Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Forced absence - F1 team given TV coverage cold shoulder - Force India upset the bosses in charge of broadcasting

Published by Christine

Force India in the sand
Credit: Sahara Force India Formula One Team

As the television coverage of Free Practice 3 and Qualifying from Bahrain played out on fan's TV screens, it became obvious that one particular team was missing from the screen. Whilst all eleven of the other contenders were given some air time on Saturday, Force India were noticeably absent from the broadcast.

The immediate conclusion is that they are being punished for opting not to participate in the second practice session on Friday, preferring to complete their necessary car setup procedures and get to the hotel early.

Force India pit lane
Credit: Sahara Force India Formula One Team

Well, Force India most definitely were participating in practice and qualifying, and we're publishing this post as a testament to that fact. Here there are pictures and quotes from the team, which we will update throughout the day.

If the team's lack of appearance on Saturday's screening is due to their decision to put their safety first, it is a shocking decision. Force India's sponsors are robbed of the airtime they pay for, and, more importantly, Force India's fans do not get to see the team they support.

Sidepodcast image
Credit: Sahara Force India Formula One Team

Paul di Resta did a great job in qualifying, compared to their recent form. He got through to the top ten shoot out, and although he didn't set a lap time, he did circle the track on the harder compound. That puts him on a different strategy to everyone around him for tomorrow's race, which could be an intriguing thing to watch. If we're allowed to see it, of course.

I'm very happy with our qualifying performance today. With our reduced programme yesterday it wasn't easy getting all the work done, but the team did a good job to get the car dialled into the track before qualifying.

- Paul di Resta

Force India paddock sign
Credit: Sahara Force India Formula One Team

Deputy Team Principal, Robert Fernley was pleased with their performance today, saying:

We worked hard at improving the car between final practice and qualifying, and I think the track conditions came to us as well. Paul’s pace in Q2 shows the potential we have in the car and allowed him to reach Q3 for the first time this year, which was a tremendous effort. Nico was close to joining him too, but a small mistake cost him some time in the final part of the lap. We are now looking forward to the race and building on today’s showing to help put on a great spectacle for Bahrain.

- Robert Fernley

They can only put on a show for Bahrain, because no one else can see it!

There's been plenty of reaction to this already, with a few tweets coming over the airwaves.

For those asking, we have no control over who is being shown on the world feed, sorry you didn't get to see any of Di Resta's lap. #skyf1

SkySportsF1 SkySportsF1

FOM's handling of the Force India team reacting to a security threat is unbelievably childish. I hope DIR leads the race at some point.

GeoffCollinsF1 GeoffCollinsF1

RE: Force India being ignored on world feed. Would only be relevant to their sponsors, but all FI sponsors are Mallya brands. So no biggie.

F1Kate F1Kate

Never mind Mercedes' rear wing - the big tech breakthrough of 2012 is the debut of Force India's invisible car! :)

virtualstatman virtualstatman

If I were Force India, I'd use shortcuts during the whole race


Meanwhile, do check out Lukeh's exclusive look at FOM's Force India filter!

Alan Baldwin has managed to grab a word with Bernie Ecclestone about the missing coverage, with Bernie providing his usual brief explanation.

Mr E: "It was simple. They (the TV editors) are interested in who is going to be on pole. Nobody cares if someone is ninth or 11th"

alanbaldwinf1 alanbaldwinf1

There are two problems with this. The first is that it is plain wrong. I saw plenty enough of Massa, who wasn't likely to get into the top ten shootout, let alone fight it out for pole position. The second is that, if he really believes that, it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what fans want. We would like to know about pole, but that is not all we are interested in.