How are you watching F1 in 2009?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

What channel will you be watching F1 on in 2009?
What channel will you be watching F1 on in 2009?

Over the past year I?ve been keeping an eye out for details of how F1 coverage will look in 2009 as the BBC takes over from ITV.

But this makes little difference for those of you not in Britain, or whose broadcasters do not use the British feed. So, how will you be following F1 sessions this year?

I have a suspicion that, as much as I complain about the quality of F1 coverage in Britain, it?s actually pretty good compared to many other countries.

British fans are not the only ones who will be watching F1 on a different channel in 2009. In Spain La Sexta has taken over from Telecinco, and in Australia a new dedicated sports channel will screen F1.

ESPN Star Sports continues as the broadcaster for 24 Asian nations, with Steve Slater – who I’ve only heard bad things about – manning the microphone once again.

What channel do you watch? Do you get to see all the sessions live? Are there lots of advert breaks?

Is the commentary team any good? Any ex-drivers involved in the coverage? Or do you ?ǣ perish the thought ?ǣ live in a country where F1 isn?t even broadcast? Share your experience of watching F1 below.

The F1 Fanatic live blogs, which were hugely popular in 2008, will be back again in 2009. If you would like to get involved in running them, please get in touch with me via the contact form.

More about F1 on the BBC

123 comments on “How are you watching F1 in 2009?”

  1. I’m from Croatia and watch the coverage on our national television. We see the qualifing and race but there are only to or the advert’s that last a couple of seconds. As far as the comentary is concerned it could be betteer because the guy that is comentig always favours one driver, and in my view that is not good.

  2. I watch Dutch TV channel RTL 7, which is quite OK. They do have ad breaks, though, but they don’t last for more than a minute and a half. Commentary is from Olav Mol, who’s done so for several channels the past 15-odd years. Most of the races there’s current Dutch racing drivers in the studio, including Tom Coronel and Allard Kalff (once British Europsort commentator).

    I used to change channels to Belgian channel één during commercials on RTL 7, and could use German RTL this season, too, since I have a new digital cable subscription, which includes that as well.

    I have to say I’m tempted to watch on BBC from 2009, since there’s no ad breaks and an excellent commentary team.

    And here’s hoping for HD broadcasts!

  3. I am from India; and will be following F1 on Star Sports / ESPN. And yes; Steve Slater is probably the worst commentator ever. He never has any clue about what is going on in the race.

    In one of 2004’s boring races; he said “Michael is about 25 seconds ahead of Kimi. But Kimi’s last lap was half-a-second quicker than Michael. With 10 laps to go; This race is not over guys.” Or something to that effect.

    We see only the race and qualifying sessions live. However; Monaco GP 2008 was not telecasted live due to clash with the Wimbledon or some other football tournament; or both ( I don’t remember well)

    1. oh yea 2008 Monaco GP, I remember that day. It was very frustrating, I kept on swapping espn and star sports for 1 hour. I knew it would be an interesting one(sutil+rain=Nail biting action :D)

      About Steve Slater, I dont thing he gets any extra information than the viewer anyway, He just keep on barking and barking and barking and barking. But then I have never listened to any other F1 commentator other than this guy and Shumi’s barber’s brother-in-law’s driver’s cousin who usually accompany him.

    2. gaaa, Its not “I dont ‘thing’ he gets any extra information” , Its “I dont ‘think’ he gets any extra information”…. Its not my fault, its the fault of the mosquito that was trying to bite me at that time. ok? Its “I dont ‘think’ he gets any extra information”

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed ITV’s coverage, sure there were mistakes and some mis-timed ads but that’s the nature of live television. Looking forward to the BBC coverage but would have liked Ben Edwards to have stepped in and to have James Allen back doing his “from the pits” job. I’ve never heard the 5 live guy so I will appraise him with fresh ears in Melbourne.

    1. I used to listen to some of the practice sessions on Five Live and I have to admit, Jonathan Legard is a good choice.

      Ben Edwards would have been good too. Can anybody tell me if he’s still doing A1GP with John Watson? I thought they made a pretty good pairing.

      My only reservation about the BBC line up is Jake Humphrey. He seems like a jack of all trades for the BBC, covering numerous sports. I’d prefer a motorsport specialist. That said, he’d clearly studied hard for the Superbowl coverage and seemed to know what he was talking about.

    2. Glad to hear some people in Britain watch the Super Bowl :)

  5. The Setanta Sports group have the rights to broadcast F1 in Ireland. It’s broadcast on the free-to-air station ‘Setanta Ireland’ so there’s no subscription. The coverage is generally quite good, there’s no fancy studios or features but there’s way less ad breaks than there were on ITV. The best thing is that they usually show one or two of the practice sessions and both GP2 races are always covered live. Former Jordan designer Gary Anderson is the pitlane reporter. Usually I’d watch the majority of the race on Setanta and then flick over to ITV when the ads come on. If the BBC do a good job this year Setanta could find themselves losing the Irish audience over the course of the season.

  6. Lately I travel a lot, so internet live coverage is my first option. The best image quality channels usually hasn’t comments, but is not big deal for me.

    In Spain La Sexta brought with the F1 rights the journalist who commented races for Telecinco. Is a good commentator, but he’s not a F1 expert. Hopefully we miss the other commentator. Serrano used to critize Hamilton whatever it happens, and praise everything Alonso does. I’m sure most of the people who dislike Alonso in Spain is because this comments.

    I hope de la Rosa keeps commenting the races. He really knows how a current F1 car works, how a current F1 driver drives, how a current F1 team think… and his comments are always prudent and smart.

    1. Frecon, how do you watch online when on the go? Any sites to recommend? I also travel often, but have hard time finding F1 live on the net.

    2. I also need online live streaming reliable websites.

    3. De la Rosa is signed for next year to comment with Lobato.

    4. Sounds like my kind of commentator! Go Alonso!

  7. in Bulgaria the channels are BTV and TV7.
    Commentary is not exceptional :-( We don’t have many people directly involved in F1, having knowledge and good info sources …
    We have a huge fan base, but most of the info comes from the internet.
    It will be TV7’s first year covering F1, so let’s see what commentary team will they put together.

  8. another one from Croatia here… you should visit us Keith, it’s close to Hungary. no Formula 1, but great beaches and real sea. if not see you on Hungaroring :)
    broadcast on national TV is ok, too bad they are losing good insider from F1 world to a USF1 team. and lead comentator could get his heart broken if Button doesn’t get a drive this year.
    apart from that on cable i can watch practice sessions on german DSF and live races on german RTL or austrian ORF… they had Alex Wurz and Niki Lauda on their team… can’t comment on their commentators though, i don’t understand or spell deutch

  9. Steve can i forget him? he is the worst commentator.
    and as sumedh rightly said,Monaco GP 2008 qualifying wasn’t shown live due to some TENNIS championship.I had to watch online.But the worst part was that the bandwidth of my broadband connections was low,so couldn’t watched the qualifying.but i kept myself updated via Keith LIVE CHAT.:)

  10. The Swedish broadcaster Viasat has moved F1 and MotoGP to Viasat Motor, a pay-TV channel that many people (including me unfortunately) don’t have access to. Qualifying is all that remains on free-to-air for us.
    Viasat announced that this change would take place with immediate effect with two or three races remaining last season! But the amount of bad-will this created forced them to delay the swap.
    It looks like it’s live streaming for me this year, or some sort of sports pub.
    Didn’t Bernie use to require F1 to be shown on FTA? He doesn’t anymore…

  11. between why FIA always love to please their European audience?

