Scheduling: The 2018 Australian Grand Prix

New television graphics, new cockpit protection, a new logo, and a new over-the-top service. Formula 1 heads into the 2018 season with major changes which viewers worldwide will notice.

2018 is the last year of the current Sky Sports and Channel 4 contract, with Sky acquiring exclusive rights from 2019 onwards. Despite the wider changes for 2018, both Sky and Channel 4 field broadly similar line-ups, with the only change that Pat Symonds appears to not be returning to Sky’s talent portfolio.

The bigger changes are for the BBC’s radio team, where Allan McNish, Mark Gallagher, and Tom Clarkson all leave the fray. Clarkson is expected to be part of Formula 1’s in-house team. In comes former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer, who will commentate on every race this season, alongside lead commentator Jack Nicholls. As always, audio coverage of every session is available on the BBC Sport website.

As noted in the past few weeks, Sky’s schedule is changing for 2018, with The F1 Show moving to a post-qualifying slot on Saturday’s. However, the race day timings remain the same, meaning that there is an extra ten-minutes of build-up, and ten fewer minutes of analysis following the race. The titles of the pre-race segments are changing, with Pit Lane Live an hour in duration, and a new On the Grid segment covering the period directly before lights out.

For those wondering, there is no sign of Virgin Australia Supercars from Melbourne appearing in Motorsport.tv’s schedules, even though the round is now part of the Supercars season moving forward. Elsewhere, Channel 4 are screening highlights of the Race of Champions event for the second year running.

NOTE: Clocks go forward one hour on Sunday 25th March, with the change from Greenwich Mean Time to British Summer Time. The times listed are for GMT on Saturday and before; BST for Sunday and afterwards…

Channel 4
Sessions
24/03 – 13:00 to 14:50 – Qualifying Highlights
25/03 – 14:30 to 17:15 – Race Highlights

Supplementary Programming
25/03 – 08:25 to 09:30 – Race of Champions

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
23/03 – 00:30 to 02:45 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
23/03 – 04:45 to 06:45 – Practice 2
24/03 – 02:45 to 04:10 – Practice 3
24/03 – 05:00 to 07:45 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 05:00 – Pre-Show
=> 05:55 – Qualifying
25/03 – 04:30 to 09:10 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 04:30 – Pit Lane Live
=> 05:30 – On the Grid
=> 06:05 – Race
=> 08:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
21/03 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Australia Preview (also Sky Sports Mix)
22/03 – 04:00 to 05:00 – Driver Press Conference (also Sky Sports Mix)
22/03 – 18:00 to 18:15 – Paddock Uncut: Australia
24/03 – 07:45 to 08:15 – The F1 Show (also Sky Sports Main Event)
28/03 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Australia Review

BBC F1
Sessions
22/03 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
25/03 – 05:30 to 08:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

World Superbikes – Thailand
24/03 – 06:00 to 10:15 – Qualifying and Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
25/03 – 08:00 to 11:15 – Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
27/03 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

If the schedule above does change, I will update this post.

Update on March 19th – As pointed out in the comments, the Team Principles Press Conference takes place after first practice, at least in Melbourne. I have removed it from the schedule here as I cannot see it anywhere in Sky’s listings.

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10 thoughts on “Scheduling: The 2018 Australian Grand Prix

  1. Supercars’ races from Melbourne are not available on SuperView too (Supercars’ OTT service). I presume Supercars doesn’t have an agreement with the FOM/Liberty Media for the distribution of the world feed.

    • According to the Radio 5 Live preview show and BBCF1 website, all practise. qualifying and race sessions will be covered with both live audio and live text reporting throughout 2018 (I guess that, as in previous years the live audio will sometimes be on Radio 5 Live, sometimes on 5 Live Extra and always on the BBC F1 website).

      David, given the increasing trend to streaming and on line coverage, maybe you could start to include more info about the comprehensive articles and live text reports available BBC F1 website – for example, the recent test days in Barcelona were covered with some excellent live minute by minute text reporting and the BBC Sport Facebook page had live video coverage of the 2018 Mercedes F1 launch at Silverstone.

      • Derek, thanks for your comment.

        I think there’s a few points here. The first I would mention is that it is impossible to cover everything.

        Whilst I could mention the BBC F1 website, you could then argue that, from an impartiality perspective I should also be mentioning the Sky Sports F1 website, Channel 4 website, and so on and so forth.

        At some point, I have to draw the line, time is limited, and the aim / intention of this site is to provide content of value that readers find useful.

        I’m open to suggestions as to ways things could change, though if there is something in particular people feel is not working.

    • Team Principals’ Press Conference on Digital
      There’s a new home for the Team Principals’ Press Conference in 2018 – the Sky Sports website and app.

      The press conferences, which take place on Friday after the F1 practice action has finished, feature a rolling cast of team bosses and technical chiefs.

      Watch them with Sky F1 online and see the sport’s power players go head-to-head over the matters of the moment in the sport during the year.

      Source: Sky Sports’ website

  2. Sky’s guide has completely gone to pot, principles press Con is just under ‘F1’. I’ve complained re their guide and timings overrunning, and under running but they don’t seem bothered, they only put subtitles on a few main events now too which does affect me enormously, as long as they get their cash, they don’t give a damn

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