2015: Formula One Fact-File

On the eve of the first practice session of the 2015 season here is The H Duct’s annual Formula One Fact-File.

Teams and Drivers

Remaining with 2014 teams: Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Pastor Maldonado, and Romain Grosjean (11/20)

Moving to a new team for 2015: Daniil Kvyat, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Marcus Ericsson, and Will Stevens (5/20)

Returning to a former team: N/A

Rookies: Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen, Felipe Nasr, and Roberto Merhi (4/20)

Returning to Formula One: N/A

Who’s missing?: Adrian Sutil (2015 plans not yet confirmed, has been linked to WEC), Esteban Gutierrez (test and reserve driver for Ferrari), Jean-Eric Vergne (test and reserve driver for Ferrari – in particular simulator work; Formula E driver for Andretti Autosport), Jules Bianchi (remains in a coma in France following his accident at the Japanese Grand Prix), Max Chilton (driving in WEC for Nissan Motorsport), and Kamui Kobayashi (Team LeMans driver in Super Formula).

Statistic pages for all 20 drivers are available.


No significant race milestones in 2015.

Nico Rosberg and Toro Rosso are both entering their 10th season in the sport.

(Ages specified are correct as of 12th March 2015)

Oldest driver: Kimi Raikkonen (35 years 4 months 23 days)
Youngest driver: Max Verstappen (17 years 5 months 10 days)
Oldest driver pairing: McLaren (63 years 9 months 1 day)
Youngest driver pairing: Toro Rosso (37 years 11 months 21 days)

Driver Ages 1 Driver Ages 2

*When drivers ages were added together, a month was taken as 31 days

(in terms of races entered)

Most experienced driver: Jenson Button (268 races)
Least experienced driver: Felipe Nasr, Roberto Merhi, Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz Jr (0 races – rookies)
Least experienced driver (excluding rookies): Will Stevens (1 race)
Most experienced driver pairing: McLaren (504 races)
Least experienced driver pairing: Toro Rosso (0 races)

  • Jenson Button – 268 races entered – debut in 2000
  • Fernando Alonso – 236 races entered – debut in 2001
  • Kimi Raikkonen – 213 races entered – debut in 2001
  • Felipe Massa – 212 races entered – debut in 2002
  • Nico Rosberg – 166 races entered – debut in 2006
  • Lewis Hamilton – 148 races entered – debut in 2007
  • Sebastian Vettel – 139 races entered – debut in 2007
  • Sergio Perez – 77 races entered – debut in 2011
  • Nico Hulkenberg – 77 races entered – debut in 2010
  • Pastor Maldonado – 77 races entered – debut in 2011
  • Daniel Ricciardo – 69 races entered – debut in 2011
  • Romain Grosjean – 64 races entered – debut in 2009
  • Valtteri Bottas – 38 races entered – debut in 2013
  • Daniil Kvyat – 19 races entered – debut in 2014
  • Marcus Ericsson – 16 races entered – debut in 2014
  • Will Stevens – 1 race entered – debut in 2014
  • Felipe Nasr – 0 races entered – debut in 2015
  • Max Verstappen – 0 races entered – debut in 2015
  • Carlos Sainz Jr – 0 races entered – debut in 2015
  • Roberto Merhi – 0 races entered – debut in 2015
  • McLaren – Jenson Button & Fernando Alonso – 504 races entered
  • Ferrari – Kimi Raikkonen & Sebastian Vettel – 352 races entered
  • Mercedes – Nico Rosberg & Lewis Hamilton – 314 races entered
  • Williams – Felipe Massa & Valtteri Bottas – 250 races entered
  • Force India – Sergio Perez & Nico Hulkenberg – 154 races entered
  • Lotus – Romain Grosjean & Pastor Maldonado – 141 races entered
  • Red Bull – Daniel Ricciardo & Daniil Kvyat – 88 races entered
  • Sauber – Marcus Ericsson & Felipe Nasr – 16 races entered
  • Manor – Will Stevens & Roberto Merhi – 1 race entered
  • Toro Rosso – Max Verstappen & Carlos Sainz Jr – 0 races entered


There are four rookies on the 2015 grid but who are they and where did they come from?

Felipe Nasr – Sauber: 22 year old Brazilian driver Felipe Nasr was 3rd in the GP2 championship last year. He made his single seater debut in 2008 in Formula BMW, winning the European championship in 2009. He also won the British Formula 3 championship in 2011 before stepping up to GP2 in 2012.

