Paul di Resta, Martin Brundle, Silverstone, 2011

Ecclestone responds to MP over BBC/Sky F1 deal

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says he “would have loved” to have kept F1 on the BBC.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Bernie Ecclestone hits back at MP (Daily Express)

“We would have loved to have stayed with the BBC but they could guarantee nothing.”

Bahrain welcome GP date switch (Bahrain)

“The announcement was declared after officials from the Indian Grand Prix organizer raised some concern to FOM in hosting the race in April.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

F1 Fanatic Live: IndyCar Baltimore

A special edition of F1 Fanatic Live will run today during IndyCar’s first race at the new street circuit in Baltimore.

Will Power starts from pole position as he looks to trim the points lead of Dario Franchitti, whose fourth on the grid. Graham Rahal and Ryan Briscoe line up between them.

The former F1 drivers on the grid include Sebastien Bourdais, fifth, and Giorgio Pantano, 15th.

Takuma Sato would have made it into the top six shoot-out but had his two fastest times deleted after spinning and stalling, causing the session to be interrupted. He starts 28th and last.

F1 Fanatic Live will run from 7:30pm UK time tomorrow. Here’s some footage from the first two practice sessions at the circuit:

Comment of the day

Jamey shared some excellent tips for taking pictures at Monza yesterday. But not everyone like taking a camera with them to races, as Neil explains:

It’s impossible to enjoy the action when you are staring down the lens of a camera. Put it down and make the most of what you paid for rather than taking photos of cars there are already hundreds of photos of.

Just my opinion, as an F1 fan.

From the forum

More thoughts on commenting and contributing online.

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. 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

Jack Brabham claimed his third world championship 45 years ago today at Monza.

Brabham only made it eight laps into the race before an engine failure put him out. But championship rival John Surtees also dropped out and that confirmed Brabham as the first – and so far only – driver to win the championship in his own car.

Image ?? Force India F1 Team

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 59 comments on “Ecclestone responds to MP over BBC/Sky F1 deal”

    1. I don’t think Jack Brabham quite won four world titles :)

      1. As much of a legend he is, he didn’t quite win so many WDCs

      2. even so, 3 world championships! man this guy was good!

      3. Corrected it, thanks.

    2. Third World Championship

    3. Ummmm, sorry to nit pick Keith, but I’m pretty sure Brabham only won 3 world championships….

      1. Okay mate, I think we got the idea with the first two comments…

        1. Sorry about that. Im pretty sure the were typed at the same time!

    4. Yet Ecclestone said last night: “It is not realistic; he clearly does not understand the situation.

      I love how Bernie can accuse somebody of not understanding and then fail to enlighten them in any way. The whole reason the MP wrote the letter was because nobody understood what actually went on anyway. So thanks for confirming what we already knew Bernie- virtually nothing- and not addressing the entire point of the letter- to actually tell us something.

      (unless of course the quotes are selective and leave out the majority of a much larger statement)

      1. When I read “respond” I thought, oh this could be very interesting reading.

        But no, it’s more of the same.
        “It’s everyone else’s fault!” said Bernie.

        1. I also clicked the link hoping to find something groundbreaking. Didn’t happen. Really disappointing.

          People argue the BBC has an obligation to offer the viewer value for money but surely they also have an obligation to justify exactly why this deal has happened. If they were purely a commercial outfit it would be very difficult to complain, but license payers deserve answers.

          1. If they receive our money then to some extent they are a public service, so you’re right that they owe an answer, and also that the BBC should also not have the right to force a sport to pay TV (unless there was no other choice, which looks doubtful).

            1. Is that Express article supposed to end there? It just sort of stops without actually telling us anything?

            2. I don’t know. It does feel incomplete, but that might just be because Bernie didn’t say anything complete or in any was helpful.

      2. Yeah, the thing he answers does not actually tell us anything.

        Amongst others, the questiong of why there are conflicting stories whos idea this was remains unanswered.

      3. You know what, I don’t have a problem with Bernie on this one. It’s not him I want answers from.

        I want the BBC to confirm exactly what they are going to give us for the races they don’t show live. As I’ve said before, I have absolutely no problem with this new deal IF, and only if, the BBC are able to make the full race available on iPlayer after the appropriate delay. I do volunteer work for St John Ambulance so am more often than not busy when the races are on (fingers crossed for being on duty at Silverstone next year) so at the moment I watch most of them on iPlayer when I get home.

