How All Live is changing the face of rallying: foundations

Whilst many motor racing publications tend to focus on Formula 1 or MotoGP’s broadcasting exploits, elsewhere in the motor sport spectrum, a quiet revolution has been taking place that deserves far more attention than what it has received.

To discover more, this writer took a trip up to Deeside to see what the fuss was about for a three-part series…

Unless you know your geography very well, Deeside probably does not register on the Richter scale. But, for one week each year, the world of rallying descends onto Deeside’s Industrial Estate, as it plays host to the service park for the Wales Rally GB. This year, the event signals round 11 of the 2018 World Rally Championship.

So why rallying, and why now? In January, organisers of the championship announced that they would be launching a new over-the-top platform, airing every stage of every rally live via said platform. It is easy to see why such a move could be a revolution for a sport that usually aired as highlights in a late evening time slot.

2018 is not the first time WRC’s promoter has attempted to broadcast every stage live to fans. Back in 2011, then promoter North One Sport experimented with an ‘all live’ approach, but the experiment lasted just one season.

Now with the commercial rights in the hands of WRC Promoter GmbH (a collaboration between Red Bull Media House and sportradar), 2018 marks take two at trying to transform rallying.

“We did have a little go at it in 2011, but the resources and technology were not ready for ‘it’,” Kevin Piper tells me. Piper is currently Editor in Chief for WRC’s television output, and has worked on the championship for the past decade. “Everything has come together now; the promoter has taken a calculated gamble and hopefully it is paying off.”

Marko Viitanen, who is WRC’s television director, was involved in the 2011 test and could see the potential from the outset. “At that point I kind of knew as a director ‘this is the way’ to do rallying live, but it took some time. I must say that the promoter today had a really good vision.”

Up until 2018, rally fans had access to selected stages live, along with the traditional 26- and 52- minute highlight programmes. Arguably, in a 21st century media age where fans are viewing live sport on a variety of devices, rallying was some way behind the curve.

2018 Wales Rally GB - Service Park.jpg
M-Sport Ford mechanics repair Sebastien Ogier’s car following the first stages on Friday morning during the Wales Rally GB.

In his previous role, Piper worked on the 52-minute highlights package, a task that became trickier as time progressed. “Sport is best delivered live, whatever the sport, especially in this day and age when the technology is there to enable you to do that,” Piper says.

“Everyone knew what had happened already, so we always had that battle of ‘what should the editorial slant be’ on the highlights, when it’s going out a few days after the event had finished.”

“We were forever reinventing that programme, to not lose too much of the credibility and respect for the sport and the fact that there was an event at a world championship level that had happened, but this holy grail of trying to appeal to a wider audience, that proves to be really difficult.”

Monte Miracle
After a successful internal test in Portugal last year, series organisers ploughed ahead with the new product, dubbed ‘All Live‘ ready for launch in 2018, starting with the traditional curtain raiser, the Monte Carlo rally. At just £7.97 per month, the pricing is a steal for hardcore and casual rallying fans alike.

The first stages from Monte Carlo take place on a Thursday night, up in the mountains at the service park in Gap in less than ideal conditions. Series bosses wanted to launch All Live on the Thursday night, which they followed through successfully on, but Piper expressed some early reservations.

“I would think very carefully about Thursday nights in Monte Carlo, which will probably go down as one of the most testing, challenging productions I’ve been involved with ever. We knew that Thursday night, up there among the mountains, would be challenging to say the least, hell, it’s a big enough challenge as it is when the landscape is on your side!”

“But that night, to launch this All Live product, I said ‘don’t do it.’ Play safe, launch on Friday morning, okay you’ve still got the terrain to contend with, but the conditions will be a lot more user friendly,” Piper says. “The decision was taken and, to be fair from a logical point of view, we’ve called it All Live therefore it has to do what it says on the tin and cover all the stages.”

“People were understandably frustrated and criticised us on the night as there were technical problems, but they could have also quite rightly criticised us for not living up to the billing and not being on the start-line on Thursday night.”

