After a thrilling start to the season during the first four flyaway races, Formula 1 returns to action in its spiritual heartland of Europe for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Traditionally this is the race where teams bring major upgrade packages to the track, whilst the layout of the Circuit de Catalunya will give both the drivers and their cars a thorough examination.
BBC Sport and Sky Sports will both broadcast live coverage of every practice session, qualifying and the race throughout the Spanish Grand Prix weekend on May 10-12.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel extended his lead at the top of the drivers’ standings to ten points after taking his second chequered flag of the season in Bahrain.
This time, his triumph was not tarnished by controversy as he drew on his vast experience to maintain the condition of his tyres perfectly on the red hot track.
Spain will present a whole new challenge to the drivers, however.
Looking down on the circuit from a high, it has an oblong shape similar to that of the famous Monte Carlo track.
As a result, it boasts a host of testing chicanes and hairpins with little opportunity to utilise the power of the cars on lengthy straights.
This could give teams further down the grid an opportunity to make their mark, as was proven 2012 when Pastor Maldonado landed both his maiden grand prix victory and the first for Williams in eight years.
You can follow all the action from the fifth round of the 2013 FIA Formula 1 World Championship on BBC TV and Sky Sports F1.Read SOTB’s 2013 Spanish Grand Prix viewing guide below:
BBC Sport will have live free-to-air television coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix, its second live race weekend of the 2013 season.
BBC TV will cover all five on-track sessions live with no Red Button hideaways, as the three free-practice sessions building up to the weekend’s key action will be broadcast live and in full on BBC Two and BBC Two HD.
As usual at live BBC race weekends, both qualifying and the race will be shown live on Saturday and Sunday lunchtime respectively on BBC One and BBC One HD.
Suzi Perry introduces all the action from Barcelona. She will be joined by regular experts David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan, both of whom will be on hand to provide lively analysis and discussion in the pits and paddock.
During the one-hour qualifying and race build-ups there will be plenty of new features and interviews to keep viewers informed and entertained, including David Coulthard’s grid-walk on race day.
Commentary comes from Ben Edwards and David Coulthard, with technical analysis direct from the pit-lane from Gary Anderson, while Lee McKenzie and Tom Clarkson will conduct interviews with the drivers and team personel.
McKenzie will also host the BBC’s preview programme Inside F1 on the BBC News Channel on Friday at 6.45pm and Saturday at 7.45pm.
BBC Sport’s popular F1 Forum, presented by Suzi Perry, follows the conclusion of the BBC One race transmission on the BBC Red Button and online at 3.15pm.
The BBC Sport website will have live streaming of all live BBC TV broadcasts, as well as additional live video content during including extra feeds such as driver tracker, on-board cameras, pits channel and a choice of commentary, plus interviews and analysis.
All of the BBC’s TV coverage will be available to view shortly after transmission on BBC iPlayer.. Friday 10th May F1: Spanish Grand Prix – Practice 1 | Start: 09:00 LIVE: 8.55am-10.35am – BBC Two F1: Chinese Grand Prix – Practice 2 | Start: 13:00 LIVE: 1.00pm-2.45pm – BBC Two Inside F1 – Spanish Grand Prix Preview 6.45pm-7.00pm – BBC News Channel Saturday 11th May F1: Spanish Grand Prix – Practice 1 | Start: 10:00 LIVE: 9.55am-11.10am – BBC Two F1: Spanish Grand Prix – Qualifying | Start: 13:00 LIVE: 12.10pm-2.15pm – BBC One Inside F1 – Spanish Grand Prix Preview 7.45pm-8.00pm – BBC News Channel Sunday 12th May F1: Spanish Grand Prix – RACE | Start: 13:00 LIVE: 12.10pm-3.15pm – BBC One FORUM: 3.15pm-4.15pm – BBC Red Button F1: Spanish Grand Prix – Highlights 7.00pm-8.00pm – BBC Three
Sky Sports F1 HD will also have extensive live coverage of every session of the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix.
Every practice session, Saturday’s qualifying and the race itself will be shown live in stunning high definition throughout the weekend.
Simon Lazenby will present full coverage of the Friday practice sessions, qualifying and the race itself, where he will be joined throughout the weekend by Martin Brundle, Johnny Herbert and Damon Hill, with analysis on the SkyPad from Anthony Davidson.
Ted Kravitz will have the latest news and reports and from the pit lane while Natalie Pinkham will interview the drivers.
Commentary on all sessions comes from David Croft, with Martin Brundle joining him for both qualifying and the race.
The further good news is that, after some rather anti-social Friday start times since P1 at Albert Park, it’s a nice and comfortable 8.45am opening to our live Practice One coverage on Friday, with our Practice Two show then on air from 12.45pm.
Ted Kravitz and Natalie Pinkham will guide you into your F1 weekend with The F1 Show from 5pm.
As well as looking back on all the Friday Practice action and bringing you the best of the driver interviews, the team will also assess the work that’s gone on up and down the paddock since Bahrain.
On to Saturday, and after Practice 3 from 9.45am, Sky’s build-up to Qualifying starts at midday and as well as a recap of the absorbing season to far, Ted will be back in his now-famous Development Corner to run his eagle-eyes over what are certain to be an array of upgrades up and down the grid with Barcelona as ever the first round proper of F1’s development war.
