Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

BBC announce their ten race 2012 schedule - Only a selection of races will be free-to-air in the UK

Published by Christine

Both the BBC and Sky have made the most of this final outing of F1 to finally announce some of their intentions for next season. With the spotlight on the sport ready to go out after this weekend for the winter months, they used the time to confirm who is showing what and where.

We're in for more of this at Monaco 2012
Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Many guesses have been made over which races the BBC would pick for their ten Grand Prix schedule. Out of twenty events on the 2012 calendar, we knew they'd have Monaco and Silverstone, but the rest were up for grabs. Now they've confirmed which will be live and in full on the BBC channels throughout the year.

15th AprilChina
13th MaySpain
27th MayMonaco
24th JuneEurope (Valencia)
8th JulyBritain
2nd SeptemberBelgium
23rd SeptemberSingapore
14th OctoberKorea
4th NovemberAbu Dhabi
25th NovemberBrazil

Some of the less exciting ones, for sure, but they don't appear to have done too badly. They've written up a post about what they'll be showing for the races they don't have in full, but it baffles me a little bit. There's a lot of "if this is on, then we'll do this, otherwise we're doing this and this, except for this one time..."

From what I can gather, there will be 90 minute to 2 hour highlights of the races not mentioned above, and the BBC squad will be travelling to every event on the calendar regardless of whether it is being shown live or not.

Also announced today was some Sky news, with the confirmation of a new HD channel dedicated to F1. Called the Sky Sports F1 HD, they promise such great things as:

  • Practice, qualifying and the race live in HD
  • No advert breaks during the races
  • Highlight and analysis shows
  • Mobile and tablet access via Sky Go plus Red Button stuff
  • Archive, interview and magazine style shows

That all sounds very nice indeed, I'm not sure if the pricing has been confirmed or not, and we don't yet know if the channel will be on 24/7. They are running a competition though, to win a trip to Australia and a year's subscription, if you're into that kind of thing.

Personally, I'm not bowled over by the Sky alternative (never have been), and think that if the BBC are going to do a good and relatively timely job with their highlights then that may be enough. However, introducing an entire channel to their newest sport does show great dedication from Sky and is probably a good sign.

We are still left wondering, of course, about which personnel will be covering the sport and in which mediums. We know that Jake will be doing what he does best:

I am delighted to say I'll be introducing our award winning #bbcf1 coverage in 2012. Here are our plans for next year

jakehumphreyf1 jakehumphreyf1

There's rumours of Crofty at Sky, with Martin Brundle set to move over there with him for the TV coverage. That leaves Anthony Davidson without a 5live partner, and David Coulthard unlikely to continue in the Beeb's role without the support of MB. All of this is yet to be announced though, and we probably won't hear anything until the new year.