Scheduling: The 2020 Eifel Grand Prix

Formula 1 returns to the Nürburgring for the first time in seven years this weekend, for the inaugural Eifel Grand Prix!

Live coverage of the race weekend airs on Sky Sports with Ted Kravitz and Simon Lazenby re-joining the team. It is unclear if Martin Brundle is also back with the line-up as of writing.

Elsewhere, with Triumph’s visitor experience centre in Hinkley reopening to the public, BT Sport’s MotoGP coverage is moving.

The crew are relocating to the BT Tower in central London for the remainder of 2020.

The main races for F1 and MotoGP this weekend both begin an hour earlier. F1’s change is driven by the earlier sunset times as the European season concludes later than usual, dictating a change for MotoGP to avoid a head to head clash.

Channel 4 F1
10/10 – 17:30 to 19:00 – Qualifying Highlights
11/10 – 18:30 to 21:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
09/10 – 09:30 to 11:50
=> 09:30 – Welcome to the Weekend
=> 10:00 – Practice 1
09/10 – 13:45 to 15:45 – Practice 2
10/10 – 10:45 to 12:10 – Practice 3
10/10 – 13:00 to 15:35 – Qualifying
11/10 – 11:30 to 16:30 – Race
=> 11:30 – Grand Prix Sunday
=> 13:05 – Race
=> 15:00 – Chequered Flag
=> 16:00 – Notebook

Supplementary Programming
09/10 – 16:30 to 17:00 – The Story so Far
09/10 – 17:00 to 18:30 – F1 Pro Series Draft
10/10 – 21:00 to 22:00 – Race to Perfection
14/10 – 19:30 to 21:00 – F1 Pro Series Race 1 and 2
14/10 – 21:00 to 21:30 – Midweek Debrief
15/10 – 19:30 to 21:00 – F1 Pro Series Race 3

BBC Radio F1
All sessions are available live on BBC’s F1 website
09/10 – 09:55 to 11:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
09/10 – 21:00 to 21:30 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
10/10 – 10:55 to 12:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
11/10 – 13:00 to 15:00 – Race Updates (BBC Radio 5 Live)

MotoGP – France (BT Sport 2)
Also airs live on MotoGP’s Video Pass (£)
09/10 – 08:00 to 10:45 – Practice 1
09/10 – 12:00 to 15:00 – Practice 2
10/10 – 08:00 to 16:00
=> 08:00 – Practice 3
=> 11:00 – Qualifying
=> 15:00 – MotoE
11/10 – 07:45 to 15:00
=> 07:45 – Warm Ups
=> 09:30 – Moto3
=> 11:30 – MotoGP
=> 13:15 – Moto2
=> 14:30 – Chequered Flag

MotoGP – France (Quest)
12/10 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Highlights

British Touring Car Championship – Croft (ITV4)
11/10 – 11:30 to 18:05 – Races

World Rally Championship – Italy (All Live)
Also airs live on WRC+ (£)
09/10 – 06:45 to 16:45 – Stages 1 to 6 (BT Sport Extra 1)
=> 06:50 – Stage 1
=> 07:44 – Stage 2
=> 09:40 – Stage 3
=> 10:34 – Stage 4
=> 15:14 – Stage 5
=> 15:59 – Stage 6
10/10 – 06:00 to 17:45 – Stages 7 to 12 (BT Sport Extra 3)
=> 06:38 – Stage 7
=> 07:30 – Stage 8
=> 09:07 – Stage 9
=> 10:00 – Stage 10
=> 15:00 – Stage 11
=> 16:02 – Stage 12
11/10 – 06:15 to 12:45 – Stages 13 to 16 (BT Sport Extra 1)
=> 07:15 – Stage 13
=> 08:00 – Stage 14
=> 10:10 – Stage 15
=> 11:00 – Stage 16

