Scheduling: The 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

From one hot and humid country to another as Formula 1 quickly heads from Malaysia to Bahrain, which also marks the first of two night races in 2014. No matter, a night race won’t hide the fact that the race is in the desert and therefore still makes for a dull back drop. It remains to be seen whether on track activity or other political activity will be the main focus during the Grand Prix weekend, but we shall see.

If you want to jump to the schedule, click the links below:

Thursday 3rd April
Friday 4th April
Saturday 5th April
Sunday 6th April
Wednesday 9th April
Classic F1

BBC are screening highlights of this race, which is unsurprising considering it is near to the edge of prime time. Also, Qualifying clashes with the Grand National, which is a poor scheduling decision all around, and will definitely hurt Sky’s Qualifying rating. The side effect of Bahrain being a night race means that BBC’s programming is on BBC Two. The terms of the contract say that BBC’s highlights have to be on more than ‘X hours’ (which varies depending on timezone I think) after the live action, which is why Bahrain is on at 21:00 and 22:00 respectively, and not on BBC One as it would displace prime time programming. Due to various clashes, practice commentary on BBC Radio is consigned to online.

Returning this weekend is GP2 on Sky Sports F1, now into year three on the channel. For anyone wanting GP2’s profile to increase at all in the UK, Sky are taking the World Feed only again, so no pre and post-race coverage it seems. Will Buxton will be providing the commentary again, for 2014 he will be alongside Luca Filippi. It’s disappointing, as they should be looking at maximising what they have, especially considering the favourable timeslots this weekend. On the other hand, Sky may take the view that only one driver from GP2 or GP3 has graduated to Formula 1 for this season, so why give the series’ more air-time if it is not bringing any benefit in the long run? I’d argue that they should add Formula Renault 3.5 to the channel, but as long as the channel is named Sky Sports F1, that won’t happen, but it’s a discussion for another day.

Thursday 3rd April
13:00 to 13:45 – F1: Driver Press Conference (Sky Sports F1)
20:45 to 21:00 – F1: Gear Up for Bahrain (Sky Sports F1)

Friday 4th April
10:00 to 10:50 – GP2: Practice (Sky Sports F1)
11:45 to 13:50 – F1: Practice 1 (Sky Sports F1)
15:45 to 17:55 – F1: Practice 2 (Sky Sports F1)
17:55 to 18:35 – GP2: Qualifying (Sky Sports F1)
18:45 to 19:00 – Inside F1 (BBC News Channel)
19:00 to 19:45 – F1: Team Press Conference (Sky Sports F1)
20:00 to 21:00 – The F1 Show: Force India Special (Sky Sports F1)

Saturday 5th April
11:05 to 12:20 – GP2: Race 1 (Sky Sports F1)
12:45 to 14:10 – F1: Practice 3 (Sky Sports F1)
15:00 to 17:45 – F1: Qualifying (Sky Sports F1)
15:55 to 17:05 – F1: Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
18:45 to 19:00 – Inside F1 (BBC News Channel)
21:00 to 22:15 – F1: Qualifying Highlights (BBC Two)

Sunday 6th April
12:10 to 13:10 – GP2: Race 2 (Sky Sports F1)
14:30 to 19:15 – F1: Race (Sky Sports F1)
=> 14:30 – Track Parade
=> 15:00 – Race
=> 18:30 – Paddock Live
15:45 to 18:00 – F1: Race (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
22:00 to 23:30 – F1: Race Highlights (BBC Two)

Wednesday 9th April
20:30 to 21:00 – Midweek Report (Sky Sports F1)

Classic F1 on Sky Sports F1
Another minor moan is the classic F1 scheduling. I noted before that each race is getting three outings this season (so in reality it is the same output as last year, with a few races being added to the collection and a few removed). The issue I have is the randomness of it all. From 2008 to 1982 to 2011 and then to 1993 in the week after Bahrain. Why not have a story that viewers can follow over a two week period, a complete season? Again, it’s not what they are currently doing is bad (in fact, we should applaud them for showing classic races), it’s just that they are not maximising what they have in my opinion. I wrote a post nearly two years ago with an idea, and the basis of it I feel it is valid more than ever with Sky airing one F1 race a day.

03/04 – 21:00 to 23:15 – 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix (Sky commentary)
04/04 – 13:50 to 15:00 – 1972 Season Review
04/04 – 21:00 to 23:00 – 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix
05/04 – 21:00 to 23:30 – 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix
06/04 – 13:30 to 14:30 – 1973 Season Review
06/04 – 22:30 to 23:30 – 1994 Japanese Grand Prix Highlights
07/04 – 21:00 to 21:45 – 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix Highlights
08/04 – 21:00 to 23:00 – 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix
09/04 – 21:00 to 23:00 – 2008 Italian Grand Prix
10/04 – 21:00 to 22:00 – 1982 Belgian Grand Prix Highlights
11/04 – 21:00 to 23:15 – 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
12/04 – 21:00 to 21:45 – 1993 Monaco Grand Prix Highlights
13/04 – 21:00 to 21:45 – 1984 Austrian Grand Prix Highlights
14/04 – 21:00 to 22:45 – 2003 British Grand Prix
15/04 – 21:00 to 21:45 – 1990 Hungarian Grand Prix Highlights

If anything changes, I’ll add a note below.

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2 thoughts on “Scheduling: The 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

  1. it does seem that a lot of the classic races being shown where already shown last year. you would think they would try to show different ones considering how many there are

  2. Surely describing Bahrain GP’s as classic is false advertising!

    I found out at the weekend that the BBC were still showing Classic Races on the Red Button, to which I am now smarting, because they didn’t make it as known, ie through Andrew Benson’s blog as they did the previous years.

    Does anyone know exactly what they showed, I’ve found they should some Belgian, Italian and Japanese races, where there any others, and did they broadcast any in 2013?

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