        I would like to hear someone explain why it’s better to only see half the races for free than if they’d let it go to Channel 4 or ITV where we’d have got them all for free…

        1. I think it is silly that they still haven’t revealed the plan for next year, but I also would like some answers about why it’s come about.

      4. I agree with you!

    5. That Baltimore circuit is horrible. The last few corners actually look pretty good, but there’s that horrid chicane on the main straight and the narrow section near the pits. Otherwise, it’s all ninety-degree bends and hairpins.

      1. Heheh – “Will Power, the aw-see”.

        1. Aw-sm aw-see

      2. I actually agree.

        It’s pretty a poor circuit… It’ll still be an interesting race though either way

        1. It has potential – it just wasn’t implemented very well. Parts of the circuit are super-narrow simply to force the cars to slow down, and the pits are just crammed into the park space.

          And people say Tilke designs bad circuits.

      3. What got me with that video was how poor the commentary is. They even have a side kick that rivals Coulthard for levels of annoyance.

        1. The commentary from IndyCar is dreadful. The racing makes up for it at least

        2. the commentary on that video is the radio commentary and its usualy terrible in practice/qualifying but is better during the race as they get 2 more guys join in bringing more info.

          tv commentary is pretty good & the 3-man tv team is very popular amongst indycar fans, especially the addition of wally dallenbach jr.
          most would like paul page back though, he’s kinda like the indycar version of murray walker.

        3. hey they are very very bad but just to fill you in that is only just an internet show that they use. The guys talking dont do the talking for the race. The VS & ESPN guys are 100000 times better so dont think that is who you have to listen to during the race. Just fig i would fill you guys in bc if you never saw a indycar race befor and thats all you heard i would never watch it again. So yea just give the normal guys a chance.

      4. Indycar has been getting swamped with poor road and street courses for a few years now

      5. I think it’s much better than Singapore or Valencia. The chicane is probably there to make sure speeds into Turn 1 aren’t too great and at least they haven’t stuck it right in the middle. I’d prefer not to have it but it reminds me a little of the old Woodcote chicane at Silverstone, a harmless little quirk. The twisty section at the back of the circuit reminds me a lot of Monaco’s swimming pool section, quite challenging for the drivers. The hairpin should be a pretty good spot for overtaking too.

        It’s a proper old school American street circuit with a few twists thrown in, I think they’ve done a pretty good job with it. After the disappointing foray of F1 into street circuits in the past few years, it makes me start to like street circuits again.

        1. The problem is, it reminds me a little bit too much of Long Beach or Detroit, but without all the lovely scenery… Maybe with a few tweaks and a couple of medium-speed corners it could be a bit more fun

          1. But Long Beach and Detroit were great circuits back in the day, so I don’t see your issue ;)

            Plenty of the corners are medium-speed, the video doesn’t really show off the speed, particularly through the last few.

            1. And neither of which were thought of as good tracks when F1 first raced there. Long Beach did become very popular, whereas Detroit was a bit of a Marmite affair – Alain Prost loathed it.

            2. I’m not old enough to know, as I haven’t ever watched a full race at either of those tracks… Long Beach certainly did have character, and flowed really nicely…This track doesn’t :/

      6. I think it’s great that you included the Indy Car series video, after following F1 for about 10 years, I think F1 is making it pretty obvious they don’t want fans. I can’t see any more effective way in making this plain to F1 other than for F1 fan sites including competing racing series news on their sites.
        In New Zealand, where I live, we have had this pay to view F1 model for about 5 years, and the total media coverage given to the general public for the last F1 race amounts to about 1 minute during the news on TV and radio in August. The sport doesn’t attract any attention on Talkback radio, which is a sure sign of its irrelevance in general.
        I’m not sure why F1 think a motor racing series with no fans and no publicity is a good idea, but obviously they believe those things aren’t necessary in their business model.

      7. That was not how the circuit was supposed to look. When the Indycar crew got to the track they saw that they had not fixed a set of train tracks that run down that part of the road so they had to put the chicane in to slow them down bc they were scared that it would throw the cars into the air if it was hit at a higher speed. Next year that will be removed and they are also going to be changing a few other parts of the circuit. Its not the best circuit at all but its good for what it is. You can only do so much on city roads. I was there on sat for the ALMS race and the viewing of the track is amazing if you are there live.

