For the final time, the British Grand Prix was held at Silverstone. Sebastian Vettel took the win in a Red Bull one-two finish. Sadly, though, this won’t be the last Grand Prix aired on TSN. Once again, they managed to bring their coverage down a notch.
I have officially given up on Formula One on TSN. In fact, TSN is now dead to me. Two weeks ago, I mentioned the travesty that TSN’s coverage has become since the start of the season. It turns out that my criticism has been heard and my problems have been dealt with… in the worst way imaginable.
Last time, I mentioned that after the podium ceremony, TSN lets the international video feed run without any real audio. This week, they just suddenly cut to commercial while the champagne was being sprayed. That’s fair. Speed Channel waits until they pose for pictures but it’s close enough. Then they play the FIA press conference. This season they have a new procedure for the presser. Each podium driver is asked a couple of questions, followed by another round of questions with the help of video replay. TSN aired the first round of questions, cut to commercial, and then aired SportsCenter in progress. We got the last 12 minutes of SportsCenter rather than finishing the press conference. They didn’t even bother to try an abbreviated SC. They’ll do that after any other sport but it’s apparently too good for Formula One.
Since TSN seems to be reading this, I have some advice: GIVE UP! Throw in the towel. Stop airing Formula One. You’re blindingly obvious apathy toward Formula One and racing fans in general is either embarrassing or a display of contempt toward your audience. License out the coverage to anyone else who is willing to put an effort into it and treat it like the premier form of motorsports. The good news is that we’re only two rounds away from live coverage returning to Speed. Then I can get away from the horror that is TSN.
Speaking of TV coverage, if FOTA will go through with their breakaway series, they are going to need TV coverage. What worries me about this isn’t the whole FIA-FOTA war that’s broken out. It’s who might get the TV coverage of the FOTA series. Short of the apocalypse, Canadian will host a major international open-wheel race. The only question is if it will be with the FIA Formula One championship or the FOTA championship.
If Montreal is with the FIA, I would imagine that there would be little interest in Canada to carry it. I don’t consider that a terribly bad outcome because we can just watch it on Speed. However, if Montreal throws in with FOTA, then we will see interest in the Canadian TV rights. Hopefully CBC or Sportsnet gets it, but we know TSN will try for the FOTA TV coverage. If they can’t put together good coverage for one series, it can only get worse with two series. After all, the economy is bad.
Then again, if FOTA TV goes to ITV in Britain, things might work out a bit better. ITV does have commercial breaks in its coverage, unlike the BBC. If TSN and ITV synced their ad breaks, coverage would at least seem better though it would actually be about the same quality.
By the way, was that James Allen running the press conference today? Has FOM or the FIA had Windsor turfed because he’s now employed by an F1 entrant? A little help would be much appreciated.
A legitimate question I’ve been pondering for a while: Is Jarno Trulli the best or the worst driver in Formula One in a race? We all know Jarno is pretty good at putting it together for one lap in qualifying. After 12.5 seasons in F1, he’s started 208 events and has managed all of 4 poles, 10 podiums and 1 win (from pole).
On the one hand, he’s the toughest man to pass in F1. Some of it may be down to aerodynamics, but he often will develop whole trains of cars behind him in the early running of the race. On the other hand, that means that he’s running slow enough to hold up more than a half-dozen cars at a time. The argument often is that if someone is that much faster, than they would pass him. The only problem is that the aero sensitivity of these cars makes passing a near impossibly difficult task.
Is the man’s speed the fairest way of measuring his quality as a racing driver? Maybe not, but when you consider that F1 is car racing, Trulli just doesn’t seem to fit. Did I mention that his only win came from pole at Monaco where passing is impossible?
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention today’s winner, Sebastian Vettel. He powered off the line and was on cruise control almost from the end of the first lap. He won by over 15 seconds and was never really challenged throughout. In fact, his lead was so comfortable that we hardly saw him on TV today. He put on an absolute master class at the spiritual home of Formula One for his first win in the dry.
Max Mosley has announced that the FIA will not be suing everyone in sight over the FOTA split. The FIA and FOTA are going to stay talking and try to resolve things. FOTA vice-chairman Martin Whitmarsh has said there is a late-July deadline to resolve the dispute because they will be too far along in preparations to start their own series. I assume that means they want to have deals in place with race promoters and sponsors for the 2010 season.
Now we come to our first extended break of the season. With this season’s schedule being a race shorter than last year, there’s more room for rest. This was also helped by the pair of back-to-back race weekends earlier this season (Australia/Malaysia, China/Bahrain). This next three week break isn’t even the longest of the season. There’s a four week break between Hungary and Valencia (European GP). Talk about killing the momentum of a season. Over a six week span we have two of the most boring races of the year bookending a massive break.