Join Grace and me as we discuss Korean BBQ, wine, lifestyle and a whole bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with Formula 1. Then we move to F1 and talk about TV ratings, Boullier, Racing Directors, Ron Dennis, Testing, Renault, Bernie Ecclestone, farces and much more.


Fashion winner here.

An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • pear-shaped pete

    none of the guys I watched the superbowl with suggested that Joe’s coat would be some kind of a hit with the ladies. Goes to show how awkward and clueless we are. Thought he missed the Schumacher fashion award on a technicality.

    In the discussion on tv audiences , I think a key element was missed. I think more vital (to the owners) are the tv dollars rather than the numbers watching. Why else would they go to the subscription -pay to view model in UK for example if they really cared about getting the biggest audience? Also in China and Germany this year? Surely there will be a drop-off when you impose cost barriers… how many Tshirts do McLaren sell? As many as they can?

    I’ll listen the Epicure-cast with great interest!

    pear-shaped pete

  • Tom

    Well maybe the TV ratings are down because F1 is ever more moving away from being a sport and towards being a show? DRS, crappy tires and now double points. As a show it will never be able to compete with “Game of Thrones”, “X-Factor”, whatever and as a sport it’s losing all credibility.

    Seriously, I want to see a fierce competition, both by the drivers as well as the engineers and if that results in domination, then so be it. People are not turning off the Olympics because Usain Bolt is dominating, they are tuning in to see him dominate. People who enjoy sports enjoy excellence, domination be damned.

    Nigel Mansell utterly dominated the 1992 season, probably more so than Vettel ever did. Do people look back at that year in disdain? I don’t think so. If people of the future have a bad memory of 2013, it will not be because of Vettel dominating, but because of the shenanigans regarding blow-up tires and DRS, taking the sport out of F1. What good are all those DRS passes when there’s zero excitement, zero sense of accomplishment? What good does it do to the sport to have 5 different winners in 5 consecutive races, when none of it has anything to do with either driving or engineering skills and everything with guessing the correct tire-response?

    I have the feeling that these people don’t know how to conduct a poll and even less so how to read it. Of course people will always say that they’d like to see more passes. That doesn’t mean that they want an unfair advantage handed to the trailing car.
    Similarly, of course people will always say that they’d rather see an exciting championship that goes down to the wire. But that doesn’t mean that they want double points at the final race.
    People above all want to see an honest sport, an authentic sport, not manufactured excitement. If the sport turns out to be exciting, all the better, but everyone knows that this can not always be the case. People want to be invested in something real, not something fake. When I get up in the middle of the night to see a race in Australia, when I spend my free time to read the Twitter feed of my favorite team, when I take my hard earned cash to purchase some F1 gear, let alone one of those expensive tickets, then it better be authentic. When I get the feeling that it’s not, that it’s all manufactured excitement, then I’ll feel cheated and I will stop caring.

    • Jack Flash (Aust)

      All of what Tom said…. JF

  • Tom Firth

    Sky gets between 450,000 and 600,000 generally throughout the season since it’s launch. Though it’s only got an viewing share of 0.2 % at it’s peak in a country that embraces F1 massively so with all due respect America. This dedicated F1 channel hardly produces great figures over here where F1 coverage is wall to wall constantly by the media.

    BBC Coverage is around the 3k mark for the majority of races. Though BBC1 has around a 23% viewing share throughout the year, The largest of any channel in the country so effectively we get 3.6 – 4 million per race over here between the two networks generally.

    Sky’s channel survives with it’s subscription based concept. Originally when the channel launched, It was available to Sky + HD viewers , That brought a number of additional customers to Sky’s HD package so effectively it covered the cost of the new channel. I think that any new F1 channel subscribers after the first couple of years have to buy Sky Sports package, Britain’s equivalent of Fox sports which includes alot of other sports, which people generally buy.

    Sky has alot of F1’s core fanbase but the majority of people viewing the content, still view it on the BBC as it’s free.

    • Tom Firth

      If F1 had gone fully Pay TV on F1, not a joint deal between the two, The F1 viewing figures would suffer horrendously in the UK.

      Sky and BBC both do great coverage, don’t get me wrong but it would never be sustainable for them to move solely to PPV broadcasts. F1 has lost some viewers from the change granted, about 400,000 apparently. BBC has grown its audience figures back from a small dip after the coverage was split. It’s not fully back and it won’t be but it’s not being the complete meltdown in ratings that people initially believed.

      If it had gone completely PPV, you could wave goodbye to F1 in the UK currently.

      Thanks for the mention by the way, enjoyed listening :-)

    • Tom Firth

      Sorry, just noticed I made a bit of a mess. 3million (M) , not 3 thousand (k) for the majority of F1 races on BBC. That’s what i get for writing on my phone :)

      By comparison for Grace, premier league football (Soccer) gets between 3-5 million for its games on BBC.

  • Oily Bo Hunk

    Failure is an option

    So I’m jogging during lunch, listening to the podcast, get to the part where N.C. has his gears smoking to recall the name of the actor in Grizzly Adams, “Dan uh, Dan…” All the while I’m huffing & puffing yelling “Fogelberg! It’s Fogelberg!”

    Only to get back to the lumbermill and google that it was actually Dan Haggerty.
    Not only is my gearbox broke, but evidently so is my ECU.

