Sky Sports F1 HD launches this Friday (March 9) and the new channel will be the only place to see every single session from each grand prix live throughout the 2012 Formula 1 season.
With more in-depth coverage and airtime dedicated to F1 than ever before, Sky boldly promises to revolutionise the way the sport is brought to its fans.
Sky Sports F1 will screen all 20 Formula One races this season, with 10 of those events exclusively live on the channel.
Simon Lazenby leads the new channel’s comprehensive coverage, which begins with a special two-hour preview show on launch night, hosted by Lazenby and the whole Sky Sports F1 team.
Leading the commentary line-up will be David Croft and Martin Brundle, while expert analysis comes from Damon Hill (at 10 races) and Anthony Davidson, who will also provide commentary on all practice sessions alongside Croft.
Sky’s pit-lane reporting team of Ted Kravitz and Natalie Pinkham will provide live reports and interviews throughout each session.
The whole team will be bringing viewers the complete story of each race weekend, going behind the scenes with more in-depth features, analysis and interviews with the all the key personnel in the paddock, bringing fans even closer to the action.
Away from each grand prix, Sky Sports F1 HD will provide hundreds of hours of original content for fans to enjoy, including The F1 Show, a weekly magazine programme presented by Georgie Thompson and Ted Kravitz.
Viewers will have the opportunity to spot the potential Formula One stars of tomorrow with every GP2 and GP3 race being shown live on the channel during the course of the season.
Fans will also get the chance to know more about the rich history of F1, including season reviews, re-runs of classic races, and a brand new series of interviews with legendary names from the sport’s glorious past, presented by Steve Rider.
If you miss any of the action, there will also be plenty of chances to catch-up on all of Sky Sports F1’s programmes, including race re-runs, magazine shows, and repeats of the channel’s flagship programming.
Further background, news stories, video content, circuit guides, team/driver profiles and other information on the 2012 Formula 1 season will also be available via the new-look Formula 1 section on the Sky Sports website.
Sky Sports F1 HD, which was announced with huge fanfare last November, is available to all Sky TV subscribers, who take both Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 or who take the full Sky HD pack of channels, at no extra charge, and Virgin Media customers.
Sky Sports F1 is the only place to get right into the heart of Formula 1.
It’s easier than ever to follow the fast-paced action of F1. Sky’s brand new dedicated channel provides unrivalled coverage in every way possible. Whether you’re watching live or on-demand, at home or on the move, Sky Sports F1 HD has it covered.
Here is SOTB’s guide to what’s on offer in 2012:
The centrepiece of Sky Sports F1 HD will of course be the races themselves, with each grand prix weekend covered live and close-up.
In addition to every grand prix, every qualifying session and every practice session live will be shown live, with Simon Lazenby and Georgie Thompson presenting all the action.
High definition brings you the action in stunning picture detail, while Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound will make you feel like you’re trackside.
Sky’s live F1 coverage will complemented by Sky Race Control, an exciting new interactive Red button service which will allow fans to choose between as many as ten simultaneous content streams, which gives fans the unique opportunity to choose what they want to watch.
Not only can viewers choose from on-board cameras and data streams, but they can also choose to watch a dedicated ‘Pit Channel’, with regular updates provided by Sky Sports F1’s pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz.
A similar interactive service will be made available for iPad users, and live streaming of all Sky Sports F1 coverage will be available to subscribers online at skysports.com, and via mobile and tablet devices.
The enhanced Sky Sports iPad application will allow Sky customers to watch up to 10 different live camera feeds, rewind live streams and, as the race plays out, jump back to watch highlights.
Sky Sports F1 has revealed that Just Drive by Alistair Griffin will be the theme music that will introduce the channel’s live coverage of every grand prix.
The track, previously used by the BBC as a soundtrack for its closing montage of the 2010 season, will be used by Sky for its 45-second opening sequence which features iconic footage of the sport’s greatest drivers between 1950 and 2011.
For singer-songwriter Alistair, the use of Just Drive on a dedicated F1 channel is a natural fit: “F1 was the inspiration behind Just Drive and I always hoped it would strike a chord with fans of motorsport.
“To have Sky Sports F1 take Just Drive as its theme tune is absolutely amazing. There is a history of anthemic songs associated with F1 and I would love for Just Drive to become one of those songs.”
Watch Sky Sports F1’s opening titles sequence – CLICK HERE
Sky Sports’ new weekly Formula One magazine show, where presenters Georgie Thompson and Ted Kravitz bring you all the latest stories and features from the world of F1 every Friday.
They’ll be joined by special guests each week to preview and review every race from the 2012 season, along with further analysis of all the major incidents and talking points via the new Sky Sports F1 touchscreen.
It will also feature a ‘virtual car’; a 3D model that will appear on-screen and enable analysts Anthony Davidson and Ted Kravitz to show important technical details in action, such as how downforce works.
