Sky F1 ratings fall in second year as BBC’s recover

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Starting grid, Silverstone, 2013In the round-up: F1 viewing figures fall on Sky in the second year of the UK channel’s broadcast deal.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

The ratings picture: The 2013 Verdict so far (The F1 Broadcasting Blog)

“Versus the same races last season, BBC’s Formula One ratings have increased 21 percent, whilst Sky Sports F1’s ratings have dropped 9 percent.”

Red Bull to make final move for Kimi? (Sky)

Kimi Raikkonen may yet be the man to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull according to Tony Jardine.”

The Raikkonen and Ferrari link (James Allen on F1)

“Italian newspaper Gazetta dello Sport suggested that Montezemolo would sanction the move for Raikkonen if he was the best driver available. That would of course create some interesting questions for Ferrari, with Alonso and Raikkonen forming the strongest driver line-up on the grid.”

Jos?? C??scar condiciona la continuidad de la F-1 a una ??rebaja sustancial??? del canon (Laverdad, Spanish)

The organisers of Valencia’s grand prix say it will be essential to reduce the fee paid to FOM if it is to remain on the calendar next year.

We must stop missing opportunities ?ǣ Di Resta (NBC)

“I don?t want to let this championship get away from us. We started off really well and there is no reason why we can?t keep doing that.”

Spa: A challenge built by nature (Ferrari)

Fernando Alonso: “One lap of Spa is like twenty at any other track, in terms of the excitement and adrenalin it generates.”

Formula 1 scene, December 1977 (MotorSport)

“It was at the Swedish GP that I walked along the line of pits while the cars were being warmed up before the race. The variety of noises was wonderful, and made the adrenalin flow in anticipation of the race. The Ferraris were making that noise that only a Ferrari can make, the Matra was screaming on all 12 cylinders, the Cosworth V8s were making their hard, efficient sound and the Alfa Romeos were booming out loud and strong from their four megaphone exhaust pipes. It was glorious and each engine had its own distinctive sound and seemed to be trying to drown the sound of its rivals.”


Comment of the day

@MazdaChris believes F1 has benefitted from having higher weight limits.

I?m glad we no longer see the days of parts engineered to be so flimsy that they often failed just from the stresses of the race, endangering the lives of the drivers.

I?m also glad we don?t see the likes of Mark Webber being penalised for their greater body mass, or see drivers on extreme diets to get their weight as low as possible, risking their health in the process.

If they hadn?t increased the weight limit in order to accommodate the heavier new engines, then weight would need to be pinched back from other parts of the car, making them weaker and more likely to break. All for no real gain. If you look at how fast the cars were when the weight limits were lowest, they were nowhere near as they are today.

While weight is ultimately a factor in performance, it?s by no means the only factor. As evidenced by the much heavier turbo cars being quicker than their lightweight naturally aspirated counterparts. All other things being equal, the heavier car is going to be slower, but in F1 all things are far from equal, and the increase in weight limit is to accommodate a raft of technical changes.

The end result is likely to be that the cars will be broadly the same speed as they are now, although perhaps faster or slower at various points on the track. To simply say that heavier is worse is nonsense, or at best a massive oversimplification.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Carolynn Clarke, Socalf1Fan, Adamtys and Scuderiavincero!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Alfred Neubauer, who spearheaded Mercedes’ motor racing programme before and after World War Two, died on this day in 1980.

Under his leadership Mercedes achieved greater success in the pre-war period and won on their return to grand prix racing in 1954. However the programme was scrapped in 1955 after one of their cars was involved in a crash which killed over 80 spectators at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

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86 comments on Sky F1 ratings fall in second year as BBC’s recover

  1. Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 21st August 2013, 8:32

    I’ve sampled a bit of Sky this year, and it was ok, and BBC TV coverage is good (thanks to Gary Anderson), but the thrill is always from having it live, happening somewhere else in the world whilst we watch here. So when BBC doesn’t have it on the telly, I go for the radio now. The coverage is poor, unreliable, doesn’t always start on time, is interrupted, but is always live. Not being able to see the action means you use your imagination, and being the sort to romanticize and over-dramatize (like many nostalgic F1 fans are) it quickly becomes very exciting. It also makes you concentrate more on lap times, and makes me more appreciative of a good, quick lap pulled from the bag at just the right moment. The responsibility of making the race exciting is shared more towards the listener, and F1 fanatics are knowledgeable, fair and observant. I think everyone should try it, at least once, particularly at a race that isn’t live on BBC TV. You can always watch the highlights programme later anyway!

  2. Webbo (@webbo82) said on 21st August 2013, 8:36

    Thanks to everyone here for their comments on the Sky package.
    I was really starting to pine for it over the BBC. I struggle with missing the ‘flow’ of the races when watching highlights, can’t stand EJ and am finding Suzi’s stuff still quite awkward.
    I still fear for the possibility that we’ll lose it on the BBC in years to come – but for now you’ve all put my mind at ease. I’d rather be a bit dissappointed and struggle to follow the flow for free, than really dissappointed and be £500+ out of pocket!

  3. LifeW12 (@lifew12) said on 21st August 2013, 8:38

    Oh god, Valencia wants to come back. There are very few people who actually want that joke of a track to return.

