And now… we go green, green, green!
The spectacle that is the Indianapolis 500 is here. This year, there is more attention and intrigue on the event as two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso attempts to add the blue riband event to his resume. Even if Alonso does not win, the 500 as always, promises to be a fantastic event.
As with the other IndyCar events, BT Sport will be screening the race exclusively live, which marks round six of the 2017 IndyCar season. There was some hope that another television or radio station would broadcast the Indianapolis 500, but that has not yet materialised. One source commented that the upcoming general election had reduced the chance of covering the race, with resources now dedicated to other areas. If plans change, including methods to watch the race legally, live via ‘other means’, I will update this post.
Whisper Films, who currently produce Channel 4’s Formula 1 coverage, have been brought in to oversee BT’s Indianapolis 500 coverage. As of last week, I understand that Suzi Perry will present coverage from their studios on Olympic Park, helped by the fact that there is no MotoGP action that weekend.
Preparation commenced earlier this month, with key personnel interviewed. BT’s MotoGP reporter Gavin Emmett interviewed Fernando Alonso prior to the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, whilst Whisper conducted filming at McLaren HQ on May 5th. It is likely that BT will bring in special guests to give the race itself a bigger feel compared to your typical IndyCar coverage.
For qualifying, Keith Collantine and Ben Evans will continue to provide commentary whilst American colleagues are on commercial.
Thursday 18th May (YouTube)
17:00 to 23:00 – Practice 4
Friday 19th May (YouTube)
17:00 to 23:00 – Practice 5
Saturday 20th May
13:00 to 14:30 – Practice 6 (YouTube)
20:00 to 23:00 – Qualifying – Day 1
=> 20:00 (YouTube)
=> 21:00 (BT Sport/ESPN)
Sunday 21st May
17:00 to 19:00 – Practice 7 (YouTube)
19:45 to 23:00 – Qualifying – Day 2
=> 19:45 (YouTube)
=> 21:00 (BT Sport/ESPN)
Monday 22nd May (YouTube)
17:30 to 21:00 – Practice 8
Saturday 27th May (YouTube)
15:30 to 16:30 – Public Drivers’ Meeting
Sunday 28th May (BT Sport/ESPN)
16:30 to 21:00 – Race
If anything changes regarding the UK television coverage, I will update this post.
Update on May 20th at 11:50 – Keith Collantine and Oliver Webb will be commentating on qualifying for UK viewers. Furthermore, as noted above, Suzi Perry has confirmed she will be presenting BT’s coverage next Sunday.
Update on May 22nd – Further confirmation from Perry that Gavin Emmett and Jonathan Green will also be joining Perry in the studio. Also confirmed is that Collantine and Evans will not be part of BT’s Indianapolis 500, which is a real shame considering both have been part of BT’s coverage of IndyCars for a while now. Loyalty clearly does not count for much.