World Rally Championship – Italy
10/10 – 00:30 to 01:00 – Day 1 Highlights (BT Sport 3)
10/10 – 07:30 to 08:30 – Stage 8 (BT Sport 3)
10/10 – 10:00 to 11:00 – Stage 10 (BT Sport 3)
10/10 – 15:00 to 16:00 – Stage 11 (BT Sport 3)
11/10 – 02:00 to 02:30 – Day 2 Highlights (BT Sport 3)
11/10 – 08:00 to 09:00 – Stage 14 (BT Sport 1)
11/10 – 11:00 to 12:30 – Stage 16 [Power Stage] (BT Sport 1)
11/10 – 20:30 to 21:00 – Day 3 Highlights (BT Sport 2)
TBA – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

World Touring Car Cup – Slovakia (Eurosport)
11/10 – 07:55 to 12:00 – Race 1
11/10 – 11:30 to 12:30 – Race 2

This article will be updated if schedules change.


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Scheduling: The 2020 Russian Grand Prix

The Sochi Autodrom in Russia plays host to round ten of the 2020 Formula One season.

As the paddock heads to Russia, Sky’s presentation team will look a little different for the race, with neither Simon Lazenby or Ted Kravitz with the team.

For Lazenby, it is his second absence of the season following Spain in August; expect Natalie Pinkham to step into the presenting shoes again.

After having to depart Mugello early due to family issues, Steve Jones returns to his role as Channel 4’s F1 presenter for Russia, alongside the likes of David Coulthard and Mark Webber.

The time difference means that the F1 race starts at 12:10 UK time. As thus, MotoGP from Catalunya moves an hour later to 14:00 UK time, avoiding a clash with the F1.

Elsewhere, the British Touring Car Championship season continues from Silverstone, and remains on ITV2, but this time due to the French Open.

The French Open also causes problems for Eurosport’s coverage of the World Touring Car Cup. Owing to the tennis, the touring car series airs exclusively live for UK fans via Eurosport’s online Player, with late night highlights airing on their linear TV channels.

Channel 4 F1
26/09 – 18:30 to 20:00 – Qualifying Highlights
27/09 – 17:30 to 20:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
25/09 – 08:30 to 10:45 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 08:30 – Welcome to the Weekend
=> 09:00 – Practice 1
25/09 – 12:45 to 14:45 – Practice 2
26/09 – 09:45 to 11:10 – Practice 3
26/09 – 12:00 to 14:30 – Qualifying
27/09 – 10:30 to 15:00 – Race
=> 10:30 – Grand Prix Sunday (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 12:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 14:00 – Chequered Flag

Supplementary Programming
25/09 – 15:30 to 16:00 – The Story so Far
26/09 – 14:30 to 15:45 – Race to Perfection
30/09 – 21:00 to 21:30 – Midweek Debrief

BBC Radio F1
All sessions are available live on BBC’s F1 website
25/09 – 08:55 to 10:55 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
25/09 – 12:55 to 14:35 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
26/09 – 09:55 to 11:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
27/09 – 12:00 to 14:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)

MotoGP – Catalunya (BT Sport 2)
Also airs live on MotoGP’s Video Pass (£)
25/09 – 08:00 to 10:45 – Practice 1
25/09 – 12:00 to 15:00 – Practice 2
26/09 – 08:00 to 15:15
=> 08:00 – Practice 3
=> 11:00 – Qualifying
27/09 – 08:30 to 15:30
=> 08:30 – Warm Ups
=> 10:15 – Moto3
=> 12:00 – Moto2
=> 13:30 – MotoGP
=> 15:00 – Chequered Flag

MotoGP – Catalunya (Quest)
28/09 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Highlights

British Touring Car Championship – Silverstone (ITV2)
27/09 – 11:00 to 18:25 – Races

GT World Challenge – Zandvoort (Sky Sports F1)
27/09 – 15:00 to 17:00 – Race (tape-delay)

Ferrari Challenge – Misano (Sky Sports F1)
26/09 – 16:10 to 17:10 – Race 1
27/09 – 17:00 to 18:00 – Race 2 (tape-delay)

Formula Two – Russia (Sky Sports F1)
25/09 – 07:30 to 08:20 – Practice (also Sky Sports Main Event)
25/09 – 11:55 to 12:35 – Qualifying
26/09 – 08:05 to 09:20 – Race 1
27/09 – 08:45 to 09:50 – Race 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)

Virgin Australia Supercars – The Bend (BT Sport 3) TBC
Also airs live on SuperView (£)

World Touring Car Cup – Germany
Only available live via Eurosport Player

As always, this post will be updated if plans change.

