Categories
F1

Attrition Game: Indian Grand Prix

India’s a weird track. Unused for the majority of the year, the circuit takes a bit of running to get it in shape for the drivers. Late in the year (hot and humid, to boot), engines struggle to stay together as the season inexorably draws to a close. We’ve only three races to go after this before the 2012 season’s in the books. Time for India.

You can see by the short player list this week the time for the race is pretty gnarly. I’m typing this part shortly after 4 am.

PLAYERS:

RESULTS:

Three out, including Schumacher in the closing laps. Massa ran out of fuel on his post-race in-lap. No winners. Next weekend.

Not the most exciting race, but it’s still F1.

Categories
blawwgery

Out of Office; Out of Contact

USGP 2012 Tickets
Even the parking hangtags have holograms and fancy foil insets. Now it’s starting to feel real. See you in Turn 12.

For the first time in over 13 years, I’m taking two full weeks off work. Birthday shifts into Austin race weekend and settles into a long Thanksgiving break.

It felt strange typing “Out of Office; Out of Contact” in our shared calendar. Words I’ve never used before.

Categories
blawwgery F1

Turn and face the strange (ch-ch-ch-changes)

I’m currently sitting in an undisclosed location, pondering the events of the past week. For those of you living in a cave, SPEED lost the rights to broadcast F1 in the United States as of the end of the 2012 season. While this was something I knew was a possibility, when the word came down it was still a shock.

As some of you are aware, I have been fortunate to provide some of the incredible people who bring us Formula 1 on SPEED with insight on how to make their Twitter feed “not lame.” For the record, I am not paid – but I have visited SPEED World Headquarters and watched an entire race weekend unfold (amazing, as you would imagine, and an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life). I was able to participate in several components of the race broadcast, and it was an experience I won’t soon forget. I’m not trying to make it seem like I’ve had some major part in making the coverage as awesome as it has been or the past several years. I just annoy Frank and tell him when I think they’re doing something lame…and when they’re doing things right. I just feel I need to share, in the interest of full disclosure, my involvement with the Formula 1 on SPEED team.

It’s just how I roll.

Over the past several days, I’ve seen a lot of rumors about the coverage, whether the team will be at Austin, what lies ahead for out beloved Formula 1 on SPEED crew. I do not profess to know everything – far from it, in fact. However, as several people can attest, I thoroughly enjoy ferreting out sources and consolidating data into useful information. I thought it would be useful to start collecting what we know (as fans) in one place, so we can work on 1) quashing rumors and 2) ensuring our broadcast team and associated crew are with us from 2013 onward.

If you have information you’d like me to add, please post in a comment and I will do my best to incorporate. I am trying to keep this as news-outlet and verified as possible – but if you’ve a juicy rumor or bit of news that may not be validated yet, I’ll consider posting (with a huge UNVERIFIED).

Everything started with a Tweet from the Associated Press’ sports feed:

The Beginning of the End

When the news hit, I was oblivious…getting my hair cut in preparation for this trip. It’s a good thing no one was around to see me cry, for it was an ugly cry. (You know what I’m talking about.) I came out of the salon to a million messages.

I cried. I dried my face. I got angry. I started researching.

NBC, according to this article, intends to provide live streaming content of all 20 races. (Sidebar: is this officially 19 with NJ reportedly off the calendar for 2013?) Additionally, NBC is stating they will provide all practices and qualifying sessions on NBC Sports Network.

This article delves into a little more detail on the four races broadcast by NBC, and it appears these races (at least three of the four) will lend themselves to live mid-day broadcast.

This article, from the official-official Formula 1 site, discusses the races and reiterates the points from the second linked article.

There’s something about Formula 1 fans in the United States. As followers of a racing series that gets virtually zero mainstream coverage, we tend to stick together. We also tend to try to spread information as it is received – since you can’t rely on mainstream coverage, you do what you need to do. I’ve seen a new Twitter feed pop up (I have nothing to do with it, I swear) that’s working to organize a protest. I think it’s wonderful to see this kind of fan support! I hope the NBC Sports Network and NBC in general see this kind of fan support, and take good notes.

I’m incredibly disappointed to hear SPEED has decided to pull the team from Austin, as I think it demonstrates either a lack of commitment to finish the broadcast on a high note or a petty response to the shift in coverage. Either way, I’m devastated I can’t meet up again with Frank, Justin, Steve, David, and Bob…and can’t believe SPEED would be this short-sighted. (FOR THE RECORD: MY OPINION.) I wanted to finally meet Leigh! I still need to thank Will for dancing for my birthday last year!

A CALL TO ACTION

Jon Miller, president of programming, has a Twitter account. I’ve verified, as closely as I can, this is the correct Jon Miller (I know there was some confusion before – there are two Jon/John Millers on the NBC executive board). We need to show him we have a voice, and we want to keep the broadcast team as whole as possible.

YOUR TASK

  • Post a message to Jon Miller (@JDM1114) via Twitter. BE NICE. Remember Wheaton’s Law? Follow it. We need NBC Sports to hear our voice, not dismiss us as a bunch of boorish freaks.
  • Follow Mr. Miller. No promises he’ll respond to any of us, but it’s always nice to throw a follow.
  • Spread the word. Let’s see what we can do to get Mr Miller to hear our voices.

Thank you, all of you. Our voices should be heard – let’s make this happen.

Categories
F1

Attrition Game: Korean Grand Prix

US fans felt a severe blow when news broke Friday SPEED would not have the contract to run F1 broadcasts for 2013. It’s still to early to tell whether NBC Sports (the purported winner of the broadcast rights bidding war) will transplant the current broadcast team, or attempt to build their own. I think I speak for many when I say part of what makes US coverage in F1 worth it is the incredible team of people who bring us the broadcast, week after week. I realize I am biased, all things considered, but I’ve witnessed firsthand the amount of work the entire F1 crew at SPEED put in each race weekend to ensure flawless, entertaining broadcasts. As I mentioned on Twitter, it’s beyond magical.

Are there too many commercials? Of course – there are always too many commercials. Could there be more coverage? Of course – but the addition of practice 1 and 3 to the lineup via live stream helped. Frank Wilson and his dedicated team work tirelessly to bring us exemplary coverage, and I’m not exaggerating when I say NBC has some big shoes to fill.

I hope NBC Sports sees the existing talent and does the right thing. Until then…it’s time for the Korean Grand Prix Attrition Game.

PLAYERS:

We have a winner! With four retirements, @macahan2000 wins today’s Attrition Game. Congratulations, Eje!

Categories
F1

Attrition Game: Grand Prix of Japan

Suzuka is freaky and awesome. Clockwise. Counter-clockwise. Spoon. 130R.

How can you not love this track?

PLAYERS:

With a last-minute retirement by smashycrasy Grosjean, we have two three winners today: @DougBryan1, and @LargeEddie and @SlashVohaul correctly predicted today’s carnage. Well played, you two three.

Off to bed for me. Suzuka is a killer in the sleep department. Obviously.