Max Verstappen – Toro Rosso: Max Verstappen is the son of former Grand Prix driver Jos Verstappen and is set to become the youngest rookie in Formula One history when he takes part in the Australian Grand Prix. He only made his single seater debut last year after a successful time in karting. He finished third in the Formula 3 championship and made a successful test debut for Toro Rosso last year.

Carlos Sainz Jr – Toro Rosso: Another son of a racing driver, Carlos Sainz Jr has been part of the Red Bull Junior Team for a number of years. He won the Formula Renault 3.5 championship last year and in the past has also won the Formula Renault 2.0 title. He had been in the running for the Toro Rosso seat in 2014 but lost out to Daniil Kvyat. When Vettel made the move to Ferrari, and Kvyat was promoted, it left an opening for Sainz at Toro Rosso.

Roberto Merhi – Manor:  A late addition to the 2015 grid, Roberto Merhi is another Formula Renault 3.5 graduate. He finished third in the 2014 championship having won the Formula 3 Euro Series title the year before. He had a brief stint in DTM in 2012 and 2013 before returning to single seaters the following year. Manor only recently confirmed their return to Formula One and Merhi was announced on the week of the first race.

Engine Suppliers

Mercedes: Mercedes/Williams/Force India/Lotus*
Ferrari: Ferrari/Sauber/Manor**
Renault: Red Bull/Toro Rosso*
Honda: McLaren*

* new partnership for 2015
** 2014 engines


The 2015 season will run from 15th March to the 29th November, starting in Australia and ending in Abu Dhabi. On their trip around the world the paddock will visit 20 countries.

The Mexican Grand Prix is a new addition to the calendar.


Mercedes were a dominant force last season, winning 16 of 19 races and taking pole position at 18 out of 19 races. Lewis Hamilton was the eventual champion after beating team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Daniel Ricciardo was the only other driver to win a race last year. Other drivers to feature on the podium were Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Kevin Magnussen, Jenson Button, and Sergio Perez. Mercedes and Red Bull both had 32 points finishes. Marussia picked up their first ever points when Jules Bianchi finished ninth at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Technical and Sporting Regulations

F1 2015: BBC and Sky Guide

As has been the case for the last three years, Formula One coverage will continue to be split between the BBC and Sky Sports in the UK. All 19 races will be broadcast live on Sky Sports F1, while BBC will show ten live – including the Canadian, British and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – with nine as extended highlights. Here is a breakdown of each broadcaster’s coverage for the year ahead.

2015 Calendar

  1. Australian Grand Prix 13th – 15th March
  2. Malaysian Grand Prix 27th – 29th March
  3. Chinese Grand Prix 10th – 12th April
  4. Bahrain Grand Prix 17th – 19th April
  5. Spanish Grand Prix 8th – 10th May
  6. Monaco Grand Prix 22nd – 24th May
  7. Canadian Grand Prix 5th – 7th June
  8. Austrian Grand Prix 19th – 21st June
  9. British Grand Prix 3rd – 5th July
  10. German Grand Prix 17th – 19th July
  11. Hungarian Grand Prix 24th – 26th July
  12. Belgian Grand Prix 21st – 23rd August
  13. Italian Grand Prix 4th – 6th September
  14. Singapore Grand Prix 18th – 20th September
  15. Japanese Grand Prix 25th – 27th September
  16. Russian Grand Prix 9th – 11th October
  17. US Grand Prix 23rd – 25th October
  18. Mexican Grand Prix 30th October – 1st November
  19. Brazilian Grand Prix 13th – 15th November
  20. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 27th – 29th November

Races in bold indicate the races shown live in full by the BBC. As was the case in 2014, the BBC’s live races include Malaysia, Canada, Great Britain, Belgium, Japan, Russia and Abu Dhabi. In addition to those races the BBC will also show Bahrain, Hungary, and Brazil live. This means the new addition to the calendar – the Mexican Grand Prix – will not be broadcast live on the BBC.

Sky Sports F1

Continuity is key for Sky Sports F1 with the 2014 team returning for 2015. Coverage will be fronted by Simon Lazenby and Natalie Pinkham, alongside roving reporter Ted Kravitz. Martin Brundle and David Croft will provide commentary while expert analysis will be given by Damon Hill, Anthony Davidson, Johnny Herbert and Bruno Senna.

Race weekends will be complemented with weekly editions of The F1 Show and live coverage will also be shown of the supporting GP2 and GP3 races.

Viewers can watch live on TV with Dolby 5.1 surround sound, via Sky Go or using Race Control accessed via the red button or the Sky Sports App for iPad. Race Control users can choose two of up to ten camera views, including driver and pit-lane cameras, and data streams to watch on split-screen.