“Producing a rally across four days is a major logistical and technical challenge that is difficult to put into words, on a much larger geographical scale than many other motor racing events. Bearing that in mind, the idea of a ‘All Live’ offering is beyond anything that has happened before.” – reviewing All Live post Monte Carlo

Viitanen was under no illusions about the challenges that lay ahead. “People in our crew come from circuit racing, and they’re stunned about the fact how difficult rallying is. Rallying, All Live, is probably the most difficult production from a technical perspective. The tech setup spreads wide.”

“You can imagine Monte Carlo, the distance between Gap and the last stage is 170km in birds eye view, and then you have obstacles like mountains to contend with.”

Nevertheless, Viitanen was extremely happy with the work that his team put in that weekend under testing circumstances. “To be that good in Monte, we were not even close to perfect there, we did pull out a miracle,” he tells me.

Beyond the stage
Whilst the main attraction of All Live is having every stage live, the cherry on top of the cake comes in the form of action between the stages, as All Live gives fans access to the rally from dusk to dawn.

Helped by a dynamic on-air team, All Live features studio interviews from stars past and present, including the rich and famous. Nicky Grist (formerly Colin McRae’s co-driver), Sami Hyypia (football manager and player) and Gary Mitchell (led the team involved in the Thailand cave rescue) were some of the names to pop by the studio for a chat during the Wales weekend.

Grist also joined All Live’s lead commentator Becs Williams in the commentary box on Friday morning in Wales to chat through the action.

2018 Wales Rally GB - production truck
Inside the World Rally Championship production truck at their Deeside base during the Wales Rally GB, with Kevin Piper and Marko Viitanen (centre left and centre right respectively) in full flow.

Elsewhere, the platform focuses on the service park part of the rally, with roving reporters on stand-by, which has for many been one of the revelations this season. “For me, and I knew this right from the word go, what really brings a lot of added value to All Live is the insight you get from when the cars are not running, when they are in service, when there is a roadside repair,” says Piper.

Speaking to me on the Friday in Wales, Piper continued “Today was a great example in the service park, a battle against the clock to get a full gearbox change done on [Sebastien] Ogier’s car. You could have logged in, wherever you are in the world, just as that started, I defy anybody to turn that off.”

Piper hopes that, by exposing previously unseen parts of rallying via All Live, rallying can attract a new demographic of fans moving forward. “There are so many facets to this sport, different terrain, different drivers, different characters, different elements on any one given day.”

“I love my football and I love my Formula 1, but you kind of know what you’re going to get with that. Here, from one hour to the next, the storylines and characters can change, different drivers enjoying different fortunes, car rebuilds,” Piper added.

“I’ve always thought of All Live as not only for the core fans but it’s actually for the younger generation, bringing the sport to the people and WRC to their mobile devices,” Viitanen adds. “€89.99 for the whole year, it is a treat for that price. I’m really happy with the way that people have taken to the product. I was talking to some of the drivers the other day, and I think this is the best thing media wise that has happened since TV came to WRC. This has great potential.”

WRC officials tell me that they are “very happy” with the take-up of All Live worldwide, outperforming expectations in a variety of territories, which bodes well for the future of the product, as they look to evolve All Live heading into 2019.

For Viitanen, 2018 is a mix of the old and the new. “This first year is a hybrid one for us, every event is a learning curve. We’ve brought in a lot of new developments during the year, both technically and on the content front,” comments Viitanen, who is also the managing director of production company NEP Finland.

“We’ve come a hell of a long way since Monte,” Piper adds. “What the technology guys here have done is quite extraordinary, and no one at home ever sees that. We never stop learning and reinventing the wheel.”

Saturday in Turkey
Roaming around the service park in Deeside, three words cropped up repeatedly: Saturday in Turkey. Labelled as one of the most dramatic rallying days in years, title contenders Thierry Neuville and Sebastien Ogier retired from the Turkish rally, with difficulties also for Andreas Mikkelsen and Craig Breen, decimating the running order.

Toyota Yaris driver Ott Tanak took full advantage of the problems that befell the others, heading to the top of the leader board. All of that in the space of a few hours. And, for the first time, broadcast live for rally fans to watch as it unfolded in front of their very eyes, showing the capability that All Live brings to the table. No longer did rally fans have to wait until the evening highlights package to witness the action.

