F1 Racing - September 2011
STOP AND GO / Hans Seeberg / 09.2011
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14 F1 Racing September 2011
The only losers in the BBC/ Sky deal are the F1 fans
Right then – a quick summary. Having read hundreds of letters and emails about the BBC/Sky TV deal,
the thoughts of F1 fans are pretty much as follows: 1) We can’t believe it; 2) The BBC has let us down;
and 3) I’m not getting Sky because it’s too expensive/I hate Rupert Murdoch (delete as applicable).
Sadly, everything about these arguments leads back to one thing: it’s the fans who will lose out.
Some blame Bernie, but it’s his job is to make money for the commercial rights holder, CVC. As for the BBC, its coverage has been brilliant – but so it should be with 43 people going to every race (F1
teams are restricted to 45 technical people). We have to accept that a lot of people in the UK don’t care about F1, so covering it was deemed too extravagant when the BBC had to make cuts. The average BBC
programme costs 7p per viewer; for F1 it’s £1.50. That’s going to stand out on a spreadsheet.
Beyond the anti-Murdoch sentiments, you can’t blame Sky for bidding for the rights. Their coverage is fantastic and they’ve improved every sport they’ve been involved in. But will people be prepared to pay £31.95 a month for something they’ve had free for years when times are tough enough as it is?
The galling thing is the BBC’s self-satisfied announcement that – wait for it – it will still show highlights of half the races! F1 is complex enough to follow live; huge chunks of the action will be missed out on a highlights show. Sport is best enjoyed as the drama unfolds – not hours later.
Anyone who’s been to a race will know that Formula 1 has always had a deliberately elitist agenda of keeping fans with their noses pressed up against the window. It’s the theory that the less you can see,
the more you want to see. Unfortunately, quite a few people won’t be able to see anything at all next year. Still, it’s only F1 fans, isn’t it? Thank goodness it’s not anyone important…
Editor Hans puts your questions to crisp-shirted Mika Häkkinen on a fancy yacht (p38). And yes, Mika thinks Kimi’s coming back...
Beaming features ed Jimmy Roberts chats with Schuey about 20 years in Formula 1 (p50)
Jean Alesi lays on a decent spread and Maurice Hamilton wisely gets stuck into the wine (p92)
Hans and News Ed Jonny run the Hungaroring and help raise $42,000 for Make-a-Wish through UBS
This product is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources www.pefc.org
Special thanks to UBS for donating $300 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation for every person in F1 who ran around the Hungaroring at the Hungarian Grand Prix – who says banks never do anything decent? Matteo Bonciani, Pasquale Lattunendu, Anthony Peacock, Alexandra Schieren, Matt Bishop, Steve Cooper, Silvia Hoffer Frangipane, Clare Robertson, Bradley Lord, Wolfgang Schattling, Nicola Armstrong, a very special thank you to Sabine Kehm, Katie Tweedle, Britta Roeske, Luca Colajanni, Stefania Bocchi, Claire Williams, Sophie Eden, Ben Nichols, Will Hings, Eric Silberman, Fabiana Valenti, Tom Webb, Anna Goodrum, Hanspeter Brack, Heike Hientzsch, Annie Bradshaw, Tracy Novak, Andy Stobart, Maria Serrat, Aurelie Donzelot, Stuart Dyble, Mercedes-Benz UK’s Rob Halloway and Laura Biss for the use of a C-Class on the run down to the Nürburgring and finally Stuart Humm, Luke Drake and Alastair Moffitt (for last month!) No thanks to Goobers
2004. VOTED ’S NO.1 SKINCARE RANGE. 2005. AND AGAIN. 2006. DITTO. 2007. AND ANOTHER. 2008. WOOHOO. 2009. STILL US. 2010. CAME LAST…ONLY JOKING.
FOR 7 YEARS