“There are so many exciting story lines next season and we’ll cover every twist and turn from Australia to Abu Dhabi,” Sky Sports F1’s executive producer Martin Turner said.


Although not explicitly stated, it appears the BBC F1 team will also remain as 2014 for the upcoming season. With coverage fronted by Suzi Perry, Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard, analysis will come from Allan McNish and pit-lane reporting from Lee McKenzie. Commentary will once again be provided by Ben Edwards and Coulthard for the TV feed, while James Allen will commentate on races for BBC Radio 5 Live joined by McNish. Jennie Gow will feature on the radio coverage as a pit-lane reporter.

There will be comprehensive coverage of the whole season across television, radio and online. All races will be live on BBC Radio 5 Live or 5 Live Sports extra and fans can also follow all the action and the latest news on the F1 section of the BBC Sport website and via the BBC Sport App. World Champion Lewis Hamilton will continue to write his column for the BBC website.

A new addition to the BBC F1 coverage this year is Formula 1 Rewind which will be presented by Suzi Perry. Murray Walker will be recounting classic Grand Prix from the past.

“Like all F1 fans, we can’t wait for the 2015 season,” Ben Gallop, the BBC’s Head of F1, said. “With Lewis Hamilton as World Champion, F1 in Britain is in a great position and we’re delighted with our race package. These live races, combined with our ever-popular highlights programmes and our extensive coverage on radio and online means F1 fans can follow every step of Hamilton’s title defence on the BBC”.

The BBC negotiates with fellow broadcaster Sky on the division of live and non-live races, with a variety of factors being taken into account when deciding the picks. For the races not shown live on BBC TV audiences are offered a wealth of ways to follow the action with extended TV highlights and live radio and online coverage.

The BBC has a deal to broadcast Formula 1 racing, through to and including 2018.

2014: Formula One Fact-File

In just two weeks time the wait will be over and the 2014 Formula One season will roar into action with the Australian Grand Prix. We’ve already had two winter tests (the first in Jerez and the second in Bahrain) and the third has just commenced, giving teams and drivers their last opportunity to get to grips with their 2014 machines before the first race, and iron out any problems.

Read on for The H Duct‘s 2014 Formula One Fact-File full of all the information you will need for the year ahead.

Teams and Drivers

Remaining with 2013 teams: Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean, Jenson Button, Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Gutierrez, Jean-Eric Vergne, Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton (11/22)

Moving to a new team for 2014: Daniel Ricciardo, Pastor Maldonado, Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa and Adrian Sutil (5/22)

Returning to a former team: Kimi Räikkönen and Nico Hulkenberg (2/22)

Rookies: Kevin Magnussen, Daniil Kvyat, and Marcus Ericsson (3/22)

Returning to Formula One: Kamui Kobayashi (1/22)

Who’s missing?: Mark Webber (retired – driving for Porche in WEC) Paul di Resta (returned to DTM after losing his F1 seat), Giedo van der Garde (moved to Sauber as a test and reserve driver), and Charles Pic (Lotus reserve and test driver).

For a full list of the 2014 line-up and their new permanent numbers, click here.


Kimi Räikkönen and Felipe Massa are both approaching their 200th Grand Prix. Räikkönen has entered 194 while Massa has entered 193.

(ages specified are correct for 14th March, the day of FP1 in Australia)

Oldest driver: Kimi Raikkonen (34 years & 148 days)
Youngest driver: Daniil Kvyat (19 years & 322 days)
Oldest driver pairing: Ferrari (67 years & 25 days)
Youngest driver pairing: Toro Rosso (43 years & 280 days)

For a full list of driver ages click here!
For a full list of combined team ages click here!

(in terms of races entered)

Most experienced driver: Jenson Button (249 races)
Least experienced driver: Kevin Magnussen, Daniil Kvyat and Marcus Ericsson (0 races – rookies)
Least experienced driver (excluding rookies): Esteban Gutierrez, Jules Bianchi, Max Chilton, and Valtteri Bottas (19 races)
Most experienced team-mates: Ferrari (411 races)
Least experienced team-mates: Marussia (38 races)

For a full list of number of races entered click here!
For a full list of combined team number of races entered click here!


There are three rookies in Formula One this season, as mentioned above, but who are they and where did they come from?

Kevin Magnussen – McLaren: Danish driver Kevin Magnussen is the son of former Formula One Jan Magnussen. The 21 year old was Formula Renault 3.5 champion last season. He has been a member of the McLaren Young Driver programme for a number of years and has appeared at the Young Driver Test for them.

Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso: Daniil Kvyat is a young Russian driver who won GP3 last season. He also competed in the European Formula 3 Championship in 2013, winning one race. The 19 year old was a Toro Rosso test driver as well and beat off competition to replace Daniel Ricciardo for the upcoming season.

