How to follow Formula 1 in 2023

After an extended winter break thanks to the men’s football FIFA World Cup, Formula 1 roars back into action this weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix, and fans have a plethora of ways to enjoy the action.

23 races take Formula 1 from Bahrain on March 5th through to Abu Dhabi on November 26th, with twists and turns guaranteed. Familiar venues such as Suzuka, Silverstone and Spa combine with newer venues such as Las Vegas, Miami and Zandvoort, giving fans a mixture of the new world and old throughout 2023.

From a broadcasting perspective, the landscape is increasingly fierce for content creators who want to stand out from the chasing pack. There are multiple options for fans consuming the content to choose from across live and highlights, video, and audio, and online or in the traditional newspaper format.

So, what is returning, what has changed over the hibernation period, and who are new kids on the block? Motorsport Broadcasting takes an in-depth look…

Channel 4 to take F1’s in-house commentary

A new year means new graphics on the television front, with F1 promising some incremental changes for 2023.

Speaking recently to SVG Europe, F1’s director of broadcast and media Dean Locke highlighted that fans will see six to eight live helmet cameras during a race weekend, audio upgrades, “new opening titles”, as well as the potential for biometric graphics later in the season, subject to FIA approval.

The sport has revamped their UK TV base, giving broadcasters the choice of hosting their offerings from an augmented reality (AR) studio at Biggin Hill. Locke says that F1 “will host various broadcasters’ commentary here as well, potentially.”

Fans in the UK can watch every session live on Sky Sports. Sky returns as the UK’s main F1 broadcaster, the pay television outlet entering their 12th season covering the series.

Sky will remain involved for the foreseeable future after agreeing a new rights deal late last year, taking them to the end of 2029 in the UK, and to the end of 2027 in multiple other European territories.

Their roster of motor sport programming expands beyond F1, and this year the broadcaster will air Formula Two, Formula Three, IndyCar, as well as the Indy NXT series for the first time.

The latter, previously branded Indy Lights, features current W Series champion Jamie Chadwick, Chadwick making the jump stateside. However, it is unclear whether W Series, minus Chadwick, will happen in 2023 owing to financial issues.

In the off-season, Sky have tweaked their on-air roster, with both Johnny Herbert and Paul di Resta departing. The rest of the team, including the commentary pairing of David Croft and Martin Brundle, remains the same.

Expect Nico Rosberg’s presence on Sky’s coverage to increase this year, as the FIA have relaxed its COVID-19 paddock protocols for 2023. F1 banned Rosberg from the paddock last season due to his COVID vaccination status.

As announced late last year when they renewed their deal with F1, Sky viewers can access all 20 on-board cameras this season in addition to a new ‘Battle Channel‘, giving Sky Q and Sky Glass subscribers a similar level of service to that overseas fans can receive via F1 TV Pro.

All details for Sky Sports F1 unless stated.

Friday 3rd March
11:00 to 13:00 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
14:45 to 16:20 – Practice 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
17:00 to 18:00 – The F1 Show (also Sky Sports Main Event)

Saturday 4th March
11:15 to 12:40 – Practice 3
14:10 to 16:30 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Main Event from 15:00)
16:30 to 17:00 – Ted’s Qualifying Notebook
19:30 to 21:00 – Qualifying Highlights (Channel 4)

Sunday 5th March
13:30 to 18:30 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event from 14:00 to 16:00)
=> 13:30 – Grand Prix Sunday
=> 14:30 – Race
=> 17:00 – Chequered Flag
=> 18:00 – Ted’s Notebook
21:00 to 23:30 – Race Highlights (Channel 4)

The full UK TV schedule for the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix. Updated on 3rd March to reflect the shorter ‘Grand Prix Sunday’ length and longer ‘Race’ length for Sky F1.

Channel 4’s free-to-air highlights package continues this season, with highlights of every race, as well as live coverage of the Silverstone weekend, airing on their main linear outlet.

Their coverage features a change which appears minor to begin with, but is significant underneath the surface. Alex Jacques remains Channel 4’s F1 lead commentator, however Jacques is no longer part of the core Channel 4 team. Confused?

Jacques has moved back to F1’s in-house team in the off-season, and will commentate on every race for F1’s streaming service, F1 TV Pro.

Instead of producing their own bespoke commentary, Motorsport Broadcasting can confirm that Channel 4 will take F1’s in-house commentary this year, Jacques alongside a team that includes ex-IndyCar racer James Hinchcliffe, Jolyon Palmer, and Channel 4 analyst David Coulthard.

The look and feel of Channel 4’s pre- and post-race programming stays the same. For Bahrain, Steve Jones will present alongside Coulthard, Mark Webber, Alice Powell, and Ariana Bravo, while Lee McKenzie, Jamie Chadwick, Billy Monger, and Lawrence Barretto will join them throughout the year.

F1 has announced various rights extensions in the off-season overseas, including in Mexico and Belgium, where the sport will continue to air on FOX Sports Mexico and Play Sports.

Over in Asia, the sport will continue its long-standing partnership with Fuji Television in Japan, with their agreement with DAZN also continuing in the market until the end of 2025.

Fans in India will have access to live action via F1’s over-the-top service for the first time, while beIN SPORTS will cover F1 in ten territories across Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Elsewhere in the motor sport spectrum, 2023 sees the end of the BT Sport brand in the UK. While MotoGP remains live on BT Sport, and both World Superbikes and British Superbikes remain on Eurosport, all three will become part of the TNT Sports brand in the medium term.

TNT Sports becomes the new name for BT Sport from July, with Eurosport merging into the brand “sometime into the future” following the announcement of a joint venture between BT Group and Warner Bros. Discovery last year.

The F1 Academy series launches in April; however, details of broadcasting arrangements are unknown as of writing.

Plenty on offer in the podcasting world

The BBC remains F1’s radio rights holders in the UK, with every race airing across either BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra or the BBC Sport website.

Thursday 2nd March
20:00 to 21:00 – Season Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Friday 3rd March
11:25 to 12:45 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
13:30 to 14:00 – Bahrain Grand Prix Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
14:55 to 16:15 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)

Saturday 4th March
11:25 to 12:45 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
14:55 to 16:15 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)

Sunday 5th March
14:45 to 17:30 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)

The full UK radio schedule for the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Rosanna Tennant leads their offering for the start of 2023 season following Jennie Gow’s serious stroke at the end of December. Writing on Twitter last week, Gow said  “I’m gutted not to be well enough to return to the paddock and to bring you all the excitement.”