Last year’s Spanish Grand Prix winner Pastor Maldonado has the chance to reminiscence on his only F1 win to date as he takes Sky’s viewers around the Circuit de Catalunya in his track guide.
There will also be part two of Sky’s Red Bull Road to Greatness feature, where the focus will be on Mark Webber, while McLaren’s Sergio Perez joins Anthony Davidson at the SkyPad.
Our Race Day, Sky F1’s coverage gets going on Sunday at 11.30am and once more the team has a host of features lined up in build-up to ‘lights outs’ at 1pm.
Simon Lazenby has been to Maranello to chew the fat with Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali after a mixed start to the year for the Scuderia, while Natalie Pinkham catches up with Force India and Paul di Resta to look back at their brilliant showing last time out in Bahrain.
Throw in the drivers out on the track parade, the latest installment in ‘F1 Uncovered’, Martin Brundle’s Grid Walk and Ted’s post-race Notebook guaranteed to be must-watch items, there’s plenty of reason to tune on race day.
A host of interactive additions, including on-board cameras, pit-lane feeds, the latest race stats and much more available via the red button and the Sky Sports for iPad app.
For those who won’t be at home, every second of the drama from the Shanghai International Circuit can be seen on Sky Go.
Sky Sports F1’s coverage of the weekend in Barcelona also includes live racing from the third round of GP2 and the opening meeting on the GP3 calendar.
Following Sky’s live race coverage on Sunday, Steve Rider’s series of interviews continues but with a slight difference – this time featuring a special interview with former FIA president Max Mosley in the first Architects of F1 interview.
.Thursday 9th May F1 Drivers Press Conference LIVE: 2.00pm-2.45pm – Sky Sports F1 Gear Up For Spain 5.45pm-6.00pm – Sky Sports F1 Friday 10th May F1: Spanish Grand Prix – Practice 1 | Start: 09:00 LIVE: 8.45am-10.50am – Sky Sports F1 GP2: Spain – Practice | Start: 10:55 LIVE: 10.50am-11.30am – Sky Sports F1 F1: Spanish Grand Prix – Practice 2 | Start: 13:00 LIVE: 12.45pm-2.50pm – Sky Sports F1 GP2: Spain – Qualifying | Start: 14:55 LIVE: 2.50pm-3.35pm – Sky Sports F1 F1 Team Principals Press Conference LIVE: 4.15pm-5.00pm – Sky Sports F1 The F1 Show – Spanish Grand Prix Preview LIVE: 5.00pm-6.00pm – Sky Sports F1 Saturday 11th May GP3: Spain – Qualifying | Start: 08:45 LIVE: 8.40am-9.25am – Sky Sports F1 F1: Spanish Grand Prix – Practice 3 | Start: 10:00 LIVE: 9.45am-11.10am – Sky Sports F1 F1: Spanish Grand Prix – Qualifying | Start: 13:00 LIVE: 12.00pm-2.35pm – Sky Sports F1 GP2: Spain – Race 1 (Feature) | Start: 14:40 LIVE: 2.35pm-4.00pm – Sky Sports F1 GP3: Spain – Race 1 | Start: 16:20 LIVE: 4.15pm-5.05pm – Sky Sports F1 Sunday 12th May GP3: Spain – Race 2 | Start: 08:25 LIVE: 8.20am-9.10am – Sky Sports F1 GP2: Spain – Race 1 (Sprint) | Start: 09:35 LIVE: 9.30am-10.35am – Sky Sports F1 F1: Spanish Grand Prix – RACE | Start: 13:00 LIVE: 11.30am-4.00pm – Sky Sports F1 Architects of F1: Steve Rider interviews Max Mosley 4.00pm-5.00pm – Sky Sports F1 F1: Spanish Grand Prix – Highlights 7.00pm-8.30pm – Sky Sports F1
BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra will have live audio commentary of every on-track session from the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.
James Allen will lead the commentary team throughout the weekend, including full live coverage of the race on BBC 5 live.
Allen will commentate on Free Practice 2 – which will be simulcast on BBC Two, marking his first live F1 TV commentary since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix for ITV – as well as both qualifying and the race.
BBC TV commentator Ben Edwards will calls Practice 1 and Practice 3.
Joining the 5 live team for the first time this season is former Toyota F1 and acclaimed sportscar driver Allan McNish.
Jennie Gow will be the pit-lane and paddock reporter gathering all the interviews and Gary Anderson will provide the latest technical analysis from the pits.. Friday 10th May F1: Spanish Grand Prix – Practice 1 | Start: 09:00 LIVE: 8.55am-10.35am – BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra F1: Spanish Grand Prix – Practice 2 | Start: 13:00 LIVE: 12.55pm-2.35pm – BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra Saturday 11th May F1: Spanish Grand Prix – Practice 3 | Start: 10:00 LIVE: 9.55am-11.05am – BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra F1: Spanish Grand Prix – Qualifying | Start: 13:00 LIVE: 12.55pm-2.05pm – BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra Sunday 12th May F1: Spanish Grand Prix – RACE | Start: 13:00 LIVE: 12.45pm-3.00pm – BBC Radio 5 live