    The Singapore Night race was also to please the European audience

    1. Maybe that’s where most viewers are?

    2. Indeed, the core fanbase of F1, at least in my opinion, is and always will be in Europe. The sad thing is that Bernie is more than content to rip the European rounds away, but he wants the TV revenue from those viewers, hence the night races in Asia. Those Asian rounds also do a number on those of us in the Western half of the globe, as the first three rounds are set to roll off around 2 AM EST :(

  12. Is F1 on American TV these days?

    1. yep on SPEED i think

    2. Yes, SPEED has been broadcasting F1 for a number of years here, as described in good detail by several posters below. The interesting thing is that their contract is up at the end of this coming season, so we’ll see if Bernie opts to renew, or looks elsewhere….

  13. I have to say I’m morbidly fascinated with hearing some Steve Slater commentary. I can’t remember a single person in the liveblogs last season who thought he was anything less than absolutely abysmal, which is quite an effort.

    1. Me too actually, is there any on Youtube, perhaps?

    2. Maybe I’m in among a minority here, but I personally enjoy his flamboyancy. His sense of humor is top notch, so the occasional (read: frequent) goof-up is acceptable.

      Any other Steve Slater lover on this blog?

      PS: I hate James Allens’ commentary style. Steve is often compared with him.

  14. I’m in Finland and watch MTV Max. (Not affiliated with Music Television, by the way ;) ) I don’t know who they have this year, but in the past they have had Mika Salo and Nico’s dad Keke Rosberg on mics at different times.

    No commercial breaks. :)

  15. Speed TV here in the US. I love Varsha & Hobbs on the commentary. Matchett can get a bit annoying with his ‘I know Everything’ attitude, then again he has a fair amount of experience in the game. For me, F1 w/o Varsha & Hobbs just isn’t the same. Hobbs classic one liners are priceless though he does have a tendacy to favor Hamilton. We get Friday Practice, Qualifying and Race Day all live with coverage starting 30 mins. before race day for Windsor to walk the grid. There are usually 2-3 races which are broadcast on Fox (in HD) but delayed until the afternoon here in the States. My biggest complaints with Speed TV are no HD coverage here in the greater NY area and to many commercials. We also get GP2 tape delayed coverage on before the F1 race which is nice, same commentary team. Oh and I love Windsor’s prerace grid walk, there is always an odd moment or two (especially with Briatore) or Peter cutting off some other broadcasting crew to get in with a driver.

    1. Speed TV here in US

      Awwww… I love Stevie (Matchett) and his “I know everything” attitude.

      Hobbs, can get a bit, how do you say, “upper classman-like”, but I am with you, his one-liners are classic! I find his coverage to be balanced though. He seems to call it as he sees it, and is not afraid to point out an inane driver move.

      Varsha is just the ultimate “cat herder” during the broadcasts, reigning in all of the rest of the team and keeping them focused on the race.

      Ditto on the too much ad time in the greater NYC area! and always at the most critical times!

      I doubt we will get any races on Fox this year, with the USGP and CanadianGP out.

    2. On the few occasions I’ve caught Speed’s broadcasts I’ve been very impressed.

    3. Christopher,

      Great summary- I agree with pretty much everything you had to say. In regards to Hobbs, I agree that he likes Lewis, but don’t forget that as last year’s climax unfolded, all David could talk about was Vettelm and how he was on pace for championships in the near future.

  16. Another Dutch guy. I don’t like the way Olav Mol comments the races. That he doesn’t even attempt to pronounce the names of the drivers properly or the way he tries to force in new made up expressions are simply too annoying.

    What’s most annoying is that he just keeps flapping his mouth through the whole race even though he has nothing to say. At least he stopped his learning curve. It was so embarassing to hear when he learned a new thing and he would keep on showing off his new knowledge all weekend.

    Especially embarassing when he got the actual term wrong. A few races he kept on talking about “grinding” of the tyres. Or when people who actually knew what they were talking about (drivers) had to correct him. Like when he was talking about oversteer and understeer and completely got the thing wrong. Not so much the terms flipped, but often drivers correct oversteer and then they get understeer. He would claim they had massive understeer, but obviously their problem was the oversteer that caused the problem to begin with (and vice versa)

    The Dutch F1 coverage also has studio segments with an audience and where they play games (sponsored item) which are really off putting. I stopped watching those parts. You have to wait through an hour of sponsored nonsense to see some new features on the cars. I like to see the latter, but I’m not willing to suffer that much discomfort for it.

    Before I was watching F1 on the BBC and Eurosport. I thought both were pretty good, but I never liked Murray Walker much. I really didn’t need to hear him screaming “AND DAMON HILL IS IN THE PITS!!!” everytime Hill made a pitstop.

    I’d really love if the presenters could be switched off. Just watch the feed and hear the cars. No chitchatting nonsense. Life timing provides the timing info (and race info) and the F1Fanatic chat is a great way to enjoy the race “together”.

    1. I’d really love if the presenters could be switched off.

      Yeah that would be cool, just get the sounds from the race track. And teams’ radio broadcasts as well…

  17. I am from Greece and I watch F1 in Alpha. Luckily, The new season will be covered by Ant1, it’s not a great channel in terms of image quality but it can’t be worse than the previous channel. The commentators were bleeding Ferrari and they worship their greek god Michael Schumacher, it was really annoying especially for me because I am a supporter of british teams and british drivers. The ad- breaks were the 40% of the whole coverage, only the half of qualyfing sessions were live and in terms of ex-drivers, we haven’t any. The highly rated guest was a greek steward which was in the steward team which impose the penalty of Hamilton in France. I have to say he was a reck, I will not trust him to protect a cat, imagine what kind of persons take so important decesions in F1. This is a phrase which belongs to him
    -“I can’t understand how you(the commentators) understand what the drivers/mechanics say in the pit radio?”
    Whatever, I am really convinced that coverage in many other countries is better than Greece, I hope we could enjoy practice-qualifying-race in live streeming this year too, It was really cool last year.
    Good luck Ant1 don’t screwed up like Alpha!

    1. “I have to say he was a reck, I will not trust him to protect a cat, imagine what kind of persons take so important decesions in F1.”

      Gosh, that’s interesting. Makes that unjust, disgusting Spa decision even WORSE if that’s possible!

