Scheduling: The 2020 Belgian Grand Prix

Six down, eleven to go…

The legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium plays host to round seven of the 2020 Formula One season, and the start of the third triple header.

The big news from a UK perspective is that Channel 4 are back in the paddock on foreign soil, with Steve Jones and David Coulthard reporting on-location throughout the weekend.

Most of Sky’s coverage from Spa also airs on Sky Sports Main Event, including four out of the five F1 sessions.

Elsewhere, a packed weekend of sport across ITV’s portfolio of channels means that the latest British Touring Car Championship round from Knockhill airs live on ITV2.

The start of the Tour de France occupies ITV4, with horse racing coverage on ITV3, meaning ITV2 is the next best thing for BTCC. As usual, ITV have opted to show repeats on their main channel, in this instance an old Bond film and a Marple repeat.

Speedway returns to BT Sport this weekend, with the start of the Grand Prix season. The season starts with a double-header event in Poland.

Although the Belgium weekend promises to be action filled, there will also be an air of poignancy over the Spa paddock, as we remember Anthoine Hubert, one year on from the accident that claimed his life.

Channel 4 F1
29/08 – 18:30 to 20:00 – Qualifying Highlights
30/08 – 18:30 to 21:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
28/08 – 09:30 to 11:50 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 09:30 – Welcome to the Weekend
=> 10:00 – Practice 1
28/08 – 13:45 to 15:45 – Practice 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
29/08 – 10:45 to 12:10 – Practice 3
29/08 – 13:00 to 15:35 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Main Event)
30/08 – 12:30 to 17:00 – Race
=> 12:30 – Grand Prix Sunday (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 14:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 16:00 – Chequered Flag

Supplementary Programming
29/08 – 16:30 to 17:00 – The Story so Far
02/09 – 21:00 to 21:30 – Midweek Debrief

BBC Radio F1
All sessions are available live on BBC’s F1 website
28/08 – 09:55 to 11:55 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
28/08 – 13:55 to 15:35 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
28/08 – 21:00 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
29/08 – 10:55 to 12:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
29/08 – 13:55 to 15:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
29/08 – 14:30 to 15:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live)
30/08 – 14:00 to 16:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

British Touring Car Championship – Knockhill (ITV2)
30/08 – 10:40 to 17:50 – Races

Formula Two – Austria (Sky Sports F1)
28/08 – 11:50 to 12:45 – Practice
28/08 – 15:55 to 16:30 – Qualifying
29/08 – 15:35 to 16:55 – Race 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
30/08 – 10:00 to 11:05 – Race 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)

Formula Three – Austria (Sky Sports F1)
28/08 – 08:30 to 09:20 – Practice (also Sky Sports Main Event)
28/08 – 13:00 to 13:45 – Qualifying
29/08 – 09:20 to 10:10 – Race 1
30/08 – 08:35 to 09:35 – Race 2

IndyCar Series – Gateway (Sky Sports F1)
29/08 – 20:00 to 23:00 – Race 1
30/08 – 20:00 to 23:00 – Race 2

Porsche Supercup – Spain (Sky Sports F1)
30/08 – 11:20 to 12:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)

Speedway Grand Prix – Poland
28/08 – 17:30 to 21:15 – Races – Round 1 (BT Sport 1)
29/08 – 17:45 to 21:15 – Races – Round 2 (BT Sport 2)

Virgin Australia Supercars – Townsville (BT Sport 2)
Also airs live on SuperView (£)
29/08 – 06:30 to 08:00 – Race 1
30/08 – 04:15 to 05:30 – Race 2

World Superbikes – Aragon
Also airs live on World Superbikes’ Video Pass (£)
28/08 – 09:30 to 10:30 – Practice 1 (Eurosport 2)
28/08 – 13:55 to 15:35 – Practice 2 (Eurosport 2)
29/08 – 09:45 to 12:00 – Qualifying (Eurosport 2)
29/08 – 12:30 to 15:00 – Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
30/08 – 09:45 to 15:00 – Support and Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
01/09 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

If schedules change, this post will be amended.


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Scheduling: The 2020 Indianapolis 500

“And we go green for the 500!”

There may be no fans in attendance, but the Indianapolis 500 promises to remain a spectacle on the circuit as 33 cars head into turn one for the start of the famous race.

The race itself begins in a primetime slot for UK fans at 19:30, later than in previous years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marco Andretti followed in the footsteps of grandfather Mario, taking pole position last Sunday. Can he convert that to race victory this Sunday?