“My recovery is progressing well – considering eight weeks ago I wasn’t able to move fully or speak at all!” Motorsport Broadcasting wishes Gow well on her recovery.

Jack Nicholls and Harry Benjamin will share the lead commentator microphone on 5 Live, alongside a roster of talent including Formula E driver Sam Bird, Chadwick and Palmer. Supplementing the BBC’s main race offering will be their Chequered Flag podcast, presented by the 5 Live team.

Joining 5 Live in the motor sport space this year is talkSPORT, who have launched a one-hour weekly show in collaboration with Formula E.

Presented by Jon Jackson, On Track airs on talkSPORT 2 on Tuesday afternoons, focusing not only on the electric series, but also on other championships, including F1 and MotoGP.

Where original audio and podcast content is concerned, the BBC’s and talkSPORT’s offering is only the beginning in a vast landscape this season.

Sky have launched their own podcast, with new episodes premiering every Tuesday. Presented by Matt Baker, The Sky Sports F1 Podcast replaces Any Driven Monday, which will not return to Sky’s YouTube channel after a single season on air.

Say hello to the faces of the newest F1 podcast, The Fast and The Curious: Greg James, Christian Hewgill and Betty Glover (l-r).

The Race Media have refreshed their WTF1 brand in the winter break, with two of the brand’s key players, Tom Bellingham and Matt Gallagher moving to pastures new.

The two have been largely responsible for the brand’s growth over the past decade, taking the brand from start-up to major player in the motor sport landscape. Instead, the two opted to create P1 with Matt & Tommy, a brand that they have full creative control over.

Content creators Andre Harrison, Hannah Atkinson, Ciaran Oakes, and Charley Williams have joined WTF1 ahead of the new season, with Jack Nicholls’ hosting WTF1’s s flagship Internet’s Best Reactions YouTube series.

“I believe the new team we have assembled gives us the best opportunity to keep the brand relevant and cater to the next generation of Formula 1 fans,” said The Race Media founder and COO Andrew van de Burgt.

Another new addition to the podcasting world this season is The Fast and The Curious, with a few recognisable faces to a non-F1 audience. BBC Radio 1 presenter Greg James hosts the podcast alongside Betty Glover and Christian Hewgill.

The show’s creators says that the podcast is “die-hard fans as well as those who are curious to learn more about the fascinating F1 world and the characters that inhabit it,” with guests in the opening episodes including Mercedes driver George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, and new Williams rookie Logan Sergeant.

And, if that was not enough, ex-Sky F1 pundit Herbert and Monger have launched the Lift the Lid podcast, while Whisper have launched a podcast with Coulthard and Eddie Jordan.

Lift the Lid has been “brought together through a love of F1 and their joint experience of life-changing crashes,” the two “join forces to give a unique drivers-eye-view on all the hottest topics from up and down the F1 grid each week!”

The Athletic joins the F1 media pack

A big addition on the writing front for 2023 is The Athletic, who have snapped up journalists Luke Smith from Autosport and Madeline Coleman from Sports Illustrated to kick start their coverage.

Introducing their F1 offering, The Athletic’s Managing Editor for F1, Alex Davies said “Our coverage will build on The Athletic’s mission of going beyond the chyron delivering scores and stats to the bottom of your TV screen.”

“From each racetrack around the world, we’ll dive deep into the personalities, technology, strategy, business, politics, culture and miscellanea of F1,” Davies added.

“Whether you’re new to F1 or a Serious Fan, we’ll get you up to speed by telling you not just who won, but how and what it means. Not just fighting words, but the roots of the rivalries. Not just how to tune into a race, but how to watch it like a pro.”

Davies highlights Drive to Survive as a factor in The Athletic beginning its F1 coverage, which has already been recommissioned for season six covering the 2023 season.

Autosport and The Race remain on the starting grid both in the written media and podcasting world, the latter now firmly embedded into the paddock and heading into their fourth season covering the sport.

Other faces to follow across social media in 2023 include Auto Motor und Sport’s Tobi Grüner and technical expert Albert Fabrega, the two breaking stories before the UK contingent of journalists.

AMuS’s most recent exclusive concerns the future of the AlphaTauri team, with owners Red Bull considering to put the team up for sale, a suggestion later denied by the team.

If journalists or broadcasters are not your thing, there is the other option of going DTT: direct-to-team. Expect plenty of content across the ten teams’ and 20 drivers social media channels this year, bringing fans closer to the action.

While Drive to Survive and broadcasters, such as Sky, aim to give all the grid ample coverage, some teams receive the short straw last season.

A tweet posted a few weeks ago by Williams suggested that they were releasing a behind the scenes documentary series focusing on their 2022 season, however Williams have since deleted the tweet.

Whether it is Red Bull’s Behind the Charge series or McLaren’s Unboxed, there is plenty of content to engage fans throughout 2023 across the different platforms.

Are Red Bull set to dominate 2023?

Audience figures stayed stable in 2022, with F1’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media reporting a cumulative audience of 1.54 billion viewers, resulting in an average per race worldwide of 70 million viewers.

Other metrics reported by Liberty indicate that F1 remains on the rise, with strong attendances following the COVID-19 pandemic and a 23% rise in the number of social media followers.

Early signs from testing suggest that Red Bull are the outfit to beat this year, as Max Verstappen looks to clinch his third consecutive Drivers’ Championship. Nevertheless, F1 will be hoping for a closer championship battle this year to keep the audience engaged through the 23 races.

Can Red Bull remain at the front, or will Ferrari, Mercedes and even Aston Martin pose a threat this season? Will it be Verstappen celebrating at the end of 2023, or are we looking at Verstappen vs Hamilton, round 2?

In the words of Sky Sports: enjoy the ride.

If you enjoyed this article, consider contributing to the running costs of Motorsport Broadcasting by donating via PayPal. If you wish to reproduce the contents of this article in any form, please contact Motorsport Broadcasting in the first instance.

Last updated on March 3rd at 20:20 to add details about Channel 4’s on-air team, Sky’s multi-screen options, a minor tweak to Sky’s schedule and a new podcast from Whisper.