Marcus Ericsson – Caterham: Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson is a Formula BMW UK and Japanese Formula 3 champion who finished in sixth place in GP2 last season. The 23 year old drove in the Young Driver Test for Brawn GP in 2009 and was announced as a Caterham driver early in 2014.

Driver Numbers
(follow links to drivers Twitter accounts)

In 2013 the FIA announced that they would be introducing a permanent driver number system from 2014 onwards. This means that drivers have picked a number that they will carry with them for the remainder of their Formula One career. The reigning champion gets #1 by default, should he decide to use it.

#1 Sebastian Vettel – Reigning world champion Vettel has chosen to take number one for the year ahead but has picked #5 for the remainder of his career. He chose this number because it was the number he used when he was karting and also the number he carried on his Red Bull when he won his first championship.

#3 Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull’s new driver has chosen to take #3 as his permanent number. “It was my first ever number in karting and I was also a fan of Dale Earnhardt,” Ricciardo revealed on Twitter.

#4 Max Chilton – Another driver with ample marketing opportunities from his number selection, Chilton has already had some fun with M4X.

#6 Nico Rosberg – Rosberg will race with #6 on his car this year. “My future wife’s and my dad’s lucky number, so it has got to work for me too! ;),” Rosberg wrote on Twitter. Rosberg’s dad, world champion Keke Rosberg, won the title while running car #6.

#7 Kimi Raikkonen – Raikkonen’s reasoning for picking #7 was that he had the number last year so saw no reason to change it. Simple.

#8 Romain Grosjean – Grosjean picked #8 because he liked it. He revealed on Facebook that his wife’s birthday was on the 8th, they started dating in 2008 and he considers his son to be the eighth wonder of the world (cute!). Like Raikkonen, it is also the number he carried last year.

#9 Marcus Ericsson – Another set of team-mates with consecutive numbers. Ericsson started karting aged 9 in 1999 and won races.

#10 Kamui Kobayashi – Kobayashi has picked the number 10 – the car number he first ran when he stood in for an injured Timo Glock for Toyota back in 2009. He certainly made an impact then so will no doubt be hoping to do the same again.

#11 Sergio Perez – Perez was pleased to get #11, revealing it was a number he had used in karting as a kid and that even his email had 11 in it and it was a number that had “a lot of things to do with it” for him.

#13 Pastor Maldonado – The #13 has been missing in Formula One since 1976 due to the belief that it is an unlucky number. In many cultures it is considered lucky and this is the case in Venezuela, where Maldonado hails from, so he has chosen to bring it back in 2014.

#14 Fernando Alonso – Alonso is another driver who has favoured sentimentality when picking his permanent number. He used #14 when karting and enjoyed considerable success, finishing third in the world championship in 1995, winning the World Junior Title in 1996, and winning championships in Spain and Italy in 1997.

#17 Jules Bianchi – During the driver number selection process, all drivers were asked to nominate three numbers with their first preference first. Numbers were allocated in championship order so poor Bianchi lost out all three of his options – to Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Bottas. He eventually chose #17.

#19 Felipe Massa – Massa revealed the meaning behind his number to The H Duct in a Twitter Q & A he conducted with Williams: “It was my number when karting & my uncle also used 19 when he raced. Luckily it was one of our numbers this year anyway!”

#20 Kevin Magnussen – Rookie Magnussen won the Formula Renault 3.5 championship last year carrying the #20 on his car. Since choosing the number he has posted a number of McLaren cars bearing the number on Twitter.

#21 Esteban Gutierrez – Keeping it straight and to the point, Gutierrez picked his lucky number – #21.

#22 Jenson Button – After Honda’s withdrawal from Formula One, Brawn GP raced with the car numbers 22 and 23 for the 2009 season. Button won his world championship with car #22 so he hopes the number will bring him more “great memories”in the future.

#25 Jean-Eric Vernge – Another nostalgic pick, with 25 being a number that Vergne used in his karting days.

#26 Daniil Kvyat – Kvyat’s driver number is coincidentally the consecutive number to his team-mate’s. He said after picking it that the number has no story, yet… “the story about the number has to be made,” he tweeted.

#27 Nico Hulkenberg – Following the reveal of the numbers that drivers would be carrying, Hulkenberg expressed his happiness at receiving the number he chose – #27. He said, however, for him it is not such a big deal and it just a number.

#44 Lewis Hamilton – Hamilton is another driver who has chosen a number of early significance to him. Hamilton used #44 in his early karting days, running it in the Champions of the Future Series (which he won).

