The F1 Show having an audience: Yes or No?

This past Thursday, for the first time ever, Sky Sports F1 recorded a special audience edition of The F1 Show. Those of you who watched it on Friday will know exactly what I mean when it was their version of Top Gear. It basically was “Sky F1 does Top Gear” in all but name.

So, how did it go, and would I like to see it again? If this was a pilot for something in the future, then I would be commissioning a full series. Personally, I thought it went well, and better than I expected. The audience I felt added to the show. Sometimes the weekly studio shows do feel a bit run of the mill (it isn’t the most vibrant studio, either) and paint by lines, so having the audience present did make for a nice change, with them asking the questions. Arguably, shows like that are exactly what Sky should be doing on the channel.

I wouldn’t be keen to see it every week, but once every month or two would do nicely for me. I did chuckle to myself when some were making out how Formula 1 and audience interaction has never been done before. Did they not watch the BBC’s British Grand Prix forum shows in 2010 and 2011 where Jake Humphrey would throw the microphone to the crowd inside The Paddock Club for people to ask questions to Murray Walker and other guests? Okay, it wasn’t during a weekday show, but the way it was done was similar.

There were some weaknesses though, as it did feel a little bit too much ‘us, us, us’ at times. Interviewing people before and after the show just smacked of patting themselves on the back for no particular reason. The same has to be said for the band playing The Chain and Simon Lazenby basically dismissing it for another song. Did no one tell him which channel made Just Drive famous? I suspect not. Their jab at The Chain was plain unnecessary.

I’ve put a poll above, but more so in particular here I’d be interested in your comments as well as the vote.

19 thoughts on “The F1 Show having an audience: Yes or No?

  1. I thought it was embarrassing the way Lazenby dismissed The Chain. If the BBC hadn’t commissioned “Just Drive” it would not be the theme for Sky’s F1 programming. The sooner Sky get rid of Lazenby, the better.

    As for the format, Sky seem to be plagiarising the BBC instead of coming up with original ideas.

  2. It reminded me a bit of the FOTA Forums. Whilst they’re more interesting, I think Sky should, instead of having an F1 Show every week, do one every month or every two weeks. Its supposed to be a ‘magazine show,’ and I would love to see audiences posing questions to the likes of Max Mosley, Graham Lowden, or Karun Chandok. They could also have live music as well, maybe a well known or upstart band. It would be great publicity for such a passionate audience.

    Overall I felt as though it was less scripted than previous shows, offering more of podcast, discussion worthy feel to it. The old studio is rather boring, to the point where I just want them to skip to the features. The new one offered a bit more vibrancy, and if they’re able to produce something ‘Top Gear-like,’ then why not?

  3. If we do have 20 races next year, maybe one show every 4 races, it probably gives the best scope to get the fans opinion on that stage of a season.

    Any more would feel too frequent, any less would make me wonder why they would bother.

  4. Completely agree with everything you said. Indeed I made many of the same observations in a post I wrote on a forum elsewhere, re: copying/stealing off the BBC and then slagging them off.

    It was still a good show, which they should do more of in future, but it didn’t need all the ego-massaging guff.

  5. The problem was, it wasn’t remotely original, wasn’t well done, and was aimed squarely at the casual F1 watcher. What was the point in all those people standing around when they only asked a few questions?

    And as for Simon Lazenby, he’d be better suited to children’s TV, he’s a knob!

    1. Probably why Georgie Thompson upped and left after 1 season. She probably thought he was a knob too, but endured playing second fiddle to him until the end of last year, hoping Sky would see the light, only to find they were sticking with him, leaving her aghast.

      He was okay on the rugby though – maybe F1’s just too big for him.

  6. Overall it was better than the blandness that is the usual F1 show but that’s no accolade.

    1. The ‘public’ interviews were cringeworthy. It struck me that most of the audience appeared to be made up of SkyF1 sycophants, employees and their mates.
    2. If I wanted music I’d watch Jools Holland. The SkyF1 theme tune is a depressing teenage angst dirge, the less I hear it the better.
    3. Ted Kravitz clearly can’t do live banter so why bother.
    4. The studio direction was appalling. They just seem to pick cameras at random, most were dominated by the back of someones head and were several seconds late being cut to.
    5. The ‘Lemon’ item was too long and didn’t warrant two parts.
    6. Lazenby, who always appears indifferent to the content seemed particularly distant but perky, as if he didn’t care about F1 but was making an effort in case the producers of Something for the Weekend were watching.

