Or alternatively, none of the above takes place and you miss the alarm. It doesn’t go off. You don’t go downstairs. – October 3rd, 2012 as I preview the Japanese Grand Prix
Ten days later, it turns out that did happen. The alarm, for the Korean Grand Prix Qualifying session was on for 04:45. I went to bed last night at 22:15 last night. The alarm came and went, and I slept straight through it. As I said in the Japanese Grand Prix blog, I have been doing this “getting up early business” for many years with Formula 1 purely because I love it and there is nothing better than seeing Formula 1 live. I ended up waking up at 06:55. So not only did I miss the build-up’s, but I also missed the session itself, the first time that has happened. Near misses have happened before, in 2008, I missed the opening laps of the Japanese Grand Prix and I think a few years ago I missed the majority of BBC’s build-up for the Chinese Grand Prix.
So it was 06:55, pretty quickly it became apparent that I had missed the session, probably as a result of not having a lie-in since September 30th due to University and Formula 1. I was wondering then when to watch. Ten years ago it would be a simple answer, either just wait until the ITV1 re-run or read the results on Ceefax via P360. Which I did back then as I never really got up for Qualifying early back then. I wanted to avoid spoilers, nowadays with the amount of technologies available, I find avoiding spoilers near impossible and very rarely do I, in 2012, watch Formula 1 “as live” seven hours later. It does not appeal to me.
The BBC F1 re-run at 13:00? That means killing the morning hours and trying to avoid just about every website I visit, including AUTOSPORT, BBC, Sky, Facebook and Twitter. Hmmm. This is 2012, and that is not happening. The Sky Sports F1 re-run at 09:45? Possibly. Go back to sleep for a few hours and then get up, ready and watch it? Realistic. But then I thought and said to myself “Doesn’t BBC iPlayer have a feature where you can rewind live television by two hours?” I don’t think I’ve leapt out of bed faster in recent times. Turned on the PC, went direct to iPlayer, loaded up the live BBC One page, put a book over the screen so I did not have the result spoiled and then scrolled from about 07:05 to 05:05, ie. a full two hours.
Genius. A frustrating situation turned very quickly a full 180 degrees. I was watching Qualifying as soon as I woke up, watched the entire BBC programme (bar the first 10 minutes) and finished it about 09:20. But what if this was a Sky exclusive weekend? Sky Go does not have that capability and in my opinion is a much inferior product to that of iPlayer. If this was last weekend, I would not have been able to get up, rewind Sky Go on the PC and watch it because it does not have the facility. I guess I was just… lucky that I slept through the alarm on a BBC live weekend.
And seeing as I have got to this point, I may as well comment on the programme itself. There was not too many VT’s in the build-up, it was mainly a ‘talk and chalk’ style I thought. But there is no real need in my opinion to stack all the VT’s into a programme airing at 05:00. Save the award winning VT pieces for a day when there is a higher audience watching. The ‘talk and chalk’ style worked, I liked it. Jake Humphrey, David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan looked at the bottom three teams fortunes and their potential line-ups for 2013 before being joined at Gary Anderson to look at the technical developments for the top half of the field. I really enjoyed Anderson joining them for 15 minutes, because it is not often you see that, and it is not often you get the technical developments analysed of the top four teams in a row. At times it was slightly difficult to see what the focus was on, but that may be down to the iPlayer stream rather than not looking at the right thing.
The session itself I thought was well directed by Formula One Management, and the commentary on the whole was good, although I did think Coulthard and Ben Edwards were very late on picking up that Lewis Hamilton could have been eliminated from Q1, and at the same point did not really spot that Bruno Senna had aborted his last effort. But apart from that, they were fine. Post-Qualifying was enjoyable as well, Jordan trying to chase Romain Grosjean and Anderson’s pit-stop strategies was interesting, I shall be looking to see if it is as accurate as his perfect prediction at the Q3 time!
So overall, yeah, I was a bit annoyed at sleeping through the alarm, but in the end I watched Qualifying when I got up, avoided spoilers and had it all done by 09:35. And that includes this blog. A win, win for me, then.