#77 Valtteri Bottas – When Bottas first hit the F1 scene, he gained a lot of attention on Twitter and had his own hashtag (#BOTTAS). The number 77 provides him with a lot of marketing opportunities as #BOTTAS is set to become #BO77AS. (Valtteri also has a double T…)

#99 Adrian Sutil – Sutil went all out and picked the highest number available. “I went for the highest number – I am aiming for the maximum,” he revealed afterward.

Engine Suppliers

Renault: Red Bull, Lotus, Toro Rosso*, and Caterham
Mercedes: Mercedes, McLaren, Force India, and Williams*
Ferrari: Ferrari, Sauber, and Marussia

* new supplier for 2014

The Calendar

The season will kick off with the Australian GP on the 16th March and finish on the 23rd November in Abu Dhabi. On their trip around the world, the Formula One paddock will visit 19 countries.

There are two new additions to the calendar – the return of the Austrian Grand Prix at the re-branded Red Bull Ring and the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

You can see the 2014 calendar by following this link.

If you reside in the UK (or watch Formula One on BBC from somewhere else in the world) here’s a handy guide to keep you right about which races they have fully live and which are extended highlights.


Sebastian Vettel became world champion for a fourth time in dominant fashion. He won 13 races (including nine in a row at the end of the year). In total there were five different race winners in the first half of the season – Kimi Räikkönen, Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Vettel. McLaren had a year to forget, with no podium finishes.

For 2014 the form book can be thrown out the window with the biggest rule changes to the sport in decades.

  • 2013 season statistics can be found here.

Rule Changes in a Nutshell

Gone are normally aspirated 2.4-litre V8 engines and in their place are 1.6-litre turbo powered Power Units. Along with this is the loss of KERS which has been replaced with ERS.

Last year’s engines produced around 750bhp with KERS providing an additional 80bhp per lap for a limited amount of time. The 2014 V6s produce around 600bhp but ERS will give drivers an additional 160bhp for a longer, but still limited, amount of time per lap.

Instead of a KERS button, power from ERS is delivered to the rear wheels via the throttle pedal. The new ERS system will mean that cars produce more torque at lower revs, making good throttle control more important than ever.

A problem with ERS could prove more costly in terms of reliability this year. Another factor which teams must incorporate is that there are more complicated regulations in terms of power units and their usage. Last year the rule was simple – drivers could use eight engines without incurring a penalty, but every engine used after the allocation resulted in a grid drop. In 2014, the power unit is split into six components – the engine, the motor generator unit-kinetic, the motor generator unit-heat, the energy store, the turbocharger, and the control electronics. Drivers can use no more than five of each component before incurring a penalty.

Along with the new power units and ERS systems, drivers will also have a new eight-speed, fixed ratio gearbox. Last year teams nominated 30 gear ratios ahead of the season and could run any seven of those 30 at each Grand Prix. This season gearboxes will house an additional gear but the ratios must be the same at every race. Teams can change once but after that they will incur penalties if they change the ratios again.

Another significant change is the introduction of a fuel limit for the race. Last year teams could use as much fuel as they wanted – generally around 160kg – but this season there will be a limit of 100kg per race with fuel flow being limited to 100kg per hour. It will become a battle of fuel efficiency for the engine suppliers and how well drivers can save it.

There are narrower front wings, visibly different noses which have caused much discussion since their reveals, and a re-positioned exhaust. This means that the likes of the ‘coanda effect’ and blown-diffusers will disappear. The nose changes, which most teams have embraced differently, are due to the height of the nose being reduced from 550mm to 180mm. This is for safety reasons to prevent cars being launched airborne in the event of a collision. The height of the chassis has also been lowered from 625mm to 525mm.

Finally, the minimum weight has been increased from 642kg to 690kg for 2014. This weight, which encompasses car and driver, is to compensate for the increased weight of the new power units; however there are concerns that heavier drivers are being penalized.

A link to some further rule changes including penalty points, return of in-season testing, and safety.


Red Bull: www.redbullracing.com – @redbullracing
Ferrari: www.ferrari.com – @InsideFerrari
McLaren: www.mclaren.com – @McLarenF1
Lotus: www.lotusf1team.com – @Lotus_F1Team
Mercedes: www.mercedes-amg-f1.com – @MercedesAMGF1
Sauber: www.sauberf1team.com – OfficialSF1Team
Williams: www.williamsf1.com – @WilliamsF1Team
Force India: www.forceindiaf1.com – @clubforce
Toro Rosso: www.scuderiatororosso.com – @ToroRossoSpy
Caterham: www.caterhamf1.com – @CaterhamF1
Marussia: www.marussiaf1team.com – @Marussia_F1Team

F1 2014: BBC and Sky Guide

Formula One broadcasting in the UK will once again be split between BBC and Sky. Sky Sports F1 will broadcast all 19 races live while the BBC have nine races live, including the Malaysian, Spanish and British Grand Prix. Here is a break down of each broadcaster’s coverage for the year ahead, and how you can enjoy Formula One in the UK.

