FORMULA 1: 2013 season on the BBC – Everything you need to know

The BBC will bring all the Formula 1 action, news and interviews throughout the 2013 season across television, radio, online and mobile.

This year will see an increased live presence for F1 on network television as all three practice sessions during the BBC’s nine live races will be shown live for the first time on BBC Two and the new BBC Two HD channel.

Some new faces have been added to the BBC TV and radio presentation teams for the 2013 season, including presenter Suzi Perry, pit-lane reporter Tom Clarkson and Allan McNish, who joins BBC Radio 5 live as an expert analyst for at least six races.

All the action on TV will be broadcast on BBC One and in high-definition on BBC One HD, with comprehensive live coverage of nine Grands Prix and extended peak-time highlights of the remaining ten races.

Ben Gallop, BBC’s Head of Formula 1 says: “Everyone on the BBC team is hugely excited about the new season.

“Last year saw us rise to the challenge of bringing the action to fans through the mix of live television and highlights, delivering great programmes which were reflected in impressive audience figures.

“2013 sees new faces, practice on BBC Two and HD on live race weekends and a greater sharing of talent across BBC television, radio and online.

“With Suzi Perry at the helm, we’re aiming to bring even more content, insight and access to audiences throughout the season.”

The 2013 season is the second year of the current broadcasting arrangement with the BBC sharing its rights to screen Formula 1 with Sky Sports, after the corporation decided to approach Sky to form a controversial shared arrangement in 2011.

Read SOTB’s comprehensive guide to what’s on offer for free-to-air F1 viewers in 2013:


BBC Sport welcomes back Suzi Perry to lead the corporation’s award-winning Formula 1 coverage during the 2013 season.

The former BBC MotoGP and Superbikes presenter joins the BBC team following the departure of Jake Humphrey after four seasons with the BBC F1 team.

She becomes the first woman to lead UK TV coverage of Formula 1 full-time and will be present all of BBC One’s F1 output throughout the year from all 19 races.

Ben Edwards once again leads the television commentary with David Coulthard as co-commentator and expert pundit, and Eddie Jordan as chief analyst alongside Suzi in the pits and paddock.

Lee McKenzie heads an expanded pit-lane team for television this year, with F1 journalist and broadcaster Tom Clarkson joining the BBC TV team full-time as an additional pit-lane reporter.

Gary Anderson will continue as the BBC’s technical analyst, but his unique role will expand to cover television, radio and online.

Online, Andrew Benson heads the reporting team for the BBC Sport website with all the news, interviews and stories.

Also on the website, the legendary Murray Walker will continue his contributions to the BBC’s coverage by providing a series of archive-based videos for every race of the season.

‘Murray’s Memories’ will give viewers his personal recollections of some of the greatest moments in the history of F1.


The simplest way to follow where and when the BBC’s coverage will be is as follows:

  • LIVE race weekends – all coverage is live across TV, radio and online.
  • HIGHLIGHTS race weekends – all TV coverage is highlights, but all radio and text coverage is live.

There will be approximately an additional 40 hours of network television output compared to 2012, with practice sessions now being broadcast at live BBC race weekends on BBC Two and the new BBC Two HD channel.

With the race calendar down to 19 races, BBC TV will show nine live races, including the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the prime-time Canadian Grand Prix and the season finale in Brazil.

The BBC’s first live race of the 2013 season will be the third round of the season – the Chinese Grand Prix – on April 12-14.

There will be extended highlights programmes of the remaining ten races, including the Monaco and United States Grands Prix – all of which will be broadcast a couple of hours after the on-track action has concluded, although start times and duration will depend on race location.

Races in the Far Eastern time zone will have highlights broadcast in the early afternoon, with those in Europe in the early evening (generally of 90 minutes’ duration), and races in the Americas later that night.

Each live BBC Grand Prix will be followed by the ever-popular F1 Forum, which will be available to watch on BBC Red Button and online via the BBC Sport website.