Analysing the disparity between the front runners and tailenders in Sky’s F1 offering

Teams at the front of the Formula 1 grid are eight times more likely to appear during Sky Sports’ coverage of the sport compared to those in the midfield and beyond, new research from Motorsport Broadcasting shows.

The research focuses on the areas of Sky’s offering which are prepared in advance. This includes their build-up to each qualifying, sprint, and race session during 2022, encompassing paddock interviews, driver analysis via the Sky Pad and feature-length segments.

The main aim of the research is to understand what level of coverage that the broadcaster actively gives to each Grand Prix team. A gap in coverage between those at the front and the rear would be unsurprising and has existed for decades, however, the level of disparity from a UK perspective is currently unknown.

Excluded from the research are the ‘glamour’ VTs before and after a commercial break, ad-hoc analysis from within the paddock, post-race analysis, and Sky’s supplementary programming, including The F1 Show and Any Driven Monday given their lower audience.

While Sky primarily serves its audience at home, English-speaking countries, including the US, Canada, and Australia, take their UK offering.

Leclerc and Horner lead the field

There were two men during 2022 that featured predominantly during Sky’s pre-session output: Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Out of all the content last season that Motorsport Broadcasting attributed to a given driver, Leclerc featured in 13.7% of it.

Leclerc’s fortunes at the front of Sky’s field were in stark contrast to team mate Carlos Sainz, who was part of just 4.9% of their driver offering, the biggest disparity on the grid during 2022.

Sky focussed on Leclerc through the majority of his 2022 campaign with analysis of his pole position laps, before his championship challenge ended, while Sainz comparatively speaking struggled to get a look in.

However, Sky did air one of the most insightful pieces of the year with Sainz, taking a behind the scenes look at his preparation for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with trainer Rupert Manwaring also involved.

From an airtime perspective, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton pipped Red Bull driver Max Verstappen by 0.04 percentage points, the two coming in on 11.60% and 11.56% respectively. Hamilton beat team mate George Russell by 1.6%, while Verstappen beat Sergio Perez more convincingly.

PositionDriverTeamPercentage of content featured in during 2022
1Charles LeclercFerrari13.7%
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes11.6%
3Max VerstappenRed Bull11.6%
4George RussellMercedes10.0%
5Lando NorrisMcLaren9.4%
6Daniel RicciardoMcLaren6.1%
7Sebastian VettelAston Martin5.2%
8Fernando AlonsoAlpine4.9%
9Carlos SainzFerrari4.8%
10Sergio PerezRed Bull4.5%
11Esteban OconAlpine4.5%
12Kevin MagnussenHaas3.3%
13Alex AlbonWilliams2.3%
14Nyck de VriesWilliams1.7%
15Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri1.6%
16Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo1.4%
17Mick SchumacherHaas1.3%
18Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri1.2%
19Lance StrollAston Martin0.7%
20Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo0.4%
21Nicholas LatifiWilliams0.0%
22Nico HulkenbergAston Martin0.0%
A look at the percentage of driver-related content that Motorsport Broadcasting attributed to each driver. Note: Motorsport Broadcasting has counted all Nyck de Vries’s interviews as Williams for the purpose of this analysis.

Like Sainz, Perez received inferior treatment compared to his championship challenging team mate, with Sky opting to feature Perez at his home race in Mexico along with a segment off-site earlier in the season in Canada following his Monaco victory.

Outside of the leading six drivers, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel was best of the rest ahead of another veteran in Fernando Alonso, the two drivers beating their younger team mates.

The difference between Vettel and team mate Lance Stroll was far more pronounced than the duel at Alpine, the difference between the two drivers the third biggest in the field. Sky featured Vettel in 5.2% of driver content compared to 0.7% for Stroll.

At the other end of the leader board, Williams driver Nicholas Latifi did not feature in a single interview during Sky’s pre-sessions build-ups in 2022.

A surprising entry down also at the bottom is Valtteri Bottas, with both Alfa Romeo drivers rarely featured. If it was not for Zhou Guanyu’s crash at the British Grand Prix, which Sky followed up with an extended segment at the next round in Austria, it is likely Zhou would have joined Bottas at the back.

Out of all the content last season that Motorsport Broadcasting attributed to a given team member (excluding drivers), Red Bull boss Horner featured in a whopping 33.7% of it, almost double his nearest rival. Horner featured more in Sky’s build-ups than 19 of the 20 drivers during 2022.

PositionPersonTeamPercentage of content featured in during 2022
1Christian HornerRed Bull33.7%
2Toto WolffMercedes18.2%
3Guenther SteinerHaas7.9%
4Mattia BinottoFerrari7.7%
5Andreas SeidlMcLaren6.8%
6Felipe DrugovichAston Martin4.3%
7Otmar SzafnauerAlpine3.8%
8Hannah SchmitzRed Bull2.9%
9Zak BrownMcLaren2.8%
A look at the percentage of team personnel related content that Motorsport Broadcasting attributed to each team member. Note: As Felipe Drugovich was in Aston Martin gear during his interviews, Motorsport Broadcasting has classified Drugovich as a member of the Aston Martin team for the purpose of this analysis.

In comparison, Sky aired 18.2% and 7.7% of team content related to Mercedes lead Toto Wolff and then-Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. Pipping Binotto into third was someone who has risen in popularity thanks to Netflix’s Drive to Survive: Haas boss Guenther Steiner.

Sky eight times more likely to feature top three teams than bottom three teams

If a large disparity between the top and bottom teams exists on track, a similar (but not as large), exists off the track as well.

Analysis from Motorsport Broadcasting suggests that Sky were eight times more likely to feature the top teams compared to the bottom teams during the 2022 season. Again, this largely consists of material pre-prepared by the production team, such as an extended interview off site.

But all the interviews add up, showing that it is much easier for fans to get to know and understand the livelihoods of the personnel at the front of the field compared to the rear, even with hours of air time to fill across a season.

Red Bull and Mercedes led the way from a team perspective, this metric encompassing the drivers and key team personnel, such as team principals and technical directors.

The Milton Keynes based outfit led their Brackley rivals by just under a percentage point, with Red Bull on 21.8% and the Silver Arrows on 20.9%. Sainz’s weak showing, combined with Binotto trailing Wolff and Horner, meant that Ferrari slipped behind their rivals, sitting on 16.6%.