  18. I’ve been watching F1 on StarSports ever since. There are actually coverage of StarSports, Singapore Based with english commentary (with Paula, Steve Slater, Chris Goodwin etc.) and HongKong Based with Chinese commentary (with Robin Kung). Now i guess I’ll be watching F1 in a different channel since I’ll be relocating from my previous place to a place where cable TV system isn’t available. I’ll have to deal with Satelite TV and probabaly tune in on a different channel (which depends upon the clarity of the reception).

  19. StrFerrari4Ever
    19th February 2009, 13:55

    Well here in the UK BBC is going to be broadcasting i dont know about you but i really liked James Allen i know sometimes he was rude and sounded clueless but your bound to be with all the excitement and buzz of watching a race live being close to the action and commentating to millions of people ITV yes they had annoying ad breaks but they had decent coverage with the know how of Martin Brundle oh yeah Keith i dont know if you’ve heard of a Supersport i was once on holiday there and i have to say they have fabulous coverage at night lets say when you’ve come back from a hard day of working they showed both practice sessions and they analyzed it in the studio whilst showing the footage like talking about knew aero bits the drivers and rumours it was very interesting they had commentary from Itv but when Itv went to ads they stayed on which was very good

  20. Last year, I watched most of the races on my computer — split screen with live timing, streaming ITV feed, and your live blog. That was awesome. If the BBC feed is as hard to crack as they say, I’ll have to find a new method this year. I’m not sure why everyone complained about James Allen and ITV. He was 10 times better that the USA Speed crew, especially Varsha — horrible. I would absolutely pay a fee to be able to have quality internet coverage, extended pre and post-race, etc. Why can’t they (Bernie) do this?

  21. I miss the Eurosport coverage from the 90s with Ben Edwards (best racing commentator EVER!) and John Watson (ex-F1). It lasted until 1996.
    Then I switched to german RTL (that I often watched simultanously to Eurosport) for a decade. They’ve always had ex-F1 drivers (Jochen Mass, Christian Danner) as co-commentators, as well as Niki Lauda in the studio. So the coverage was very competent.

    For the last 3 years or so I’ve been usually watching F1 on the biggest private broadcaster in Poland – Polsat. The commentators are a bit dull, but since F1 races don’t excite me like in my younger days anymore, I can live with that.

    1. Ben Edwards was good but nothing on Peter Collins from RTE! Jesus Peter would get so excited during a race sometimes, that he sounded like he was going to actually explode!!!!! John watson was cool aswell. Eurosport had great coverage in those days. :D :D :D

  22. STAR SPORTS unfortunatelly … To be fair to them, the people in the studio are OK, but better don’t get me started on Steve Slater again :-)

    I went today to check their website to see if there is anything there about what we can expect from StarSports this season. Nothing yet on their 2009 F1 broadcast plans and ideas or online features …

    I can’t recall them missing Monaco quali last year but I rememeber few years back missing one qualifying session because of a Asian 9 Ball pool or snooker match that took about an hour longer than planned. That was bad …

  23. I am from the UK and watch all races on ITV. However, every year in september I go to spain for a family holiday and it always falls when the Italian GP is on. I end up sitting in a small spainish bar watching the GP talking to the locals watching it.

    They are by far the greatest commentators, they love Alonso and hate Hamilton…. so when I cheer when ever hamilton is on the screen they all look at me like I have spat on them. That saying it is all taken with a pinch of salt and it is only a bit of friendly banter!!

    But role on the 2009 season I am getting serious F! withdrawal symtoms!

  24. Speed TV for me. I also just got BBC America, so I don’t know if the F1 races will be on there.

    If the race is on both channels I’ll be watching it on Speed, Varsha, Hobbs, and Matchet are some of the best comentators in sports.

    1. BBC America doesn’t provide F1 coverage here in US.
      Their contract is for the UK only.

      Speed/Fox is the licensed televiser here in the US.

  25. Here in Canada you can get 3 feeds, yep I said 3! You get SpeedTV, with Bob and David and Steve. You get TSN which has it’s own pre-race but used the ITV feed for the race. Finally you get RDS, which is the French sister-station of TSN.

    RDS is real nice because they do picture-in-picture for the commercials, so no action lost.

    Add to that a laptop with F1 live-timing and the F1F live blog!

  26. It’s funny how a commentator can really change your enjoyment of a race by just a few choices of words/occassional slip ups. I used to love Murray Walker (especially while paired up with the late James Hunt) mainly because of the Murrayisms and trousers on fire style – which were often pushed backed into reality with a sardonic comment from Hunt. But, from a lesser commentator it is plain irritating, especially when you feel they don’t know a great deal of the sport they are talking about. James Allen is not actually a bad commentator, but he can get a bit ‘shouty’ at times and favours certain drivers a little too much for my tastes. He also has a little too much fascination for fuel stop tactics (then again in contemporary F1, he might not have much to talk about if he didn’t…)

    Perhaps I can open up the debate to who the best commentators in motorsport at present are? For me, the Speed commentarors for GrandAm/ALMS are good (Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs, Dorsey Schroeder) as are the Eursport MotoGP trio of Julian Ryder, Toby Moody and Randy Mamola (who sadly may not be in action in 2009 unless they do WSBK). The top dogs for me though are Channel 7’s V8 Supercar team of Neil Crompton and Matthew White (previously it was Diffey). In fact, the whole Seven coverage is spot on as far as I’m concerned and F1 could really learn a few tricks here.

  27. There are some good thinga and some crappy things to be said about SPEED’s coverage in the US. The most irritating thing is no race is “live” in the true sense. They have a lag of 15 minutes, which make following live timing in F1 site pretty useless. And if you did you will notice that the commentary team is picking up on the fast lap times and sector times pretty late even with the time lag factored in. And endless commercials at the most inappropriate times. And someone who has seen Martin Brundle’s commentary on flying laps and track analysis should forward those videos from youtube or wherever to Dave Hobbs to let him know how its done.
    Theres absolutely no technical content in his track analysis or flying laps and blind statements of the obvious. His “once an F1 driver” experience clearly comes out during those broadcasts and its evident that he really is a stranger to the last two or three decades of F1 cars.

    However, Dave Hobbs’ one liners and sarcasm are great! Steve Matchet does a good job in telling you as much as he knows and Bob Varsha really adds to the sarcasm of Hobbs. Here are a few examples of the two working together…

    BOB VARSHA:(during a qauli session in 2008)…and here we see Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari pits….
    DAVE HOBBS: Michael Schumacher…brother of the famous grand prix driver, Ralf Schumacher!!
    BOB VARSHA : Thats right!

    In one of the last races in 2008 i think, when kimi was notoriously setting fastest race laps in the last 1/3 of the race distance as though he suddenly woke up!

    BOB VARSHA:(when going for a commercial break) Stay tuned to SPEED and don’t go anywhere, because this is KIMI time!!

    and sure enough that side of the break, Kimi sets the fastest race lap so far!!

    1. They have a lag of 15 minutes, which make following live timing in F1 site pretty useless.

      Yeah we noticed that last year – but why time-delay a race by such a small amount?

