What are ITV doing to F1 fans?

Sometimes you just want to go round to ITV and grab whoever is responsible by the collar and just ask, “Why?”

Not too long ago I wrote a post about how I thought ITV were getting their act together when it comes to their Formula 1 coverage. But now I’m wondering.

Tomorrow’s is the final grand prix of the season, rounding off a back-to-back far east double-header. This means that the sessions take place very early in the morning here. In the past they would record the qualifying sessions and show them ‘as live’ at the normal time in the afternoon. For some reason, though, this year they have chosen to broadcast the highlights of the Japanese and Chinese sessions late at night.

Showing the qualifying sessions late at night is understandable for a race that’s being held in North or South America where the races take place in the evening our time. But these races are held early in the morning. Extremely early in the morning. 6am. On a Sunday morning.

So the Japanese qualifying was broadcast late at night by ITV, and it didn’t finish until it was almost 1am, if I recall correctly (it was late at night you see). The race programme started at 5:20am. So ITV expected Formula 1 fans to get about four hours of sleep. It’s much the same this week.

What are they doing? Why are they putting qualifying on at such a ridiculous time, one that gives the target audience so little time to sleep? It’s especially odd when you consider that ITV are fine with showing qualifying live on a Saturday afternoon for about fifteen weeks of the year.

ITV have done some pretty weird things with Formula 1 over the years, but this really takes the biscuit.

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