The past two months have felt like an eternity, with coronavirus dominating the news scene worldwide.
But, before COVID-19 hit the UK, there was a time when Formula 1 was looking forward to the 2020 season, beginning with the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday 15th March.
As part of the pre-season build-up, Sky Sports invited selected media – including this writer – to their season launch event at the Westwood Sports Pub & Kitchen in White City, London for an evening of entertainment.
Instead of the usual chatter that goes alongside these events, Sky treated guests to what they billed as The Ultimate Quiz, pitting members of their F1 team against each other.
Think of the BBC’s long running quiz show A Question of Sport, or Sky’s A League of Their Own, but this version pitched towards F1 fans.
With Sky’s regular F1 presenter Simon Lazenby ill on the day of the recording, David Croft stood in as Master of Ceremonies for the 90-minute affair.
On one side, Johnny Herbert led a team that included him, Karun Chandhok, Natalie Pinkham, and Paul di Resta.
On the other side, Sky’s pit lane reporter Ted Kravitz joined Rachel Brookes, and special guest Lando Norris alongside Martin Brundle. Norris was a late surprise to the taping because of Lazenby’s absence.
Off-camera, some of Sky’s production team were present, including their Head of F1 Scott Young, whilst guests could have a swirl on the Sky Pad if they so desired.
The quiz itself lasted six rounds, with rounds varying from general knowledge through to ‘What happened next?’ clips from the F1 archive.
Overall, it was a fun, light-hearted evening and worth the five-hour round trip. Croft managed to keep the ship steering in the right direction throughout (just about!). I will save the spoilers for this piece, other than saying it was a close affair throughout.
The first few rounds did overrun somewhat, meaning that the final section was shortened, the crew wrapping up filming at 21:00.
Transmission details are unclear as of writing, although I understand that it will air in some form over forthcoming weeks, so keep an eye on both Sky’s F1 social feeds and the F1 channel itself.