualifying sessions accidentally and becoming interested. Then if you are a diehard fan you get the official package which has cameras mounted to every nut and bolt on the car, more behind the scenes stuff, more in-depth everything. But the main thing is to get more people interested and that means going where the people are. Not making them come to you.

      Imagine if you could watch f1 qualifying and races in netflix, hbo go, viaplay, hulu, amazon, vue, twitch, youtube… As long as you have one those paid packages. Chances are you have at least one. Is it instant money maker? No. Is it huge money maker in 5 years? Yes. F1 streaming service would have been good 5 or 10 years ago. Now it is a dud.

      1. With F1 already using amazon web services now it is likely that they have investigated streaming through amazon (and netflix).

        1. It does not really work like that at all. Amazon is a big player providing internet connectivity and other services like cloud computing to businesses of all sizes. Amazon sells this to big companies and agencies like netflix and cia for example.

          F1 went to amazon to essentially buy bandwidth. Not to get f1 stuff into amazon’s streaming service.

          1. I know the difference. It’s very likely that F1 did ask amazon about streaming F1 on their platform (or Amazon themselves offered).
            Regardless my point is that it’s likely that it was discussed and F1 found it to be not viable for them. Perhaps Amazon had unreasonable demands(they are not cheap for big corporates) or reasonable ones but F1 were too greedy to accept.
            Its extremely unlikely that amazon use for streaming was not considered given the work they are doing with AWS insights.

      2. Yes, I think this is the right path forward for F1. Make it available online in as many ways as possible. And I think this is Liberty’s intention from their quotes. You can already get F1TV on the Apple and Google App stores and then cast it on your viewing device of choice. However, we are still in a massive transition from the old broadcast/cable business model to something else and there are existing rights which pay a lot of money to F1 in some countries. This transition affects all video, not just F1.

        Regarding QOTD, the NBC Sports coverage was also on cable (paid) except for a very few races on NBC. ESPN is on many more cable packages than NBC Sports is. I remember having to buy an additional package to get F1 when they first moved to NBC. ESPN’s handling of F1 is horrible, but they obviously (like NBC who let it go) don’t feel better coverage is worth it.

        I do not miss Matchett and Hobbs and am thankful for the smarter commentary from announcers who are actually at the race instead of in some studio in the US.

    4. Yet again the cost of TV coverage of F1 i it’s entirety, rears it’s ugly, greedy, & evil head.
      At “home” & Liberty already losing US viewers. Way to go Liberty………….NOT.
      Similar greedy evil bs has also reared it’s ugly head for any live sector timing in all practise, qualy & races.
      Real fans enjoy the added boost of watching the sector times.
      Used to be free & always part of every BBC session.
      Now? Pay through the nose greed rules that too.

      No I’m not naive & understand commercial sense. However, charge to much & watch the spectacle of F1 DIE.

    5. Good that even he thought it was funny afterwards. Maybe, he should’ve worded it a bit differently in the first place although at least it produced the team radio message of the season so far.

      1. Seb missed his opportunity for a better followup gag .. I mean ‘a little screw’ was good but ‘a couple of nuts’ may have been better ;)

    6. Vettel really needs to stop screwing around (and corkscrewing around) in his car ;-)

    7. That ‘Red Top’ article should have been featured in bottom news position. Gossip is not what I want on Racefans. It is sad when you read more comments than news.

    8. Vettels message was excellent and the reactions to it on the radio just as good.

      I would also get a chuckle out of seeing Alonso with the ears on and that really sour look on his face that he does well :)

    9. Its good to know that despite the stresses and strains of the season so far and the pressure of working for the emotional washing machine called Ferrari that the inner Vettel the joker is still in there. When he started in F1 he was quoting and imitating Monty Python on the radio, confusing his engineers.

    10. Ahhh tax dodging, its lawful but unethical, be proud of yourself.

    11. Re COTD: “Asking for one hour on Saturday and two hours on Sunday is almost like asking someone to add another religion.”

      F1 IS a religion.

      1. Ah, damn it. There goes my street cred as an atheist …

    12. It would also be such an easy route for my kid, who would be guaranteed a seat in Formula One because of their name.

      Really? Since when? There have been numerous examples of sons of former drivers who never made it to F1. More so than examples of sons who did actually make it to F1. And even then they generally got in on merit. I doubt anybody would argue that Rosberg and Verstappen didn’t earn their shot in F1, and even Palmer had to win F2 before any team actually considered him. Magnussen was also hired by McLaren (later Renault and Haas) due to his performances, not his father. I can’t think of many examples of drivers who got their seats in F1 purely because of their surname. Obviously, it would help if you had connections as a result of your father (or grandfather) being in F1, but to say that they are guaranteed a seat? I don’t think so.

    13. COTD- if our USA friends aren’t embracing F1 even after the start changes in European races, can we then then please change it back? F1 has been really hard to watch in Australia this year, one hour on a Sunday makes a big difference.

      The USA market is very important for F1, but it’s never really broken into it with viewers so the US market obviously needs more than a time change to view in.

      I would be interested to see why current US F1 fans on this site think F1 struggles a bit in the USA.

    14. With all due respect to all involved -the COTD is just nonsense. The switch from NBC Sports Network to ESPN/SKY has been a revelation. There are no ads during the races now. There were 5 minutes of ads every 20 minutes before. The commentators on Sky are superior. David Hobbes on NBC was a constant distraction and the source of errors and very little useful information for years. Also, there are no ads during the races. No ads. Did I mention NO ADS?

      F1 isn’t even close to being popular in the US to be shown on free TV. It’s a nonstarter. It’s not hard to find on the ESPN channels if you are looking for it and it’s an enthusiasts thing in the US. We are looking for it, by and large. To be honest, soccer/football IS catching on in the US, but F1 just isn’t gaining ground here -as is the case elsewhere. I love it, but it’s a niche thing.

      Also, and this is central to this debate in the US, I’ve never seen a paid US TV system where NBC Sports wasn’t on an equal or more expensive tier than ESPN. American football is on ESPN a lot and almost everyone in the country already has it. NBC Sports is not NBC. It’s a niche channel that shows IndyCar/Cycling/Premier League. Way more people have ESPN than NBC Sports.

      In any case….I’m happier this year.

    Comments are closed.