As they did last year, Sky Sports F1 are taking NBC’s stateside offering, with Leigh Diffey leading the commentary alongside the likes of Townsend Bell.

Sky are supplementing NBC’s commentary with their own commentary during the US ad-breaks. Tom Gaymor joins Formula Two lead commentator Alex Jacques to discuss the action from the UK.

Elsewhere, MotoGP concludes its triple-header of races with a second race weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Closer to home, the British Touring Car Championship heads to Oulton Park, with the action starting on ITV4 slightly later than usual at 11:50 on Sunday.

IndyCar Series – Indianapolis 500 (Sky Sports F1)
21/08 – 16:00 to 18:30 – Carb Day Practice
23/08 – 18:00 to 23:00 – Race

MotoGP – Styria (BT Sport 2)
Also airs live on MotoGP’s Video Pass (£)
21/08 – 08:00 to 10:45 – Practice 1
21/08 – 12:00 to 15:00 – Practice 2
22/08 – 08:00 to 15:15
=> 08:00 – Practice 3
=> 11:00 – Qualifying
23/08 – 07:30 to 15:00
=> 07:30 – Warm Ups
=> 09:15 – Moto3
=> 11:00 – Moto2
=> 12:30 – MotoGP
=> 14:00 – Chequered Flag

MotoGP – Styria (Quest)
24/08 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Highlights

British Superbikes – Snetterton
22/08 – 13:00 to 18:00 – Qualifying and Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
23/08 – 13:00 to 18:00 – Races 2 and 3 (Eurosport 2)
26/08 – 19:30 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

British Touring Car Championship – Oulton Park (ITV4)
23/08 – 11:50 to 18:35 – Races

DTM – Lausitzring
22/08 – 12:15 to 14:00 – Race 1 (BT Sport 1)
23/08 – 09:45 to 10:15 – Qualifying (BT Sport/ESPN)
23/08 – 12:15 to 14:00 – Race 2 (BT Sport/ESPN)

As always, I will update this article if broadcasters change their plans.


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Scheduling: The 2020 Spanish Grand Prix

After Max Verstappen’s shock victory at Silverstone, Formula 1 heads to Spain to complete their second triple header of the season.

Channel 4 are remaining in the UK for the next hurdle of races. After basing themselves at Silverstone’s Experience Centre for the first three rounds, the team move to the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking for this weekend’s race.

Over on 5 Live F1, Jack Nicholls is back in the booth after Marc Priestley substituted for him last weekend while he was out in Berlin covering Formula E.

Elsewhere, the World Endurance Championship returns with three races between now and November to complete the 2019-20 season.

The action from Spa airs live in full behind BT Sport’s Red Button, with the opening and closing phases of the race also airing on Eurosport 1.

The weekend also marks the start of the Indianapolis 500, with qualifying airing across the weekend on Sky Sports F1.

Understandably given other scheduling clashes, coverage is less than in previous years, with four of the 7.5 hours airing live on Sky, Sky taking a simulcast of America’s main NBC broadcast.

Channel 4 F1
15/08 – 19:30 to 21:00 – Qualifying Highlights
16/08 – 18:30 to 21:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
14/08 – 09:30 to 11:50
=> 09:30 – Welcome to the Weekend
=> 10:00 – Practice 1
14/08 – 13:45 to 15:45 – Practice 2
15/08 – 10:45 to 12:10 – Practice 3
15/08 – 13:00 to 15:35 – Qualifying
16/08 – 12:30 to 17:00 – Race
=> 12:30 – Grand Prix Sunday (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 14:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 16:00 – Chequered Flag

Supplementary Programming
14/08 – 16:30 to 17:00 – The Story so Far
19/08 – 21:00 to 21:30 – Midweek Debrief

BBC Radio F1
All sessions are available live on BBC’s F1 website
13/08 – 21:30 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
16/08 – 14:00 to 16:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

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

MotoGP – Austria (Quest)
17/08 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Highlights

Formula Two – Spain (Sky Sports F1)
14/08 – 11:50 to 12:40 – Practice
14/08 – 15:55 to 16:30 – Qualifying
15/08 – 15:35 to 16:55 – Race 1
16/08 – 10:00 to 11:05 – Race 2

Formula Three – Spain (Sky Sports F1)
14/08 – 08:30 to 09:20 – Practice
14/08 – 13:00 to 13:45 – Qualifying
15/08 – 09:20 to 10:10 – Race 1
16/08 – 08:35 to 09:35 – Race 2