The F1 Show also aims to dig under the skin of the sport, bringing fans two hours of original stories, reports and special interviews.
The programmme will be presented from all 20 grand prix locations throughout the year, while on non-F1 weekends it will be presented from Sky’s new west London studios.
Former BBC and ITV F1 presenter Steve Rider will present a fascinating series of interviews with some of the greatest figures from the sport’s history in the brand new Legends of F1 series.
Steve’s first interviewee will be Emerson Fittipaldi, the two-time world champion from Brazil who also twice won the Indianapolis 500, and will be shown on the launch night, along with the second programme featuring three-times world champion Sir Jackie Stewart.
There will also be special interviews with Mario Andretti, Alan Jones, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jody Schekter, Sir Jack Brabham, Alain Prost, and Sir Stirling Moss.
Sky Sports F1 will also provide live coverage of the two major single-seater championships supporting the Formula 1 circuit throughout the season.
The 12-round 2012 GP2 series will begin in Malaysia on 23-25 March, and follows a global circuit through 10 countries.
Sky Sports F1 will show the two races per weekend; a feature race and a shorter sprint race. Six former GP2 champions are currently racing in F1, including Lewis Hamilton, who won the GP2 title in 2006.
You can also stay across every development from the world of Formula One on Sky Sports News, which has two dedicated reporters primed to relay all the breaking news.
Rachel Brookes and Craig Slater will share reporting duties throughout the season, and will provide regular updates from each race weekend, plus highlights of all the key action from each session.
The team will be broadcasting the most comprehensive build-up to a grand prix weekend that UK viewers have ever seen, with up to six days of coverage prior to each grand prix.
Live and recorded on-site reports will begin from the paddock each Tuesday and run all through the week, with extensive reaction after each session from the drivers, team personnel, and analysis from the Sky Sports F1 pundits, including Martin Brundle and Damon Hill.
Complementing the launch of Sky Sports F1 HD will be UK TV premiere of the stunning Senna film on Sky Movies, as well as a brand new factual series on Sky Atlantic, and a special F1 edition of Sky1’s Gadget Geeks.
The BAFTA award-winning documentary looks back at the life and career of legendary three-times world championship Ayrton Senna, whom many with the sport believed was the greatest talent that Formula 1 had ever witnessed.
Produced with the full co-operation of the Senna family, the movie is the first official feature documentary about his life, featuring astounding unseen archive material, and will be shown on Sky Movies Premiere at 10pm on Friday 9th March, and at various times throughout the month.
Petrol Age is a four part series on Sky Atlantic, presented by Paul McGann, that will chart the incredible history of British motoring. The first installment, on March 15 at 8pm, will be a celebration of speed, looking at the history of Formula One.
There will also be a Gadget Geeks: F1 Special on Sky1 on March 12 at 8pm, where inventor extraordinaire and Formula 1 fan Colin Furze sets himself the challenge of a lifetime – to transform an ordinary family car into a speed machine packed with F1 technology.
Sky – 408 Virgin Media – 516 Friday 9th March 8pm-10pm – The F1 Show – 2012 Season Preview 10pm-10.30pm – Legends of F1 – Emerson Fittipaldi 10.30pm-11pm – Legends of F1 – Sir Jackie Stewart Saturday 10th March 4pm-5.15pm – Formula 1 Season Review 1988 8pm-10.45pm – Formula 1 Season Review 2011 Friday 16th March 1am-3.20am – Australian Grand Prix – Practice 1 LIVE 5.15am-7.20am – Australian Grand Prix – Practice 2 LIVE 9.30am-10.30am – The F1 Show (Australia) Saturday 17th March 2.45am-4.10am – Australian Grand Prix – Practice 3 LIVE 5am-7.45am – Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying LIVE Sunday 18th March 4.30am-9am – Australian Grand Prix – Race LIVE 9am-9.30am – Legends of F1 – Nigel Mansell 7.30pm-9pm – Australian Grand Prix – Highlights
2012 Formula 1 CalendarRound 1 – Australia (March 16-18) Round 2 – Malaysia (March 23-25) Round 3 – China (April 13-15) Round 4 – Bahrain (April 20-22) Round 5 – Spain (May 11-13) Round 6 – Monaco (May 24-27) Round 7 – Canada (June 8-10) Round 8 – Europe (June 22-24) Round 9 – Great Britain (July 6-8) Round 10 – Germany (July 20-22) Round 11 – Hungary (July 27-29) Round 12 – Belgium (August 31-September 2) Round 13 – Italy (September 7-9) Round 14 – Singapore (September 21-23) Round 15 – Japan (October 5-7) Round 16 – Korea (October 12-14) Round 17 – India (October 26-28) Round 18 – Abu Dhabi (November 2-4) Round 19 – United States (November 16-18) Round 20 – Brazil (November 23-25) For further information, visit the Sky Sports F1 website – CLICK HERE