Scheduling: The 2014 Australian Grand Prix

It has been over one hundred days since Sebastian Vettel crossed the line to win the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix to close off what was a dominant end of the season for him. Every year, it feels like the Winter is longer than the previous one, despite it being statistically quite the opposite with the Grand Prix season finishing later as the years progress. The rule makers can change things all they want, but one thing remains the same: the excitement that most fans feel when March comes around every year. Formula 1 is back!

If you want to jump straight to the schedule, click the links below…

Thursday 6th March
Friday 7th March
Saturday 8th March
Monday 10th March
Tuesday 11th March
Thursday 13th March
Friday 14th March
Saturday 15th March
Sunday 16th March
Wednesday 19th March
Classic F1

The Australian Grand Prix as always is the traditional curtain opener, as they say, there simply is not a better place for a race. So, what has changed on the broadcasting side of things in the off-season? If you watch Sky Sports F1 throughout the season, you will be glad to know that no one has left, and only one addition in Bruno Senna. Simon Lazenby is back as presenter for a third season, alongside Damon Hill, Johnny Herbert and Anthony Davidson. Senna will be there for seven races, so used in rotation with the three already mentioned. Martin Brundle (entering year 18!) and David Croft remain as commentators, with Natalie Pinkham and Ted Kravitz roving the pit-lane. Steve Rider is also back presenting F1 Legends, and whilst Juan Pablo Montoya may not exactly be deserving of the title ‘F1 Legend’, I am definitely looking forward to that edition, airing in the post-Melbourne slot. I’ve moved all the classic F1 details down the page, for anyone looking for that.

Whilst Sky’s line-up is largely the same, it is made stronger by the fact that BBC have made their line-up, in my opinion, weaker. The trio of Suzi Perry, Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard return, Coulthard also joining Ben Edwards again in the commentary box. This is Jordan and Coulthard’s sixth season as pundits, both having been members of the BBC team since they regained the coverage in 2009. It is also Lee McKenzie’s sixth season with the broadcaster, Tom Clarkson joining her in the pit lane. Mark Webber will also be part of the team, but it is unclear whether he will be at any races with the team as it was not mentioned in the press release. However, Gary Anderson has been axed. For those out of the loop, I direct you to the original announcement, his view point on it all, and Ben Gallop’s statement on the matter.

Over on BBC Radio 5 Live, Allan McNish’s role extends so it covers all platforms (although I am not entirely sure how he will factor into BBC TV’s coverage) and more races. Meanwhile James Allen and Jennie Gow return for a third full season. Jack Nicholls will be lead commentator for four races, the first being China. BBC’s TV coverage of Qualifying is on BBC Two due to the Six Nations coverage involving England over on BBC One. For some confusing reason though, repeats bump it out of its 13:00 slot and into a slot that is two hours later. I assume the rationale behind it is so it doesn’t clash with Italy vs England. Instead, it will clash with Wales vs Scotland, and talking of Scotland, viewers up there will get the race one hour later than the other nations and on BBC Two. The final note to make is that Sky have split their shows into three, which first happened in India last year. Of course, whilst there may well be some spinning where ratings are concerned as a result, The F1 Broadcasting Blog promises to lay all things out black and white regarding viewing figures. Hopefully…. here’s the schedule!

Thursday 6th March
21:00 to 22:00 – F1: Season Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Friday 7th March
20:00 to 21:00 – The F1 Show (Sky Sports F1)

Saturday 8th March
21:00 to 22:00 – Horse Power (Sky2)
– repeated on Friday 14th March at 10:30 on Sky Sports F1
– behind the scenes documentary at Ferrari, produced by Whisper Films

Monday 10th March
21:45 to 22:00 – Pinkham’s F1: Part 1 (Sky Sports F1)
– the basics about Formula 1 for novices

Tuesday 11th March
19:00 to 20:00 – F1: Season Preview (BBC Red Button)
– also available on the BBC F1 website
21:45 to 22:00 – Pinkham’s F1: Part 2 (Sky Sports F1)
– the basics about Formula 1 for novices

Thursday 13th March
04:00 to 04:45 – F1: Driver Press Conference (Sky Sports F1)
20:45 to 21:00 – F1: Gear Up for Australia (Sky Sports F1)
21:30 to 22:00 – F1: Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Friday 14th March
01:00 to 03:20 – F1: Practice 1 (Sky Sports F1)
01:25 to 03:05 – F1: Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
03:20 to 03:35 – Inside Track: All Change for 2014 (Sky Sports F1)
05:15 to 07:30 – F1: Practice 2 (Sky Sports F1)
05:25 to 07:05 – F1: Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
07:30 to 08:15 – F1: Team Press Conference (Sky Sports F1)
09:30 to 10:30 – The F1 Show (Sky Sports F1)
– simulcast live on Sky Sports 1
18:45 to 19:00 – Inside F1 (BBC News Channel)