“If you enjoy motor sport, I defy anybody to tune into All Live for five or ten minutes and not think ‘wow, this is great, I’m part of the journey, I’m in there now!'” Piper tells me. “And that’s just the actual stages.”

Although All Live is a live product, the benefits of it stretches far beyond All Live and into the highlights output. “When I worked on the ITV’s F1 coverage, the highlights basically cut themselves, there were no surprises,” says Piper.

“Whereas here, before All Live, because of the incredible footprint of WRC, if a car had gone off 100km from here, it’s not until we get it back and see the on-board, you realise ‘jeez, what happened there!’ That then becomes an important part of that day’s highlights. Now we see pretty much all of it and more.”

For the team working on the 26- and 52- minute highlights programming, the difference between 2017 and 2018 is night and day. James Parnis is the producer for the 52-minute highlights programme.

“Right now, as we sit here, we’re watching it all unfold!” says Parnis, talking to me during the Wales Rally GB weekend. “We know the shots already that we want to use, and we’re able to keep across the story much better than before.”

“In Turkey, when Neuville had his incident and limped into service, we had live shots of him standing there watching Ogier’s roadside problems! In terms of how All Live and the highlights work, they work very much in tandem.”

Inevitably there is a resourcing challenge with All Live – a similar budget and level of expertise compared to previous years, but a much bigger operation, meaning that everyone both on and off-air has had to rise to the challenge presented.

“It is more challenging with the long hours,” Viitanen says. “It feels like work when you’ve sat there 25 hours in front of the screen, but on the other hand, it’s fascinating. You’re telling the story for the whole weekend, and in the end, TV is about telling stories to millions of fans worldwide.”

Coming up in part two, we take a deep-dive into the World Rally Championship production area, looking at the effort that goes into the planning phase, including the pre-event recce.

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Scheduling: The 2018 Japanese Grand Prix / Thailand MotoGP

Lewis Hamilton and Marc Marquez look to take another leap towards their respective championships as Formula 1 and MotoGP head east this weekend. For MotoGP, this year marks their first visit to Thailand, whilst Formula 1’s drivers tackle the Suzuka International Circuit in Japan.

The Japanese F1 round is live on free-to-air television for the first time since 2015, with Channel 4 covering all the action. In addition, both Lee McKenzie and Susie Wolff return to Channel 4’s line-up.

Over on Sky, Martin Brundle continues his absence, returning in Austin next time out. On the scheduling front, Sky are simulcasting their F1 coverage across both Sky Sports Main Event and Sky 1 at various points during the weekend.

With the F1 race from Suzuka starting at 06:10 UK time, and the MotoGP race from Buriram starting at 08:00 UK time, any delay or red flag situation to the F1 will see it overspill into MotoGP’s time slot, there really is very little room to manoeuvre.

The World Rally Championship returns to Wales, and with it does extended coverage on Channel 5. In previous years, Channel 4 aired the Power Stage live as well as daily highlights from the first two days. The latter continues, but the former airs on tape-delay at lunchtime, as the Power Stage this year starts at 08:00.

Elsewhere, fans of the Australian Supercars series will be disappointed to learn that, following the demise of Motorsport.tv’s television network, the Bathurst 1000 will not air live in the UK, with no sign of it appearing elsewhere.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
05/10 – 01:55 to 03:35 – Practice 1
05/10 – 05:55 to 07:35 – Practice 2
06/10 – 03:45 to 05:10 – Practice 3
06/10 – 06:00 to 08:35 – Qualifying
06/10 – 10:30 to 12:30 – Qualifying Replay
07/10 – 05:00 to 09:30 – Race
=> 05:00 – Build-Up
=> 06:00 – Race
=> 08:30 – Reaction
07/10 – 12:30 to 15:15 – Race Replay