  28. – I’m in the United States. I love F1 so much and I find the SPEED commentators so irritating that I don’t read the news for all of Sunday, wait for the race to be uploaded to a torrent site, download it, and watch it. It’s a painful process but totally worth it. We don’t get online live feeds, they’re blocked for us.

    1. Same here, although my current torrent site may kick a lot of people with a bad ratio off the site. Then I would be back to waking up really early to watch the euro races on speed.

      Here’s my opinion on Speed:
      Varsha: A total tool. God he is annoying. He should be a weatherman or something.

      Hobbs: great respect for him as a driver, but as a commentator he’s been out of a racing seat for too long. Also sometimes he makes racial comments about foreign drivers that don’t really offend me but end up being pretty funny. Almost a little Murrayish sometimes as well.

      Steve Matchet is a wonderful commentator. Yeah he’s an egghead but even ITV (now BBC) doesn’t have an engineer calling the race. My fathers an engineer so the technical side of the sport always fascinated me.

      The biggest reason f1 in the US sucks (besides having no repeats so SPEED can show NASCAR reality shows)THEY DON’T HAVE MARTIN BRUNDLE


    BBC have released their schedule for the first five races although it looks as if the page wasn’t meant to go live yet because of the number of typos present.

  30. Here in Portugal F1 has moved to Pay-TV some time ago. Before it was on the Public broadcaster and the comments were preety bad. There was this guy here, taht covers auto sports for the Public channel for many years now, and he’s just horrible, always confusing the drivers, the cars, etc…

    I’ve heard that the commentary in the Pay-channel are better, as they have an expert on F1 and a pro-driver, last year it was Tiago Monteiro the ex-F1.

    Even so, there’s usually lots of errors and confusions.

    I used to watch F1 on german channel RTL, at least the pratice sessions and sometimes qualifying, the transmission look good, but I cannot say anything from the commentary apart from the fact that they use Niki Lauda and have always a guy walkign around the pit-lane and boxes.

    ITV was my choice for wathing F1. Good video transmission and good comenatry in my opinion, although I quickly understood that everyone is biased, regardless of their nationality, but at least the guys from ITV seemed to udnerstand what was going one, and didn’t say crap, like I used to sse a lot in Portuguese television.

    Biggest problem for ITV transmission was the comemrcial breacks. I’ve seen in some channel (can’t remember which) that played the adds but kept a window transmitting the video feed, which is good, because we don’t miss anything. And we all know that even in boring races, the only action always ocurs during a commercial break!

    1. Also from Portugal, but I don’t subscribe the sports channel that broadcasts F1. Fortunately we have satelite TV, and there are some free TV channels broadcasting F1. ITV, ORF (Austria) or RTL (Germany) are usually the choice, hopefully I’ll be able to watch it on BBC this year.

    2. Aos users portugueses BaKano e Pedro Andrade: eu também estou em Portugal e tenho visto a F1 na RTL (em alemão, sem perceber nada do que eles dizem ;). O Pedro Andrade refere que este ano poderá ver na BBC. Será que me podem dizer qual o satélite que transmite a BBC e qual a frequência? (fcord_45 arroba Obrigado.

  31. Just spotted that as well Francois.

    Looks like the practice sessions are going to be showm via the Red Button which makes it a bit difficult record.

    The highlights are to be shown on BBC3

    The interactive forum looks interesting – I wonder if they will be similar to Keith’s live blogs.

    1. I think the interactive forum is just a post-race studio chat where people can text/email their thoughts for the presenters to discuss. They do it after the rugby matches I think but I’ve never bothered watching.

  32. I’m from Brazil and the F1 broadcasting here is made by TV Globo. We usually get to see the qualifying on Saturdays and the race on Sundays live and without any commercial break.

    We don’t get to see a pre-show of any kind nor the press conference after the race.

    Our official commentator, Galão Bueno, has been doing this for over 20 years and yet menage to suck at it! Luckly I can listen comments from many radio stations that also broadcast the race.

  33. I’m from Indonesia, i watch F1 either on Star Sports altough Steve Slater is very irritating but the picture quality is very good, or on Global TV
    wich is good especially with original ITV comentary team but the picture quality is a bit mess, worse usually

  34. Pedro Valenzuela
    19th February 2009, 16:45

    I live in the Dominican Republic, and I’ll watch the races trough Fox Sports Latin America. I only get to see Quali and the race live. They have a lot of advert breaks, that’s the only thing I don’t like. The commentators are very good, unlike those from Telecinco in Spain.

  35. another portuguese here that doesn’t pay sportv to watch f1.

    they broadcast this in a football traditional channel and you must pay 25 eur (plus other 25 eur for subscribing cable or iptv) a month during 12 months.

    and now we can’t even see RTL or RAI because they code the signal comes live f1 (thing that didn’t happen a few years ago when it was broadcast by open signal – btw they used to have ‘long time’ ago fantastic commentators in adriano cerqueira and specially domingos piedade).

    so it’s all down to torrent at monday.

    for live i use internet: chats, live timing (precious – you can’t pass without this anymore) and for the image… check star sports, ccctv5, with tvu player or spocast, and hopefully bbc :o]

    1. I live in Costa Rica so Fox Sports on cable tv is all we got. The argentinian crew of commentators is rather mediocre and uninformed, don’t be surprised if they don’t know what tyre compound is being used, or if they get excited seeing ‘another pass’ during a replay, etc.
      Lot of adverts as well, despite paying for the digital package and all there’s no option to get the Hobbs/Varsha etc. Speed audio. So unless the race is very important I am typically not too motivated to stay up late or wake up early to hear those guys. I usually get ITV or Speed via torrent and watch it later on sunday afternoon/monday

  36. I’ll be watching F1 this on SpeedTv in hd,the only way to watch f1 is in hd. The only problem is bob varsha kinda annoyning

  37. Here in Italy you have two options: free terrestrial coverage by RAI (public national television) and satellite pay tv (Sky.
    RAI offers live qualifing and race (plus gp2 sprint sunday morning race)with no ads during the action (some ads just before and after). Former F1 driver Ivan Capelli is one of the commentators. There is a 30 min pre-race show and 45 min post race show.
    Sky in addition to all that offers also all the other practice sessions live and all the other races held in the week end (GP2 feature race, Porsche cup and so on). Marc Gene is invoved in commentary. Sky broadcasts also in HD, which is of course an upscaled version of the standard feed.