PositionTeamMost talked about during……because…Percentage of content featured in during 2022
1Red BullAbu DhabiPost-Brazil fallout and one year on from Abu Dhabi 202121.8%
2MercedesBahrainPre-season interviews with both drivers20.9%
3FerrariMonacoInterview with Charles Leclerc at home Grand Prix16.6%
4McLarenFranceInterview with Daniel Ricciardo addressing rumours about his future13.2%
5AlpineHungarySpecial grid walk and one year on from Ocon’s Hungary 2021 victory10.2%
6Aston MartinAbu DhabiFeature reflecting on Sebastian Vettel’s career5.6%
7HaasSaudi ArabiaInterviews following good result in season opener5.2%
8WilliamsBrazilSky Pad track guide with Alex Albon3.2%
9AlphaTauriJapanInterview with Pierre Gasly following 2023 announcement2.0%
10Alfa RomeoAustriaInterview with Zhou Guanyu following Silverstone accident1.4%
A look at the percentage of team related content that Motorsport Broadcasting attributed to each team.

Red Bull featured in Sky’s offering in all but one round. Sky barely featured them during their British Grand Prix build-up coverage, an indirect result of the Silverstone round airing live on free-to-air television on Channel 4.

Sky focussed on Mercedes from the outset, the broadcaster filming pre-season segments with both drivers, while an extended feature in Australia sought to understand the team’s struggles in more detail. Up until Abu Dhabi were Mercedes the team that Sky had focused on the most throughout 2022.

But while the top three teams equated for 59.3% of air time when focusing on teams only, the bottom three teams made up just 6.9% of the share.

It is a massive difference, considering the swathe of air time that Sky has on offer through each of the 22 race weekends.

To put the percentages into time perspective, Motorsport Broadcasting associated 10 minutes of content to Alfa Romeo compared with 2 hours and 40 minutes of content to Red Bull. The gulf between the two would likely be even larger if the analysis covered general paddock discussion between Sky’s pool of analysts.

The story of Sky’s coverage offering evolved as the season progressed. Ferrari’s presence halved in the second half of the season, while Aston Martin were three times more likely to feature later in the season compared to the beginning.

McLaren have historically been popular with British F1 fans, and 2022 was no exception. In addition, the Daniel Ricciardo rumours that swirled round the team meant they received a disproportionate amount of air time on Sky during their build-up programming last year.

The Woking outfit earned 6.8% of the points on offer in 2022, but Sky showed the team for 13.2% of the available air time that Motorsport Broadcasting attributed to teams, the biggest positive difference for a single squad.

The ‘non-team’ angle to Sky’s offering revealed

One aspect not covered until this point are those who do not work for a specific team, yet played a significant role in Sky’s Formula 1 coverage in 2022. Enter Stefano Domenicali, Felipe Massa, and James Corden.

Domenicali became F1 CEO in 2020, and has since regularly appeared on Sky to discuss the latest political events. Off the back of events at the end of 2021, Sky sat down with Domenicali at the season opener in Bahrain, the segment taking up a portion of their qualifying build-up.

Combining this feature with various grid and paddock interviews meant that Sky featured Domenicali in their build-ups more than 8 drivers, and more than all but two team principals.

Working for F1 in an official capacity as part of their digital team meant that Sky interviewed Massa during six separate race weekends. Massa was one of many ex F1 drivers featured last year, a list that included names such as Emerson Fittipaldi (encompassing a special Lotus 72 feature), Sir Jackie Stewart, Jean Alesi, and Flavio Briatore.

During the 2022 season, Sky spent as much time interviewing Aston Martin personnel as they did speaking to celebrities in the paddock or on the grid. Sky interviewed at least 45 celebrities, with James Corden and Tom Brady leading the way thanks to their contribution to Sky’s Miami Grand Prix coverage.

Impressionist Conor Moore rounded out the top three, Moore playing his part in one of the best segments of the year on Sky, Moore doing his best impression of Carlos Sainz on the Sky Pad, before the real Sainz interrupted during their US Grand Prix offering.

RaceTeams FeaturedTeams Not Featured
Abu Dhabi46
A look at how the teams featured in each build-up session on Sky during 2022. Note: Sky reduced their coverage of the Italian Grand Prix due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Miami, Britain, and Austin led the way from a celebrity perspective, while fans yearning for a celebrity free zone got their wish on six occasions during 2022, with no celebrities in sight in Imola, Azerbaijan, France, Hungary, Italy, or Japan.

The inaugural Miami race was a major outlier for Sky, with only six drivers getting any attention during the qualifying and race build-up. The broadcaster opted to give fans a behind the scenes look at the event, with segments at the Beach Club, a guide to the city and celebrity interviews prioritised.

In comparison, Sky featured all ten teams and 15 of the 20 drivers in both Singapore and Brazil, aided by a rain delay and a Sprint weekend respectively. Kevin Magnussen’s shock pole position in Brazil for Haas helped give the broadcaster a different angle later in the season.

Where are we now?

The analysis from Motorsport Broadcasting shows a clear gulf between the top and bottom teams during 2022.

Last season, Sky aired at most Grand Prix around 150 minutes of build-up across their qualifying and race day shows, a vast increase on what free-to-air broadcasters offered prior to 2012 when Sky came into the fold.

While the jump is great for fans, what is not clear is whether the added exposure has led to a more equitable balance across the grid. The analysis would suggest that this has not happened, at least a decade on since Sky began airing F1.

In other news, Paul di Resta and Johnny Herbert will not be part of Sky’s line-up for the upcoming 2023 season. In a statement to Mirror Sport, the broadcaster confirmed that the remainder of their 2022 talent pool would remain with them for 2023.

Over 22 races, around 17 hours of feature-based content aired, encompassing grid walk interviews, Sky Pad driver segments and off-site interviews, during Sky’s build-up coverage.

The coronavirus pandemic has limited the possibilities for Sky in recent years, but the wider paddock was back to a near-normal situation in 2022.

Sky aired many features covering F1, both past and present, but did not cover the British contingent in either F2, F3 or the W Series, such as rising F3 star Oliver Bearman, despite having the broadcasting rights to all three series (it is possible that segments aired on The F1 Show, outside of the scope of this analysis).

One could argue that with 22 races now on the F1 calendar, there is no excuse not to feature every F1 driver in-depth during their race day programming.

As nice as it was to hear from Leclerc last season, hearing from the same driver during the track parade, in the paddock, on the grid and then in pit lane immediately before lights out becomes repetitive.