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
05/10 – 01:45 to 03:50 – Practice 1
05/10 – 05:45 to 07:50 – Practice 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
06/10 – 03:45 to 05:15 – Practice 3 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
06/10 – 06:00 to 08:30 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Main Event and Sky One)
=> 06:00 – Pre-Show
=> 06:55 – Qualifying
07/10 – 04:30 to 09:10 – Race
=> 04:30 – Pit Lane Live
=> 05:30 – On the Grid (also Sky One)
=> 06:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event and Sky One)
=> 08:30 – Paddock Live (also Sky Sports Main Event and Sky One)

Supplementary Programming
04/10 – 07:00 to 07:30 – Driver Press Conference
04/10 – 10:00 to 10:30 – Welcome to the Weekend
06/10 – 08:30 to 09:00 – The F1 Show (also Sky Sports Main Event)
10/10 – 19:00 to 21:00 – F1 eSports Pro Series (also Sky Sports Mix)

BBC Radio F1
04/10 – 20:30 to 21:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
05/10 – 01:55 to 03:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
05/10 – 05:55 to 07:35 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
06/10 – 03:55 to 05:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
06/10 – 06:55 to 08:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
07/10 – 06:00 to 08:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

MotoGP – Thailand (BT Sport 2)
05/10 – 02:45 to 10:15 – Practice 1 and 2
06/10 – 03:00 to 10:15
=> 03:00 – Practice 3
=> 06:00 – Qualifying
07/10 – 02:30 to 10:00
=> 02:30 – Warm Ups
=> 04:15 – Moto3
=> 06:00 – Moto2
=> 07:30 – MotoGP
=> 09:00 – Chequered Flag

MotoGP – Thailand (Channel 5)
09/10 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights

Asia Talent Cup – Thailand (BT Sport 2)
06/10 – 10:15 to 11:15 – Race 1

Speedway Grand Prix – Poland (BT Sport 3)
06/10 – 17:45 to 21:15 – Races

World Rally Championship – Britain
Every stage live via WRCPlus.com
05/10 – Day 1 Highlights
=> 00:00 to 00:30 (BT Sport 3)
=> 00:20 to 00:45 (Channel 5)
06/10 – 12:00 to 13:00 – Live: Stage 14 (BT Sport 2)
06/10 – Day 2 Highlights
=> 22:45 to 23:15 (BT Sport 2)
=> 00:05 to 00:35 (Channel 5)
07/10 – 08:00 to 09:30 – Live: Stage 19 [Power Stage] (BT Sport/ESPN)
07/10 – 12:00 to 13:30 – Delayed: Stage [Power Stage] (Channel 5)
07/10 – 12:00 to 13:00 – Live: Stage 23 (BT Sport 2)
07/10 – 23:00 to 23:30 – Day 3 Highlights (BT Sport 1)
08/10 – 00:00 to 01:00 – Highlights (Channel 5)

The schedule above will be updated if anything changes.

Update on October 7th – A few points for future reference on Channel 5’s WRC coverage. Their daily highlights on Friday and Saturday night ended up airing in a Saturday and Sunday morning slot respectively. Furthermore, Sunday’s programme was live, covering Stage 23 (when it eventually started) as opposed to delayed coverage of the Power Stage.

Scheduling: The 2018 Singapore Grand Prix

The 2018 Formula One season heads out of Europe and into Asia for the Singapore Grand Prix! Now in its eleventh year, action from the Marina Bay circuit airs live across Channel 4 and Sky Sports F1 over the weekend.

As we head into the fly-away period, the session times remain broadly identical between 2017 and 2018, the only change is that the races will start ten minutes later than in previous years.

Eddie Jordan returns to Channel 4’s coverage for Singapore, Jordan will be analysing the action alongside David Coulthard and Mark Webber. On the scheduling front, the only unusual note is that Channel 4 has a 20-minute build-up for the second practice session.

Singapore marks the last weekend in a little while for Martin Brundle, as Brundle will not be part of Sky’s coverage in either Russia or Japan.

Elsewhere, a variety of championships are heading towards their conclusion both domestically and overseas. In the UK, the British Superbikes series begins its ‘Showdown’ phase at Oulton Park, whilst the penultimate round of the British Touring Car Championship takes place at Silverstone.