Who is showing what?

March 16th – Australian Grand Prix
March 30th – Malaysian Grand Prix
April 6th –  Bahrain Grand Prix
April 20th –  Chinese Grand Prix
May 11th – Spanish Grand Prix 
May 25th – Monaco Grand Prix
June 8th – Canadian Grand Prix 
June 22nd – Austrian Grand Prix
July 6th – British Grand Prix
July 20th – German Grand Prix
July 27th – Hungarian Grand Prix
August 24th – Belgian Grand Prix 
September 7th – Italian Grand Prix 
September 21st – Singapore Grand Prix
October 5th –  Japanese Grand Prix
October 12th – Russian Grand Prix 
November 2nd – US Grand Prix
November 9th –  Brazilian Grand Prix
November 23rd – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 

The races in bold indicate the races shown live in full on the BBC, while the remaining ten races will be shown as extended highlights.

Only one of the new additions to the calendar – Austria and Russia – will be shown live on the BBC and it is the Russian Grand Prix in October. It will be shown as part of a double header with the Japanese Grand Prix. The BBC will also broadcast the Spanish, Canadian, Belgian, and Italian Grand Prix live, as was the case in 2013. They will also show the Malaysian Grand Prix – the second race of the season – and the season finale live.

Sky Sports F1

Bruno Senna has joined the Sky Sports F1 team in a punditry role. He will be part of the coverage for selected races (Malaysia, China, Hungary, Singapore, Russia, USA and Brazil) where he will join David Croft in the commentary box, offer analysis on the Skypad and also guest on The F1 Show.

Sky will continue to broadcast The F1 Show and the Formula One feeder series GP2 and GP3.


Races not shown live on the BBC will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 5 Live or 5 Live Sports Extra along with the BBC Sport website.

The BBC presenting team will remain as 2013 – minus Gary Anderson who has left his role as technical analyst. Suzi Perry will continue to front the BBC’s coverage, accompanied by Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard. Perry joined in 2013, following the departure of Jake Humphrey to BT Sport.

Joining them will be Ben Edwards as lead commentator joined in the comms box by DC. Lee McKenzie and Tom Clarkson will continue to report live from the pit-lane.

James Allen will continue to commentate on BBC 5 Live, joined this year full time by Allan McNish. McNish, who commentated at a couple of races last year, retired from racing in December and has joined the BBC on a more permanent basis to offer analysis across TV, radio and online. He previously had a stint with Sky Sports F1 in 2012.

“Now that I have hung up my racing helmet, I am really looking forward to joining the BBC team again for what I am sure is going to be a fantastic new F1 season,” McNish said. “With so many technical rule changes, as well as team and driver movements, there will be lots of things happening on and off track for the BBC team to bring to you”.

Another former driver joining the BBC F1 fray is Mark Webber who will film occasional an occasional series where he looks at stories within Formula One from his unique perspective.

Motorsport commentator Jack Nicholls – who has commentated 0n Formula 2 and the FIA GT1 World Championship – will lead radio commentary for four races this season. These races will be China, Hungary, Japan and Russia. The former two are not being broadcast live while the latter two are. Nicholls will be commentating on BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra.

Jennie Gow will report from the pit-lane for BBC 5 Live.

For live race weekends fan will be able to watch the action from five different video options: the pit-lane camera; a driver tracker; a stream of on-board cameras; TV pictures with Radio 5 Live commentary; and a timing screen. On the non-live race weekends, there will be live Radio 5 Live audio available on the BBC Sport website along with live text commentary.

On the website there will once again be regular contributions from Murray Walker, David Coulthard, Allan McNish and Andrew Benson.

This post will be updated as and when new information is released.

F1 2013: BBC and Sky Guide

As was the case in 2012, Formula One coverage in the UK will continue to be split between two broadcasters – Sky and the BBC. While all races will be broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports F1 channel, BBC will broadcast only nine of the races live. They had been due to show ten, with an extra European date being added to the calendar, but that since looks to have fallen through. Here is a break down of each broadcaster’s coverage for the year ahead, and how you can enjoy Formula One in the UK.

Who is showing what?

