2016 saw a wave of change in the Formula 1 broadcasting world, with the BBC announcing its television exit at the end of 2015 and Channel 4 stepping into the fray. As usual, this site has had feedback on the coverage of both Channel 4 and Sky during 2016, and positives can be picked out from both sides.
The popular opinion amongst readers is that Channel 4’s Formula 1 coverage has started off brightly, with some wishing that Channel 4 and Whisper are able to continue covering Formula 1 in some form beyond 2018.
Channel 4’s coverage has been excellent, I would love them to continue after 2019. – Tom
Given the relatively short amount of time C4 had to prepare, I think they have little to be disappointed about, which makes it all the more frustrating that from 2019, no live coverage. – davidd93
In particular, the revolving punditry received praise from the likes of James Hurrell and Naz, with multiple commenters noting how the mix of pundits from Susie Wolff to Eddie Jordan was right for the programming. Steve Jones was liked by the majority of readers. TMD_NASCAR noted that Jones settled in well whilst others added that the relationship on-screen between Jones and David Coulthard is excellent.
Channel 4’s coverage on the other hand has been like a breath of fresh air, with Steve Jones’s role and his banter with DC, key to the whole tone of their presentation. They don’t give Karun Chandhok enough airtime, but he still manages to always fill it with key points and predictions and his knowledge is incredible. – Golly
Channel 4’s graphics were largely praised by rosswilliamquinn and TMD_NASCAR, although steven felt that they would have suited 2006 more than 2016. One element that received criticism from multiple people was the ‘missing pundits’ as davidd93 correctly pointed out.
I do need to raise one point – missing presenters from the announcement.
- Where was Nic Hamilton?
- Where was Bruno Senna? (I only remember seeing him during the opening sequence of Brazil)
- Where was Alain Prost (I only remember seeing him during one race weekend, but I can’t remember which one)
- I’m not including Alex Zanardi since even before the first race, he basically denied any involvement, despite C4’s announcement.
As they were part of the C4 announcement, I was expecting more from all of the above as part of the rotational basis, but I was disappointed that that never materialised.
I think Simon Lazenby has really grown on me – he’s the modern day Jim Rosenthal – very solid, and most often asking the right questions. The much improved chemistry between Lazenby, Herbert and Hill has really helped.
A few readers noted that whilst Sky’s line-up has been around for a while, and opinions differ on whether this is a good thing.
I’ve been a hardcore viewer of Sky’s F1 coverage since the very beginning and have to say on the whole I’ve been very impressed with their coverage this season. I would agree that Sky’s lineup is becoming stale, but without a doubt Ted Kravitz, Martin Brundle and Anthony Davidson are the gems. – simonhullf
The rest of the team are their usual high quality, even if it does feel a bit stale now, 5 (?) seasons in. – ThomasJPitts
In terms of Sky, I’m bored of Lazenby, Herbert and Hill. Too stale and far too matey in the way they interact. – stevvy
The commentary line-up of David Croft and Martin Brundle received widespread praise with readers noting that Brundle is still the best commentator out there. Sky did receive the (now usual) criticism about their content outside of the weekend decreasing along with overhyping features, this being noted by stevvy, simonhullf and Rob Bortkiewicz.
Elsewhere, the BBC’s radio coverage received compliments from blog readers, in particular theirb podcast.
Five Live coverage has been good (although hidden away from the radio itself too often) – the dynamic between Tom Clarkson and Jack Nicholls is good in the absence of Allan McNish and it makes for an entertaining listen. – DC
As a group they actually seem to be having the most fun and have the most passion and aren’t afraid to argue their points with each other. Their post race review show/podcast is a staple of my Monday mornings providing a little more insight on the event and any fallout from long after C4 and Sky have packed up and gone. – James Hurrell
There is a lot more opinions on the post itself, including some 2017 suggestions for Sky and Channel 4 (most include the word ‘Jenson’) which is worth a read, as always the above is just a taster of feedback on the site.