Chris Alexander

On Engineering

FIA face scrutiny following first F1 race of 2010

14th March, 2010

So the Bahrain Grand Prix is over, Alonso has really made his mark in the Ferrari by winning the race, and we’re looking forward to another 18 races taking us through to November.

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However, following the coverage, it will be the FIA that comes under scrutiny for some mystifying decisions that have hampered the enjoyability of the racing for TV viewers.

First of all, there were numerous complaints (particularly on Twitter) that the new “upgraded” FIA-provided in-race graphics are not providing enough information to viewers. Last year there was considerably more timing information and detail provided, which is pretty much required during qualifying to see what is going on - particularly in the heat of the moment.

What also came up in the pre-race TV coverage today was that the driver’s trainers can’t get grid passes any more - which means that the drivers all disappear back to the pits before the race, making the pre-race grid walk a bit less interesting due to there being no drivers to talk to. Martin Brundle still did quite a good job and was very restrained to not wrestle Alonso off Italian media too quickly (I think it was due to a look of death from the Italian TV host).

Before the start of the season, there was also criticism that the BBC wasn’t going to make F1 available in HD; this is because the FIA is not broadcasting it in HD. Quite how they can spend so much money on the sport and make so much profit without actually broadcasting it in HD to the millions of viewers worldwide.

Let’s hope they get their act together and sort these issues out soon, otherwise it will be the public putting the FIA under scrutineering.