Update on September 26th – Whilst Pinkham is on site for Sky, it is in fact Rachel Brookes presenting their programming. As mentioned on his Instagram, Martin Brundle is not with Sky either, with Karun Chandhok partnering David Croft in the box. Meanwhile, Channel 4 are not out in Russia, instead they are presenting the weekend from Red Bull’s HQ in Milton Keynes.


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Scheduling: The 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans

Delayed by three months due to COVID-19, the spectacular 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place this weekend!

As usual, live coverage of the race for UK fans airs on Eurosport, with the official World Feed commentary available via the World Endurance Championship app.

A congested weekend of action, also involving the Tour de France, British Superbikes and World Superbikes, means that their free-to-air station Quest acts as Eurosport’s overflow channel for the Superbikes.

The consequence of that means that Le Mans is not available to UK fans via any free-to-air outlet this year.

Martin Haven, Graham Goodwin and Allan McNish lead the World Feed offering, with Ben Constanduros, Peter Dumbreck, Jamie Campbell-Walter rotating in and out of commentary for the 24 hours.

Down in pit lane, Hayley Duncan and Alexandra Legouix will be grabbing all the interview snippets throughout.

We choose the best action and the best angle, thanks to some 40 cameras along the track and in the pits. It is also possible to put on-air one of the 14 cars equipped with 3 or 4 on-board cameras.

Two ‘cinéflex’, one onboard a helicopter and the other below an airship, a travelling on a 400-meter cable along the pits as well as a mobile ‘hyper-slowmo’, allows us to include exceptional footage.

Brand new motion graphics (already used during the World Endurance Championships) add a significant number of important information to ensure a better understanding of the race.

A selection of radio communication from the teams and the race director will be on-air, to explain and humanize the race.

Day and night over 300 people, who work in shifts during the 30 hours we produce, run this technical set-up to ensure that each broadcaster may offer their viewers all over the world a full coverage of the race.

Producing at the 24H Le Mans means bearing in mind that anything can happen, at any moment. This is why we continuously record from over 75 different image sources to be able to use this on air slightly offline. – 24 Hours of Le Mans

Over on Eurosport, Tom Gaymor leads the commentary line-up from off-site in the UK, joined by Mark Cole, Louise Beckett, Damien Faulkner, Sam Hancock and Chris Parsons.

Supplementing Eurosport’s coverage from on-site are Jennie Gow, Guenaelle Longy and Toby Moody who will be reporting from pit lane.

As always, Radio Le Mans will be doing their thing throughout the Le Mans festival, with John Hindhaugh leading the crew.

In a change to tradition, the race itself starts at 14:30 local time instead of the usual 15:00 local time. In addition, WEC’s cameras are not covering practice one, with coverage kicking in from practice two onwards.

Below are all the details you need, including MotoGP’s second Misano race, and World Rally Championship’s visit to Turkey…

World Endurance Championship – 24 Hours of Le Mans
Also airs live on WEC’s App (£)
17/09 – 13:00 to 17:00 (Eurosport 2)
=> 13:00 – Practice 2
=> 16:00 – Qualifying
17/09 – 19:00 to 23:15 – Practice 3 (Eurosport 2)
18/09 – 09:00 to 10:00 – Practice 4 (Eurosport 2)
18/09 – 10:30 to 11:00 – Hyperpole (Eurosport 2)
19/09 – 09:30 to 11:00 (Eurosport)
=> 09:30 – Warm-Up
=> 10:00 – Road to Le Mans
19/09 – 12:30 to 13:15 – Preview (Eurosport)
19/09 – 13:15 – Race (Eurosport)
=> live coverage continues until 14:00 on 20/09

