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Formula One: 2018 Season News and Discussion Thread

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Formula One: 2018 Season News and Discussion Thread

Old 03-09-2018, 11:42 AM
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Alonso vaults into P2 and breaks the 1m18s barrier on "ultra-softs"! (2nd only to Kimi.)

Meanwhile, Sainz (now in P3) on "ultra-softs" and Ricciardo (now in P4) on "super softs" go hammer and tongs in the last 30 min. of testing.






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Old 03-09-2018, 11:58 AM
  #202  
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It's fascinating on this McLaren-watch. It's like you almost expect the car will break.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:29 PM
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Looks like the Scuderia have enough pace to contest the Silver Arrows, both of which were simulating race-runs on this last day of testing, rather than chasing single lap times ...

RBR, Renault, and McLaren--all sporting Renault PUs .... should make for some interesting racing this year.

Sauber seems to have had a disappointing testing period .... and Leclerc keeps reminding us that he's a rookie ....

Haas, Force India, STR, and Williams? Frankly haven't left much of an impression on me....

Looking forward to the start of the new season in Australia in a couple of weeks!
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:26 AM
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:09 AM
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:30 AM
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Nice tech analysis of the VJM11 ....

https://www.racefans.net/2018/03/10/...ical-analysis/
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:32 PM
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:04 AM
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http://www.planetf1.com/news/winners-and-losers-from-winter-testing/


Winter testing is in the books, now all eyes are on Australia. But what shape are each team in as we start to raise the curtain on the 2018 season?

Winners

Mercedes

Slicker than the oil they burn in qualifying, Mercedes are continuing to set the standard with quiet professionalism and expert efficiency.

The Silver Arrows were once again the only team to surpass the 1000-lap mark and, in the process, completed nearly 75% of the distance covered over the entire Formula 1 season.

Yet your eyes will have to skim all the way down to P8 to find Mercedes’ best time of winter testing – a 1:18.400 on ultrasofts by Lewis Hamilton. They were never once tempted to strap on the hypersofts and grab the headlines. Now is not the time for that.

Instead, the predominant focus was on laps, laps, laps. Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas split duties throughout each day and blasted the cobwebs away with intense race simulation programmes.

The reliability of the Mercedes is as strong as ever and it feels inevitable, ominous even, that the pace will follow very soon.

Red Bull

There were a couple of little bumps in the road for Red Bull at winter testing, but they are heading into the season in a better place than this time last year.

A strong showing in the second week of testing meant Red Bull fell just short of their 100-lap daily target and there are no reported inconsistencies between wind tunnel and track, a problem which held them back in the early stages of the 2017 season.

Launching what looks like a very impressive RB14 earlier than usual has given them a foundation to perhaps be in a position to attack straight from the off.

The question, as always, is whether the engine supplied by Renault will be capable of going toe-to-toe with the Mercedes and Ferrari power units, but everything under Red Bull’s control looks to be safe and sound heading into Australia.

Renault

It seems Renault have made another step in the right direction as they look to become a major player in Formula 1 further down the line. Apart from a gearbox issue on the final day, the RS18 ran reliably and both Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz are upbeat about the new car.

Whilst we know that the Renault power unit is the third quickest, the gap is also trying to be bridged by an increased focus on aerodynamics, with lots of new parts – including a completely new front wing – being trialled in the second week.

It would come as no surprise to see the Enstone team in the fight for fourth spot this season.

Haas

One unexpected headline from winter testing was the emergence of Haas as this year’s ‘dark horse’, with their times on the supersofts and ultrasofts catching the eye. Tyre corrected, the VF18 is just 0.5 seconds off the works Ferrari but, at this stage, that is nothing more than a positive projection.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner put the encouraging numbers down to having a good understanding of how to get the tyres to work at the Circuit de Catalunya. It remains to be seen whether that will translate to the tracks all across the globe.

But one thing is for certain: everyone will be looking out for them to see what they are capable of from the get-go. Haas can quite often go under the radar because of their relative infancy and their lack of big-name sponsors; not this time.

Toro Rosso

If Haas were a pleasant surprise, then a lie down was most definitely needed after witnessing the reliability of the Honda engine.

Sure, there were a few coughs and splutters along the way, but that was more than manageable compared to the destructive virus suffered at testing last year.

Honda used just one power unit throughout the entire second of testing and finished a very respectable third on the mileage charts, completing on average over 100 laps a day.

Doubts remain over whether the Honda engine will be anywhere near quick enough to compete for points, but both Toro Rosso and Honda are off to an excellent start of their relationship and could well end up being a match made in heaven.


Losers

Ferrari

12 months ago, Ferrari verified their pre-season progression with a long overdue victory in Australia; but, this year, you will not find many in the paddock who feel lightning will strike twice.