Mixing up the voices we hear on air would be no bad thing, but broadcasters would rightly say that teams at the front of the field bring the casual fan to their programming. A segment with Leclerc an hour before lights out is likely to bring more viewers than, for example, a segment with Stroll at the other end of the pit lane.

There is no denying though that, unless an incident occurs at the tail end of the field that requires follow-up analysis, they are for the most part neglected and pushed to the side.

Arguably, from a broadcasting perspective, the teams at the back of the grid would lose the most should an 11th team join F1.

The broadcasters airing F1 would still focus on the front, but anyone from the midfield downwards would find themselves increasingly squeezed if a new outfit joined the grid, unless they began to progress to the front.

For now, ten teams and twenty drivers enter the fight, both on the track and off it, heading into the 2023 season.

If you enjoyed this article, consider contributing to the running costs of Motorsport Broadcasting by donating via PayPal. If you wish to reproduce the contents of this article in any form, please contact Motorsport Broadcasting in the first instance.

Analysing the rise and fall of Formula 1’s free-to-air presence in the UK

Formula 1’s presence on free-to-air television in the UK reached its nadir in 2019 during the first year of Channel 4’s ‘highlights only’ agreement with Sky, new research by Motorsport Broadcasting shows.

Utilising data from a range of sources, including the Radio Times, this writer has analysed trends in the Formula 1 scheduling space in the UK spanning four decades, encompassing the BBC’s, ITV’s, and Channel 4’s offering.

The main aim of the research was to understand how F1’s free-to-air presence on race day had changed over time, as different rights arrangements came into effect.

In addition, the research helps us understand how the popularity of the likes of Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Lewis Hamilton impacted the commitment broadcasters gave to F1, and what might have happened in an alternative universe without their success.

BBC’s appetite for live Grand Prix grows into the 1990s….

Motorsport Broadcasting’s analysis began with 1982, four years after the BBC formally launched its Grand Prix programme. While the BBC covered various races in the decades before that, the decision to launch Grand Prix in 1978 allowed the corporation to put a proper wrap around its Formula 1 offering following James Hunt’s title in 1976.

The Grand Prix strand covered highlights of every race. Live coverage of races aired during Sunday Grandstand on BBC Two on Sunday afternoons, or during a standalone live Grand Prix programme on BBC One where other sport prevented the race from airing live on BBC Two.

Live coverage of the sport was still patchy in 1982. Of the 16 races that season, only 10 aired live in some form. Brazil, Long Beach, San Marino, Detroit, Canada, and the season finale at Caesars Palace aired later as highlights.

The season opener in South Africa took place on a Saturday, with roughly 45 minutes of the action airing live on BBC One. Otherwise, it was a long wait until 23:20 before a 35-minute highlights package aired on BBC Two.

In total, across live and first-run highlights, the BBC covered 21 hours of F1 during 1982 across 16 races, roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes per race, a figure that increased sharply as the years passed, parallel with Nigel Mansell becoming a championship contender and F1 taking television seriously. Some of the early data points are incomplete, so caution is required when analysing these figures.

Formula 1’s race day broadcast lengths in the UK from 1982 to 1996, both average per race and cumulative across the season, covering the BBC’s first stint in the sport.. Slide the bar in the centre across to see the difference between average and cumulative.

The 1984 British Grand Prix saw the BBC begin to cover qualifying live, with a 30-minute slot during Saturday’s Grandstand programme on BBC One. However, no other races received the live qualifying treatment until a decade later.

As Mansell closed in on the 1986 title, the corporation opted to air some of the Mexican Grand Prix live. While not all the race aired live, it was a big step for F1 in the UK: the first time since the 1981 season finale in Las Vegas that live Grand Prix action had aired in primetime on BBC Two. Two weeks later, the season finale in Australia aired live.

1987 saw the initial peak in terms of F1’s free-to-air exposure: the BBC covered 33 hours of F1 during 1987 across 16 races, the sport receiving over two hours of coverage per race day for the first time ever.

However, the BBC’s commitment to Formula 1 turned as Mansell slipped back down the grid. While worldwide interest in F1 swelled thanks to Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, the scheduling data would suggest that the Beeb became disinterested in F1 for a short period.

20:00 – On the Line
Tue 18th Jul 1989, 20:00 on BBC Two England

Ray Stubbs reports on what has gone wrong with Grand Prix racing. With McLaren Honda winning virtually every race because of the technical excellence of their cars, much of the excitement has gone out of the sport. Has the driver become merely a cog in the machine?

BBC Genome

The Beeb covered ten fewer hours of F1 in 1988 on race day compared to the previous year, setting F1 back six years. Only seven races aired live in both 1988 and 1989, less than half of the season.

By this point, the BBC aired most of the European rounds live, any title deciders involving a UK driver, and any races that could ‘if the cricket or [insert another sport here]’ finished early.

Mansell’s fortunes improved for 1991, beginning a period of strong sustained growth taking them to the end of their contract in 1996.

While the BBC covered 43 hours of F1 during 1992 across 16 races (an average of 2 hours and 42 minutes on race day) during Mansell’s championship winning season, still not every race aired live.

The primetime races, Mexico, Brazil, and Canada, aired on a delayed basis later in the evening on BBC Two, with an extended highlights programme covering action.

Slowly but surely though, F1’s presence on the BBC was increasing, aided by a wider package of motor sport which also included the British Touring Car Championship. Each Grand Prix during Sunday Grandstand received 25 minutes of build-up, with Steve Rider and Tony Jardine presenting coverage on-site.

The problem was, as the Beeb poured more resources into F1, it only served to fuel the fire over on ‘the other side’ further…

BBC TV was the unchallenged leader as far as sports coverage was concerned: they had pioneered, developed, and perfected Formula 1 on the box and they hadn’t put a foot wrong. Little did they know, though, that ITV were sick of being cut to ribbons by Grand Prix on Sunday afternoons and had decided that if they couldn’t beat it, they’d buy it.

Murray Walker – Unless I’m Very Much Mistaken, page 217.

Every race aired live in 1995 for the first time ever, possibly a pre-emption for the bid that was yet to come from ITV. Over 57 hours of F1 aired on race day during 1995 across 17 races, a massive 3 hours and 23 minutes per race (including highlights).