Saturday 15th March
02:45 to 04:15 – F1: Practice 3 (Sky Sports F1)
02:55 to 04:05 – F1: Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
05:00 to 07:45 – F1: Qualifying (Sky Sports F1)
– simulcast live on Sky1
05:55 to 07:05 – F1: Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
06:00 to 08:45 – F1: Qualifying (Sky1 + 1)
14:55 to 16:25 – F1: Qualifying Highlights (BBC Two)
19:45 to 20:00 – Inside F1 (BBC News Channel)

Sunday 16th March
04:30 to 09:15 – F1: Race (Sky Sports F1)
=> 04:30 – Track Parade
=> 05:00 – Race
=> 08:30 – Paddock Live
05:30 to 08:00 – F1: Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)
09:15 to 10:15 – Legends: Juan Pablo Montoya (Sky Sports F1)
11:15 to 12:00 – Desert Island Discs (BBC Radio 4)
– featuring Murray Walker
14:00 to 16:00 – F1: Race Highlights (BBC One)
– note: For Scotland viewers, the race is on BBC Two at 15:00

Wednesday 19th March
20:30 to 21:00 – Midweek Report (Sky Sports F1)

Classic F1 on Sky Sports F1
For this season, I’ve made the move to separate the classics out of the main body, primarily because Sky are not repeating races straight after the first airing in that block. Whilst they are still airing about 100 classic races this season, the two repeats are being finely spread throughout the year, meaning that the Australian repeats will not turn back up until say August at a guess. The idea that Sky are broadcasting more classic races though is incorrect I believe, they are not, the difference this year is that the scheduling is consistent, even though it does mean that the race weekends themselves are a bit more bare.

07/03 – 21:00 to 00:15 – Race of the Century Winner (2011 Canadian Grand Prix)
08/03 – 21:00 to 23:15 – Race of the Century Second (2008 Brazilian Grand Prix)
09/03 – 21:00 to 23:00 – Race of the Century Third (2005 Japanese Grand Prix)
10/03 – 21:00 to 21:45 – 1985 Australian Grand Prix Highlights
11/03 – 21:00 to 21:45 – 1986 Australian Grand Prix Highlights
12/03 – 21:00 to 21:30 – 1987 Australian Grand Prix Highlights
13/03 – 21:00 to 22:30 – 1989 Australian Grand Prix
14/03 – 21:00 to 21:45 – 1996 Australian Grand Prix Highlights
15/03 – 21:00 to 22:00 – 1994 Australian Grand Prix Highlights
16/03 – 21:00 to 21:30 – 1990 Australian Grand Prix Highlights
17/03 – 21:00 to 23:45 – 1998 Japanese Grand Prix
18/03 – 21:00 to 23:15 – 1981 Caesars Palace Grand Prix
19/03 – 21:00 to 23:30 – 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
20/03 – 21:00 to 21:35 – 1988 Japanese Grand Prix Highlights
21/03 – 21:00 to 23:15 – 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix
22/03 – 21:00 to 23:15 – 1998 Hungarian Grand Prix
23/03 – 21:00 to 21:30 – 1989 Italian Grand Prix Highlights
24/03 – 21:00 to 23:00 – 2000 Belgian Grand Prix
25/03 – 21:00 to 21:45 – 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix Highlights
26/03 – 21:00 to 23:00 – 2000 German Grand Prix

As always, if anything changes I shall update this blog if necessary.

Update on March 8th – Very interesting to see that Qualifying is being simulcast on Sky1 (thanks Withito in the comments), which makes it available to many more people. Hopefully Sky promote this.

Update on March 10th – A few minor Classic F1 alterations, along with an Inside Track addition in the main schedule. I’ve also added the BBC F1’s TV season preview.

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4 thoughts on “Scheduling: The 2014 Australian Grand Prix

  1. brilliant 3 oa clock for me on sunday afternoon not pleased having to wait an extra hour not finding out the results, what if it goes to penalites will it be moved to bbc 2 scotland(the football)

  2. I don’t have Sky F1 but just noticed on the Sky guide that qualifying for the Australian grand prix is also live on Sky 1 from 5-7.45am next Saturday. The guide only goes 7 days in advance so it remains to be seen if the race will also be live on Sky 1.

  3. mclaren don’t have title sponsor yet. is this because bad result last year? , lack of viewer/alienated viewers be cause of sky f1 and other world pay per view?, general state of f1 itself? low sponsor budgets?

    in my 25years watching f1 i cant remember a main team not having title sponsor.

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