March 25, 2018

F1 Update!: Australia 2018, the ESPN edition

The weather was sunny and comfy down in Melbourne as the F1 horde made its way to the starting grid for the first race of the year.  Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes sat on the pole, but the two Ferraris hovered ominously over his shoulders, looming menacingly behind him.  A little farther back, the ever-present Red Bulls stalked the leaders looking for the opportunity to charge.  The American team, Haas, was a pleasant surprise right behind them and gunning for their first podium.  So what happened during the race?  Who did what?  

We here at F1U! don't have the slightest damn idea.  We watched the ESPN broadcast, and it was the worst steaming pile we've ever experienced for an F1 race.  Even worse than the disastrous CBS broadcast of the 2006 San Marino Grand Prix, and that was so bad I still use "crashing over the curbs" as a catch phrase for something particularly awful in the real world.

Commercial breaks came in the middle of sentences.  They occurred during the restart after the Virtual Safety Car period.  If we went by the ESPN coverage of the race only, we'd still have no idea why Lettuce Grosjean's car came to a stop.  Important moments during the race took place during commercial breaks, and since they were only using the International Feed, we got no replays other than what was broadcast... NBCSN could generate their own, and often did.  Not ESPN, oh no.  My guess is that they had no producer on the show, and thus the breaks were all pre-programmed and would occur no matter what.  I know Formula 1 is a nothing for ESPN; that's why the race was on ESPN2, the secondary channel, on a night when there was nothing else going on at the time and would have fit nicely on the main channel.  I get that.  But F1 fans here in the US are... um... vocal, and they're yelling to high heaven.  ESPN has apologized, but who knows what that means.  For now, it means that the first race of the year was butchered.

We here at F1U! are going to have to watch a yarrrrrr'd version of the race to intelligently (shaddap!) talk about it.  Sorry folks.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:59 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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