Sky Sports F1 are to broadcast five Classic races before every race weekend throughout the 2013 season, The F1 Broadcasting Blog can confirm.
Starting in Australia, the channel will broadcast a mixture of extended highlights and full races, depending on the timeframe that the particular race falls within. The schedule for Australia is as follows:
– 1994 Australian Grand Prix (extended highlights)
– 1999 Australian Grand Prix (full race)
– 2003 Australian Grand Prix (full race)
– 2007 Australian Grand Prix (full race)
– 2010 Australian Grand Prix (full race)
The above races will air from Saturday 9th March to Wednesday 13th March, the timeslot being 20:30 to 22:30 on all five days.
One of my gripes last year was the lack of Classic races, which was due to Sky Sports’ lack of material in their own archive. Between 2009 and 2012, BBC were lucky in that they had Formula 1 material before 1997 in their archive, therefore their Classic races series’ was mainly based on that timeframe, whereas Sky were not as lucky meaning they were restricted in what they could do – unless they went to Formula One Management (FOM) to request footage.
Nevertheless, it is a great move to see that a dedicated channel will have significantly more content during the week than what was present in 2012. Five Classic races is just the right amount, any more and there would be overload. I’m happy with five, personally. Some of the choices for Australia are not ‘obvious’ choices, for example 1999, but it saves races for future years, which is good.