    6. Agree with COTD. When I went to the Belgian GP last year I took all my photos and videos on Friday and Saturday but for the race I put the camera down and watched.

      1. Same. I tend to take snap shots around the circuit for the memories but as for on track action just a few shots.

        Personally, I like having photos from the GP that don’t look too perfect and have a bit of a personal touch. Otherwise your holiday photos look like they’ve been cut out of F1 Racing magazine.

    7. Did anybody see Lewis Hamilton on The Jonathan Ross Show? I didn’t even realise he was on; I only found out when I was reading a report about how Adele seriously implied she will be submitting a demo tape for the next James Bond title theme (the film, by the way, will contain a sequence that, even if they completely screw it up, could well be the most incredible thing ever filmed). I was jsut wondering whether Hamilton said anything interesting.

      1. He did fine, but nothing interesting to report.

        1. I thought that might be the case, since there weren’t really any articles on it – and it was overshadowed by Adele’s little bombshell.

          1. Not for me it wasn’t, I’d switched off my then!

            1. Well, since I don’t get The Jonathan Ross Show, I’m just going off the reactions on other corners of the internet.

            2. From what little I saw of the rest I can assure you you’re richer for being without it.

            3. I was tempted to catch it on ITV Player…sounds like there’s no need to bother.

            4. the internet has corners?! my god, this cannot be!!!

            5. Haven’t you heard of the Flat Internet Society, Sato? ;-)

              As for Adele, the only bombshell she unleashed was the introductory f-bomb, followed by an assortment of slang bodily excretions and appendages.

            6. Let’s keep off-topic stuff where it belongs, guys:


    8. i couldn’t make heads or tails of that circuit. i suppose i should be glad more cities are holding car races. if anyone remembers, martin whitmarsh was right – the cleveland airport held awesome races in its day.

      1. Well, it’s tricky because the start line, the timing line (for qualifying laps) and the pits are all in different places. The start line is on the long straight with the Surfers’ Paradise-style chicane on it. The timing line comes after turn four, the ninety-degree left after the giant hairpin. And the pits come after the intensely-narrow double chicane.

      2. Cleveland was my favourite Indy Car race of all time. It was the only one I ever made a point of watching. It usually ran green for the entire duration, which made it a proper race, rather than a series of attritional sprint races linked together.

        One year Neil Crompton was doing break commentary for Channel 10 in Aus, and he actually complained that it wasn’t a real Indy Car race because there were no pace car incidents. I couldn’t believe it. Could. Not. Believe. It. What an idiot.

    9. If Eccleston really loved the idea of BBC then he could have done his best to find a cheaper deal and then managed to keep it free to air, but as he is living in hindsight he can only live to regret and know how many people he has disappointed.

      1. As long as he gets his money he’s happy.

        1. yeah, I do not really think he will be regretting anything about that deal right now.
          Maybe if it gets diminishing audiences, but I am not to sure of even that.

          I just hope this strangely illogical deal (for the fans) does not get to serve as a template of how to circumvent clauses demanding F1 gets free to air coverage in other big markets.

        2. yep, gotta re-coup some of the 5 mil he splashed out on his daughters wedding! either the BEEB or BERNIE want lining up against a wall for this debacle of 10 races live/10 on sky……

    10. Thought COTD was a strange one, as the article was on how to take photos :-) . But seriously I would set up the camera on a tripod and have it fixed at an interesting corner/straight then have a 5 second delay to allow for tripod vibration, press the button without looking through the finder and you never know what your capture, while still seeing the race.

      1. Or set it up on a timer, with a giant capacity SD card.

    11. themagicofspeed (@)
      5th September 2011, 0:06

      Another load of classic Bernie B.S by the sound of it, i just can’t trust or beleive anything that comes out of his evil, wrinkled little face.

      He only cares about his wallet and doesnt give a damn about the fans, imo truly the worst kind of person you could have in charge of a sport like F1 where there is a lot of passion from the fans. I just can’t think of anything nice or remotley human about the guy, i dare say if someone offered him £1m to shoot a new born baby he’d probably do it. He’s even said before, if i remember rightly, that he thought of Hitler as a ‘clever guy’. It makes me so, so sad to see F1 slowly dying because of his unstoppable slefishness.

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