MotoGP – Emilia Romagna (BT Sport 2)
Also airs live on MotoGP’s Video Pas (£)
18/09 – 08:00 to 10:45 – Practice 1
18/09 – 12:00 to 15:00 – Practice 2
19/09 – 08:00 to 15:15
=> 08:00 – Practice 3
=> 11:00 – Qualifying
20/09 – 07:15 to 14:30
=> 07:15 – Warm Ups
=> 08:45 – MotoE
=> 09:30 – Moto3
=> 11:00 – Moto2
=> 12:30 – MotoGP
=> 14:00 – Chequered Flag

MotoGP – Emilia Romagna (Quest)
21/09 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Highlights

British Superbikes – Oulton Park / World Superbikes – Catalunya
World Superbikes airs live on WSB’s Video Pass (£)
18/09 – 13:25 to 14:55 – WSB: Practice (Eurosport 2)
19/09 – 09:45 to 18:00
=> 09:45 (Eurosport 2)
=> 11:45 (Quest)
20/09 – 12:15 to 18:00 (Quest)
22/09 – 20:00 to 21:00 – WSB: Highlights (ITV4)
23/09 – 19:30 to 21:00 – BSB: Highlights (ITV4)

British Touring Car Championship – Thruxton (ITV2)
20/09 – 11:00 to 18:45 – Races

Speedway Grand Prix – Poland
18/09 – 17:45 to 21:15 – Races (BT Sport 3)
19/09 – 17:45 to 21:15 – Races (BT Sport 2)

Virgin Australia Supercars – The Bend (BT Sport 3)
Also airs live on SuperView (£)
19/09 – 06:30 to 08:00 – Race 1
20/09 – 03:15 to 04:45 – Race 2
20/09 – 05:45 to 07:15 – Race 2

World Rally Championship – Turkey (All Live)
Also airs live on WRC+ (£)
18/09 – 14:15 to 18:15 – Stages 1 and 2 (BT Sport Extra 1)
=> 15:00 – Stage 1
=> 16:18 – Stage 2
19/09 – 06:00 to 16:45 – Stages 3 to 8 (BT Sport Extra 2)
=> 06:47 – Stage 3
=> 08:00 – Stage 4
=> 09:03 – Stage 5
=> 12:47 – Stage 6
=> 14:00 – Stage 7
=> 15:03 – Stage 8
20/09 – 04:15 to 12:45 – Stages 9 to 12 (BT Sport Extra 2)
=> 05:27 – Stage 9
=> 07:00 – Stage 10
=> 09:07 – Stage 11
=> 11:15 – Stage 12 [Power Stage]

World Rally Championship – Turkey
18/09 – 15:00 to 16:00 – Stage 1 (BT Sport 1)
19/09 – 00:00 to 00:30 – Day 1 Highlights (BT Sport 2)
19/09 – 08:00 to 09:00 – Stage 4 (BT Sport 3)
19/09 – 22:45 to 23:15 – Day 2 Highlights (BT Sport 2)
20/09 – 07:00 to 08:00 – Stage 10 (BT Sport 3)
20/09 – 22:15 to 22:45 – Day 3 Highlights (BT Sport 3)
22/09 – 21:00 to 22:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

As always if details change, this article will be updated.


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Analysis: How F1 and MotoGP have interpreted Mugello differently from a broadcasting perspective

The Mugello circuit in Italy is renowned for two wheeled action, with MotoGP fans flocking to the race track each June to cheer on their favourite stars, including Valentino Rossi and the Ducati team.

This year, COVID-19 has meant that MotoGP has had to postpone its visit to the legendary circuit, the first time Mugello has not been on the MotoGP calendar since 1993.

The unusual circumstances have resulted in Formula 1 making its inaugural trip to Tuscany, with the circuit set to be one of the most physically demanding on the calendar for its 20 drivers.

As readers of this site will be all too aware, any new circuit represents a new challenge for those working on the broadcasting front, and Mugello is no different.

