The BBC F1 Team: The Verdict so far

In the first part of my series at looking at Formula 1 broadcasting in the UK, I focussed on the newly formed Sky Sports F1 team and analysed each person, giving my perspective on each member of the team. I move on from that in Part 2 of the series, to focussing on the BBC TV team. As noted in Part 1, I will not be focussing on BBC Radio or Sky Sports News for the purposes of this series.

Ben Edwards
If you haven’t heard of Ben Edwards, you’ve probably been living under a rock. If you are not a broadcasting ‘expert’ or stick purely to F1, then you’re forgiven. Either way, Edwards is considered one of the best, if not the best current motor sport commentator at the moment. So good, that he is compared to Murray Walker. I’ll leave you to discuss that comparison…. Edwards began his commentary journey in the early 1990’s at Eurosport. His first Formula 1 commentary was at the 1994 Japanese Grand Prix for Eurosport, which was the beginning of a long partnership with John Watson. The two commentated on Eurosport until the end of 1996 (when Eurosport lost the F1 rights due to the new ITV deal), before reuniting for the pay-per-view series F1 Digital+ in 2002, and again commentating on the A1 Grand Prix world feed.

Edwards’ commentary is renowned for having a similar style to Walker, with his ability to commentate fluently during all stages of the race and keep the viewer engaged, whether the action is pedestrian and you are struggling to keep awake, or whether a pass is about to take place on the last lap – in which case Edwards will probably shout at the top of his voice with the emotion in his voice clearly on display. Edwards puts the action across to the viewer informatively and articulately. Although he’s with BBC for 2012, and there are absolutely no faults with him, one has to question why BBC did not pick him up in 2009, nor did ITV pick him up after Murray Walker retired? The fact that Jonathan Legard got the BBC TV gig in 2009 and Edwards didn’t, robbing us of the Edwards and Martin Brundle combination fans have wanted for years, is staggering. No disrespect to Legard, but his and Brundle’s commentary was a bigger disappointment than Shrek 2…

David Coulthard
One of the more familiar faces of BBC’s 2012 coverage, Coulthard’s Formula 1 career began at the 1994 Spanish Grand Prix. Initially a Williams test driver, Coulthard was drafted in place of Ayrton Senna, who was tragically killed at the San Marino Grand Prix. Coulthard had 13 wins in a career that spanned 15 years, through Williams, McLaren and Red Bull. Coulthard, like Martin Brundle did 13 years earlier, moved into broadcasting, becoming a pundit for BBC’s Formula One coverage in 2009 alongside the outspoken Eddie Jordan. Coulthard suited the role very well, and quickly grew into it, once he realised Jordan was outspoken in just about everything he said!

Seriously though, the combination of Coulthard and Jordan works well because there is someone like Coulthard that quickly counters insane argument 138 that Jordan throws in his direction. Coulthard moved into the commentary box alongside Brundle in 2011 after Jonathan Legard was dropped, the two having a good rapture in the box together. With Brundle moving to Sky for 2012, Coulthard opted to stay at BBC, partnering Ben Edwards. The combination between the two is just as good as that with David Croft and Brundle on Sky, giving viewers that have access to both platforms an extremely difficult decision to make with regards which commentary line-up to watch.

Eddie Jordan
Eddie Jordan started up his own Formula 1 team in 1991, running the team until 2005 when the team was sold to Midland F1 (now known as Force India). During his 15 years, he was known for his outspoken opinions, or opinions that were extremely easy to challenge and disagree with. Jordan’s team had three wins, the memorable 1998 Belgian Grand Prix with Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher scoring the team a 1-2, along with two victories in 1999 season with Heinz-Harald Frentzen at the helm.