Sebastian Vettel obliterated the unofficial track record at the Circuit de Catalunya and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was only a tenth away from doing the same. Yet that headline time of a 1:17.182 on the hypersofts has been faintly written with a pencil and not with a bright red permanent marker.

There seems to be very little buzz and excitement surrounding Ferrari, even though they were only second to Mercedes in the mileage charts (929), and that lack of enthusiasm is rooted in the race simulation data which has them off the pace of their major rival…and Red Bull, too.

Add those concerns to the mysterious plumes of smoke that emanate from the garage every time the Ferrari engine is fired up, as well as the difficulty of taking another big step forward on the path to catching Mercedes, and what you are left with is a team that looks vulnerable.

McLaren

The little gremlins that blighted McLaren in the first week turned into big, menacing monsters by week two. Five on-track breakdowns in total, engine changes, hydraulic issues, oil leaks, overheating bodywork and a calamitous pit-stop practice made this another winter test to forget.

McLaren chiefs Eric Boullier and Zak Brown were insistent that the team are not in crisis mode and problems were expected given that they have adopted an aggressive design philosophy for this year.

But even the most passionate McLaren fans will struggle to believe that the plan all along was to miss hour upon hour of precious track time and finish bottom of the mileage charts again.

Fernando Alonso’s last-session dash on the hypersofts to put him P3 on the overall standings had a hint of desperation about it, papering over the cracks that are still there even after ditching Honda.

If it was not clear before, it has become abundantly apparent now that an unfair proportion of the blame went to the Japanese manufacturer.

Force India

It is not a good sign when both of your drivers are hoping that the car they tested with does not show up in Melbourne.

The VJM11 clocked the most mileage outside of the top three in the second week but did not look particularly exciting out on track despite its vibrant pink livery.

It is solid and reliable, but will that be enough to hold on to fourth in the Constructor’s Championship this year given the expected rise in competitiveness from the rest of the midfield?

There is a suspicion that not much progress has been made with the car compared to what they finished last season with and there is still lingering uncertainty off the track, too.

The name change has not happened yet and the reports of a takeover are not going away as current owner Vijay Mallya continues to fight extradition back to India.

Sudden signs of life will need to appear in Australia.

Williams

After eight uninspiring days of testing with arguably the most uninspiring driver line-up on the grid, Williams look primed to take the role of fallen giants completely away from McLaren and keep it all to themselves.

It ran reliably, but the FW41 finished bottom of the timesheets on six of the eight days of testing and had all the grace and elegance of Bambi on ice out on the track.

There are several reports of the car being very unresponsive through the corners and Williams’ chief technical officer, Paddy Lowe, has confirmed those witness statements by saying on record that the handling is the main “limitation”.

News also broke at testing that Williams’ long-term major sponsors Martini will be leaving them at the end of the season. Given the current state of affairs, they could be the first of many to jump ship.

Sauber

Let’s just say first of all that Sauber are in a much better position than they were last year. They have a new, current-spec Ferrari engine and that has made them a much more attractive team to be associated with – the vast array of new sponsors that have arrived in the off-season are testament to that.

But while progress has been made, it looks like that there is still a long way to go still before Sauber can think about climbing up from the bottom rung of the Formula 1 ladder.

The C37 suffered more offs than any other car in Barcelona and it does look an absolute devil to drive, especially through the corners where it is very twitchy.

There are a lot of new concepts that have been introduced to the new Sauber car and, on initial viewing, it is going to take a while for those to be fully understood.

Mark Scott
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:52 AM
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https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/williams-struggles-stability-corner-entry-FW41-1014203/


Williams has admitted that its new Formula 1 car is struggling with corner entry and stability, something it needs to get on top of if it is to move up the grid.

The Mercedes-powered FW41 is the first car designed from the start by technical chief Paddy Lowe, and marks a big change of concept from its previous challengers.

But with the team having faced some difficulties delivering good lap times in pre-season testing in Barcelona, Lowe has admitted that there are issues that need resolving.

"The limitation in the car at the moment is corner entry and stability," he explained.

"I mean, that is quite often the limitation in a car to be honest, but it's particularly exaggerated at the moment with what we're running.

"I think if we can unlock some progress there, we will find a lot more lap time than we've got at the moment.

"Because some other aspects of the car are working really really strongly through other phases of the corner."

Lowe said that there was no single factor that was causing the problem, and that it was not totally unexpected for such issues to appear when a team takes a new development path.

"Mostly these things involve a strong aerodynamic element, but the solutions involve everything from suspension to tyres and everything else," he said. "It's always multi-dimensional.

"[There was] a large degree of change both in the team that delivered the car and the car itself. That can take a while to develop and optimise, and I think we can make a lot more progress within the season and even into next. It is still early in the potential I think that is in the team."

