Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Abu Dhabi, 2010

‘Sky for free’, Alonso on Hamilton, Trulli in 2012 and races without champions

Your questions answeredPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

It’s time to answer another batch of your questions on Sky, quotes from Fernando Alonso, Jarno Trulli’s seat at Caterham and F1 races without world champions:

Can you get Sky F1 for free?

I’ve had various emails on the subject of Sky’s 2012 F1 coverage in the UK along these lines:

I have discovered a site which allows you to watch all Sky Sports channels including HD for free! The site is: (link removed)

Please could I have your expert view, will they have Sky F1 HD as well when it is launched, and do you really think this is a solution?

There seems little point in pretending that the disappearance of half of this year’s races behind a paywall in the UK is not going to result in a massive increase in demand for and supply of illegal pirate streams.

But the mass sharing of links to such sites usually ensures they have a pretty short lifespan. Be warned that they also tend to be choked with adverts and malware.

As regular readers will surely know by now, I believe the new arrangement will be bad for F1’s popularity. Legalities aside, I suspect trying to watch this year’s races via online feeds is going to be a frustrating experience as some sites get taken down and those that remain crash as they are hit by massive traffic spikes.

If you want to watch the ten races that aren’t on the BBC live on your TV, Sky F1 will cost ??363 per year.

Readers on the forum have been exploring less expensive but still legal alternatives including Sky’s internet services and using a cheaper satellite service. See those threads for more information.

Alonso on Hamilton and Vettel

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Abu Dhabi, 2010
Recent stories about Alonso's views on Hamilton and Vettel weren't all they seemed

Rick wondered why a story he saw reported on some other sites did not feature on F1 Fanatic:

Very surprised that you have not reported Alonso comments this week regarding Vettel and Hamilton’s driving threat/prowess?

Was looking forward to people’s comments.

Following Ferrari’s Wrooom media event – the one where Alonso donned his natty new wig – some sites attributed quotes to him in which he allegedly described Hamilton as being “very fast, aggressive and totally focused” and Vettel having “not reached that level yet”.

However, as Joe Saward pointed out, these quotes were actually over a year old. What’s more, they’d been edited to disguise the fact they were 12 months out of date.

So remember where you read them, and bear it in mind next time you spot another ‘sensational exclusive’ on the same site.

Jarno Trulli in 2012

Joseph Miotello asks the question a lot of people are asking about Jarno Trulli:

Is Trulli definitely 100% confirmed as the second driver for Caterham?

The Trulli rumours are nothing if not persistent. First he was going to be replaced by Daniel Ricciardo. Now that Ricciardo is confirmed at Toro Rosso, Vitaly Petrov is being touted as Trulli’s replacement.

Caterham (then Lotus) announced in September last year that Trulli’s contract had been extended.

We all know that contracts in F1 are often not worth the paper they’re written on. But it’s one thing for a driver on a multi-year deal to be kicked out a year early – as Kimi Raikkonen was in 2010 – quite another for a driver to be given a contract for the coming season and then lose his place just five months later.

Caterham are due to reveal their CT01 in two days’ time and the first day of testing is two weeks away. If there’s going to be any pre-season changes to their driver line-up I’d expect an announcement very soon.

Going to F1 testing in 2012

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Jerez, 2011
Rubens Barrichello testing at Jerez last year

Are you going to any F1 tests this year? Darren is heading for the Circuit de Catalunya:

Just thought I would email you as me and three friends have booked to go to the final test at Catalunya on March 2nd, we’ve actually managed to negotiate a corporate deal that includes a grandstand view, pit walk, paddock walk etc… for ??200 each.

It would be great to know who is going from the UK to the test and to find out if anyone has an tips or suggestions that we hadn’t considered. We fly on Thursday evening, spending Friday at the track, Saturday in Barcelona, flying on Saturday night.

If you’re heading to an F1 test session in 2012, join in the thread here:

James is also considering going to testing:

I will be in Spain at the end of February and was thinking of going to watch the Barcelona test. It would mean a bit of a detour to my plans, and I was wondering what you thought about it?

On the plus side it seems cheap, and easy to get to from Barcelona. The problem I have is getting tickets seems a last minute affair, and I read it can be very popular with Alonso fans. Is there a chance it will sell out?

Also I was wondering about what access is allowed. I presumer the main grandstand is accessible?

I wouldn’t worry about the test selling out, though it does get busier on days when Alonso is expected to appear.

The main grandstand is usually open and gives an excellent view of the pits. However bear in mind this is testing so most teams will have their garages closed most of the time.

For those considering going to the test in Barcelona, Jordi Mateu from the Circuit de Catalunya has joined us on F1 Fanatic recently and may be able to help you with enquiries about attending testing there.


A question on F1 Fanatic Quizzes from Marc:

I really like the quizzes. They’re hard but it’s great to score some points from memory.

Even though you say, “Make sure you submit your answers before the timer runs out or your score will not count,” I often run out of time pondering over that one question that I know I know, but can’t think of at that moment.

If you scroll to the bottom of the screen, the timer is out of sight, you forget about it and the quiz is cancelled spoiling my result, even if I have filled in most of the questions.

Please make a small modification to show the timer always on the screen. Or even an duplicate timer at the bottom. Thank you!

I agree there’s room for improvement here and it’s something we’re working on at the moment. When the change is made I’ll make sure to let everyone know so keep an eye on the daily round-up.

An F1 race with no champions on the grid?

Damon Hill, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 1994
No world champions on the grid at Spa in 1994

We’ll end with a trivia question from Darren Smith:

Has there ever been a F1 season when there hasn’t been a F1 champion on the grid or when was the last race when there wasn’t a world champion on the grid?

The untimely death of Ayrton Senna in 1994 gave us the most recent series of races without a world champion on the grid.

Nigel Mansell, 1992 world champion, made sporadic returns later that year, including at the final three races. The last race without a world champion on the grid was the 1994 Portuguese Grand Prix.

Since then there has always been at least one world champion on the grid. This year a record six champions will contest the season: Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel.

There have been two seasons in which every race started without a world champion on the grid. These were 1950 – the first world championship – and 1959.

Since then, races without world champions have occurred in 1958, 1959, 1960, 1975, 1982 and 1994. But there has never been a race in which none of the competitors either previously won a championship or won one subsequently.

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Images ?? Red Bull/Getty images, Pirelli, Williams/LAT