Jordan was announced as a pundit for BBC beginning with the 2009 season, in which was actually a move of genius by the broadcaster. Why? In the years’ preceding that ITV were criticised for having a dull pre-show, partially down to having a ‘wooden’ pundit in Mark Blundell, so having someone who has outspoken opinions, along with someone in Coulthard to counter argue him was a genius move and a brilliant way to keep viewers engaged. Although obviously this won’t be very necessary in the highlights shows, he will be definitely a plus for them during the live races and give them an edge over Sky with regards the punditry line-up. His role, has however, led him to being thrown into a Red Bull swimming pool on more than one occasion….

Gary Anderson
From the team owner, to someone who worked for him, we lead on nicely to Gary Anderson. Anderson replaces Ted Kravitz as BBC’s technical analysis. Due to the fact that BBC have had three highlights shows so far and only one live race, its difficult to analyse Anderson so far. My initial thoughts so far is that, while he is a solid replacement for Kravitz, he needs to speak up a bit on camera and in the pit lane and explain his point more clearly to the novice viewer. I do believe though, he will improve on the latter point sooner rather than later as the races go along and he gets more use to the role. One of the things Anderson also has is a pen and piece of paper. An interesting, but effective way to show ‘what does what’ and a car. Sometimes the Sky Pad will work better, sometimes though I guess nothing will beat a pen and piece of paper. Time shall tell.

Jake Humphrey
Starting off his BBC career at Cbeebies, Jake moved onto BBC Sport, fronting portions of Olympics 2008 and Euro 2008 before moving onto the new BBC F1 at the start of 2009. It was evident clearly from day 1 that Humphrey was suited to this job and that this was one of the right decisions that those at BBC Sport made. I remember reading that Humphrey went and asked if he could be host, although I can’t remember where I read that, so I may be wrong. If that is true, then that shows his enthusiasm for F1 and that he is a fan of the sport. Humphrey’s presenting style is one that keeps both the hardcore viewer and casual viewer engaged.

In my honest opinion, Humphrey is the best F1 presenter in the UK, both past and present, ahead of Jim Rosenthal and Simon Lazenby, while as good as, if not better than Steve Rider. Humphrey has the tools to be BBC F1’s presenter for many years to come, something that I hope does happen as I can imagine him being in the role 5, or even 10 years down the line. While Humphrey is a brilliant presenter, there is no questioning that, sometimes he does let his ‘smugness’ get in the way of things. Take for example in China with ‘Lau’, there was no need to big up BBC F1 on camera over Sky Sports. The digs at the competition are unnecessary both on TV and on Twitter, although I understand at times they may be ‘in jest’. Nevertheless, I hope to see Humphrey presenting BBC’s Formula 1 coverage for years to come.

Lee McKenzie
Lee McKenzie comes from a background full of motor sport. Her father, Bob McKenzie is a writer for the Daily Express. Before joining the BBC F1 team, Lee was pit lane reporter for the now-defunct A1 Grand Prix series. She also was a presenter of the short-lived Speed Sunday show, a show which aired on ITV1 on Sunday afternoons in 2004 when F1 races were not airing. These attributes made Lee a clear contender for the pit lane job. It is clear when interviewing people that Lee has a good relationship with many of the drivers’, something that is critical if you want to get the right words out of someone, or whether you want their style to come across to the audience at home.

I think Lee does her role well, there’s not much more to ask from her, nor would I expect her to do any more in her role. Her role is the same as Natalie Pinkham’s on Sky Sports, there’s not much else expected out of a pit lane reporter. Lee also presents the Inside F1 show on BBC News. It’s unfortunate, because I feel the show is somewhat hidden away on the BBC News channel, I’m pretty sure the target audience on that channel is not interested in Inside F1, so I would like to see Inside F1 get a higher priority in the BBC line-up, maybe Saturday teatimes on BBC One for the live races, although given the cutbacks at BBC, this is highly unlikely.