Despite admitting that there was a good amount of work to do, Lowe said he maintained faith in Williams' factory facilities – and said that there was no issue with wind tunnel and track correlation.

[...]
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:23 AM
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James Allison MB Technical Director explains their 2018 vs 2017 cars

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Old 03-19-2018, 07:48 AM
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It is finally the week!
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:34 AM
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What's in the past is in the past, but I really do believe McLaren would have been better off long term with Honda under the hood while simultaneously allowing STR to run Honda as well.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by kurtatx View Post
What's in the past is in the past, but I really do believe McLaren would have been better off long term with Honda under the hood while simultaneously allowing STR to run Honda as well.

+1, there some interesting back stories to the three years of McLaren/Honda.
Last year was a total kludge of a powertrain unit with the former Ferrari engine chief working at Honda fired before the start of the season.
The virtually all new power train designed for 2018 was a disaster, the remaining engineers worked throughout the season trying to reduce the vibrations which caused reliability issues.
The ICE power gains were also very small compared to the competition. 2018 was a year Honda wants to forget.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:13 AM
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While trying to update/program my DVR for this seasons recordings i have already started out with a sour taste in my mouth with ESPN having the races. Practice and Quali/Race are on 2 different channels. They/and the announcers better not screw this up.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:22 AM
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I have seen nothing about live streaming on the F1 website yet so it appears that it will not even be ready for the first race at this point.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:29 AM
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Here is the schedule for anyone that needs it .

Rolex Australian Grand Prix
Practice 1 - Thursday, March 22, 9:00 PM - ESPN3
Practice 2 - Friday, March 23, 1:00 AM - ESPN3
Practice 3 - Friday, March 23, 10:00 PM - ESPNEWS
Qualifying - Saturday, March 24, 2:00 AM - ESPN2
Race - Sunday, March 25, 1:00 AM - ESPN2

Also a link to the complete schedule for the year. ESPN reveals F1 TV broadcast schedule for 2018
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:31 AM
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It doesn't appear we will get any pre or post race coverage from Sky via this deal. It will strictly be the races only.

Also I noticed in the full listing that they will delay the showing of Qualifying for the US Gran Prix for some reason which is terrible. Hopefully F1 TV streaming will be up and working by then though.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:46 PM
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Already missing my NBC coverage and the season hasn't even started
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Old 03-20-2018, 01:01 PM
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Since we cut the cord in Feb, really hoping I'll have an option, either DVR or non-live streaming.
Thinking about PSVue since it has a DVR option. But need to make sure it has the ESPN channels available.
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Old 03-20-2018, 01:27 PM
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I am considering cutting the cord as well. After my research I chose YouTubeTV for now because of the DVR size and the fact there did not seem to be any restrictions on what I could DVR. I am paying for a month of it to try it out before cancelling my cable. So far my only complaint is trying to fastforward throguh commercials really. Just not as easy as compared to using a remote when using the phone app. I am recording the race on both my cable and YouTubeTV to compare.
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Old 03-20-2018, 02:17 PM
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Looked at the channel lineup for PSVue. They do not offer ESPN3 at all, and you have to upgrade for ESPNews. I can live with just quali & the race, and watch practice highlights. Just need to check the programming for the future races to make sure it won't fall on ESPN3.
Doesn't look like YouTubeTV gets ESPN3 either, but does get ESPNews at the same $40/month. May give it a shot too. Will have to see which I can run via the new TV.

Looks like ESPNews for quali in Azerbaijan, Canada, France, Austria, Britain, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Singapore, Russia, United States, Mexico, Brazil, Abu Dhabi
ABC for the race in Canada & Monaco encore
Otherwise, quali & race are ESPN2.
All practice sessions are ESPN3 & ESPNews, except Monaco, which will be ESPN2 for P1 only.
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Old 03-20-2018, 02:18 PM
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Bernd Mayländer's new ride





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Old 03-20-2018, 02:22 PM
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I wonder what the iPad is for. My guess is so that he can follow the race while waiting in the car.
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Old 03-20-2018, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 00TL-P3.2 View Post
Looked at the channel lineup for PSVue. They do not offer ESPN3 at all, and you have to upgrade for ESPNews. I can live with just quali & the race, and watch practice highlights. Just need to check the programming for the future races to make sure it won't fall on ESPN3.
Doesn't look like YouTubeTV gets ESPN3 either, but does get ESPNews at the same $40/month. May give it a shot too. Will have to see which I can run via the new TV.