In the space of 13 years, the amount of F1 on the BBC on race day almost tripled, a figure undoubtedly higher when factoring in qualifying. Their Grand Prix offering went out on a high in October 1996, with Damon Hill clinching his first Drivers’ Championship at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Coverage of qualifying also increased during the final years of the BBC’s contract, with regular updates airing during Grandstand on BBC One. Every qualifying session, including those during primetime, aired live in 1996, allowing fans to follow Hill’s and Michael Schumacher’s every move.

…and eventually ITV take the cherry…

ITV’s coverage began in earnest in 1997 with a raft of supplementary programming to support their offering, including The Clive James Formula 1 Show prior to the season opener in Melbourne.

Fans became acclimatised to new faces, a new trackside studio, and of most importance, commercial breaks during the Grand Prix itself, which caused controversy on more than one occasion (Imola 2005 the main offense). With no Grandstand support, qualifying became a standalone 90-minute live show for most of the 17 races, with build-up and post session analysis.

Later, Murray and Martin’s F1 Special, hosted by commentators Murray Walker and Martin Brundle, became a regular fixture in the early evenings following qualifying, giving fans a different take on F1. Outside of their F1 offering, ITV also covered Formula 3000 highlights through their 30-minute International Motor Sport programme.

ITV’s race day show increased in length year-on-year, partly to compensate for the commercial breaks, but also to allow the broadcaster to focus on the whole grid of 11 drivers and 22 cars rather than those competing at the front.

Despite no British contenders fighting for the championship, ITV dedicated 69 hours to F1 in 1997 on race day across 17 races, a little over four hours of action, encompassing their live broadcast, same day repeat and highlights offering.

At a glance – BBC vs ITV – San Marino Grand Prix

Qualifying Live – 12:00 to 13:05 – BBC One
 Race Live – 12:35 to 15:00 – BBC Two
Highlights – 18:40 to 19:30 – BBC Two
Qualifying Live – 11:45 to 13:15 – ITV
Race Live – 12:25 to 15:10 – ITV
Highlights – 23:05 to 00:00 – ITV

Radio Times

ITV remained the UK’s F1 broadcaster through Schumacher’s dominant years at the front of the field, covering every race and most qualifying sessions live. The exception: the 2000 United States Grand Prix which aired live on ITV2.

In addition, races that aired outside of Europe suffered from inferior treatment in ITV’s early years, with qualifying from races such as Brazil and Japan airing on tape delay, as well as some of these races (from 1999 to 2003) airing from ITV’s studio in London instead of on-site.

The low point in this regard was 2005, where both Japan and China aired on an 18-hour tape delay. Both sessions aired at almost midnight UK time on the Saturday, a situation thankfully avoided in following seasons when ITV began to utilise ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 for live qualifying.

The commercial broadcaster switched things up from 2004 onwards, leaving their studio behind and moving closer to the action in the paddock, a set-up that has remained through various broadcasters ever since.

Formula 1’s race day broadcast lengths in the UK from 1982 to 2008, both average per race and cumulative across the season, covering the period until ITV’s stint in the sport ended. Slide the bar in the centre across to see the difference between average and cumulative.

Despite Schumacher’s continued stranglehold on F1 and a barren spell from a UK perspective, ITV covered F1 for 80 hours in 2004 on race day across 18 races. It would have been easy for ITV to have ‘fallen out’ with F1 at this stage, nevertheless their overarching commitment to the sport remained.

As audiences dropped across the continent, including in Germany and Italy, the emergence of Lewis Hamilton fuelled a surge in UK interest back at home.

Lift Me Up by Moby became the sport’s signature soundtrack from 2006, ITV’s F1 offering given a refresh by North One Television, with Steve Rider returning as presenter. Focus on F1 gradually increased, which made it even more puzzling when the commercial broadcaster opted to pull the plug on the sport in 2008.

But the explanation when it came was cold and brutal. At ITV, overall advertising revenue had taken a dive as the recession drew closer, and in terms of sports rights, the company had to prioritise its targets. [..] In order to pay for the [Champions League football] bid, something had to go. Formula One.

Steve Rider – My Chequered Career, page 218.

Like in 1996 when the BBC increased their offering before exiting the sport, ITV did the same in 2008 with an expanded qualifying programme.

Their live qualifying shows were regularly two and a half hours long, leading into live GP2 coverage on ITV4, with their race day programme regularly exceeding three hours, a sign of things to come back on the Beeb.

Part of the increase, while down to increased interest in the sport, was also down to an increase in advertising minutage, the length of advertising breaks increasing during ITV’s tenure covering Formula 1 from 1997 to 2008.

Nevertheless, during their final season, ITV aired over 84 hours on race day in 2008 across 18 races, an average of 4 hours and 40 minutes per race, an increase of 15 percent per race compared to 1997.

The figures may not be as dramatic as the BBC’s sizeable increases in the early 1990s, however this is more a reflection on how ITV’s figures were near the highest possible peak from the outset, and how the F1 broadcasting product was mature by this point.

ITV’s highlight was their final ever race, as a peak audience of over 13 million viewers watched Hamilton become World Champion in dramatic style in Brazil 2008, winning the championship with a last lap overtake on Timo Glock.

…but the recession bit back twice

Multi-platform was the name of the game for the BBC. The Beeb were gifted F1 when ITV opted to exit their contract two years early, and rightly exploited their new toy given the bargain they got.

There was a period from 2009 to 2011 where it was increasingly difficult to avoid F1 on the BBC, no matter how hard you tried. An advertising campaign, dubbed ‘The World’s Greatest Car Chase’ greeted viewers heading into Melbourne in 2009, as the familiar bass riff hit screens once again.

Live coverage of qualifying and the race aired on BBC One, with practice and an extended post-race show called F1 Forum airing via the BBC website and BBC’s Red Button. Highlights of each race aired in a primetime slot on BBC Three. Fans also had the option of alternative commentary, coming from either BBC Radio 5 Live or CBBC.

Fans could enjoy the action uninterrupted for the first time on free-to-air television since 1996, the broadcaster covering every minute of Jenson Button’s dominant 2009 season in the Brawn.

Broadcast lengths remained like that of ITV, and increased between 2009 and 2011. In 2011, the BBC aired 92 hours of action on race day across 19 races, nearly five hours of coverage on their linear outlets!

The figure excludes the F1 Forum, as well as Friday’s and Saturday’s programming. Including the F1 Forum would increase the race day average to near six hours, an astonishing figure, and an increase on their predecessor.