The crucial thing for BBC in 2012 was keeping the majority of the line-up. Although they were served big blows by losing Martin Brundle and Ted Kravitz, the fact that they retained the ‘three amigos’ (Humphrey, Coulthard and Jordan) was definitely a big relief for them, as it meant that their renowned pre-show style from 2009 to 2011 stayed largely intact. Arguably, in hindsight one could argue that losing Brundle or Kravitz was not as big as first. Both, are replaceable, as we’ve seen. Brundle has been replaced by Ben Edwards, who has fitted into the commentary role on BBC, as expected very well. Kravitz has been replaced by Gary Anderson, who I’m sure will be a brilliant technical analyst by the end of the year (he is already, but I’m talking about translating what he is thinking to something that makes sense to the casual viewer on TV). The only thing you are losing is Brundle’s gridwalk, which is a loss, but it’s not a big loss, given that Coulthard and Jordan will try and get people on the grid instead. In reality, I imagine when BBC were discussing 2012, they would have been wanting to keep Eddie Jordan more, as he brings the most to the pre and post-race shows with his opinions and flamboyant styles. Overall, BBC have coped with the changes very, very well and the new team will continue to blend even more in together as the season rolls along.

Part 3 shall focus on how Sky can improve on their product during the race weekend, while Part 4 shall focus on their other programming and why they are focussing on the wrong areas at the  moment. Part 5 will move onto the television ratings and how this deal is affecting the ratings picture. Comments, suggestions, things you agree with, and disagree with are welcome!

Scheduling: Sky Sports not broadcasting this weekend’s IndyCars live [UPDATED]

This weekend’s IndyCar Series race meeting from Sao Paolo will not air live on Sky Sports. The race, which is due to start on Sunday (29th April) at 16:45, is going to be shown on tape-delay on Sky Sports 4 at 17:30. That is despite the race being advertised as airing live.

Looking at the other Sky Sports channels, there is live action on until 17:00, so the decision is somewhat understandable though. What is not understandable, though, is the insistence not to show it on Sky Sports F1. As Sky will well know, the only live action on Sky Sports F1 this weekend is the GP2 Series standalone event from Bahrain. You may remember that Sky Sports F1 broadcasted the latter stages of the first race of the season live on their channel, in similar circumstances.

Sky Sports F1 at the time is broadcasting a repeat of The F1 Show, which coincidentally is also airing at 16:30. The decision not to show IndyCars on the channel this weekend seems bizarre and nonsensical to me when they have done so in the past. In my opinion, live broadcasting always trumps repeats. Why Sky couldn’t do this:

11:30 – Bahrain Grand Prix (R)
16:30 – Live IndyCar Series
19:00 – GP2 Series: Round 3, Race 1 (R)
20:30 – Legends
21:00 – as normal

Instead, I don’t know. Would seem logical to me instead of throwing IndyCars around the schedule. Repeats on non-F1 weekends don’t do well as it is, according to BARB the highest rated programme on Saturday 31st March was a Legends programme with 21,000 viewers, while the highest rated programme on Sunday 1st April was the 1998 Season Review with 17,000 viewers. The following weekend, the Saturday figures did better, with Australian Grand Prix highlights getting 31,000 viewers, but on Sunday 8th April the highest programme had 8,000 viewers.

I think IndyCars would get higher figures than that. As a whole, I find it disappointing that Sky are seemingly choosing to screen recorded content over live content on the F1 channel when they have a clear opportunity to show IndyCars on that channel on Sunday.

Edit: According to Keith Huewen on Twitter, the organisers changed the schedule from what the originally had it as. It shall be interested to see if it remains a one-hour tape-delay or if Sky move it to Sky Sports F1, or (the more likely solution) put the first hour of the race behind the Red Button, although Huewen also notes that this is not a popular option.

Updated edit at 16:00: Keith Huewen has confirmed on his Twitter that the IndyCar Series race from Brazil this Sunday will be live on Sky Sports F1 at 16:30. Good to see common sense prevailing.

