Formula 1 on ESPN sees massive improvement; IndyCar thrilled in Phoenix

Enlarge / Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF71H leads Kimi Raikkonen of Finland driving the (7) Scuderia Ferrari SF71H, Valtteri Bottas driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes WO9 and the rest of the field at the start during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 8, 2018 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)
A couple weeks ago, I laid into ESPN for the way it handled its first Formula 1 race broadcast. I know I struck a chord with some of you because that article continues to generate emails from the readership. So it is only fair that I again put fingers to keyboard this morning because the network did a bang-up job showing us the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend.
The big change? Uninterrupted coverage from the warm-up lap right through to the post-race interview on the podium. Those of you who suggested that the solution was finding a single sponsor for the entire broadcast? Good thinking—it seems that’s exactly what happened. Mothers’ Polish stepped up and bought the advertising for the entire race, sparing us the jarring experience of commercial breaks that cut in and out with no warning or recap. And what a difference it made! Well done ESPN, and keep it up.
A strategic race, but a good one
Unlike many other series, F1 races are often a complex game of strategy that take time to play out. And this weekend in Bahrain, we actually got a gripping battle. The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen had the raw speed to stake out the front row of the grid in qualifying, with the added comfort of knowing that Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes-AMG would start with a five-place penalty due to a gearbox change on Friday.
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Source: Car news one

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