Monthly Archives: March 2011

Just How Biased Are The BBC: Australia

Here we go then, 19 races of me taking extra interest in what the BBC are showing in the fifty to sixty minutes before qualifying and the race. What I’ll basically do is go through it team by team and then add it up in a nice little table so you can all understand it. Great, then throughout the season I’ll make graphs and charts (probably the same thing), about interesting trends and by the end of the season we’ll see which team gets the most screen time. Sorted, lets start then.

Qualifying

Red Bull Racing (02.18)
Season Preview (00.54), David Coulthard walking around RB7 and subsequent talk with Jake Humphrey and Eddie Jordan (00.55), Sebastian Vettel interview in Pirelli feature (00.05), Mark Webber interview behind garages (01.34), Christian Horner pre-qualifying talk (00.44)

 

McLaren (06.31)
Season Preview (00.27), Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button interview after FP3 (00.59), Jenson Button trackwalk with David Coulthard (04.00), BBC team discussion about Button (01.05)

 

Ferrari (01.00)
Season Preview (00.31), Ferrari discussion with BBC team (00.25), Alonso in Rule Changes feature on the change to team orders (00.04)

 

Mercedes (07.36)
Season Preview (00.30), Mercedes interviews featuring Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn (02.19), Interview post VT with Ross Brawn (02.27), Mercedes personnel involved in Pirelli feature (00.20)

 

Renault (03.42)
Season Preview (00.39), Feature on Robert Kubica missing out in 2011 (02.18), Renault engineer featuring in Rule Changes feature (00.55)

 

Williams (00.28)
Season Preview (00.28)

 

Force India (06.41)
Season Preview (00.33), Paul di Resta interview at BBC House (03.57), di Resta interview trackside (02.01)

 

Sauber (00.33)
Season Preview (00.33)

 

Toro Rosso (00.29)
Season Preview (00.29)

 

Team Lotus (00.35)
Heikki Kovalainen involved in Pirelli feature (00.07), Season Preview (00.28)

 

Hispania Racing Team (00.31)
Season Preview (00.31)

 

Marussia Virgin (00.25)
Season Preview (00.25)

 

Race

Red Bull Racing (13.20)
Qualifying Report (00.57), Sebastian Vettel interview (04.18), Red Bull talk with BBC team (01.11), Gridwalk talk with Sebastian Vettel along with look at RB7 (03.29), Christian Horner pre-race talk (01.48), Vettel pole lap (01.37)

 

McLaren (09.27)
Qualifying Report (00.42), BBC team talk about McLaren (01.00), Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button battle with Humphrey and Jordan in truck (06.00), Gridwalk talk with Button and look at McLaren (01.45)

 

Ferrari (00.29)
Qualifying Report (00.29)

 

Renault (00.30)
Nick Heidfeld profiled in Driver Changes (00.09), Gridwalk talk with Vitaly Petrov (00.21)

 

Williams (00.09)
Pastor Maldonado profiled in Driver Changes (00.09)

 

Force India (01.01)
Paul di Resta profiled in Driver Changes (00.15), BBC team talk about di Resta (00.28), Qualifying Report (00.18)

 

Sauber (00.11)
Sergio Perez profiled in Driver Changes (00.11)

 

Hispania Racing Team (01.22)
Both drivers profiled in Driver Changes (00.20), Qualifying Report (00.15), BBC team discuss Hispania predicament (00.47)

 

Marussia Virgin (00.11)
Jerome D’Ambrosio profiled in Driver Changes (00.11)

 

Australian Grand Prix Totals (And Effectively Totals So Far)

Pos Team Air Time
1 McLaren 15.58
2 Red Bull Racing 15.38
3 Force India 07.42
4 Mercedes 07.36
5 Renault 04.02
6 Hispania Racing Team 01.53
7 Ferrari 01.29
8 Sauber 00.44
9 Williams 00.37
10 Marussia Virgin 00.36
11 Team Lotus 00.35
12 Toro Rosso 00.29

 

Conclusions

I’d say it’s probably too early to make any firm judgements, but its clear which teams got the preference on the opening weekend, with both McLaren and Red Bull Racing amassing over half an hour of the footage over the weekend. This closely followed by Force India, focusing mainly on new Brit Paul di Resta. Interesting to note Hispania got more (albeit just a bit) coverage than Ferrari in the pre-race build up. Who’d have thought it?