  4. andae23 (@andae23) said on 21st August 2013, 9:32

    Lovely article from Jenks on MotorSport – too bad I was born way too late to enjoy the F1 atmosphere myself :(

  5. BenH (@benh) said on 21st August 2013, 9:33

    While I agree with the COTD in some parts (driver size making less of an impact on weight), I would like to see cars with at least a hint of the “Chapman way” of shaving off weight here and there, if only to decrease reliability. I am not talking massively so as to impact safety, just in the sense of early-iteration Newey cars are usually prone to failures (normally due to these exact kinds of circumstances). I miss the days where races were about mechanical attrition as well as racing hard and you do notice that retirements from attrition do tend to decrease after a weight increase (possibly an over-generalisation with other factors to take into account obviously but still one worth noting).
    While it is understandable that the weights are increasing with the new engine to accommodate for that, I would like to see them decrease after a year or so once the teams are used to them to bring back a bit of that spirit of literally shaving the car to shave tenths.

  6. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 21st August 2013, 10:35

    Jardine says he is still talking to RB
    EJ says he is now focusing of Ferrari

    There are no sources however saying he is going to stay put at Lotus, except one and that is Eric Boullier himself. The mean seems holy convinced about it or he is a good actor. What this proves is that he most certainly doesn’t want to stay there…….

    • Nick (@npf1) said on 21st August 2013, 10:50

      Jardine says he is still talking to RB
      EJ says he is now focusing of Ferrari […] What this proves is that he most certainly doesn’t want to stay there…

      Unless Kimi or Robertson says they’re not talking to Lotus, I think they might still be talking to Lotus. If Boullier says so, Robertson might not feel the need to talk about talking to Lotus. Mind you, Kimi nor Robertson was very vocal about talking to Toyota about 2010 (or denying it), even if the team later said they did.

      • Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 21st August 2013, 12:28

        I never said they weren’t talking to Lotus @npf1 but you make a fair point. I just don’t think Kimi is really willing to stay. He isn’t getting paid, the team has lost Allison (the creative mind that has built their cars since 2009), there is 120 million in debt hanging over the team like a sword of Damocles, those new Renault Engines are reportedly going to be very expensive. There are just some aspects about next year that could hit Lotus really hard. I feel the Fin is not going to stay around to watch his world collapse. He’s either going to Red Bull or Ferrari. Which isn’t to say Boullier hasn’t kept a hand in there somewhere ;-)

  7. Dizzy said on 21st August 2013, 12:31

    Seems I may be the opposite to most, I love the sky coverage & now hate the BBC’s.

    I don’t like Suzi, I always found EJ annoying & I can’t stand the Ben Edwards/DC commentary duo. I didn’t like DC when he was alongside Brundle that 1 year either.

    On the sky side, Lazenby isn’t great but has improved, Herbert often offers some interesting insight as does Hill, Davidson is great on the sky-pad & I enjoy the Croft/Brundle commentary.

    I also love the rest of what sky offer, Multiple video feeds throughout the weekend including several in-car feeds & the wonderful pit lane feed with its extra team radio. All available on multiple platforms, I can go between the different feeds on my tv, watch using my i-pad, laptop etc…

    having all these extra feeds throughout the weekend really add’s something, especially during parts of practice where not much is happening & you can go listen to some team radio or watch some in-car stuff, really a massive plus over the bbc’s very basic & often quite dull coverage of practice.

    on sky we get far better analysis post sessions, far more content in the way of classic races, documentary’s, legend interviews, the wonderful friday night f1 show & live coverage of the gp3/gp2 support categories.

    the bbc’s coverage from 2009-2011 was good, but for me sky’s is miles better, its the best coverage i’ve seen of f1 since the digital ppv service we got from fom in 2002.

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 21st August 2013, 13:54

      I’m with you, SKY’s coverage keeps improving every race and the £20 a month I’m paying for the SKY Sports package is money well spent as it means I no longer have to endure the horror that is Eddie Jordan.
      All of the extra features from SKY are great and I really like the F1 show and other programs they put on between races, some of the Architects of F1 programs have been brilliant and the multiple classic races they show are always worth watching.

  8. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st August 2013, 18:10

    The Tony Jardine article reads like a stab in the dark to me.

    We saw last year that Eddie Jordan got a huge boost in the reputation stakes when he correctly predicted Hamilton’s move to Mercedes. With Raikkonen being such a popular driver, anyone who does the same for his future will face similar gains. And with so much focus on his move andsso many contradictory reports about his plans, people are only going to remember the person who got it right. They’re not going to remember it care about whoever got it wrong, which I think sets a dangerous precedent as it turns journalism into a combination popularity contest and game of Russian Roulette.

    As I said in the forum thread on Jardine’s prediction, I think he has painted himself into a corner. I think he hitched his wagon to the idea if Raikkonen moving to Red Bull, and now he’s trying to come up with an explanation for everything when the team makes a contradictory statement (a statement that is actually consistent with their announcement that they wanted to resolve their driver situation before the end of the summer break).

    If Red Bull announce that they are

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st August 2013, 18:15

      If Red Bull announce that they are taking Ricciardo for 2014, then I expect that it will be about ten minutes until someone comes to us with an explantion as to why it means they are really taking Raikkonen.

      In fact, I’ll spare everyone the trouble and do it now: if Red Bull announce that they are taking Ricciardo, then they are obviously not intending on racing him, but are clearly trying to scare Raikkonen into realising that he passed up the best drive on the grid.

      Sky, if you’re reading this, can I have a job?

  9. manatcna (@manatcna) said on 22nd August 2013, 3:57

    Why would they do that?

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