17th March – Australian GP
24th March – Malaysian GP
14th April – Chinese GP
21st April – Bahrain GP
12th May – Spanish GP
26th May – Monaco GP
9th June – Canadian GP
30th June – British GP
7th July – German GP
28th July – Hungarian GP
25th August – Belgian GP
8th September – Italian GP
22nd September – Singapore GP
6th October – Korean GP
13th October – Japanese GP
27th October – Indian GP
3rd November – Abu Dhabi GP
17th November – US GP
24th November – Brazilian GP

The BBC line-up is similar to 2012 – starting with the Chinese GP, and also showing the Spanish GP, British GP, Belgian GP, and the Brazilian GP. Races they had in 2012 but will not show live in 2013 are the Monaco GP, Singapore GP,  Korean GP and the Abu Dhabi GP. New live races for BBC in 2013 are the Canadian GP, Italian GP,  Japanese GP and the Indian GP.

The races in bold are the races which BBC will be broadcasting live with the remaining ten being shown as extended highlights. Races which are run in the European timezone will have extended highlights in the early evening while early morning races (such as Australia, Japan etc) will have extended highlights in the afternoon.

The races which aren’t shown live will also have extended highlights on the Saturday of the qualifying sessions.

Races not shown live on the BBC will still have live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC F1 website. Races which the BBC do broadcast live (as highlighted above) while be shown in the normal way as as per previous seasons, with the addition of free practice sessions on BBC2.

Sky, on the other hand, will be broadcasting every race live on the dedicated F1 channel through their Sky Sports package. As well as all the practice and qualifying sessions and live racing, they will continue with their weekly magazine show The F1 Show.

Who will be presenting?

The major presenting shake-up comes at the BBC with the departure of Jake Humphrey. Former MotoGP presenter Suzi Perry will step into his shoes, and take over the anchor duties, alongside David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan. Ben Edwards remains in commentary alongside Coulthard, with Lee McKenzie being joined in the pit-lane by Tom Clarkson, who has appeared on the BBC F1 coverage before. McKenzie will continue presenting Inside F1 on the BBC News Channel on the Friday and Saturday of live race weekends. Gary Anderson will remain in the pit-lane, as well as working with Radio 5 Live and for online content. James Allen and Jennie Gow both remain on Radio 5 Live joined by Allan McNish, who had appeared on Sky F1 in 2012, as an analyst.

Over at Sky, the line-up remains steady, but with the absence of Georgie Thompson. The F1 Show presenter has left the Formula One coverage, with pit-lane reporter Natalie Pinkham taking up her role, along with her own duties. Simon Lazenby will continue to host, with Johnny Herbert and Damon Hill continuing their roles as ‘expert analysts’. David Croft, Anthony Davidson and Martin Brundle stay in commentary with Ted Kravitz in the pit-lane.

For further information visit the BBC F1 website and Sky’s F1 page.

2012: A Beginner’s Guide to Formula One (Part 3)

Continuing to unravel the complicated world of Formula One.

Let’s get technical.


In simple terms KERS stores energy, which otherwise would have been lost, when a driver brakes, and they can later use this as an added ‘boost’ -much like in Mario Kart! The stored energy is converted into power and used at the push of a button. Drivers can use it to aid overtaking and also defending their position. They are only allocated a certain amount each lap and this is re-set every time the driver crosses the line so they must thing strategically about where best to use it. It was first used in Formula One in 2009, was not used in 2010, and returned for the 2011 season onwards. Not only does it give the driver a boost but it also helps environmentally as some energy is being retained and re-used.


DRS was introduced for the 2011 season in an attempt to increase overtaking. Basically, the rear wings feature an adjustable flap which opens and closes and in turn reduces drag and downforce which increases speed. Unlike KERS, the use of DRS is governed by race control. During practice and qualifying DRS may be used anywhere on the circuit, however for the race it can only be used in pre-selected zones. A driver may only use DRS if they are within one second behind the car in front (this includes lapping cars) and after the first two laps of the race have been completed. DRS cannot be used on a wet track or in conditions deemed to be unsafe by race control. 


Not every team use the same engine – there are currently four engine suppliers who supply the Formula One grid. These are Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Cosworth:

Toro Rosso

Force India

Red Bull


There is a rule regarding how many engines a driver may use over the course of a season. Each driver is allocated eight engines to use and if they use any outside that allocation then they will take a ten place grid drop.

Likewise with gearboxes as a driver must use one gearbox for five consecutive events, and if it is changed before then (although not if a driver’s race ended in circumstances outside their control) then the driver will incur a five place grid drop.


