Scheduling: The 2015 Belgian Grand Prix

Formula 1 is back…. again! It feels like a very long time since we had regular Formula 1 action, but the Belgian Grand Prix kick-starts a fifteen week period in which we will see nine races. The races really do come fast from now until the end of November, with two double headers coming up. Belgium is the last of three races on the bounce that the BBC will be showing live, as a result of the German Grand Prix absence.

There’s a few schedule changes over on the BBC this weekend. The World Athletics Championship from Beijing means that qualifying will be broadcast on BBC Two. At first, I did find the move surprising, considering you’d expect F1 qualifying to perform better than the athletics, but it is the opening day of the athletics, so you can see why BBC would be keen to put the opening day on BBC One. Alongside the athletics, the final Ashes test means that neither practice or qualifying will be broadcast on BBC Radio, not that it matters too much with it being a BBC TV live weekend.

The major change over on Sky is that all of the session repeats will be chopped down, removing any pre and post session build-up. For example, the live qualifying broadcast is 155 minutes, whereas the replay later on Saturday is 70 minutes, featuring only the World Feed content and Sky’s content in between the three sessions. It’s a big diversion from the previous three years on the channel. It may make things easier for those wanting to watch only the session, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the channel, only increase the amount of repeats. Another point worth mentioning is that the simulcasts on Sky Sports 1 have ended, for the moment.

As always, the full schedule is below…

BBC F1
BBC TV – Sessions
21/08 – 08:45 to 10:40 – Practice 1 (BBC Two)
21/08 – 12:45 to 14:45 – Practice 2 (BBC Two)
22/08 – 09:55 to 11:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Two)
22/08 – 12:10 to 14:30 – Qualifying (BBC Two)
23/08 – 12:10 to 15:30 – Race (BBC One)
23/08 – 15:30 to 16:30 – Forum (BBC website and connected TV)

BBC Radio – Sessions
23/08 – 13:00 to 15:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Supplementary Programming
20/08 – 21:00 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
21/08 – 14:45 to 15:45 – F1 Rewind: Schumacher (BBC Two)
21/08 – 18:45 to 19:00 – Inside F1 (BBC News Channel)
22/08 – 19:45 to 20:00 – Inside F1 (BBC News Channel)

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
21/08 – 08:45 to 11:00 – Practice 1
21/08 – 12:45 to 15:00 – Practice 2
22/08 – 09:45 to 11:15 – Practice 3
22/08 – 12:00 to 14:35 – Qualifying
23/08 – 11:30 to 16:15 – Race
=> 11:30 – Track Parade
=> 12:00 – Pit Lane Live
=> 12:30 – Race
=> 15:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
20/08 – 14:00 to 14:30 – Driver Press Conference
20/08 – 20:45 to 21:00 – Paddock Uncut: Belgium
21/08 – 16:00 to 16:45 – Team Press Conference
21/08 – 17:00 to 18:00 – The F1 Show
26/08 – 20:30 to 21:00 – Midweek Report

GP2 Series – Belgium (Sky Sports F1)
21/08 – 11:00 to 11:50 – Practice
21/08 – 14:50 to 15:30 – Qualifying
22/08 – 14:35 to 16:05 – Race 1
23/08 – 09:30 to 10:45 – Race 2

GP3 Series – Belgium (Sky Sports F1)
22/08 – 08:45 to 09:20 – Qualifying
22/08 – 16:10 to 17:10 – Race 1
23/08 – 08:20 to 09:20 – Race 2

If anything changes, I will update the schedule above.

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7 thoughts on “Scheduling: The 2015 Belgian Grand Prix

  1. Trimming down the Practice Session repeats, is yet another slap in the face for Sky subscribers. If bad weather affects satellite reception during the live broadcast, subscribers cannot see the whole programe which – don’t forget – they pay for. Totally agree with the possibility of increased repeats and wow, I’m really looking forward to the 1000th repeat of a Legends Of F1 episode 😦

    • On the contrary its a million times better I think… If I haven’t seen the race or session live I don’t wish to bother with the stupid pre amble and prefer to get straight to the action… Lots of other people I know take the same approach

  2. #CANCELSKYF1SUBCRIPTION because all we are paying for is a load of repeats, presenters, pit lane reporters and commentators are terrible. All sky is trying to do is bring down a brilliant sport what BBC and ITV made it to be and they try to take it away from people who can’t afford to watch every single race live please Bernie bring it back to FTA for the fans because end of the day you can’t buy supporters

  3. Jamie, your comments don’t make a whole lot of sense given twoof the main Sky presenters were part of the BAFTA nominated BBC coverage. It sounds to me like you’re still a little upset you don’t have access to live F1 anymore. Sky’s coverage could be a lot better but it isn’t terrible. Many people around the world would take Sky’s coverage over what they receive. BBC cannot afford F1 and Channel 4 pulled out at the last minute, neither are interested.

    And Karen that’s a stupid point. I’ve been watching on Sky since launch and have never missed a single moment of F1 due to bad weather. I do however see it as a strange move given Sky is so egotistic. I’m quite surprised. I don’t see what they want to achieve.

    • Freeview EPG now has BBC F1 Forum from 1600-1700 and 1740-1805.

      In reply to Jordan, you have been rather harsh on Karen. I can understand her comment, after experiencing satellite signal loss during bad weather (Hungary 2012 for example). Luckily I was able to watch the Monday evening full-programme repeat – something that will not be available from now on

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