Formula 1’s production team comes to Tuscany from Monza with their own intentions and goals, meaning that the result from a television perspective will be significantly different to MotoGP’s own output from their yearly Mugello visit.

But just how different were Formula 1’s camera angles compared to MotoGP’s usual positions for two-wheeled action? Motorsport Broadcasting analyses the running themes from today’s F1 practice sessions…

Higher or lower?
Both championships’ take a significantly different approach in terms of camera height. When analysing last year’s MotoGP race with today’s practice action, it is clear that throughout the 5.2km circuit, F1 have opted to position their cameras lower than MotoGP’s historical positioning.

 

The lower angles help show the direction change of the single-seaters much better than a higher angle – a strategic direction F1, under Liberty Media’s watch, started to take back in 2017. Critically, the lower angles give viewers a better side-on view of the car, which is important for sponsors whose brands are located there.

In contrast, MotoGP’s angles give fans a better idea of the elevation on offer around the Mugello circuit which, in my opinion, F1 does not convey as well as their bike rival.

This is obvious in two main places. MotoGP’s camera angles at the start of the start-finish straight and turn six are higher than F1’s, the bike series making Mugello look like a rollercoaster ride compared to F1. However, F1’s angles show off Mugello’s picturesque backdrop.

The angle at turn six though is deliberate from F1’s perspective. All of the cars will be going flat out heading into here during qualifying, and F1 wants to show the change of direction on offer at high speeds.

Further round the lap, both display the same traits at turns eight and ten: F1 going for the low angle, with MotoGP venturing higher up.

Slip-streaming is a common feature of MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3, and the higher angles will make it easier to identify when slip-streaming is occurring as the race progresses.

One straight, many cameras
Motor sport is renowned for long straights that head into sharp corners, and Mugello is no different in this regard.

Combined with the elevation change, one camera angle is insufficient to track the machinery from the exit of the final corner to the start of turn one.

At some circuits, such as Shanghai, one camera angle would be enough if you were short on resources, but such an approach would also make for boring viewing.

As Sergi Sendra, Dorna’s Senior Director for Media Content, Television and Production explained to me last year, the TV team typically splits long straights into three: one for the exit from the previous bend, the second for the mid-section as the bikes head to top speed, and finally for the braking zone.

Both MotoGP’s and F1’s positioning in Mugello follows this rule to the letter, with the second angle close to pit lane exit after the starting grid.

Positioning of angles
A common trait from MotoGP is to position additional angles on the inside of corners, and use that as their main angle. During last year’s MotoGP race, the production team utilised an angle on the inside of turn one, using this to show the bike’s lean angle throughout the constant radius hairpin.

For turn four, MotoGP positions their camera on the entry to the corner showing the riders turn into the bend, whereas F1 opted to go for a more direct angle with their positioning.

In my view, MotoGP does a better job in making Arrabbiata one continuous corner, whereas it is not immediately obvious with F1’s angles that the two corners seamlessly link with one another.

The key to all this though is that there is no right or wrong answer to positioning cameras around a race track.

F1 switching its angles to the same position to MotoGP’s angles would not make F1’s product infinitely better, or vice versa.

The answer is much more nuanced than that depending on the constraints that both championships, commercial, budgetary, or otherwise, are working within.

In addition, the action points for bike racing and single-seater racing are inherently different on a circuit-by-circuit basis, meaning you cannot apply a one size fits all model from a production perspective.

For now, F1 will have learnt a massive amount from today, and will no doubt be making tweaks to their camera angles as the weekend progresses in Mugello as race day approaches.


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Scheduling: The 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix

Nine races. Three old favourites, three new challenges and three modern circuits is all that remains as the 2020 Formula One season heads into the Autumn.

Whilst both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships look set to be heading towards Mercedes, the COVID-19 pandemic means that everyone (from a championship perspective) has a new set of challenges ahead of them, starting this weekend at Mugello!

But, if last weekend told us anything, it is that anything can happen in Formula 1, and it usually does (just when you least expect it).