The BBC News Channel will continue to screen the Inside F1 preview show, presented by Lee McKenzie, which comes from the paddock each Friday and Saturday at 6.45pm, bringing viewers up-to-date with all the latest news and interviews from every Grand Prix.

BBC’s television coverage will also be simulcast online via the BBC Sport website and its network TV output will also be available on-demand via BBC iPlayer.

Web users will have a choice of different ways to watch the action for live races – simulcast of BBC TV, the ‘driver-tracker’, on-board cameras and a pit lane stream. Due to the cuts in BBC Red Button streams, these features will not be available on TV in 2013.

Live text commentary will also be available of all on-track action through the season from practice through to race day.

A new way to watch the action will be through the BBC Sport smartphone app, available for iPhone and Android devices.

The app brings together the BBC Sport’s live and on-demand video coverage, along with the latest news, features and stats. .


BBC Radio will again be providing extensive coverage and live commentary of all on-track action during the 2013 season on either 5 live and BBC 5 Live Sports Extra.

Race weekends on the BBC start on Thursday nights on Radio 5 live with 5 live Formula 1 previewing every race, featuring guests, interviews and insight to kick start fans’ Grand Prix weekend.

James Allen returns as Radio 5 live F1 correspondent and commentator with Jennie Gow as pit lane reporter.

Former F1 driver Allan McNish will join BBC Radio 5 live for at least six Grands Prix this season as an expert analyst, with his first appearance set to be in Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix. He will also cover the races in Monaco, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium and Italy for 5 live.

There is also the Chequered Flag podcast which is available after every race – via the 5 live website or iTunes – and features interviews with all the main players and in-depth analysis.


Round 1 – Australian Grand Prix – Highlights 
March 16: Qualifying H/L – BBC One – 1pm-2.05pm
March 17: Race H/L – BBC One – 2.15pm-4.15pm
Round 2 – Malaysian Grand Prix – Highlights
March 23: Qualifying H/L – BBC One – 1pm-2.15pm
March 24: Race H/L – BBC One – 2.00pm-4.00pm
Round 3 – Chinese Grand Prix – LIVE
April 12-13: Practice LIVE – BBC Two Various Times
April 13: Qualifying LIVE – BBC One – 6am-8.30am (start: 7am)
April 14: Race LIVE – BBC One – 7am-10.15am (start: 8am)
Round 4 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Highlights
April 20: Qualifying H/L – BBC One – 5.30pm-6.45pm
April 21: Race H/L – BBC One – 5.30pm-7pm
Round 5 – Spanish Grand Prix – LIVE
May 11-12: Practice LIVE – BBC Two – Various Times
May 12: Qualifying LIVE – BBC One – 12.10pm-2.15pm (start: 1pm)
May 13: Race LIVE – BBC One – 12.10pm-3.15pm (start: 1pm)
Round 6 – Monaco Grand Prix – Highlights
May 25: Qualifying H/L – BBC One – 5.30pm-6.45pm
May 26: Race H/L – BBC One – 5.30pm-7.00pm
Round 7 – Canadian Grand Prix – LIVE
June 7-8: Practice LIVE – BBC Two – Various Times
June 8: Qualifying LIVE – BBC One – 5.00pm-7.15pm (start: 6.00pm)
June 9: Race LIVE – BBC One – 6.00pm-9.00pm (start: 7.00pm)
Round 8 – British Grand Prix – LIVE
June 28-29: Practice LIVE – BBC Two – Various Times
June 29: Qualifying LIVE – BBC One – 12.10pm-2.30pm (start: 1pm)
June 30: Race LIVE – BBC One – 12.10pm-3.30pm (start: 1pm)
Round 9 – German Grand Prix – Highlights
July 6: Qualifying H/L – BBC One – 5.30pm-6.45pm
July 7: Race H/L – BBC One – 5.30pm-7pm
Round 10 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Highlights
July 27: Qualifying H/L – BBC One – 5.30pm-6.45pm
July 28: Race H/L – BBC One – 5.30pm-7pm
Round 11 – Belgian Grand Prix – LIVE
August 23-24: Practice LIVE – BBC Two – Various Times
August 24: Qualifying LIVE – BBC One – 12.10pm-2.15pm (start: 1pm)
August 25: Race LIVE – BBC One – 12.10pm-3.15pm (start: 1pm)
Round 12 – Italian Grand Prix – LIVE
September 6-7: Practice LIVE – BBC Two – Various Times
September 7: Qualifying LIVE – BBC One – 12.10pm-2.15pm (start: 1pm)
September 8: Race LIVE – BBC One – 12.10pm-3.15pm (start: 1pm)
Round 13 – Singapore Grand Prix – Highlights
September 21: Qualifying H/L – BBC One – 5.30pm-6.45pm
September 22: Race H/L – BBC One – 5.30pm-7.00pm
Round 14 – Korean Grand Prix – Highlights
October 5: Qualifying H/L – BBC One – 1pm-2.15pm
October 6: Race H/L – BBC One – 2pm-4pm
Round 15 – Japanese Grand Prix – LIVE
October 11-12: Practice LIVE – BBC Two – Various Times
October 12: Qualifying LIVE – BBC One – 5am-7.15am (start: 6am)
October 13: Race LIVE – BBC One – 6am-9.15am (start: 7am)
Round 16 – Indian Grand Prix – LIVE
October 25-26: Practice LIVE – BBC Two – Various Times
October 26: Qualifying LIVE – BBC One – 8.30-10.45am (start: 9.30am)
October 27: Race LIVE – BBC One – 8.30am-11.45am (start: 9.30am)
Round 17 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Highlights
November 2: Qualifying H/L – BBC One – 5.30pm-6.45pm
November 3: Race H/L – BBC One – 5.30pm-7.00pm
Round 18 – United States Grand Prix – Highlights
November 16: Qualifying H/L – BBC Two – 9.00pm-10.15pm
November 17: Race H/L – BBC One – 10.30pm-12.30am
Round 19 – Brazilian Grand Prix – LIVE
November 22-23: Practice LIVE – BBC Two – Various Times
November 23: Qualifying LIVE – BBC One – 3pm-5.15pm (start: 4pm)
November 24: Race LIVE – BBC One – 3pm-6.15pm (start: 4pm)
Broadcast times subject to change