Everybody knows what a steering wheel does. Formula One steering wheels look extremely complicated and I’m not going to explain what every single button on there does because, frankly, I have no idea. Drivers have buttons to engage the pit-lane speed limiter, a KERS button, one to operate DRS, one to administer their drink,  and to speak to the pit-wall via team radio amongst other things. Each steering wheel also has an LCD display which, not only guide drivers on when to gear-shift but can also inform drivers of yellow flags, for example, on the circuit. Steering wheels can also display lap-times and speed. There is a regulation which stipulates that drivers must be able to get out of the car within 5 seconds by removing only the steering wheel so it must be easy to get on and off. While steering wheels are expensive bits of equipment it is not unusual to see a driver throw one in frustration.

2012: A Beginner’s Guide to Formula One (Part 2)

Continuing to unravel the complicated world of Formula One!


A car could have all of the technical innovations in the world on it, but it’s not going to get anywhere without wheels. Pirelli are the sole tyre supplier in Formula One – supplying the entire grid for every race of the season. While this itself is pretty the simple, the allocation of tyres becomes more complicated as well as identifying the different compounds.

There are four compounds of dry tyres:

  • Super-soft
  • Soft
  • Medium
  • Hard

For wet weather there are two compounds of tyres:

  • Intermediate
  • Wet

Each compound has its own colour marking – super soft (red), soft (yellow), medium (white), hard (silver), intermediate (green) and wet (blue). Before a race weekend Pirelli will announce which of the two dry compounds will be used – the harder compound will become known as the ‘prime’ tyre while the softer option becomes the ‘option’ tyre.

At the start of the weekend each driver has 18 sets of tyres in total – 11 sets of dry tyres (six of the harder compound and five of the other), four sets of intermediate tyres and three sets of wet tyres. The team will strategically decide how best to use the tyres as they have to make their allocation last for the whole weekend. There are two practice sessions on the Friday (Thursday if in Monaco) and after the first session one set of the ‘prime’ tyres are handed back and cannot be used again. And before the third practice session on the Saturday a further two sets will be handed back – one ‘prime’ set and one ‘option’ set. Before qualifying a further two sets are handed back (one ‘prime’ and one ‘option’) meaning, therefore, each driver will have six sets of dry tyres left for the remainder of the weekend: three ‘prime’ and three ‘option’.

During qualifying a driver can use as many sets of tyres as he wants and whichever dry compound, however, these tyres will then be required in the race so it is preferable to use as few sets as possible. The ten drivers in Q3 (find out about qualifying in part one) will have to start the race on the tyres they set their qualifying time on.

During the race drivers are required to use both compounds. So if, for example, a driver set his qualifying time using a set of the option tyres, he would then start the race on the option tyres and during a pit stop change to the prime tyres. Drivers can change tyres as many times as they want during the race, but they must use both types. They can do only a lap or two using one of the compounds, as long as both are used there is no set amount of laps which must be completed using them.

If at any stage during the race a driver uses a set of intermediate or wet tyres because of the weather then, if conditions improve and they return to slicks, they are no longer required to use both compounds.

Intermediate or wet tyres may only be used during the race if race control have declared the track to be wet. If the race starts behind the safety car because of the weather then everyone must start the race on wet tyres.


It’s the Chinese GP and Pirelli have announced that the soft and medium compounds will be used for the weekend. This means that medium becomes ‘prime’ and soft becomes ‘option’. Mark Webber qualifies second on the grid using a set of the option tyres, which he must now use to start the race. On race day he completes the first 15 laps using his option tyres and when he makes his first pit stop he takes on another set of option tyres. Then it starts to rain and Red Bull decide that it is wet enough to bring in Webber to put on intermediate tyres. The rain lasts for 25 laps and on lap 40 the track is ready for drivers to return to dry tyres. Webber has used the option tyre for two stints already so IF there had been no rain he would have to go onto the prime tyres, but as it rained and he used the intermediate he is allowed to take on another set of option tyres to finish the race.


During races drivers will make pit stops for a number of reasons including to change tyres or if they need their front wing changed after contact. Each member of the pit crew will have a different job including working the front and rear jack, three mechanics to change tyres – one removing/tightening the nuts with the air gun, one to remove the old tyre and the other to fit the new tyre – someone to adjust the front wing to negate oversteer/underseer, and a lollypop man to signal when the driver should leave the pit box. Some teams have used a ‘traffic light’ system to replace the traditional lollypop man.

Sometimes races can be decided in the pit-lane so teams have to be as efficient and  precise as they can in order to make sure their driver gets out of the pit lane ahead of any other driver they may be racing in the pit lane or on track.

If a driver makes contact with another which causes damage to his front wing then he can get it changed when he pits.