Further afield, Sonoma plays host the final round of the 2018 IndyCar Series. The race airs live on BT Sport, with an extended build-up, which could be BT’s last covering the series, as IndyCar’s rights agreement with ESPN’s international arm is up for grabs.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
14/09 – 09:25 to 11:05 – Practice 1
14/09 – 13:10 to 15:05 – Practice 2
15/09 – 10:55 to 12:25 – Practice 3
15/09 – 12:55 to 15:45 – Qualifying
16/09 – 12:00 to 16:15 – Race
=> 12:00 – Build-Up
=> 12:40 – Race
=> 15:30 – Reaction

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
14/09 – 09:15 to 11:20 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
14/09 – 13:15 to 15:20 – Practice 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
15/09 – 10:45 to 12:15 – Practice 3
15/09 – 13:00 to 15:45 – Qualifying
=> 13:00 – Pre-Show
=> 13:55 – Qualifying
16/09 – 11:30 to 16:10 – Race
=> 11:30 – Pit Lane Live
=> 12:30 – On the Grid
=> 13:05 – Race
=> 15:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
13/09 – 11:00 to 11:30 – Driver Press Conference
13/09 – 13:00 to 13:30 – Welcome to the Weekend
15/09 – 15:45 to 16:20 – The F1 Show

BBC Radio F1
14/09 – 09:25 to 11:05 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
14/09 – 13:25 to 15:05 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
16/09 – 13:00 to 15:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Blancpain GT Sprint Series – Nurburgring (BT Sport/ESPN)
15/09 – 12:45 to 14:30 – Race 1
16/09 – 15:00 to 16:30 – Race 2

British Superbikes – Oulton Park
15/09 – 15:30 to 18:00 – Qualifying (Eurosport 2)
16/09 – 12:30 to 15:15 – Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
16/09 – 16:15 to 18:00 – Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
19/09 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

British Touring Car Championship – Silverstone (ITV4)
16/09 – 11:15 to 18:30 – Races

Formula Renault Eurocup – Nurburgring (BT Sport/ESPN)
15/09 – 11:30 to 12:45 – Race 1
16/09 – 13:00 to 15:00 – Race 2

IndyCar Series – Sonoma (BT Sport 1)
16/09 – 23:00 to 02:30 – Race

Virgin Australia Supercars – Sandown 500 (Motorsport.tv)
16/09 – 03:55 to 08:00 – Race

World Rally Championship – Turkey
Every stage live via WRCPlus.com
14/09 – Day 1 Highlights
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 23:30 to 00:00 (BT Sport 1)
15/09 – 13:00 to 14:00 – Live: Stage 12 (BT Sport 1)
15/09 – Day 2 Highlights
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 00:00 to 00:30 (BT Sport 3)
16/09 – 08:00 to 09:00 – Live: Stage 14 (BT Sport 1)
16/09 – 11:00 to 12:30 – Live: Stage 17 [Power Stage] (BT Sport 1)
16/09 – Day 3 Highlights
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (BT Sport 3)
18/09 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights (Channel 5)

World Superbikes – Portugal
14/09 – 09:30 to 10:30 – Practice 1 (Eurosport)
14/09 – 15:30 to 16:55 – Practice 2 and 3 (Eurosport 2)
15/09 – 10:00 to 14:00 – Qualifying and Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
16/09 – 11:30 to 12:30 – Support Races (Eurosport 2)
16/09 – 15:15 to 16:15 – Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
18/09 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

The schedule above will be updated if anything changes.

Scheduling: The 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix

After a sensational victory for Lewis Hamilton in Sebastian Vettel’s back yard, the two championship protagonists head for the Hungarian Grand Prix, the final stop on the Formula 1 calendar before the Summer break.

It is a weekend packed with motor sport, on tarmac, gravel, two wheels and four to whet the appetite. This weekend is special for the British Touring Car Championship, as the championship holds an endurance style race lasting double the usual length at 60 miles. The special race takes place on Sunday at 17:15 UK time live as usual on ITV4.