One Response to FORMULA 1: 2013 season on the BBC – Everything you need to know

  1. Ken Jones says:

    The BBC license payers built F1 and they now being shafted because the BBC has no negotiating muscle. The answer is for the BBC to take shares in a new open-wheel formula brand like Formula A1, which is set for revival. In such negotiations the BBC would obviously have the whip hand and pay nothing for the shares, it would be like commissioning a documentary series with HBO but the BBC would not pay for the race cars themselves, these would be covered like F1 by sponsorship. There would also be one car per team so they would all be racing and to save costs they would all use the same car from the likes of Lola.

    The BBC has its F1 Sunday audience slot. Costs for covering an A1 season would therefore be vastly less than F1, as A1 promoters would seize any opportunity.

    The BBC should begin by promoting A1 on Sundays when F1 isn’t broadcast and as we get acquainted with the new drivers and commentators, slowly reduce F1 coverage in favour of A1.

    Ultimately the BBC then drops F1 entirely. Like Le Mans, anyone who still wants to watch F1 and doesn’t care about buying a product from Rupert Murdoch buys a Sky package, the BBC saves a fortune, license payers shaft Ecclestone and Sky viewers pick up the tab for Ecclestone’s daughter’s next wedding.

    The only problem with that is the BBC would have to get off their backside and actually help create a brand rather than just licensing an existing one. Really the only difference between F1 and any other broadcast race meeting is the razzmatazz surrounding it, the interviews and speculation, which are easy to add along with the graphics.

    The BBC then licenses the series to the rest of the world and uses all the F! tracks too. It’s called competition and that’s the problem with everything about F1, it has no competition.

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