  38. I live in Poland and F1 broadcasting have just started for serious. Early on you could watch it on C+ with quite good commentary team, now when Polsat [commercial, quite popular station] took advantage of broadcasting F1 [smelling god money from Kubica’s starts in this sport] commentary team in race is quite good, a lot of information from park ferme included, but they also need to pay attention to ‘newbies’, as Roberts’s first races brang a lot of people to watch f1 racing. In studio, where the situation before and after the race is commented, they have got Maurycy Kochanski [Gp3 driver] who is the most ‘educated’ in technical aspects and Kubica’s father. What I don’t like about the ‘studio part’ is that they are very national-centered, you can say. Commenting a lot about Kubica’s driving, but often forgetting about overall of racing.
    Races and Quals are broadcasted within Polsat platform, which is accessable very easily to every Polish citizen, but training sessions, after-race interviews and all the additional stuff is on the ‘Polsat Sport Extra’ chanell, – provided only with special Polsat decoder [lot of cash per month for this one].
    I’m waiting for upgrade in quality of studio commentary, more technical facts, more experts, less speculations and complaining [for bmw mechanics, when sth goes wrong, for Hamilton, when he drives aggresively, for bmw’s engines and not giving enough attention to Robert etc.] … and of course for greater accessability, I know that most of polish f1 fans are strict Kubica fans and they watch races just for him, but many people interested in f1 itself also exist. ;)

    1. PS: No commercial breakes during the race or qualifying. ;]

    2. Same for us in Britain this year 8-)

      I realise we’re lucky in that respect because we have the BBC. But even in countries where you only have paid advertising channels they should offer ad-free alternatives on subscription, I think.

      F1 is already a more difficult sport to follow on TV than, say, football or cricket, because there will always be action going on off-camera that you can’t see. Sticking in a quarter of an hour’s worth of adverts in it makes things much worse.

  39. Serbian Kimi Raikkonen
    19th February 2009, 18:10

    I’ll be watching Formula 1 on Serbian FoxTV, here’s the link:

    Their coverage was poor in 2007, but they’ve improved in 2008 by signing younger and well-informed pundits and broadcasting Setanta Ireland’s pre-race show!

    Free practices and support races have never been, nor they will be, broadcast for the foreseeable future here in Serbia!
    At there’s Novak Djokovic and Jelena Jankovic aplenty on the telly:)

  40. This is absolutely fascinating. Reading these comments you can get a real sense of the worldwide scope of the F1 audience. Great topic!
    Being a long-time F1 fan from the US, this sport absolutely requires commentary by someone with a British accent! This goes all the way back to the movie “Grand Prix”.
    Yes, here in the US we have Speed channel. Ok, so sometimes there is a beef with a particular commentator, and the commercial breaks are ALWAYS at the worst time, but the coverage is available for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
    I have started watching qualifying as well as the race since the latest format kicked in. The cars crossing the line with the clock at zero, and the resulting order changing up and down is pretty suspenseful.
    I actually record all of this and watch it Sunday night or Monday evening-you have to stay far away from the Internet and TV if you do this, or else you will get hit with a spoiler!

    1. Thanks!

      No way could I stand not seeing the race live though, even if the coverage was bad, I’d go crazy…

  41. Ironic–seems overall, us Americans are the most satisfied with our broadcast team! A couple other choice quips:

    Varsha: Welcome back to Australia…home of Australian rules football!

    At Fuji 2007, when Massa made his 3rd pit stop to hand the race lead over to Raikkonen:
    Varsha: Welcome back to the Sarcasm Channel, where Felipe Massa is once again coming down pit road *for no apparent reason*! He said he thought he felt a vibration.
    Hobbs: He was *told* he thought he felt a vibration, more like.

    1. Fuji 2007? Lewis won that one. Massa’s race was a mess and his last stop (his 4th) was a necessity for fuel since he already driven over half a race distance on that tank of gas. Besides, it sounds kinda silly to make Massa lose 5 places just to let Raikkonen by.

      I’m really wondering which race you are thinking about though. Wasn’t China 2007 either (Massa was never ahead of Raikkonen) and neither Brazil 2007 (Massa had only 2 stops)

  42. Love this comparison clip, of Sato’s pass on Alonso at Montreal, with commentary from four different countries (US, UK, Spain, and Japan):

  43. I’m from Belgium,
    I do use satellite and believe me, the UK broadcasts are awesome!
    Premiere, german tv is pretty good ok, but I don’t
    understand it all that good :)
    So BBC will be my channel, just hope it’s on a channel I can recieve, wich should be ok :)

  44. I have to say I am extremely happy NOT to have Leigh Diffey on any F1 broadcasts. He filled in for 1 race last year…ouch

    1. Relating to both this comment and the comment above by Mark, Leigh Diffey filled in for Varsha for China 2008, while Varsha was off in Las Vegas for the Barrett Jackson antique auto auction.

      Upon Bob’s return for Brazil, he used the “Sarcasm Channel” remark again after David Hobbs commented on what an absolutley fantastic job Diffey had done filling in during the previous round. ALl in good fun, and it was quite funny.

  45. I’m travelling alot this year so i’ll be trying to watch it wherever i can. I’ll mostly be watching on BBC when i get to London but i do spend some time in Singapore where i’ll watch the ESPNSTAR coverage. I lived in Singapore for 12 years so it will be nice to have a different view and take on the action. Steve Slater does have his mistakes true (I am quite sympathetic, for he probably loves F1 as much as the rest of us so i’ll give him a break) but Chirs Goodwin, his Co-commentator, is actually quite good in my opinion. Not as good as Martin Brundle, but ex f1 drivers aren’t a common thing in Asia.

  46. I’m also surprised no one’s commented Steve Rider, he was the one thing about ITV i did not appreciate much, with Brundle of course being their main asset.
    I’m I alone in my Rider dislike?

    1. No Alejandro. You’re not alone. Steve Rider was the utmost calm professional as well as being really enthusiastic about F1. He brought a really warm pleasant air to the coverage. I will miss all the ITV team (except Louise Goodman) and am not looking forward to the BBC coverage. I hope I am proved wrong about it. ITV always did excellent pre-race analyis, and I loved their website for viewing practice sessions. If BBC have the old music as well, it will be a real step in the wrong direction. They should have new music for a new era.

    2. I never had a problem with Steve Rider, beyond ITV’s obsession with Lewis Hamilton which I don’t think you can blame him for. Or their daft decision to have him standing in the pit lane screaming to be heard over the noise of the engines.

  47. I’m from the Philippines and the only channel I can watch F1 is from a Singapore based sports channel called Star Sports. There are also cases that when I’m on the road I watch it online from live video streaming sites.

    Is it true that BBC will be getting F1 coverage? So how has things changed in Europe now that ITV will stop covering it?

    1. Tone – yep BBC in, ITV out. Don’t think it makes much difference for the rest of Europe outside Britain though.

  48. Terry Fabulous
    19th February 2009, 21:10

    Channel 10 shows all of the races and has done so since about 2002 when 9 tired of Michael Schumacher winning everything under the sun.

    They do a particularly earnest job, taking it very seriously and spending much of the pre race show discussing what they read on the internet that week and talking to the always obtuse Peter Windsor.

    During the race we take the ITV (I guess BBC now) feed and take an ad break at exactly the same time as them. Although sometimes they come back early and chat for half a minutes until Martin and James come back.

    To be honest, their coverage is pretty good except for the timing. Up until about five races to go for last year, they would broadcast after their Sunday night shows, normally 11:30 after Big Brother, Rove, Dexter, Flight of the Conchords etc.