Scheduling: The Bahrain Grand Prix (GP2 Standalone)

This weekend, the Bahrain International Circuit plays host to the GP2 Series again for the second weekend running, for a standalone event. All sessions will be broadcast live on Sky Sports F1 at the following times:

Friday 27th April
07:55 to 08:40 – Practice
09:25 to 10:05 – Qualifying
13:55 to 15:20 – Race 1

Saturday 28th April
11:55 to 13:00 – Race 2

Commentary will be provided as usual by Will Buxton and Alexander Rossi.

The Sky Sports F1 Team: The Verdict so far

To launch this blog, I thought it would be a good idea to do a five part series looking at the broadcasting of Formula 1 in the UK this season. With the changes of broadcasting, with the 20 races shared between BBC and Sky Sports, it gives the viewer a wider range of programming, as well as a wider range of voices on the screen. All the same voices remain as last year, but in 2012 we have nine new voices on either BBC or Sky. They are:

– Ben Edwards (BBC TV)
– Damon Hill (Sky)
– Gary Anderson (BBC TV)
– Georgie Thompson (Sky)
– Jaime Alguersuari (BBC Radio)
– James Allen (BBC Radio)
– Jennie Gow (BBC Radio)
– Johnny Herbert (Sky)
– Simon Lazenby (Sky)

Some of those have never been apart of Formula 1 paddock before, while others are veterans in the broadcasting circles in the paddock. Part 1 of this series will look at the Sky team and my opinions of them from the first four races, while Part 2 will look at the BBC team. Parts 3 and 4 will mainly focus on Sky, and how they could improve on their product. You may be wondering at this point why I won’t be doing a part focussing on how BBC can improve, I will say why when I get to Part 3. And finally, Part 5 will look at what effect the new broadcasting deal has had on the television ratings here in the UK. Have they increased, or have they decreased? All, shall be revealed.

The first part of my series will focus on in detail the Sky Sports F1 team. For the purposes of this series, I will only be focussing on the two main TV teams, as thus the Sky Sports News or BBC Radio teams will not be covered.

Anthony Davidson
After a short lived Formula 1 career with Minardi, BAR and Super Aguri, Davidson moved into the BBC Radio 5 Live commentary box at the start of the 2009 season where he partnered David Croft. He flourished in the role with Croft, with their commentary style in practice sessions universally well received. Davidson moved into other motor sports, mainly focussing on endurance races including the Le Mans 24 Hours. Davidson moved to Sky Sports in the same role for 2012, except instead of commentating on every session, he only commentated on the practice sessions, with Martin Brundle taking over for qualifying and the race. Davidson’s other role has been with Georgie Thompson in the ‘Sky Pad’.

Despite that, I do believe Davidson is under-utilised massively on Sky. On Radio 5 Live, Davidson commented on every session, and was part of their Chequered Flag podcasts before and after each Grand Prix weekend. On Sky, he’s only commentating on some of the sessions and is not seen often in the pre or post-shows apart from the ‘Sky Pad’ analysis. In China we did see Davidson join Lazenby, Brundle and Johnny Herbert during the latter stages of the show, something I hope we continue to see as the season progresses. The work Davidson does at the moment is very good, its just a pity in my view he is under-utilised.

Damon Hill
From someone who didn’t have a successful Formula 1 career to someone that did have a successful Formula 1 career. Hill won his only title in 1996, in a fantastic battle with Jacques Villeneuve which came down to the final race in Japan. Hill’s career went downwards from that point onwards, however, moving to Arrows in 1997 before retiring in 1999 while part of the Jordan team. Hill’s role with Sky Sports F1 is not his first broadcasting role, however. Some may remember that Hill was part of the short lived F1 Digital+ concept in 2002 which seen him join Matthew Lorenzo, Ben Edwards, John Watson among others at Biggin Hill during that season to preside over the pay-per-view channel. Hill has the main punditry role in Sky’s coverage, with him alongside Lazenby and Brundle in the pre and post shows. Unfortunately for me, however, I don’t find Hill the best of pundits, and is arguably the weak link on the Sky Sports F1 team.

