Print-Clearly

Browse Site

What the BBC will show you of F1 in 2012

Having not released any information regarding next season since July, the BBC this afternoon finally let us all know more about their plans for next year. No word yet on who’s on the ‘team’ of presenters and commentators but presumably there are still negotiations going on. Just to add to the speculation, Martin Brundle announced earlier this week on Twitter that he’s taking part in the Le Mans 24 hour race next year with his son, Alex; something that the BBC usually prevent him from doing as it clashes with the Canadian Grand Prix. However, next year’s Canadian race (8th – 10th of June) isn’t on the same weekend as Le Mans (16th – 17th of June).

Interestingly according to the BBC’s announcement: “The presentation team will be at all the races, including those that are not being broadcast live on BBC television. Full details of the team will be revealed at a later date.“. Which gives some idea of how much Bernie was charging the BBC for the coverage; much less than the cost of flying Jake Humphrey and his pals around the world every other weekend.

So what are we getting on free-to-air? Assuming that the race falls on a BBC weekend, you get everything you do now – practice, qualifying and races live plus the forum afterwards. Otherwise for races that Sky’s already shown you get “extended” highlights – how are these different from non-extended highlights if you still don’t get to watch the whole race in either case? For European races the time-lag from live is about four hours (5pm start on the Beeb) and for races further afield about seven to eight hours (2pm). That’s a long time to avoid the news and results, but you can be sure that to save face BBC News will warn you before they announce the result (“look away now”).

The major downside with the calendar is that the live season doesn’t begin for an additional month after Sky starts their coverage (BBC races are highlighted below).

1 2012 FORMULA 1 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX (Melbourne)

16 – 18 Mar

2 2012 FORMULA 1 PETRONAS MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX (Kuala Lumpur)

23 – 25 Mar

3 2012 FORMULA 1 UBS CHINESE GRAND PRIX (Shanghai)

13 – 15 Apr

4 2012 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX (Sakhir)

20 – 22 Apr

5 FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA SANTANDER 2012 (Catalunya)

11 – 13 May

6 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2012 (Monte Carlo)

24 – 27 May

7 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DU CANADA 2012 (Montréal)

08 – 10 Jun

8 2012 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE (Valencia)

22 – 24 Jun

9 2012 FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX (Silverstone)

06 – 08 Jul

10 FORMULA 1 GROSSER PREIS SANTANDER VON DEUTSCHLAND 2012 (Hockenheim)

20 – 22 Jul

11 FORMULA 1 ENI MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2012 (Budapest)

27 – 29 Jul

12 2012 FORMULA 1 SHELL BELGIAN GRAND PRIX (Spa-Francorchamps)

31 Aug – 02 Sep

13 FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO SANTANDER D’ITALIA 2012 (Monza)

07 – 09 Sep

14 2012 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX (Singapore)

21 – 23 Sep

15 2012 FORMULA 1 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX (Suzuka)

05 – 07 Oct

16 2012 FORMULA 1 KOREAN GRAND PRIX (Yeongam)

12 – 14 Oct

17 2012 FORMULA 1 AIRTEL GRAND PRIX OF INDIA (New Delhi)

26 – 28 Oct

18 2012 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX (Yas Marina Circuit)

02 – 04 Nov

19 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX (Austin)

16 – 18 Nov

20 FORMULA 1 GRANDE PRÊMIO DO BRASIL 2012 (São Paulo)

23 – 25 Nov

Aside from the late start to the season the BBC don’t have a bad range of races, although Australia and Malaysia do tend to be good races. Silverstone and Monaco were announced right at the start so no surprises there, and the German Grand Prix is obviously the price for the British Grand Prix. Thankfully the Belgium and the Brazilian races will be available free-to-air. The Korean Grand Prix is in doubt for next year so the BBC may end up with only nine. I assume that this is offset against the question marks over the Austin and Bahrain grands Prix that are Sky-circuits.

Canada, Monza and Suzuka will certainly be missed. This year’s Canadian race was arguably one of the most exciting races of what’s been a brilliant year of racing. Monza has the infectious Italian tifosi that create an atmosphere that don’t get anywhere else, and Suzuka is an excellent drivers’ circuit that has given some classic races in the past. The Indian Grand Prix in New Delhi is also on Sky’s list which as a circuit promises much, once the track gives more grip off-line. The end of the season gives a 50/50 chance of catching the championship being won.

At the end of the day, any F1 fan currently without Sky needs to ask themselves whether they can cope with month-long gaps between live races. In contrast Sky have also chosen announced today that they are providing a dedicated F1 channel that comes free if you have Sky Sports 1 and 2.

This entry was posted in f1, Formula 1.

Comments are closed.