> Feature: 60 years of British Touring Cars – the broadcasting story

Further afield, Julian Ryder returns to commentary duties with Eurosport for the 8 Hours of Suzuka, Ryder having stepped down from his MotoGP duties at the end of 2017. Alongside Ryder for the endurance race are Jack Burnicle and Terry Rymer, amongst others.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
28/07 – 17:30 to 19:00 – Qualifying Highlights
29/07 – 18:45 to 21:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
27/07 – 09:45 to 11:50 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
27/07 – 13:45 to 15:50 – Practice 2
28/07 – 10:30 to 12:15 – Practice 3
28/07 – 13:00 to 15:30 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 13:00 – Pre-Show
=> 13:55 – Qualifying
29/07 – 12:30 to 17:10 – Race
=> 12:30 – Pit Lane Live (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 13:30 – On the Grid (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 14:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 16:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
25/07 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Preview
26/07 – 14:00 to 14:30 – Driver Press Conference
26/07 – 20:45 to 21:00 – Paddock Uncut
28/07 – 15:30 to 16:05 – The F1 Show (also Sky Sports Main Event)
01/08 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Review

BBC Radio F1
27/07 – 09:55 to 11:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
27/07 – 13:55 to 15:35 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
27/07 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
28/07 – 10:55 to 12:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
28/07 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live)
29/07 – 14:00 to 16:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Formula Two – Hungary (Sky Sports F1)
27/07 – 11:50 to 12:45 – Practice (also Sky Sports Main Event)
27/07 – 15:50 to 16:30 – Qualifying
28/07 – 15:40 to 17:00 – Race 1
=> 15:40 to 16:05 (Sky Sports Red Button)
=> 16:05 to 17:00 (Sky Sports F1)
29/07 – 10:15 to 11:15 – Race 2

GP3 Series – Hungary (Sky Sports F1)
28/07 – 09:40 to 10:20 – Qualifying
28/07 – 17:25 to 18:20 – Race 1
29/07 – 09:00 to 09:50 – Race 2

Porsche Supercup – Hungary
29/07 – Race
=> 11:30 to 12:15 (Eurosport 2)
=> 11:25 to 12:15 (Sky Sports F1)

Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup – 24 Hours of Spa (Motorsport.tv)
28/07 and 29/07 – Race
=> 15:20 to 21:30 [Saturday]
=> 22:00 [Saturday] to 15:50 [Sunday]

British Touring Car Championship – Snetterton (ITV4)
29/07 – 10:30 to 18:30 – Races

Formula Three European Championship – Spa (BT Sport 1)
27/07 – 09:45 to 11:00 – Race 1
27/07 – 13:45 to 14:45 – Race 2
28/07 – 08:00 to 09:15 – Race 3

Formula Renault Eurocup – Spa (BT Sport 1)
27/07 – 14:45 to 16:00 – Race 1
28/07 – 10:30 to 11:45 – Race 2

Suzuka 8 Hours (Eurosport 2)
29/07 – 03:15 to 11:45 – Race

IndyCar Series – Mid-Ohio (BT Sport/ESPN)
29/07 – 20:00 to 23:00 – Race

World Rally Championship – Finland
Every stage live via WRCPlus.com
26/07 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Live: Stage 1 (BT Sport 1)
27/07 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Live: Stage 11 (BT Sport 3)
27/07 – Day 1 Highlights
=> 22:00 to 22:30 (BT Sport 1)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
29/07 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Live: Stage 17 (BT Sport X3)
28/07 – Day 2 Highlights
=> 21:30 to 22:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 22:15 to 22:45 (BT Sport 1)
29/07 – 07:30 to 08:30 – Live: Stage 21 [Special Stage] (BT Sport 2)
29/07 – 11:00 to 12:30 – Live: Power Stage (BT Sport 2)
29/07 – Day 3 Highlights
=> 21:15 to 21:45 (BT Sport 1)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
31/07 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights (Channel 5)

The schedule will be updated if anything changes.

Update on July 27th – From the “you have got to be kidding me” department, Sky have moved The F1 Show to 15:30, pushing the first half of Formula Two onto the Red Button. Yes, really. I believe this is the first time Sky have done this since they started showing Formula Two (then GP2) in 2012.

Scheduling: The 2018 Canadian Grand Prix / Zurich E-Prix

Formula 1 heads across the ocean to North America for its annual June trip: the Canadian Grand Prix!