I don’t think Hill suits the role of pundit very well, unlike Johnny Herbert and Anthony Davidson, who are ‘easy’ on the voice, Hill tends to grate for me I’m afraid. Pundits can make the difference between a dull and good pre and post shows, the combination of Steve Rider and Mark Blundell was one that was badly received in 2008 at ITV, but the combination of Jake Humphrey, Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard in 2009 at BBC had the opposite effect. In both cases, very good presenters, but it was the pundits that made all the difference – in the example above Jordan and Coulthard being better than Blundell. I’m left feeling at the moment that if Hill is continued to be used in the same way, that I’ll be drifting to BBC in the pre and post race show.

David Croft
In his 7th season now as a lead commentator in Formula 1, Croft began his commentary journey at the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix with BBC Radio 5 Live commentating alongside the likes of Maurice Hamilton for the first three years. At the start of 2009, he was joined by Anthony Davidson for every session, a combination that has been well received. With the change of broadcasting rights for 2012, the inevitable question was ‘who would partner Martin Brundle?’ While the answer was not Ben Edwards, the answer was David Croft (I’m sure you have your own opinions on which line up would be better). Given how James Allen and Jonathan Legard fared alongside Brundle as a commentary pairing, fans wondered whether the Croft and Brundle line-up would fare better.

Thankfully, so far, in my opinion, the Croft and Brundle commentary pairing is far better than the pairs mentioned above. I think Croft has settled into the role alongside Brundle well, albeit with a few niggles, but minor ones at that. Driver misidentification is one that is raised a lot, but something that I think we should give somewhat due consideration to. We’re watching off a big TV screen, with little distractions, they are watching and commentating at the same time, calling moments off the spot. Inevitably mistakes will be made, but for me, there hasn’t been a higher-than-expected rate of errors from Croft. Aside from the errors though, one thing that does grate is the self promotion, and in the example of this past Sunday, revealing the result of a football live on air. I suspect both of these are calls from the commentary director (Mark Hughes) or the programme director, but either way I find both unnecessary. The latter is up there with Allen telling us that Coronation Street follows this programme in the ITV F1 days, but at least then no one was being spoiled – this time there was, in a few enraged football fans. In any case, hopefully they learn from this and don’t do it again (I sound like I’m telling someone off here… anyway).

Georgie Thompson
Probably one of the more controversial appointments given her drink driving record. But I don’t think Sky took that into account when hiring her. And neither will I, it doesn’t affect her ability to call and present Formula 1 coverage, so I won’t mention it again. Thompson, like Simon Lazenby, has been with Sky since the late 1990’s, mainly as a presenter on Sky Sports News. Unlike Lazenby however, Thompson has had experience on presenting motor sport, she presented A1 Grand Prix on the channel when it debuted in 2005. Thompson was announced as partnering Ted Kravitz to present ‘The F1 Show’ on the Sky F1 channel.

It would be hard for me to find complaints about Thompson in the coverage. She seems enthusiastic and genuinely interested in the sport. The show, for me has been the best part of the weekend, and her combination with Kravitz is definitely a joy to watch. The two gel together brilliantly. Aside from that, she is with Anthony Davidson in the ‘Sky Pad’ on Saturdays and Sundays. There’s not much to say about her here, she’s just there to throw questions to Davidson, which is understandable to keep discussion flowing and is there to keep Davidson comfortable, with Davidson not a broadcasting ‘veteran’. If Sky choose to have a pre-show for GP2 (more thoughts on that in Part 3), then she would be the perfect host for that alongside Davidson.

Johnny Herbert
A Formula 1 veteran, Johnny Herbert’s career began in 1989, lasting until 2000. He won three races during that time period, two during 1995 while at Benetton alongside the memorable 1999 European Grand Prix with Stewart. Herbert did not initially feature in Sky’s Formula 1 coverage, suggesting his appointment was last minute. In any event, Herbert’s first appearance was on the March 30th edition of The F1 Show alongside Georgie Thompson, Ted Kravitz and Christian Horner. Thankfully, it turned out that Herbert’s appearance was not a guest appearance, nor was it a one off. Herbert appeared once more in China, with Hill’s role only for 10 races. The difference, was evident to see and in stark contrast to the ‘forced’ nature of Australia and Malaysia. Herbert seemed comfortable in the role in Hill, and as thus the show seemed ‘lighter’ with Herbert, him, Brundle and Davidson cracking a few jokes, the end result meaning that Lazenby came across as feeling a lot more comfortable during that particular post-race show.