IndyCar Series – Indianapolis 500 Qualifying (Sky Sports F1)
15/08 – 20:00 to 22:00 – Day 1
16/08 – 18:00 to 20:00 – Day 2

Porsche Supercup – Spain (Sky Sports F1)
16/08 – 11:20 to 12:05 – Race

Virgin Australia Supercars – Darwin
Also airs live on SuperView (£)
15/08 – 06:45 to 08:00 – Race 1 (BT Sport 3)
16/08 – 04:30 to 05:45 – Race 2 (BT Sport/ESPN)
16/08 – 06:45 to 08:00 – Race 3 (BT Sport/ESPN)

World Endurance Championship – 6 Hours of Spa
15/08 – 12:00 to 19:00 – Race (BT Sport Extra 1)
15/08– 12:15 to 13:30 – Race Start (Eurosport 1)
15/08– 16:30 to 19:00 – Race Finish (Eurosport 1)

This article will be updated if plans change.

Update on August 15th – For the first time since their coverage started in 2012, Simon Lazenby is not with Sky for the action, with Natalie Pinkham stepping into his presenting shoes for the weekend.


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Scheduling: The 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix / Spanish MotoGP

The first triple header of the 2020 Formula One season concludes with the teams and drivers taking a 260-mile trip across the border from Austria into Hungary for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The main change from a TV perspective this weekend is that Channel 4’s highlights programme airs an hour later, from 19:30 to 22:00. The change is likely to cover up gaps in Channel 4’s own programming schedule arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unusually, the 5 Live schedule for F1 is blank, because every session is airing on the BBC website only, and there is no Preview schedule on BBC Radio 5 Live either, as Premier League football, FA Cup semi-finals and cricket pushes F1 down the BBC’s pecking order.

On the personnel front, Jenson Button is not with the Sky team in Hungary, but will be rejoining the team in Silverstone.

Over in Spain, the MotoGP season gets underway with a double-header at Jerez, as Marc Marquez looks to triumph once again.

For MotoGP, it is the first round of the year, however for Moto2 and Moto3 it is round two of the year after they managed to kickstart their season in Qatar back in March.

BT’s coverage comes from Triumph’s main base in Hinckley, with the usual team of Suzi Perry, Gavin Emmett, Keith Huewen, Neil Hodgson amongst those guiding viewers through the championship this year.

As with F1, some pay TV broadcasters are travelling to Jerez, however Dorna have prohibited all other journalists from the circuit itself.

For those that did not watch Moto2 or Moto3 from Qatar, keep an eye on MotoGP’s new graphics set for 2020 during the Jerez weekend.

Free-to-air highlights of MotoGP again air on Quest in a Monday evening time slot.

Elsewhere, in an interesting development, Sky Sports F1 are airing live coverage of the Ferrari Challenge series where possible this year, as they continue to grow their non-F1 motor sport portfolio.

It is not Sky Sports F1’s only acquisition recently: they are also airing extensive coverage of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance and Sprint Cup championships this year for the first time.

Channel 4 F1
18/07 – 18:45 to 20:15 – Qualifying Highlights
19/07 – 19:30 to 22:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
17/07 – 09:30 to 11:50
=> 09:30 – Welcome to the Weekend
=> 10:00 – Practice 1
17/07 – 13:45 to 15:45 – Practice 2
18/07 – 10:45 to 12:10 – Practice 3
18/07 – 13:00 to 15:35 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Main Event)
19/07 – 12:30 to 17:30 – Race
=> 12:30 – Grand Prix Sunday
=> 14:05 – Race
=> 16:00 – Chequered Flag
=> 17:00 – Notebook

Supplementary Programming
17/07 – 16:30 to 17:00 – The Story so Far
22/07 – 21:00 to 21:30 – Midweek Debrief

BBC Radio F1
All sessions are available live on BBC’s F1 website

MotoGP – Spain (BT Sport 2)
Also airs live on MotoGP’s Video Pass (£)
17/07 – 08:00 to 10:45 – Practice 1
17/07 – 12:00 to 15:00 – Practice 2
18/07 – 08:00 to 15:45
=> 08:00 – Practice 3
=> 11:00 – Qualifying
=> 15:00 – MotoE
19/07 – 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 – Spain (Quest)
20/07 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Highlights

Ferrari Challenge – Catalunya (Sky Sports F1)
18/07 – 17:10 to 18:10 – Race 1
19/07 – 17:30 to 18:30 – Race 2 (tape-delay)