The forum style show allowed fans to have their say, as well as giving a chance for the team to focus on those teams typically out of the limelight following a Grand Prix.

Formula 1’s race day broadcast lengths in the UK from 1982 to 2015, both average per race and cumulative across the season, covering the period until the BBC’s second stint in the sport ended. Slide the bar in the centre across to see the difference between average and cumulative.

The BBC’s commitment was unmatched, even during Sebastian Vettel’s dominance in 2011. The highlight of BBC’s second foray into F1 was the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix. The figures in this article are primarily for the billed slot lengths in advance, however the rain-soaked Montreal race saw the BBC remain on-air across BBC One and then BBC Two to cover the dramatic race.

Viewing figures were at some of their highest levels ever seen for F1 in the UK, the BBC’s sport department were happy, while fans watching at home were pleased as well.

But while the BBC’s F1 team, both on and off-air, were delivering high-quality coverage, the BBC’s licence fee settlement with the UK government, and the need to make efficiency savings, lurked in the background.

The BBC faced a choice of getting rid of Wimbledon, Six Nations or disposing of the F1. In the end, the BBC opted to ‘safeguard’ F1’s free-to-air future by negotiating a new, long-term deal directly with Sky Sports, taking the sport from 2012 to 2018.

Half of the races aired exclusively live on Sky Sports from 2012, with BBC airing those races in highlights form. For fans whose primary method of consuming the sport was via free-to-air, the decision was a retrograde step at the time, taking the sport back nearly twenty years.

Overnight, F1’s presence on free-to-air television had dropped by a third. In 2012, the BBC aired 63 hours of F1 action on race day across 20 races, an average of 3 hours and 10 minutes of action per race, including pre-race build-up and post-race analysis.

During this period, fans knew what they were getting, and the sport benefited in some ways from the new deal with extensive coverage across both Sky’s and BBC’s portfolio of outlets. The BBC retained their radio offering, with continued online coverage as well.

While the offering served up was by no means perfect, it was a happy medium, helping to keep F1 in front of the masses on the Beeb.

There was a growing inevitability as the years passed that the BBC would pull the plug on the sport as the purses continued to tighten. The corporation pulled the plug at the end of 2015, with the free-to-air element of the contract switching to Channel 4.

At a glance – BBC vs Channel 4 – Belgian Grand Prix

Qualifying Live – 12:10 to 14:30 – BBC Two
Race Live – 12:10 to 15:30 – BBC One
F1 Forum – 15:30 to ~16:15 – BBC Red Button
Qualifying Live – 11:55 to 14:30 – Channel 4
Race Live – 12:00 to 16:00 – Channel 4
Highlights – 00:40 to 01:40 – Channel 4

Motorsport Broadcasting archive / Channel 4 Press

Channel 4 retained a similar offering to the BBC, with extensive live coverage during their live weekends. While the broadcaster had no Red Button style F1 Forum show, they made up for this with an extended post-race broadcast on their linear outlet.

Furthermore, Channel 4 committed to airing their live races without commercial breaks. Familiar faces, such as Ben Edwards, David Coulthard and Lee McKenzie moved over from the BBC, while Channel 4 faces, such as Steve Jones, joined the team.

In the first year of their contract in 2016, Channel 4 aired 71 hours of F1 action across 21 races, an average of 3 hours and 24 minutes, including commercials. On a like-for-like basis, this was the highest for F1 on free-to-air television since 2012, although does not account for the BBC’s F1 Forum.

Before Channel 4 could get comfortable with F1, however, Sky swooped in immediately, taking F1 exclusively from 2019, with live coverage of the British Grand Prix and highlights of every qualifying and race session airing via free-to-air.

Figures under the new contract hit their nadir in 2019, owing to a restrictive contract imposed by Sky on Channel 4, with just 53 hours of F1 action covered across 21 races, an average of just over two hours, the lowest figure at that point since 1991.

The restrictions on Channel 4 loosened the following year, but have not moved the needle significantly. Later start times for Canada, Mexico, USA, and now Miami, have hampered Channel 4’s offering further, the broadcaster opting to air shorter shows due to the late-night (or Sunday morning in the case of qualifying) time slot.

Other races, especially last season, have seen production company Whisper opt for a skeleton crew on-site. The 2022 Japanese Grand Prix saw just Steve Jones and Felipe Massa present on-site, with the remainder of the crew back at base in Ealing.

Channel 4 remain loyal to the sport, and will continue to air highlights of every race, plus live coverage of the British Grand Prix in 2023. Their relationship with Sky remains positive, the two coming to an agreement at the end of 2021 to air the championship deciding race in Abu Dhabi live on free-to-air television.

Where are we now?

It has been over a decade now since F1 began the transition to pay television in the UK, which has given others an opportunity in the motor sport sphere to make an impact and try to break through on free-to-air television.

It is an opportunity that will remain over the next seven seasons, given Sky’s recent extension to cover F1 through to the end of 2029.

Formula 1’s race day broadcast lengths in the UK from 1982 onwards, both average per race and cumulative across the season. Slide the bar in the centre across to see the difference between average and cumulative.

Except, no one successfully has broken through. The prime candidate, Formula E, has struggled to gain momentum across each of its homes, having rotated around ITV, Channel 5, BBC and now Channel 4.

The free-to-air broadcaster shows some Formula E rounds live, however races that fall in primetime, such as the season opening Mexico City E-Prix on Saturday 13th January, do not air live on their linear platforms.

Elsewhere, MotoGP moved with F1 to pay television over to BT Sport, while the British Touring Car Championship has retained its presence on ITV4, while some races moved to ITV1 last season.

Extreme E has also had a presence on ITV1 recently, but the series has delivered poor viewing figures.

Unfortunately, television executives are simply not into motor sport enough to plough hours into it across the weekend afternoons, if they ever were at least. Let us not forget that the BBC are still covering a range of sport at weekends.

On Saturday afternoons on BBC One during 2022, the corporation aired live snooker, tennis, football, rugby league, rugby union, athletics, gymnastics, both male and female including the major events such as the Winter Olympics, Six Nations, Commonwealth Games, and the FIFA World Cup.

It is not that BBC do not have the space to cover it, it is that they simply do not want to because motor sport currently does not align with their strategic priorities.

