Tag Archives: Channel 4

Formula One: Improving the Show – Tune in to the #USGP Early!

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If you’re the type of Formula One fan that likes to tune into Race Day coverage 5 minutes before the start having grown tired of former driver pundits sitting on the fence over pre-race predictions, you might want to make an exception for today’s US Grand Prix.

As Formula One Management continue to evaluate new ways in which to engage with fans, one focus of this weekend is a plan to “showcase the talent”. Formula One drivers, with a few notable exceptions, have long been criticised for lacking personality and not engaging with fans. Formula One Management plans to start to address this in the build-up to the US Grand Prix this weekend with a new addition to the Show.

WWE legend Michael Buffer has been drafted in for the race and will announce each of the drivers as they take to the grid ahead of the race. At this time, it is unclear what format this will take, and how driver introductions will be incorporated into the pre-race schedule, but if Buffer’s profile in WWE is anything to go by, an approach of ‘Go big or Go home’ will be on the agenda. Perhaps in a bid to inspire drivers to come out of themselves in their introductions, Usain Bolt, who bought showmanship to the world of athletics, is a guest of Formula One Management this weekend at the Grand Prix, no doubt he’ll be offering advice to a few of the drivers less comfortable being the centre of attention. Can you imagine the likes of Pascal Wehrlein mimicking Usian Bolt’s classic moments seen here:

One driver likely to thieve in this feature of an F1 race will be Daniel Ricciardo, never afraid to out his personality out there for the world to enjoy:

For drivers still looking for inspiration for the big roll call, perhaps they should check out these classic moments from WWE. Will Formula One management open a social media poll for the best introduction?

Another key point of interest in the build-up to the USGP will be the actions of drivers during the National Anthem, and rather than read about the actions of any driver in a post-race write-up, fans would do well to watch for themselves and hear the rationale for any actions directly from the drivers.

Should any driver elect to take a knee or simply not attend the National Anthem ceremony ahead of the Grand Prix, there are two key points to remain mindful of. First, the process of drivers coming together at the front of the grid to collectively pay respect to the National Anthem of the country in which a Grand Prix is taking place was actually only introduced in 2014 at the request of Russian Grand Prix officials. It is not a long-held tradition within the sport. Secondly, Sebastian Vettel’s reprimand for missing the start of the Japanese National Anthem 2 weeks go set a precedent for other drivers. If a driver misses the National Anthem or behaves in a manner outside of the recommended procedure they can expect a reprimand and penalty points. Armed with this knowledge driver’s can make an informed decision around how to present themselves ahead of the Grand Prix with team’s well positioned to define a rational penalties with a precedent having been set.

So, if for no other reason than to hear the voice of Michael Buffer and to see Daniel Ricciardo throwing some magnificent pre-race shapes. Every F1 fan should take the time to tune into today’s pre-race show, Live on Sky Sports and Channel 4.

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Formula One: Eddie Jordan slams Lewis Hamilton & Mercedes

Ahead of the 2017 F1 season former team owner turned pundit Eddie Jordan has suggested he would his response to Lewis Hamilton’s decision to back up Nico Rosberg in the final race of the 2016 season in a bid to secure his 4th World Championship would not have been as forgiving as that of Toto Wolff and the Daimler management board.

Never one to shy away from a headline, in this 2017 preview for Mobil One’s The Grid, Jordan comments on the departure of his good friend Bernie and the new start of a new era with Liberty Media.

Despite questioning Lewis’ approach to 2016, suggesting his lost focus, Jordan predicts he will be the favourite going into 2017. On Bottas, Jordan suggests 3-4 wins could be possible but questions his ability to push Lewis through the season.

Formula One: Steve Jones “F1 is like a soap opera”

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The new lead anchor of UK network Channel 4’s free-to-air coverage, Steve Jones, compared its twists and turns to Hollyoaks ( UK Soap Opera) , saying that he’s just as fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes as he is by the racing action.

“Only 20% of what’s going on [in F1] is on the screen when the cars are on track,” life-long F1 fan Jones told reporters at Channel 4’s official launch.

“Beyond that, there’s the politics behind it, it’s almost like Hollyoaks on wheels! There’s so much going on behind the scenes.

“It is just fascinating and that’s been the thing that I’ve been so honoured to be around, and watch it and just yum it up. All those little relationships between the drivers and the team principals, between the teams themselves.

“That’s what I’m hoping to bring to our coverage, really – just to get those relationships.”

With less than a week to go until season finally gets underway, Channel 4 have been heavily promoting thier coverage through social media.