Martin Brundle
Another Formula 1 veteran, but probably better known nowadays as a commentator for 16 years. Brundle’s F1 career ended in 1996, his last year competing with the Jordan team. Despite retiring, Brundle stayed in the F1 paddock, and quickly found himself new fame, as a broadcaster and a commentator alongside Murray Walker. The combination, a collection of ‘Murrayisms’ and ‘Brundleisms’ quickly became popular with the public, as did Brundle’s famed gridwalk which was introduced at the 1997 British Grand Prix. When Walker left at the 2001 US Grand Prix, he was replaced by James Allen, whom Brundle partnered until ITV relinquished the rights to Formula 1 in 2008. Brundle jumped ship to BBC for 2009, partnering Jonathan Legard. Although Brundle was well liked, neither the Allen/Brundle and Legard/Brundle combinations were well received. Legard was dropped at the end of 2010, allowing Brundle to take on a ‘fresh challenge’, moving into the lead commentator, with long time friend David Coulthard alongside him. Due to the change in broadcasting rights halfway through that season, the combination only lasted a year. Despite this, the combination helped bring back out the best in Brundle.

Brundle ditched the BBC at the end of 2011, moving to Sky and becoming the main face of the channel, dividing his time between pitlane, paddock and the commentary box. I’ve always liked Brundle, having listened to his commentary since 1999. I think his combination with Croft after 4 rounds is already better than his combination with Legard during any of 2009 and 2010. The two gel extremely well, and the combination will only grow in time. I don’t have any criticisms of Brundle, there is an argument however that he is on screen too much so for that reason it may be advised to remove him from the qualifying show, but I don’t think it is a big issue (there’s much more pressing issues with the pre and post shows – something I will address in Part 3).

Natalie Pinkham
More of an entertainment reporter than motor racing reporter with her duties for various Channel 5 programming including The Wright Stuff, Pinkham moved onto the Formula 1 scene in 2011. Pinkham replaced Holly Samos as BBC Radio 5 Live reporter, Samos moving to pastures new. Pinkham has the role of interviewing drivers’, and occasionally smiling on camera whenever necessary. There’s honestly not much to say here, apart from improve the line of questioning. She isn’t a big aspect of the coverage, nor do I expect her to be. Louise Goodman was not a big aspect of ITV F1’s coverage, nor is Lee McKenzie with BBC. They do their job, sometimes the questioning is good, sometimes I’m left wondering “really? Did you just ask that?”. Apart from that, this section is rather short. We’ll leave it there.

Simon Lazenby
When the Sky F1 team was announced last November, it was no great surprise that Sky chose Simon Lazenby as their presenter. After joining Sky in 1998, Lazenby was Sky’s Rugby presenter for the best part of a decade, before moving over to their Formula 1 team. At this point, you could argue ‘why did Sky choose someone with no motor racing experience’. The answer is quite simple, and that is because they preferably want someone in-house. This is a tendency that all broadcasters have, ITV moved Jim Rosenthal to their Formula 1 coverage when they began broadcasting the sport in 1997, while BBC did similar with Jake Humphrey when they regained the rights for the 2009 season.