The Biased View

Am I really going to be a partial observer to anything Arsenal ever do? No, of course not. That would be ludicrous. I mean, I could give it a good shot.

Arsenal are… are…

Okay, so that isn’t going to work. But does it stop this little writer commenting on every last bit of detail, no, of course not.

Lets look at the news, oh, Arsenal are after Jens Lehmann? This is the part where I’m expected to laugh uncontrollably, point at all my Arsenal supporter friends and say, ‘At least our keeper doesn’t have a pension’.

But, I won’t, I’ll be impartial, because if I state that now, you wouldn’t believe me based on the rest of this text. Because whichever way you look at this story, it is quite possibly one of the most ridiculous and stupidest things Arsene Wenger has even thought about doing. See, totally not biased at all.

Background check, Jens Lehmann, 41, from Germany, signed first for Arsenal back in 2003 to replace David Seaman. What followed was five years of a wide range of things stretching from sheer brilliance to absolute insanity. He eventually plodded back to Germany in 2008 to sign for VfB Stuttgart, before retiring two years later.

Meanwhile Arsenal struggled to find a capable and consistent goalkeeper, first there was Manuel Almunia, then Lukasz Fabianski and finally Wojciech Szczęsny, a name I had to copy from Wikipedia for this to work. Here could be the point I would list the amount of howlers from all three of those keepers, but I plan on this post being finished before Christmas.

So, the solution when Szczesny gets injured? Lehmann. A 41 year old retired goalkeeper. A man who is unlikely to have touched a ball in anger for over six months. This idea is br… oh, that will be biased, I mean, this idea is dreadful.

First things first, yes, I know goalkeepers are supposed to peak in their 30s, and several goalkeepers are still playing in their 40s. Stand up Edwin van der Sar and David James. However, can you say they are playing well? Van der Sar has made several high profile errors this season, and David James has shipped in 49 goals and Bristol City are 18th in the Championship, a league they were expected to be promotion contenders in.

Arsenal have appeared to forget about the one obvious form to bring in a new signing, emergency loan. Ah, remember that Spurs fans, our old mate Martin Fulop committing several stunning saves in that Champions League ‘play-off’ against Manchester City at the end of last season. And hey, they got him despite having about twelve fit keepers in the reserves. That is about eleven more than Arsenal appear to have.

Who to get, there are some brilliant keepers who are stuck on the bench. Tim Krul, who I maintain is the best young keeper in England right now. His performances in the UEFA Cup against Palermo several seasons ago (back when Newcastle United were in Europe, yeah, that was only 2006) were staggeringly impressive. And then think about others, Fulham with Schwarzer or Stockdale (whichever happens to be the reserve).

The point is Arsenal don’t need to resort to Lehmann, just because he is a free agent and one of their old players should mean nothing. Get in quality, reliability, not just a known face.

Although, if they want to get him, it would be fantastic…. oh, sorry, I just couldn’t help that one.

Just How Biased Are the BBC?

Last season I created the highly popular New Teams Championship, which saw success to Heikki Kovalainen and Lotus Racing, and was even read at one stage by the champion himself, as well as endorsements from Virgin Racing and a few other lovely people.

Despite the fun I have had covering it, it is time for a change. Although the three teams all remain, they are going to be closer to the other teams, more than likely scoring their first points, and generally not worth comparing. Of course I’ll look at them later in the season to see how they have progressed, because I still love them, even Hispania.

But what for 2011, I was struggling for an idea for a while. And then I was inspired, whilst listening to the F1 Preview on 5Live, as hosted by Jake Humphrey, I began noting the mentions of Sauber (which was two), then noted the high lack of mentions for some of the other teams, say Force India, Toro Rosso and Virgin Racing.

And then looking back to last season, I remember the massive amount of criticism aimed towards the BBC for their apparent bias to Red Bull.

So here is the plan, each race weekend, 19 of them (please don’t reschedule Bahrain Bernie, 20 will be too much), I will look at the pre and post qualifying and race build-up and see how much time each team gets. Simple.

By the end of it, we’ll all have an understanding of which team favours the BBC, or if it was a massive waste of time and I could have spent that time doing something far more productive.

This is less of a championship and more of an investigation, hopefully an interesting one too. I’ve put this post up several weeks in advance to hear everyone’s thoughts on this idea, or if you have any other ideas I could take up.

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