The race airs exclusively live on Sky Sports, with late night highlights the order of the day for Channel 4.

Lee McKenzie continues to wind down her Formula 1 commitments and focus on other sports, this time presenting rugby for Channel 4. McKenzie is missing several races this Summer with Wimbledon also on the agenda.

Elsewhere, Formula E heads to Switzerland for the very first time, as racing returns to the country for the first time since 1954. Note that the race takes place on Sunday evening, clashing with the first part of Sky’s build-up for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The BBC is airing a documentary looking at the electric series on its news channel on Friday evening called Driving Change. Part of a wider strand of programming from Radio 1’s Newsbeat team, the documentary looks at how Formula E is helping people make the shift to electric cars.

With Jack Nicholls on Formula E duty, Alex Jacques steps back into Nicholls’ shoes as BBC’s 5 Live F1 lead commentator.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
09/06 – 22:55 to 00:25 – Qualifying Highlights
10/06 – 22:40 to 00:40 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
08/06 – 14:30 to 16:50 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
08/06 – 18:45 to 20:50 – Practice 2
09/06 – 15:45 to 17:15 – Practice 3
09/06 – 18:00 to 20:35 – Qualifying
=> 18:00 – Pre-Show
=> 18:55 – Qualifying
10/06 – 17:30 to 22:10 – Race
=> 17:30 – Pit Lane Live (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 18:30 – On the Grid (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 19:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 21:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
06/06 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Preview
07/06 – 16:00 to 16:30 – Driver Press Conference
07/06 – 20:45 to 21:00 – Paddock Uncut
09/06 – 20:35 to 21:10 – The F1 Show
13/05 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Review

BBC Radio F1
08/06 – 14:55 to 16:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
09/06 – 18:55 to 20:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
10/06 – 18:30 to 21:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Formula E – Zurich (online via YouTube)
10/06 – 07:55 to 08:55 – Practice 1
10/06 – 10:25 to 11:10 – Practice 2

Formula E – Zurich
08/06 – 21:30 to 22:00 – Driving Change (BBC News)
10/06 – 12:45 to 14:10 – Qualifying (5Spike)
10/06 – 16:30 to 18:15 – Race (Channel 5)
10/06 – 16:45 to 18:15 – Race (Eurosport 2)

British Touring Car Championship – Oulton Park (ITV4)
10/06 – 11:15 to 18:00 – Races

Euroformula – Spa
09/06 – 13:00 to 14:00 – Race 1 (BT Sport 2)
10/06 – 12:15 to 13:15 – Race 2 (BT Sport 3)

IndyCar Series – Texas 600 (BT Sport/ESPN)
10/06 (Sunday morning) – 01:00 to 04:00 – Race

International GT Open – Spa
09/06 – 14:00 to 15:45 – Race 1 (BT Sport 2)
10/06 – 13:15 to 14:45 – Race 2 (BT Sport 3)

World Rally Championship – Italy
Every stage live via WRCPlus.com
07/06 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Live: Stage 1 [Ittiri Arena Show] (BT Sport 1)
08/06 – Day 1 Highlights
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 23:30 to 00:00 (BT Sport 2)
09/06 – 07:30 to 08:30 – Live: Stage (BT Sport 1)
09/06 – 15:00 to 16:00 – Live: Stage (BT Sport 1)
09/06 – Day 2 Highlights
=> 21:30 to 22:00 (BT Sport 3)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
10/06 – 08:30 to 09:30 – Live: Stage (BT Sport 1)
10/06 – 11:00 to 12:30 – Live: Stage 19 [Power Stage] (BT Sport 1)
10/06 – Day 3 Highlights
=> 21:30 to 22:00 (BT Sport 1)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
12/06 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights (Channel 5)

World Superbikes – Brno
08/06 – 08:40 onwards (Eurosport 2)
=> 08:40 to 09:30 – SBK: Practice 1
=> 11:25 to 12:15 – SBK: Practice 2
09/06 – 09:00 to 14:00 – Qualifying and Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
10/06 – 10:00 to 14:00 – Support and Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
13/06 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

The schedule above will be updated if anything changes.