    The moment they starting doing the race live on their HD Channel was a wonderful moment for F1 fans in Oz!
    And this year they will hopefully being showing qually and maybe even some practise as well. (Fingers crossed)

    1. Yorricksfriend
      22nd February 2009, 1:59

      We did see qualifying in 2008 but it was at 1am on Channel 10 usually

  49. Here in Argentina you only get Fox Sports Latin America. As some others have pointed out before, it’s really mediocre. Only qualy (in a few cases not live) and race (fortunately, always live). Lots of ads. Not even think about somebody of the chain actually going to the race… Commentators: the ‘leading’ one doesn’t know what’s happening (sometimes I think he doesn’t even look at the TV feed), the ‘statistics’ guy comes from football so he manage to give you a lot of info but doesn’t get any useful conclusion from it (or he gets conclusions, but mostly wrong), and the ‘pundit’ is a 60 year old men that, from his little knowledge of the present sport, thinks we are still in the 60’s and manages to put himself in ridicule at every race. In the rare occasions you hear something interesting from his mouth, it’s probably a textual translation from ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’ (of course he doesn’t say it, it seems that he thinks that nobody else in the country would be able to read Italian… Pino Alievi should charge him ;-) ). The only good thing is that they actually put some effort in the pre-race show (1 hour), at least two live night programs before and after the race, and a compact 30min show on ‘small things’ downloaded from the teams’ press services every Saturday. But even then you have to deal with the commentators (oh, they also show GP2, although never live)

    But hey, I love the sport so I get up at 8AM on Sunday (or stay up until 5AM…) and just pretend I don’t hear the people talking on TV (or I just scream at them :-) )

  50. AmericanTifosi
    19th February 2009, 22:03

    I watch US’s SPEED channel. The commentary team is mediocre (excluding Peter Windsor, of course). The adverts are too long and completly irrelevant. But other than that it’s OK. SPEED does broadcast quali and practice but I don’t have a TV at my house so I use’s live timing.

  51. Checking in from the United States- it is fantastic to see so many Americans watching the sport over here, as well as all the rest of you from seemingly all corners of the world :)

    On the SPEED coverage, I thought all of it was quite good- last year was my first watching F1 and I enjoyed it a great deal. I am quite particular about commentators in my other favorite sports (MLB Baseball/NFL Football) and I rate the SPEED crew up there with my favorites from all sports. I enjoy watching the practices and qualifying sessions, as well as the GP2 races when I can wake up early enough for them. The F1 Roundtable and Grand Prix Debrief shows are also good quality and helpful for new fans such as myself.

    A few interesting notes about SPEED. First, as I said earlier, their contract is up at the end of the 2009 season- it will be interesting to see if Bernie opts for a renewal, as he and the teams always gripe about national TV coverage here in America. Second, Peter Windsor’s role with USF1 will almost certainly affect his job with SPEED and the other media outlets if it takes off. Also, Windsor and company are set to announce the USF1 plans on SPEED next Tuesday- I will be watching, but will any of you in other countries get the footage live?

  52. I’m in Australia and we get the most rubbish broadcast of F1. Channel 10, our national broadcaster for F1, takes the itv (now BBC i assume) feed and adds some of its own commentary from a local host and a current V8 Supercar driver (equivalent of DTM racing). At the end of the Brazilian race last year, they cut the broadcast before the end of race press conference! Only to broadcast informercials on time!!! Not to mention the ridiculous delays for most GPs. Live in Australia for a European round would be aound 9 or 10pm but we don’t see the races till after midnight mostly. For the Australian GP in Melbourne, we get all day live broadcast for friday, saturday and sunday so that’s quite comprehensive. I just hope channel 10 can get their act together this year.

    1. You know they’ve launched a new channel? – HD channel to show F1 in Australia

  53. Also, when reporting F1 on news, no one ever seems to mention anything unless there was a massive crash like kuica in canada 07, or kovalainen in spain last year. how immature….

  54. I’m in the US and there broadcasted on Speed Network. But I don’t have Cable so I download them Online on watch them on my laptop. Usually 10 or so hours after the race is over! The suspense of knowing the race is over and I’m just waiting for the race to finish downloading is hard to handle. I also try and download the ITV (BBC now) broadcast of the race. Mainly because I like the team better, the US announcers are kinda boring, and the always explain everything and formula 1 like it’s the first time you’ve ever watched it.

  55. OK then i’m alone on this one :)
    It’s basically what you say Keith, in terms of the issue being the pro-Hamilton thing. But while the rest do show a certain preferrence, justifiably so being they’re british, i think they do it rather professionally whereas Rider simply stands there asking different parties, whether or not Lewis will win it, pole it, FL it, etc. Sometimes i even think Blundell kinda blushes at some of his questions and Steve doesn’t add anything other than a certain familiarity/tradition aura.
    But hey that’s only me ;)
    Back on topic i should have mentioned the latin american transmission has no pre or post show, just the racing…

    Really, I think he does a great job of running the show and keeping the team moving along with the race, not getting too side-tracked while still throwing in great anecdotes here and there. He also touches on great bits of GP history, brief tech-talk, humor, local culture, etc. without really ‘overdoing’ any side of announcing the sport. I think many US viewers resent his somewhat ‘baseball-ish’ voice more than anything else. Great comments/opinions!

  57. I live in Asian and have to endure ESPN Star’s commentary presentation of F1. While the build up and the features they have on the show are pretty good, their presenters are at best, amateur. Apart from Steve Dawson, the anchor, everyone else seem to be rather confused and coached, in fact I’m pretty confident I can do a better job. Chris Goodwin used to offer an ounce of hope when he took the mic, but thats a rarity nowadays.

    The Co-presenter is a former model come Princess (seriously, she’s married to a Malaysian Prince), the commentator, Steve Slater always tries a very bad impression of Murray Walker and the Pit Lane reporter Sanjeev Palar is normally over-awed by his surroundings. The professional guests have been steadily improving, we’ve had Alex Yoong (right), Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhouk. Maybe now that James Allen is out of a job, ESPN Star should hire him, that would be a welcome change

  58. I watch F1 on Speed in the US. Personally, I think the broadcast is fantastic. Varsha is a broadcaster, pure and simple, and he does a great job. Hobbes adds the color, the one liners, and a touch of “been there” driving but as others have stated, his experience is not all that relevant these days. Matchett is excellent in that he truly understands what’s going on technically, and gives us great commentary and understanding of this most technical of sports.

    Peter Windsor does the grid walk which is rather pointless, but that’s about my only gripe. On the whole, the coverage is a joy to watch. I watch practice, qualifying and the race for every event. There is also a digest show, Formula 1 Debrief, that I don’t care for. Once I’ve watched the race I really don’t want to see it re-hashed.

    A few years ago we had a program called “Formula 1 Decade” which was way cool, as it let us see ten year old races. It was wild seeing the days of no pit speed limit etc. Unfortunately, that is gone.