Looks like ESPNews for quali in Azerbaijan, Canada, France, Austria, Britain, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Singapore, Russia, United States, Mexico, Brazil, Abu Dhabi
ABC for the race in Canada & Monaco encore
Otherwise, quali & race are ESPN2.
All practice sessions are ESPN3 & ESPNews, except Monaco, which will be ESPN2 for P1 only.
DirectTVNow seems to have the most sports channels but lacks some local channels and some of the locals are only for on demand content. To get pretty much all the sports you are at $60 but I do believe that includes ESPN3 access. DirecTVNow though doesn't have DVR yet but it is comming but it will cost extra and no word yet on if there will be any restrictions. If also has the most buffering issues from what I have read. I didn't realise that YouTubeTV didn't have ESPN3 access.
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Old 03-20-2018, 03:24 PM
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And this is why I'm not even thinking about cutting the cord. By the time I buy all the sports channels I want, cable ends up being cheaper and easier to manage.
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:51 AM
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Old 03-21-2018, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by F-C View Post
And this is why I'm not even thinking about cutting the cord. By the time I buy all the sports channels I want, cable ends up being cheaper and easier to manage.
I have begun to come to this conclusion. Most likely just going to remove the movie channels and pay channels and download that content. Get rid of my extra cable boxes since I can use Rokus instead and call it a day. That should save me about $50 a month and still make watching all the sports I want nice and easy.
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Old 03-21-2018, 09:54 AM
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:14 PM
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The watchespn app you can catch all the practices, qualifying and races with.
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:36 AM
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For those switching to streaming services I can play the ESPN3 content while loggrd into the WatchESPN app and cast it to my Chromecast using my YouTubeTV account. Not sure if you can do it live though or not but since it is only practices that will be on ESPN3 it might not be that big of a deal. I will try and test it another time live if I am up that late.
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:46 AM
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Old 03-23-2018, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by fsttyms1 View Post
The watchespn app you can catch all the practices, qualifying and races with.
With WatchESPN, you have to log in with an active provider? Works with PSVue or YTTV?
Qualifying & the race are what I want to catch the most. I can live with highlights from Practice.
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:08 PM
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:10 PM
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:12 PM
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Interactive: Compare all 10 F1 cars on the 2018 grid side-by-side

https://www.racefans.net/2018/03/16/...-side-by-side/

Interesting how how the front control arms are on the MB, the lower arm looks like middle of the wheel/tire.
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Old 03-23-2018, 05:08 PM
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Love the Sky broadcast on ESPN. Great pre and post practice discussions. I watched it on Watch ESPN. Only complaint is that they engine noise was drowning out the commentary. They need to adjust the audio balance.
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Old 03-25-2018, 12:43 AM
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First slip up on ESPN? 12:30am and they are supposed to show the pre-race. Instead, we get 10 minutes of crowd shots of Melbourne before they switch it to a pre-taped ESPN Magazine show. They'd better this this sorted before the race starts.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:40 AM
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https://www.racefans.net/2018/03/25/...ts-complaints/


ESPN issued an apology to Formula One fans who watched their first broadcast since regaining the rights to show the championship.

The US broadcasters infuriated viewers by cutting their live coverage shortly before the race was due to start.

“We deeply apologise to Formula One fans for the technical issues that caused them to miss the first 20 minutes of the pre-race show for the Australian Grand Prix,” said ESPN in a statement.

“We are sorry that our first F1 telecast did not go as smoothly as we would have liked but we are taking steps to prevent those same issues from occurring in the future. We thank the fans for watching and for their incredible passion for Formula One.”

However many RaceFans readers complained about the quality of coverage during the race as well as before it. IndyCar racer Graham Rahal joined the criticism of the coverage on social media.

“I don’t want to be negative, but I tried to watch,” he said. “They need commentators here, the commercial breaks had awful timing, and leaving mid-sentence then returning from break without explanation of what happened was terrible.”

ESPN has taken over the live F1 broadcasting rights from NBC this year. While the previous broadcaster used their own commentary team, ESPN is screening footage from British channel Sky Sports F1.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:45 PM
  #239  
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I watched it on DVR later so was able to catch the correct pre race show on watch ESPN app when I saw it was messed up.

However, as the article mentions the commercial brakes were handled terribly. At least when coverage was on NBC they caught you up with what happened. Now you just lose the audio for 4min and then it comes back and you have no idea what was being said. What a joke.
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Old 03-26-2018, 08:50 AM
  #240  
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Not a exciting race, but does sum up how competitive the team/cars are.
  • Nice to see Haas running so well before their wheel nut snafu's.
  • McLaren has good pace and Alonso looked competitive.
  • Ricciardo looks good as well, I can see him at Ferrari in 2019.
  • Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull are in the same order as last year.
  • Good start of the race, with no accidents.
  • Audio in ESPN is hard to hear from the track announcers
  • Do miss Steve Matchet and David Hobbs commentary

Last edited by Legend2TL; 03-26-2018 at 08:54 AM.
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