    • That it! I couldn’t recall his name for some reason. A manly man from a time long forgotten where chest hair ruled the day. ;)

  • Michael in Seattle

    The soprano, Grace? The soprano!!!???!!! Oy, gevalt! You live in Washington D.C. for gawds sake. Renee Fleming is the one opera singer that “everyone” (even folks from PA) should know.
    C’mon Grace, calling her “The Soprano” without even mentioning her name is a bit like calling Mr.Vettel “That Racer”.
    I realize that opera singers are certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but this is a bit like not knowing who, what?. . . the Barenaked Ladies” are, IYKWIM!
    Here: skip on up to 10:55 for her take on Leonard Cohn’s “Hallelujia” (Hallelujah – Renée Fleming with Heather Masse, Aoife O’Donovan and Shoe Band.)

    For anyone who missed it, here is her Super Bowl performance.

    Cheers, Michael in Seattle

    • Michael in Seattle

      Realized that may have come across a tad katty – not meant that way.

      • No worries, Grace is a cat person so it’s all good. ;)

        • Grace

          Good point – her name is Renee Flemming – as mentioned earlier, my ECU doesn’t always work – I’m guessing the wine and the full belly didn’t help much either.

  • pear-shaped pete

    Wasn’t she in that Sopranos show or something?

    pear-shaped pete

  • pear-shaped pete

    Sorry, I’m having a bad day…..If I could “unwrite” the post above I would.

    I did think it was a wonderful rendition of a moving national anthem.

    in Australia

  • Jack Flash (Aust)

    You know… It’s about time that F1B Podcast issued a new award to compliment the long standing Shout-outs, PotW award, MSF award and MBB award.

    How about a “Informative Contribution of the Week” award? There are F1B bloggers contributing technical and other F1 sporting information for the edification and education of other F1B users, and they never get any recognition for that. It just isn’t in any award criteria.

    What’s encouraging those F1B bloggers to bother continuing to inform others? JF

    • Grace

      Nice try JF… nice try. But much like Roger Daltry, a lifetime ban is a life time ban ;)

      • Jack Flash (Aust)

        [1]. I was actually addressing the question to the boss.
        [2]. It is a highly relevant point of under appreciation for many stalwart and knowledgeable F1B’ers [PeteRiva, Tom Firth, MIE, Shock n Awe, UAN, etc. etc. etc.].
        No winks. No smiley face.

        You want a site run to encourage only the ‘Entertainment Tonight’ type of blog interactions?
        Fine. But that is NOT representative of the whole F1B /F1 enthusiast demographic. So when those people in [2] don’t tend to bother offering input any more, Good Luck to all the ET’ers having to rely on NBC broadcasting or web trolling to accrue an half-accurate explanation of anything properly technical or intricate of motorsports.

        Just to be clear… No smiley face. JF

      • Tom

        I think that would be a good idea. More involvement/dialogue is always a good thing and if the basis for this is content that is of actual interest to the F1B community, all the better…

        • Grace

          Fair enough – I’ll talk it over with the boss and I’ll see what we can come up with.

  • Nathhulal

    POTW – Grace’s comment on Button’s F1 title. The credit of that gem of an insight, will last for rest of the year in my opinion !!

  • peterriva

    Thanks for the plug… I still think Reality TV is the model going forward… that’s what the NFL does (I know those guys)…

  • Rapierman

    1. Well, Austin has its own variety of fine dining as well (ask Paul about the India cuisine).

    2. Yes, I’ll stick with Texas BBQ, thankyouverymuch.

    3. Yes, Grace, they call that a ‘cultural exchange”. Happens in a lot of places.

    4. No snow or ice here, just bitter cold. I thought I was robbed (snow is extremely rare here in Austin).

    5. My prediction was DEN-27, SEA-26. You can see how that turned out (10th loss, been doing this since 1984 with Phil Simms).

    6. Yeah, to the untrained eye, every sports championship in the world is boring. We need land mines.

    7. I turned the game off at the end of the 3rd quarter. No point in me watching lambs being led to the slaughter. The entertainment value was just gone at that point.

    8. Okay, I’m not sure when I stopped listening to a Formula 1 based podcast and started listening to an adult porn theatre. Not bad, but I don’t think that was what you intended for the little ones.

    9. Yeah, he’s a team principal. I’m a no-BS “truth in labeling” kind of guy.

    10. I think McLaren has no clue as to what a “real hierarchy” is.

    11. Translation: He doesn’t have a clue, he’s using a chainsaw and he needs to get his butt kick.

    12. Yeah, that’s definitely not a good atmosphere for Brawn.

    13. Don’t hold back about Ross Brawn vis-à-vis Jenson Button, Grace. Tell us how you really feel. :-D

    14. Which says, “I don’t think I should be paying extra money when I already shell out a ton of bucks for my normal access.”

    15. It was called “The Winston” previously. Now they call it the “NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race”.

    16. Well, if the entire race becomes one big boring jibber-jabber, then what?

    17. Grace, could we define “access” first?

    18. Increase in US viewership could be ascribed to “novelty”. It’s really too soon to tell if you’ve got a solid fan base to work with.

    19. I think we could safely say that Renault was in trouble at that point.

    20. I’ll say “BS” to that. “Team Principal” is like “Crew Chief” in NASCAR: They’re always there, leading the team, barking commands to the pit crew, talking to the driver via radio to figure out what adjustments need to be made that will get them the win. They will always be there, come hell or high water.

    21. Well, that’s a first: Todd confessing to a fetish about smelling printer ink. >rimshot<

    22. Congrats to "Heavy Boots". Well thought out analogy.

    23. Well, yeah, it may be bravado, but Bernie's right in this case.