BBC F1 vs Sky Sports F1: Your Verdict Revealed

Last Sunday, at the conclusion of the Brazilian Grand Prix, I asked for your opinion on the BBC and Sky Sports Formula 1 products this season. I had a fantastic response to the blog, with sixteen comments to that particular post and a wide range of opinions.

As expected, there were many people who prefer the Sky product, whereas many others have preferred the BBC F1 show. The main consensus emerges on the Sky Sports side of things, in particular Anthony Davidson’s contribution on the Sky Pad.

Davidson is excellent on Sky Pad and letting him doing this on his own or with [Allan] McNish would be an improvement in my eyes. – Denis

Sky’s best bit over BBC is Ant on the Sky Pad although they mess that up with GT standing there in tight dresses which cheapens the whole thing. – snowman

Good points being the Sky Pad with Ant Davidson and Allan McNish in the last race were impressive with the analysis of the action. – Dan

Whilst that is the main good point, David Croft’s commentary is at the other end of the spectrum. There is praise for his practice commentary, but little praise for the race day commentary:

I really enjoyed listening to ‘Crofty’ during practice sessions when he was on 5 Live (and still do now he’s on Sky), especially when he’s with Anthony Davidson, but during the Qualifying and the Race I just find him plain irritating. – Sean

Crofty I liked on 5 Live but isn’t great on commentary especially when he’s shouting. – snowman

The race day commentary in particular from last Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix receives a lambasting from Karen:

The commentary was exceptionally bad for the final race, the non-existent yellow flag incident [involving Vettel and Kobayashi], and Brundle and Croft’s insistence that Vettel should be penalised, was a disgrace and very unprofessional, as was the attitude of several other Sky pundits, clearly Red Bull playing ‘The Chain’ while Sky were doing a piece to camera outside their garage upset the Sky team.

In constrast, Dan says that he prefers the Sky commentary:

However I can’t get into Ben Edwards commentating. Even though he can get a bit shouty, I’m more of a David Croft fan.

Denis differed in opinion, and had this to say about BBC’s commentary:

After a poor start with some misses from Ben Edwards in the early races the combination with him and the dry humour of Coulthard really progressed and was entertaining, exciting and easy to listen to. The input of Gary Anderson (in qualifying in particular) was brilliant at times. Sky’s team was grating at times and less engaging in general.

Another forming consensus is that whilst Simon Lazenby has improved across the season, readers, such as stevvy and Sean are “not convinced” by his presenting. This post for me stood out the most though:

He was always going to have the comparison with Jake [Humphrey] and Jake wins hands down. His joke at the Monaco Grand Prix went down like a lead balloon and as we saw in Brazil, the pit lane in general get on with Jake more. Brundle working with Lazenby doesn’t seem to have a natural chemistry at times. – Dan

Whilst that comment is true, Richard Gray makes an important point worth noting:

We have watched Sky F1 all year and think they have done a great job. Haven’t watched BBC at all as got fed up of Jake, always thought he was a bit false and EJ is just nuts! People that think Sky haven’t done a great job should just remember what BBC was like in their first year! I say well done to Sky F1 and more of the same next year please!

Outside of the race weekends, some fascinating suggestions were made as to how Sky Sports could improve the coverage for 2013, this being one I particularly liked:

Sky Sports F1 Coverage was excellent this year, they could do with a “F1 Show” a few hours after qualifying though, including Ted’s Qualifying Notebook, Stewarding decisions and other interviews. Also, I’d really like Sky to have some Pre Season Testing footage, maybe not show everyday live but a 30 minutes highlights show each day would be really good. They wouldn’t need the whole team, maybe just Ted Kravitz, Martin Brundle and maybe one other. – Sam

There are a lot more comments on the original blog post, but these are just a few that I have picked out. Starting this week, I shall be beginning my 2012 Verdict posts looking at BBC’s and Sky’s coverage.

One thought on “BBC F1 vs Sky Sports F1: Your Verdict Revealed

  1. I seen at least 4 races on sky and the rest on BBC. I like them both, they both good but if I had a choice, it would be BBC


    BBC – The commentators are dedicated, David being fresh knows what’s going on and know how drivers will strategise and thinking..

    SKY – Martin is good, the other geeza sounds and talks like he’s there for the sale of being there he takes guessing which are usually wrong most of the time (I may be wrong about that but that what he was like at Silverstone)


    BBC – They will only present live races, Jake is a bit humorous as well as Eddie and David. Eddie has made some great comments and has seen things before they like he knew Lewis will go to Mercedes. They seem to get on with the important things

    SKY – Only seen the Brazil one an it bored me, they covered what BBC covers but with far too much talking like they have all the time in the world


    Keep in mind that what you see you will see if you are watching either BBC or SKY.

    BBC – Live races are normal. Not live races are cut down to the good bits so I mind really. I’m seem to enjoy watching the highlights really because it goes quick and straight to the action.

    SKY – Uninterrupted live footage. You’ll see the same race footage as BBC when they show live just with different commentators.

    The Channel itself

    I can’t really talk about BBC but the sky channel you get worth your money, shows other races, racing legends and films but I never seen it show other films than Senna, they might have. I just don’t know.

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