You can follow C4 F1 coverage on twitter through this link

Formula One: Channel 4 UK confirm FTA live races

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Channel 4 has confirmed the ten Formula 1® Grands Prix it will broadcast live in 2016, which will include the 2016 Formula 1 British Grand Prix on July 10th.

As part of a new three-year deal from 2016-2018 with Formula One World Championship Limited, announced last month, Channel 4 will broadcast live coverage of ten Grands Prix, including practice sessions and qualifying over each season. Channel 4 will broadcast comprehensive highlights of all 21 races, including those broadcast by Sky Sports.

Channel 4 coverage will begin over the weekend of March 18th-20th with build up to, and comprehensive highlights coverage of the 2016 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix weekend. Channel 4’s first live race will be the 2016 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, broadcast over the weekend of 1st-3rd April.

Following a picks process with Sky Sports, the full list of races broadcast live by Channel 4 is:

Bahrain– 1st-3rdApril (4.00pm)

Spain– 13th-15th May (1.00pm)

Europe (Azerbaijan) – 17th-19th June (TBC)

Britain– 8th-10th July (1.00pm)

Hungary– 22nd-24th July (1.00pm)

Belgium– 26th-28th August (1.00pm)

Italy– 2nd-4th September (1.00pm)

Malaysia– 30th September-2nd October (8.00am)

Mexico – 28th-30th October (7.00pm)

Abu Dhabi– 25th-27th November (1.00pm)

All of the live coverage and highlights will be broadcast free-to-air and in high definition.

Stephen Lyle, Channel 4 Head of F1® said: “We are delighted to announce the full line up of races we will be showing live across 2016. The British Grand Prix is a huge highlight of the sporting calendar and we’re looking forward to covering all the action live from Silverstone this summer. ”

This follows the news announced earlier in the month that Whisper Films will produce coverage of the FIA Formula One World Championship™ and that 13 times Grand Prix winner David Coulthard will be bringing his extensive knowledge in Formula 1®, as well as his considerable contacts in the sport, to Channel 4’s coverage.

The full presenting and commentary team will be announced in due course.

Channel 4 have reiterated their commitment to broadcast all races advert free.

Formula One: Whisper Films to produce Channel 4 F1 Content

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Channel 4 has awarded the production contract for its coverage of the FIA Formula One World Championship™ to experienced independent sports production company Whisper Films.

The contract was awarded after a competitive tender process with production companies with Formula 1® credentials. The tender process was led by Ed Havard, Channel 4’s Head of TV Events and Sport, and Stephen Lyle – who has been promoted to the new role of Head of F1® – to a short timescale in order to meet the start of the season on March 20th.

It follows the news announced last month that Channel 4 would become the new terrestrial television home of Formula 1® from 2016-2018 – broadcasting ten live F1® races, practice and qualifying sessions each season as well as comprehensive highlights of all 21 Grands Prix and qualifying sessions.

Whisper Films was set up in 2010 by former BBC Sport F1® producer Sunil Patel, former Formula 1® driver David Coulthard and BT Sport and former BBC F1® presenter, Jake Humphrey. Channel 4 took a minority stake in the production company in 2015 as part of its Indie Growth Fund.

As well as demonstrating significant innovation and creativity in their approach to producing Formula 1® coverage, included within Whisper Film’s winning pitch was the signing of a number of key production personnel and presenters with extensive experience in the sport. These include Mark Wilkin, the editor of the BBC’s award-winning F1® coverage, as programme editor.

13-times Grands Prix winner David Coulthard is also announced as the first signing of the on-screen presenting team. He will bring his extensive knowledge from 15 seasons racing in Formula 1®, as well as his considerable contacts in the sport, to Channel 4’s coverage.

The full presenting and commentary team will be announced in due course.

North One Television, who have a track record in motorsports production, will also work with Channel 4 on a number of accompanying programmes to support Formula 1®.

Ed Havard, Channel 4’s Head of TV Events and Sport said: “Whisper Films outlined an extremely impressive and exciting vision for their F1 coverage, with outstanding on and off screen talent as an integral part of their pitch. We are delighted that David Coulthard will be at the heart of Channel 4’s coverage and look forward to announcing the full presenting team in the coming weeks.”

Sunil Patel, Executive Producer for Whisper Films said: “Whisper Films has an unrivalled production team with over 20 years’ experience in Formula One and unique contacts throughout the sport. Channel 4 and the sport have talked about a new approach and we believe we are ideally placed to deliver this.”

David Coulthard said: “This is an exciting time for the sport and an exciting time for Whisper Films. The F1 World has been incredibly impressed with what Whisper has delivered over the last five years and Channel 4’s decision is testament to that. I’m looking forward to being part of an exciting new era for Formula One, with Whisper Films and our proven level of creativity and innovation very much at the heart of that.”