Canadian Grand Prix 2010: Sunday News Round-up

Bernie: No HD yet; FIA clarify slowing down laps

Bernie Ecclestone has hinted that Formula One fans will have to wait a number of years before the sport is broadcast in High Definition.

While other motor sport events have introduced High Definition feeds, such as this weekend’s Le Mans  along with various Motorcycling events and NASCAR, Formula One continues to be broadcast in digital only.

As a result, this has prompted calls from F1’s broadcasters for the sport to make the switch. These have included the BBC, which has been inundated with requests from fans.

However, while the technology is now available to make the switch to HD, Ecclestone believes that it will take sometime for it to be introduced.

“We don’t want to broadcast unless people want it,” Ecclestone told Autosport. “I asked in England, the BBC, about it – how many people can receive it? They said about 20 per cent of the viewers who watch F1.

“Then I want to make sure that what we produce is top quality. Before we start seeing the top-top quality that we want, I would say it will probably be 2012 before we can guarantee it.”

“I said to the broadcasters, are you going to get more viewers, will more people watch F1 because it is HD or will less people watch it because it isn’t? They really need to have a check and see who has got the right televisions.

“I don’t think the average public realise that it is not the television, they have to have something to receive it as well. It is like producing a colour signal when people only have black-and-white sets.”

Meanwhile, following Lewis Hamilton’s failure to make it back to parc ferme at the end of qualifying, the FIA has moved to clamp down on teams running insufficent fuel to purposely improve their time.

Hamilton, who was told to stop his car out on circuit after his final qualifying run, was fined $10,000 and given a reprimand by race stewards. However, on Sunday morning the governing body moved to clarify this blackspot and warned teams of serious consequences if such a move was repeated.

“Any team whose car stops on the slowing down lap after the race will be asked by the stewards to explain why this happened, ” FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting said in a note issued to teams before the start of the Canadian Grand Prix.

“If they are not satisfied that the reasons were beyond the control of the driver or team, and feel that this has been done deliberately to gain a competitive advantage, appropriate action will be taken.”