    There is an HD version of the Speed channel, but it appears they are, at best, upsampling the SD feed because it is rather pixelated. Still, it looks FAR better than it did when it was just SD, so I can’t complain.

    Every once in a while the broadcast is on other channels, and when they do that it is PAINFULLY obvious how much better the speed team is. I found myself waiting for later in the week (and avoiding all racing content on the internet) to catch the speed rebroadcast rather than watch the CBS feeds.

    Speed’s coverage of households is improving, but it does take a dedicated fan. You have to know when the races are on, or have the tivo set to record everything in advance. On the west coast, the broadcasts come on at 4:30 in the morning, which means I almost never watch a broadcast live (except for the other races that are on saturday nights).

    I want a USGP, but not at Indy. That track was an embarrassment. The best thing would be to get Long Beach back, but they are never going to pay Bernie’s fee… I’m quite excited about the USF1 team, if it happens, and I’m looking forward to the season opener. I’m going to invite the one other F1 fan I know over to watch the race.

    And that’s the real problem with F1 in the US. Nobody knows about it, and when they watch it they wonder why there aren’t 75 passes for the lead each lap like in Nascar…


  59. Im also from US, and i too enjoy the speed network coverage.. Ive grown to enjoy the team.. esp Varsha, whenever i hear him hosting one of the other shows on that channel, it always reminds me of F1, and the experience of watching F1 here in the states, which usually requires staying home on a friday night, and waking up early enough to watch it in the house without waking anyone else up. After the races are over, i usually head back to sleep heheh.

  60. mythrenegade i feel the same way, also from the west coast and only have 1-2 friends who are into f1 like me.

    The fox broadcast sucks, they cut off the race, mostly just show the race itself and cut it off after the checkered flag.

  61. ESPN-Star Sports – very nice coverage

  62. ESPN Star Sports have roped in Karun Chandok in their commentary team. Who is actually good. I haven’t properly followed a race commentated by him. But my friends have given a good review. And; they have a very hot and sexy anchor in Paula Malai Ali ;-)

    BTW; Keith, amazing fan following for your blog. I tried to count the number of countries mentioned in this post; after 3 attempts; I give up. :)

  63. Yes Keith, here in Asia we’ve got to put up with ESPN Star and worst of all Steve Slater. James Allen is god compared to this fool. He has no clue and extremely annoying.

    Please, if anybody know how to watch a cracked BBC internet feed, PLEASE LET US KNOW!

  64. Here in Brazil we have one of the best transmissions of F1 of the world! It’s SD in the big cities and have no breaks in the race. A long term couple of speakers and former racer Luciano Burti also commented – Rubens Barrichello is likely to come this year. All in free TV.
    But the free practices only in pay tv. In 2008 I watched fridays runs on Speed Channel by streamming and I have fun with Bob Varsha – even with my English not so good.

    1. Here in Brazil we have one of the best transmissions of F1 of the world!

      C´mon, Romario… What makes Brazilian coverage better than… Croatia, a country with any tradition at motorsport?

      The TVs from Poland or Mexico have better approaches than GLOBO. What F1 titles those country have to be more competent than GLOBO?

      Some weeks ago there was a good discussion at my blog about GLOBO approach in their F1 coverage and the great majority of commenters were vocal against the channel and their main commenter, Mr Galvão Bueno.

  65. Another F1 fan from Portugal.As like the other portuguese who commented said F1 is on pay tv, which adds to about 50 euros per month..which i’d rather not pay, evenmore as i can’t be home for all the races everytime..
    I use programs like sopcast to see ESPN – Star Sports..
    I just wished there was some legit, read official, quality way, with a monthly fee, to watch f1 online.

  66. I’m American, I have Speed. It’s a decent team that I used to like a lot more than I have recently.

    But it’s probably not as great as I once thought it was. Matchett is easily the class of the field. He’s relatively neutral and provides a unique perspective absent from most F1 broadcast teams. If you haven’t had a chance to read his books, by all means, try to do so. He has a fiery passion for the sport and its history and is easily the most accurate on the team. His fuel calculations are on target and he can frequently diagnose any problem or situation at a given time. And best of all, he keeps his trap shut when it doesn’t need to be open. Because of that last part, he is the only one who would ever potentially have a shot of being employed on a non-American F1 broadcast.

    Hobbs used to get me sometimes, but what’s impressive (or maybe not) here is that he’s actually better than Varsha. His personality makes him a babbler and sometimes a foolish one, but in reality, he gets it wrong less than Bob. Not a particularly great guy in a booth and he was totally outclassed by TV newbie/American racer Townsend Bell at the Italian GP in 2007 when Hobbs was attending to personal issues. That kid blew him out of the park. But as a whole, for someone who has been out of the sport for so long, he has a decent grasp on the sport.

    But Varsha though. For someone who really puts words together well and has a flair (and usually an honest, non-plastic flair) for TV and PR, he gets flustered much more than I once thought. He is incredibly biased, perhaps even rivaling Peter Windsor. He makes countless errors each broadcast and is the one most susceptible to hype and unfounded beliefs in the sport. And since he is obviously the #1/PBP in the booth, that’s just unacceptable. And he nearly has almost as much TV experience as Hobbs (and maybe even more if you consider outside the booth). And that’s a lot. Blowhard comes to mind.

    Windsor I give a free pass to because his purpose IS to be an opinion guy. It’s his job and always will be in his capacities…this is why he writes.

  67. Dubai (English speaker)

    Qualifying and race live (in Arabic)
    Sitting at work watching the live timings on my PC cos the islamic world works on Sundays! (if it’s not fozen on the results of the last quali session)
    Been donwloading ITV races from Bittorrent and looking forward to getting the BBC coverage off bittorrent this year, but I wish I could watch it live (in english)instead!

  68. Another one from America, catching the races on SPEED.

    I think that the SPEED crew does a pretty good job with the races. I feel like their commentary is informative and entertaining at the very least. I can’t offer much critique because I began following F1 religiously at the beginning of last season, but I can say I’ve enjoyed watching the practices/quali/races with that commentary team. I also really like Peter Windsor in the pre-race pit lane interviews because you get to see the drivers and team bosses in a semi-candid situation, rather than a formal interview.

    I can say though, a full HD broadcast would be nice, and the commercial breaks seem to never end. If you don’t have some sort of tivo, you will typically have a very early morning or very late night. I have to record them and watch them sometime later on during the day, which is disappointing because watching it live would be great.

  69. The one worrying thing to me in Britain is that the BBC do not appear to be setting up a dedicated website for F1 – or have I missed the announcement somewhere?
    So far there is only the occasional mention of F1 news on the BBC Motorsport page, but its now February, shouldn’t they be telling people where all the information is going to be?

    1. I agree, I hope BBC do this like ITV did. ITV seemed so much more committed to F1 than BBC seem to be. BBC will always consider tennis and football to be priorities over F1 whereas I think F1 and football were on a par in the ITV scale of things.