    All in all it was on par with the usual mediocrity I’ve come to expect from SkyF1, sports presentation by numbers.

    You could just as easily have been watching a Rugby or Football show, or any other sport weekend warriors allocate a few hours a week to.

    When will Sky finally realize that their content will always be sub par until they employ some true petrol heads. Given a weekend off, true petrol heads don’t play golf or watch the rugby, they stand in a freezing wind at Snetterton or skin their knuckles fixing or cleaning their car or bike.

    Yet again I’ve vented and am once again wondering why I bother when Sky don’t care. I can only hope that the day F1 fails to boost upgrades and subscriptions isn’t that far off and Sky will drop F1 like stone. We just have to hope the BBC still have a few quid to buy it up and give the viewer something to get excited about again.

      1. Probably the live links Ted was involved in between the studio and Silverstone, where he was for the Young Drivers’ Test.

        In fairness to Ted, it’s virtually impossible to do live banter while having to endure a 2- or 3-second satellite delay. They shouldn’t even have bothered.

  7. Re Kravitz I wasn’t referring to the lack of comedy timing due to the sat delay.

    More the way he reacted when asked if he’d ‘mooned the crowd’ at the soap box race. His reaction was more like he’d just been asked if he’d ever killed small animals for pleasure, rather than replying to a bit of light hearted banter.

  8. Overall, a good F1 Show by my standards. I do watch the show every week but I have to agree Lazenby mocking Fleetwood Mac and the dead audience were the real lowest points in the show. I like Sky’s coverage but they need original ideas instead of plagiarising the Beeb. The Beeb, ITV or C4 would be a better fit for F1 but as satellite TV is increasing worldwide, Sky may just take it and monopolise the sport which in it’s entiriety, could signal slow death to F1.

      1. Definitely, with the new rules and regulations, I shudder to think what could happen with the racing next year. If it’s more artificial so to speak but Bernie loves his money but I for one would like to see Channel 4 or ITV pick up the rights to F1 and give the Beeb a real good spanking because to be fair the Top Gear presentation is a turn off.

  9. Channel 4 maybe but ITV shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near F1.

    Unless you want a repeat of adverts over the last 3 laps or no press conference because X Factors Little Brothers Small Mouth is on, ITV aren’t really an option.

    TBH people look back at ITV’s coverage through rose tinted glasses. It was better than Sky (bar the scheduling issues) but still not as good as the Beebs.

    I just don’t see how Sky fail to look at their coverage, ITV’s and the Beebs and not see where they’re going wrong.

    They just want to beat to their own drum, which is football based cheese, and refuse to take on board any constructive criticism from the real fans that line their pockets each month.

    1. Yes, the dreaded adverts of death. ITV threw the adverts thick and fast. But I agree, ITV nope. Sky’s adverts in practice put me off too. Channel 4, don’t know. I’ll go to the Beeb’s radio service thanks!

    2. To be fair to ITV, compare it with the BBC coverage before ITV picked up the rights, and it’s poles apart. Yes – the adverts were a big problem, but aside from that, it was a huge step forward from the pre-ITV Beeb coverage. The BBC then took ITV’s coverage a step further … with the advantage of no adverts of course.

      As for Channel 4, three words: World Athletics Championships (two years ago). Advert-laden, and horrendously presented. (It’ll be interesting to see how they fare this time around, now we’re on the verge of the next championships.) Okay – they bucked their ideas up for the Paralympics, but I wouldn’t trust them with F1. The last decent sports coverage Channel 4 have given us was live home Test cricket.

  10. Thought it is worth noting here that Sky are doing a Football Preview show – full with studio audience! Wonder whether this was commissioned before or after The F1 Show Special…

    An hour in, and the studio have had a show of hands poll along with one of them asking a question. It is also live, unlike The F1 Show Special from two weeks ago. Obviously though the studio audience is in preparation for them going weekly with Saturday Night Football once the Premier League starts.

  11. I bet it was the same studio as The F1 Show Special too.

    Curious strategy they’re taking. I’m sure as soon as BT said they were taking on this style for their live football, Sky decided they’d beat them to the punch.

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