Formula Two – Hungary (Sky Sports F1)
17/07 – 11:50 to 12:40 – Practice
17/07 – 15:55 to 16:30 – Qualifying
18/07 – 15:35 to 16:55 – Race 1
19/07 – 10:00 to 11:05 – Race 2

Formula Three – Hungary (Sky Sports F1)
17/07 – 08:30 to 09:20 – Practice
17/07 – 13:00 to 13:45 – Qualifying
18/07 – 09:20 to 10:10 – Race 1
19/07 – 08:35 to 09:35 – Race 2

IndyCar Series – Iowa (Sky Sports F1)
17/07 – 22:30 to 23:30 – Qualifying 1
17/07 (Friday night) – 01:30 to 04:30 – Race 1
18/07 – 21:00 to 22:00 – Qualifying 2
18/07 (Saturday night) – 01:30 to 04:00 – Race 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)

Porsche Supercup – Hungary (Sky Sports F1)
19/07 – 11:20 to 12:05 – Race

Virgin Australia Supercars – Winton
Also airs live on SuperView (£)
18/07 – 06:30 to 08:00 – Race 1 (BT Sport 3)
19/07 – 02:30 to 04:00 – Race 2 (BT Sport 2)
19/07 – 05:30 to 07:00 – Race 3 (BT Sport 2)

This post will be updated if details change.


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Scheduling: The 2020 Styrian Grand Prix

After a chaotic opener, Formula 1 remains in Austria for a second weekend, Austria’s Red Bull Ring playing host to the inaugural Styrian Grand Prix.

Although the on-track scheduling mirrors that seen in the first weekend, there are several amendments on the UK scheduling front.

After a shorter build-up for Austria, Sky have reverted back to their 2019 lengths starting this weekend, with a 60-minute build-up to qualifying, and a 100-minute build-up to the race itself.

The BBC’s radio coverage of the Styrian round will largely air on the website only, due to a clash with England’s cricket test match series against the West Indies, which kicks off on Wednesday.

One addition to the schedule is F1’s in-house programme the Midweek Debrief, which again airs on Wednesday evenings following each Grand Prix.

On the Formula Two front Matt Gallagher, of WTF1 and Esports fame, joins lead commentator Alex Jacques in the Biggin Hill commentary booth.

Meanwhile, the IndyCar Series heads to Road America in Wisconsin for a double-header weekend. The first race airs live as usual on Sky Sports F1, however the second race is currently set to air on a 30-minute tape-delay to avoid overlap with the conclusion of the F1.

Channel 4 F1
11/07 – 18:30 to 20:00 – Qualifying Highlights
12/07 – 18:30 to 21:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
10/07 – 09:30 to 11:50
=> 09:30 – Welcome to the Weekend
=> 10:00 – Practice 1
10/07 – 13:45 to 15:45 – Practice 2
11/07 – 10:45 to 12:10 – Practice 3
11/07 – 13:00 to 15:35 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Main Event)
12/07 – 12:30 to 17:30 – Race
=> 12:30 – Grand Prix Sunday
=> 14:05 – Race
=> 16:00 – Chequered Flag
=> 17:00 – Notebook

Supplementary Programming
08/07 – 21:00 to 21:30 – Midweek Debrief: Austria
10/07 – 16:30 to 17:00 – The Story so Far
15/07 – 21:00 to 21:30 – Midweek Debrief: Styria

BBC Radio F1
All sessions are available live on BBC’s F1 website
10/07 – 21:30 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
12/07 – 14:00 to 16:30 – Race Updates (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Formula Two – Styria (Sky Sports F1)
10/07 – 11:50 to 12:40 – Practice
10/07 – 15:55 to 16:30 – Qualifying
11/07 – 15:35 to 16:55 – Race 1
12/07 – 10:00 to 11:05 – Race 2

Formula Three – Styria (Sky Sports F1)
10/07 – 08:30 to 09:20 – Practice
10/07 – 13:00 to 13:45 – Qualifying
11/07 – 09:20 to 10:10 – Race 1
12/07 – 08:35 to 09:35 – Race 2

IndyCar Series – Road America (Sky Sports F1)
11/07 – 21:30 to 22:00 – Qualifying (tape-delay)
11/07 – 22:00 to 00:30 – Race 1
12/07 – 17:30 to 20:30 – Race 2 (tape-delay)

Porsche Supercup – Styria (Sky Sports F1)
12/07 – 11:20 to 12:05 – Race

As always, scheduling details will be updated if plans change.

Updated on July 7th to reflect Sky’s qualifying and race day scheduling changes.


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