I think that there was more pressure on Lazenby than Rosenthal and Humphrey before him, though. Unlike Rosenthal and Humphrey, Lazenby was fronting a channel, not a programme which brings with it extra demands. With Sky covering every session live, it means the amount of time Lazenby is on air for is far higher than that of Rosenthal and Humphrey. Despite that, I believe Lazenby has settled into his role just fine. Okay, there is room for improvement, but if you were to compare Lazenby after race 4 with Rosenthal and Humphrey after race 4 in their respective seasons, it would be difficult to be harsh on Lazenby. My only criticisms of Lazenby would be that his questions can be long winded and that he interrupts his guests unnecessarily, the latter is not really Lazenby’s fault and is probably a demand from the director as the channel is heading to a break (more on that annoyance in Part 3). In China, where the commercials were ‘limited’, Lazenby seemed a lot more settled and relaxed without the extra pressure from the director to head to the next commercial. For that reason, I think Lazenby is doing fine as presenter at the moment.

Ted Kravitz
One of the best aspects of the Formula 1 coverage is hearing what the pit lane guys have to say. It always has been, getting into the nitty gritty of it, but also putting it across to the viewer in a language that they understand – without dumbing down. Which is always the fear. Kravitz’s F1 career began in 1997 with ITV behind the scenes. He moved onto pit lane reporter in 2002 when James Allen moved into the commentary box. I was extremely glad when Kravitz moved to BBC in 2009, as I always considered his pit lane tidbits one of the better aspects of ITV’s coverage. With free practice sessions live on the BBC Red Button from 2009 to 2011, Kravitz excelled as we got his tidbits on all three days of the weekend. Furthermore, his video blogs helped us dive into the post-race strategies and gave us a great summary of the majority of the teams’ on the grid.

Kravitz’s role expanded further for 2012 on Sky as he became host of The F1 Show alongside Thompson. As I noted earlier, the two have gelled together brilliantly. Kravitz’s relaxed style makes the show all the better, as well as seeing him poke around old machinery and seeing him explain new inventions on the Sky Pad. One of the explanations so far is with the Mercedes diffuser, which wasn’t dumbed down, but still made the hardcore fan like it. I’m glad Kravitz made the jump, because I would have hated seeing BBC cut his contribution down to shreds in the highlights shows, if anything, Kravitz deserves all the exposure he gets on Sky.

As a line-up of pundits, the line-up is stellar and very good. I think, and maintain, that the key word is ‘reorganise’. Some people are over used (Hill), some people are under used (Herbert). Whether that is due to contracts or not, I don’t know, I’m not privvy to those things. Overall though, I’m glad Sky taken the best people from BBC’s coverage and put them on their coverage alongside some new faces. I think over time the line-up will improve, and gel more and I look forward to seeing that on screen.

In part 2 of this series I’ll focus on all the BBC TV team members. I anticipate I won’t be writing as much, as some of the team have remained the same, but nevertheless I hope you enjoy reading it. Comments, suggestions, agreements, disagreements welcome!


Thank you for visiting this blog. This blog will mainly focus on the broadcasting aspects within Formula 1 as well as the people behind the broadcasting. As an avid Formula 1 fan since 1999 (then the age of 7!), I’ve been thinking about doing a Formula 1 blog for a while, but have not really been sure in what format to do it in. I didn’t want to do the ordinary ‘blog every day, write about the race and what was good and bad about it’, because let’s be honest, that’s covered in the majority of the other Formula 1 blogs. Some of which, are well worth a read.

But when I noticed that the F1 Broadcasting URL was free on WordPress, it was too good an opportunity to turn down, so ‘grabbed’ the URL while it was available. I don’t plan to update this blog every day, but do plan to update it periodically with my thoughts and rambles on the broadcasting aspects. Inevitably, I will discuss the racing at one or two points, or if there is something I have a strong opinion on, which is ‘too big for a forum post’.

Which brings me on to another point. If you’re reading this, chances are, you have already read my posts elsewhere. I’m a frequent contributor on Digital Spy and Autosport Forums, so if you think the posting style is similar, you’re definitely not mistaken, in the words of one broadcasting legend. If you haven’t seen my posts on there, then chances are, you’ve grabbed this off a link on Twitter. And if  you’ve found this from Google (other search engines available), then a warm welcome to you too.