  70. I’m from Ireland and Irsh coverage is provided by a premuium sports channel Setanta, but luckily enough we also get ITV and the BBC in Ireland. ITV’s coverage was great, but it was nowhere enar as good as the BBC were before. So hopefully the BBC will be just as good as they used to be. Fingers crossed for a return of Murray Walker!!!

    The best thing is that the BBC will have no commercial breaks, who remembers the time ITV missed a crucial part of a race as they took an inopportune ad-break

    1. Which time?

      When Hill passed Schumacher for the lead at Hungary in ’97, ITV were on an ad break.

      When Schumacher’s tyre burst, handing Hakkinen the world championship, ITV were on an ad break.

      And so on…

      So I’m not sorry to see the back of them.

  71. I’m from South Africa. We watch F1 on DSTV. I’m not sure about the practice rounds, but qualifying and the race is a live feed from the British broadcaster (with their commentators) but we have no add breaks. We are GMT +2 so we benefit from the race being held to suite the European audience.

  72. StrFerrari4Ever
    20th February 2009, 14:15

    hey keith i know this is completely off topic but when you posted the article about how are you watching f1 and i said that once i was in holiday in south africa i watched it on a sports channel called supersport have a look at this i like the way that they analyse in studio whilst showing live pictures after qualifying and the race its good and i think they have 8 channels of sport supersport 1 2 3 etc and they have one which is mainly dedicated to motorsport for more info go to their website

  73. TSN hopefully, unless they are showing 5 hours of curling or golf instead.

  74. On revisiting the comments, i think the US viewers here paint a rather positive picture about SPEED’s coverage. While there are *some* positives, on balance i think the negatives far outweigh the positives. So i am a bit surprised at the US viewers’ overall positive appraisal (i am guilty of that too.).

    Here are some additional gripes about SPEED’s coverage.

    1) At times the commentary can get a little too boisterous for really nothing at all! Even during a terrific pass (say like Sato on Alonso in Montreal), the over excited commentators and their noisy commentary takes the fun out of watching the pass in question. For those of you in UK, who thought James Allen was overdoing things when Button won, think again….We in US have to experience that for every freaking pass on the track!!

    2) Every race, you pray to god that no driver slips or slides just so that you cannot hear Dave Hobbs go woo….wooo…wooo….steady boy.. (yuck! thats not commentary!)

    3) As painful as it was to see Super Aguri team die, I am very happy that they are no more on the grid for Steve Matchet to call them everytime *Super Best Friends* (Yuck again!! The team had a damn name!)

    I am surprised that many UK viewers were so disappointed about ITV’s coverage (the Lewis fixation aside). I have seen race coverage in ESPN STAR with Steve Slater’s…err…commentary, the SPEED ordeal and the ITV coverage. You guys have no idea how good it was! Checkout coverage from some other part of the world and you will realize, how good it was!! Last year, I used to watch the same race in both SPEED and then download the ITV feed. (Don’t as me where i download my Racing. Underground stuff wont be told!) And i always thought the ITV coverage was great….Hell, i even liked James Allen’s commentary most of the times!

  75. Well, if in the most countries only is possible watches F1 races in pay tv and in the majority transmission are comercial breaks I’ll consider myself blessed, I will not?
    And the people hate a lot Galvão, so much hate, what come download the full races about 70k times in 2008 from my blog. If Ayrton Senna (if alive) were with the microphone still exist peanut and horn :D

  76. from Jordan ( Arabic speaking)
    watching f1 on Aljazeera Sport 1 & 2 via nilesat @ 7w, very good FTA coverage. FP2, FP3, Quli and race are brodcasted live with NO AD. commentary is not bad(Arabic), mostly there are guest sharing commentary.
    we can share commentary by e-mail. replay brodcasted at late night on monday, which good because we have working sunday on arab world, but mainly i take 2 houre leave from job to see race live. also there english commentray at Aljazeera Sport pay tv.
    that not bad at all because before 4 years i have to watch race on german or turkish FTA channels.

  77. I’ve been watching F1 on Speed here in the US for many years now and I’m very happy with the current three guys. All of them are opinionated, not very politically-correct (thank god!) and absolutely passionate about F1. I’d hate to lose any of them, particularly Hobbs and Matchett. The coverage may not be perfect but it’s far better than the commentary you get with most sports.

  78. usa: speed tv

    on balance it’s pretty good. i thought the best race of 2008 was when leigh diffie (sp?) filled in for bob varsha at shanghai. overall, they’re all pros such that i’m satisfied.

    what is unprofessional, however, is bernie ecclestone’s insistence on pinching pennies. *** is formula 1 doing without hi definition? ecclestone needs to move on and retire – he’s dragging the end product down by a lot.

    the one thing that fans see is the television screen, and mr. e has downgraded his own product by about 50% because of his insistence that “it costs too much”.

    i have lost a ton of respect for ecclestone – he got it 100% wrong and now makes me wonder whether he was any good to begin with. b.e. ain’t a businessman but just another dork who was at the right place at the right time. business sense? my foot.

  79. I’ll be watching the (muted) German RTL feed together with the online live timing and the F1fanatic chat.
    Oh, and I watch the race again on SpeedTV, since I kinda like their commentating style.

  80. I find it interesting that people believe they are watching F1 in HD just because the channel is HD. Its like saying I watched Schindler’s List in colour because I have a colour television.

  81. Well, I’m also from Brazil, and I didn’t think GLOBO transmission was that good until I realized that many countries, like UK, have ad breaks during the race, which is, frankly, unacceptable for us! Like I said, GLOBO manages to do the adverts in a much more intelligent way, that is, cutting the sound of for thirty seconds, showing the logo of the sponsor on the upper left or upper right corner, and announcing its products, while you’re still able to see the race…

  82. Hi, first norwegian post I think :)
    Having big issues with getting to watch F1 this year, its moved to a paychannel ViasatSport where you need to subscribe to a package including several film channels etc. At a really nice cost of only £30/month. Basically this puts me out of getting F1 at home. The commentators are exceptionally bad producing comments like: “oooh he is overtaking AGAIN! what is going on??”, when viewing the replay :)
    So I am in the process of figuring out a way I can get the BBC goodness delivered locally, probably using the BBC Iplayer. So if anyone has a UK proxy I can use for this any help would be appreciated :) contact me on trond. strom @gmail .com


  83. Hi all.
    I am spanish, and for the past few years have watched F1 in the spanish channel Telecinco.

    There is one thing which is worth mentioning about the way they play publicity ads. Even they always play a couple of ads, while the ad is playing they show a little window at the top-right corner of the screen where you can still see the race. Sometimes i don’t even notice there is an ad going.

    The comments are very good with lots of technical data , although sometimes favouring Alonso and bulling McLaren and Lewes.

    Last season i used to watch Friday’s practice season on ITV’s website and Stream online Saturday and Sunday from Spanish channel Telecinco. I don’t think Telecinco airs Friday’s session,

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