Or, an alternative version of that statement is that motor sport is too expensive for the BBC to cover which, in the case of at least F1 or MotoGP, rings true.

World Superbikes is an interesting use case. Toprak Razgatlioglu and Alvaro Bautista have successfully challenged Britain’s Jonathan Rea dominance in recent seasons, with enticing racing, however the series has generated little in the way of additional coverage from a UK standpoint.

For F1, does it really matter that is not as accessible via the historical, linear free-to-air television route? Arguably not, otherwise commercial rights holder Liberty Media would not have agreed a new deal with Sky taking the sport to 2029.

What ‘success’ looks like for Formula 1 is changing. Once upon a time, it was the number of eyeballs watching a free-to-air broadcast, hence the sport benefited significantly from the expansive airtime that the BBC or ITV gave it.

Now, the sport has a much wider net to reach out to, across a variety of platforms, helping bring in a younger audience to the sport, instead of an aging audience that predominantly watches free-to-air television. The delivery mechanism has changed.

It makes measuring ‘success’ challenging to gauge from the outside beyond glorified media releases and PR approved quotes.

As well as looking at Channel 4’s and Sky’s audience data, F1, along with their stakeholders, will look at data from social media (Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram), combining that with data from the likes of Netflix to build a much bigger picture of their audience.

An 18-year-old watching highlights via YouTube is more attractive to F1 than someone age 60 watching linear free-to-air highlights on Channel 4. And, it is for that reason that, while it is sad to see F1’s free-to-air presence deteriorate over the years, it is also a sign of the times.

Because free-to-air, linear television for F1 is not the future, or even the present for F1.

It may just be the past.

If you enjoyed this article, the Lucky! series covers F1’s broadcasting evolution over the decades from episode five onwards, which this writer contributed to. Lucky! is an eight-part documentary series, telling the story of F1 through the lens of Bernie Ecclestone, and is available now worldwide, including in the UK via Discovery+.

In addition, consider contributing to the running costs of Motorsport Broadcasting by donating via PayPal. If you wish to reproduce the contents of this article in any form, please contact Motorsport Broadcasting in the first instance.

Minor amendment made on January 4th to clarify that the Caesars Palace Grand Prix from Las Vegas in 1981 aired live on BBC Two. Thanks to DennisFone for the heads up on this one.

Motorsport Broadcasting collaborates with Jiva Maya for Lucky!

A new documentary series telling the story of Formula 1 through the eyes of Bernie Ecclestone premieres later this month.

The series, called Lucky! will air across a multitude of streaming platforms, including in the UK and Ireland on Discovery+. Manish Pandey, who produced the Senna movie, is the man behind bringing the story to life through Lucky!

The series contains many of Ecclestone’s thoughts through interviews exclusively conducted for Lucky! as well as a rich array of archive footage from the official Formula 1 vault.

Production on the documentary series began in 2020, and I am thrilled to confirm that I have been collaborating with Manish and production company Jiva Maya throughout 2022 to add an additional layer of storytelling to the series.

Formula 1 evolved significantly during Ecclestone’s tenure leading the sport, including on the broadcasting front, with a television revolution.

To help the team tell the Lucky! story, I have been researching worldwide audience data, combined with historical UK television schedule data.

Trying to calculate a global historical F1 audience figure was challenging, but one made possible through hours of research, which viewers can see during the second half of Lucky! from episodes five to eight.

Combining publicly available data (both for the season and individual races) with other insights such as population data and total TV penetration, has allowed us to present a reasonable trend spanning the past four decades.

The trend shows how F1’s popularity boomed during the 1980s, plateaued following the death of Ayrton Senna, before rising again during Michael Schumacher’s reign at the top.

In addition, I curated over 2,000 data points from the BBC’s Genome service, combining them with historical Radio Times television listings sourced from the BBC’s Written Archives Centre and The Library of Birmingham.

The research has allowed us to quantify for the first time how Formula 1’s UK free-to-air television exposure has changed over the past four decades. Keep an eye on the Motorsport Broadcasting site for more in-depth analysis on this front.

From just 40 minutes of live coverage per race in 1988 to nearly 3 hours on average a decade later in the UK, Lucky! shows how the sport changed over the decades.

For me personally, it is the first time ever I have contributed – and been credited – on a Formula 1 television documentary in this way, which is something I never thought I would say.

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with Manish and the team on the Lucky! project during 2022, and I would like to extend a massive thank you to them for the kind words of encouragement throughout.

Lucky! premieres in the UK on Discovery+ on Tuesday 27th December, and overseas on platforms including DAZN, Viaplay and ESPN LATAM.

Contribute to the running costs of Motorsport Broadcasting by donating via PayPal. If you wish to reproduce the contents of this article in any form, please contact Motorsport Broadcasting in the first instance.

Channel 4 retains free-to-air F1 offering for 2023

Channel 4 will continue to broadcast Formula 1 on free-to-air television in 2023 after agreeing a new deal with Sky Sports, the broadcaster has today confirmed.

The free-to-air broadcaster will air highlights of every qualifying session and race next season, along with live coverage of the British Grand Prix weekend.

Coverage will continue to be produced by Whisper. Motorsport Broadcasting understands that the new deal between Channel 4 and Sky only covers the 2023 season.

Channel 4’s Chief Executive Alex Mahon said “It’s fantastic news that motorsport fans will be able to follow all the action during the 2023 Formula 1 season on free to air television thanks to this latest deal with Sky.”

“Our strong, long-standing relationship with our excellent partner Sky has delivered some fantastic moments for viewers.”

“Last year’s thrilling Formula 1 season finale between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, England’s dramatic win at the 2019 Cricket World Cup and Betfred Super League rugby have all been made available to British audiences on free to air television thanks to our close working relationship with Sky, and it’s great to see this continuing into 2023.”

Stephen van Rooyen, Executive Vice President & CEO, Sky UK & Europe said “Our partnership with Channel 4 succeeds thanks to our shared values.”

“We both support the UK’s cultural economy across TV & film production, journalism, and the arts, and of course we’ve shared some of the UK’s great sporting moments together over the last few years.”

“Together with Channel 4 we look forward to giving racing fans in the UK all the twists and turns from the 2023 season.”

Contribute to the running costs of Motorsport Broadcasting by donating via PayPal. If you wish to reproduce the contents of this article in any form, please contact Motorsport Broadcasting in the first instance.