For Formula Three, the Mugello weekend marks the end of the year, with Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant fighting over the crown and almost certain promotion to Formula Two.

With the Porsche Supercup season now over, both Formula Two and Three move 45 minutes later on Sunday morning.

MotoGP returns after a few weeks off, with nine races taking place in the next eleven weeks. As revealed by Motorsport Broadcasting in our behind the scenes piece, BT Sport are remaining off-site as the season resumes.

Further afield the World Touring Car Cup finally starts its 2020 season over in Belgium, with Eurosport airing live coverage.

On the documentary front, a special 30-minute programme airs on Sky Sports F1 following the Tuscan Grand Prix and live IndyCar action from Mid-Ohio to mark Ferrari’s 1,000th F1 race.

Sky’s F1 documentary series Race to Perfection also drops this Saturday, which each of the seven episodes also airing on Sky’s F1 channel over the coming weeks.

Channel 4 F1
12/09 – 19:30 to 21:00 – Qualifying Highlights
13/09 – 18:30 to 21:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
11/09 – 09:30 to 11:50
=> 09:30 – Welcome to the Weekend (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 10:00 – Practice 1
11/09 – 13:45 to 15:45 – Practice 2
12/09 – 10:45 to 12:10 – Practice 3
12/09 – 13:00 to 15:35 – Qualifying
13/09 – 12:30 to 17:30 – Race
=> 12:30 – Grand Prix Sunday
=> 14:05 – Race
=> 16:00 – Chequered Flag
=> 17:00 – Notebook

Supplementary Programming
11/09 – 16:30 to 17:00 – The Story so Far
13/09 – 20:00 to 20:30 – Scuderia Ferrari 1,000th Race Celebration
16/09 – 21:00 to 21:30 – Midweek Debrief

BBC Radio F1
All sessions are available live on BBC’s F1 website
10/09 – 21:30 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
11/09 – 09:55 to 11:55 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
12/09 – 10:55 to 12:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
12/09 – 13:55 to 15:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
13/09 – 14:00 to 16:00 – Race Updates (BBC Radio 5 Live)

MotoGP – San Marino (BT Sport 2)
Also airs live on MotoGP’s Video Pass (£)
11/09 – 08:00 to 10:45 – Practice 1
11/09 – 12:00 to 15:00 – Practice 2
12/09 – 08:00 to 15:45
=> 08:00 – Practice 3
=> 11:00 – Qualifying
=> 15:00 – MotoE
13/09 – 07:15 to 15:00
=> 07:15 – Warm Ups
=> 08:45 – MotoE
=> 09:30 – Moto3
=> 11:00 – Moto2
=> 12:30 – MotoGP
=> 14:00 – Chequered Flag

MotoGP – San Marino (Quest)
14/09 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Highlights

Formula Two – Tuscan (Sky Sports F1)
11/09 – 11:50 to 12:40 – Practice
11/09 – 15:55 to 16:30 – Qualifying
12/09 – 15:35 to 16:55 – Race 1
13/09 – 10:45 to 11:50 – Race 2

Formula Three – Tuscan (Sky Sports F1)
11/09 – 08:30 to 09:20 – Practice (also Sky Sports Main Event)
11/09 – 13:00 to 13:45 – Qualifying
12/09 – 09:20 to 10:10 – Race 1
13/09 – 09:20 to 10:20 – Race 2

IndyCar Series – Mid-Ohio (Sky Sports F1)
12/09 – 21:30 to 00:00 – Race 1
13/09 – 18:00 to 20:00 – Race 2

Speedway Grand Prix – Poland (BT Sport 3)
12/09 – 17:45 to 21:15 – Races

World Touring Car Cup – Belgium
13/09 – 09:15 to 10:15 – Race 1 (Eurosport)
13/09 – 13:00 to 14:00 – Race 2 (Eurosport)

As always, this article will be updated if plans change.

Updated on September 10th.

Update on September 12th – The Ferrari special is airing live, right now at 20:12, on the F1 channel.


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