How to watch Formula 1 without TV broadcasts or with problems with showing on television

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A few days ago, it was announced that the contract between Formula 1 and Match TV had been terminated due to what was happening in Ukraine. For the first time since 2000, the F-1 will not be officially presented on Russian television, and since 2009 – on a TV channel available more or less everywhere. In this regard, the authors of the “Championship” recalled how they had to dodge broadcasts or learn information about the races.

News on the topic

Alexei Popov commented on the termination of the contract for the telecast of Formula 1 in Russia

Vitaly Krysanov

Fans now face a difficult task in a short time to find where and how to watch the race. But at least with the news feed, photos from the tracks and even videos in almost real time there are no problems yet (albeit with the use of additional “lotions”). But more than 20 years ago, when I started watching F-1, the problem was just the lack of any background: information was available only from TV broadcasts, at most – something could be gleaned from newspapers and magazines, but the efficiency of this the case did not have to be counted on. And the shows were often recorded.

The more powerful was the effect of really important news received at some unexpected moment! In 1999, when I was eight, I watched Hakkinen and Irvine fight for the title with great interest, and even kept a notebook where I could guess the possible situation. And so, at a family feast shortly after the Malaysian Grand Prix, I received a fresh SE number, not to be bored, where I immediately saw the news that Ferrari drivers had been disqualified, making Hakkinen the champion. The news struck me so much that almost a quarter of a century later, I still remember my mixed emotions: joy for Mika (I liked him more), but also great resentment that there will be no decisive fight, which I have been waiting for. Fortunately, the decision was later overturned – but I learned about it, probably only from the broadcast of the Grand Prix of Japan, almost two weeks already considering Hackinen twice.

Well, as for the difficulties with viewing (in the 2000s, I did not miss a single race – yes, some had to record on a VCR and watch again, but for this reason I had to secretly from the parents to set the alarm at the time of the broadcast to the right moment press the record button – for the conspiracy to turn off the sound and unscrew the brightness and contrast settings to a black screen), then in 2001 I forced my dad to take a kitchen TV in the garden (at that time – a very heavy box, and it was decent to go) to digging potatoes to see the Hungarian Grand Prix. So, watching Michael take another title, I watched on a small screen in fact in the open. Needless to say, the benefits from me that day were few…

Russia was finally thrown out of the race. They set up pilots and selected F-1 broadcasts

Alexander Kozhevnikov

I didn’t watch the 2006 season, and in 2007 my parents were generous with buying a satellite dish. An important clarification – until I was 18 I lived in an urban-type settlement, where only two public TV channels worked – the First and “Russia”. Well, or ORT and RTR, if rewound a little back in time. The Internet in some form in our village also came in 2009.

Of course, one of the main reasons for expanding the TV broadcasting network with the help of such a long-forgotten device as a satellite dish was watching races. However, there was a problem: on the Asian satellite (if my memory serves me correctly, it was called “Yamal”), to which we connected, there was a very bad signal from REN TV. And if REN TV worked, it was bad to catch other channels, including the main ones. And so every Saturday and Sunday night before the live broadcast, I, a 13-year-old boy, had to climb on the roof of the house to catch the REN TV signal and still watch the cherished races. And we’re not talking about weather conditions: we had to climb in windy weather almost every advertising break! Surprisingly, I still watched the season completely, not missing a single race.

The last Ferrari champion.  The story of the dramatic finale of the F-1 in the 2007 season
The last Ferrari champion. The story of the dramatic finale of the F-1 in the 2007 season

Eugene Kustov

Unlike my colleagues, I remember well the first half of 1997, when the F-1 had already left the RTR and had not yet reached the TVC, and the very beginning of 2000, when “Russia” signed a contract only in the second race of the season. In 1997, the radio came to the rescue: now it sounds as strange as possible, and then we had to follow the Grand Prix thanks to operational information on the “Echo of Moscow”, “Lighthouse” and “Radio 1”. I’m not sure that I managed to “listen” to every race in this way, but, for example, Schumacher’s unconditional victory in Monaco-97 is still associated with my car radio in my uncle’s car.

2000 – again radio, this time “Sport FM” (not the one that closed some time ago and reopened as the “First Sports”), but the short-lived project “NTV-Plus”. I remember waking up early in the morning for the Australian Grand Prix and listening to the story of a reporter who went to one of Moscow’s bars and watched the race on TV – such a bizarre design.

As for the insufficiently available TV channels, it is still a shame that he could not watch the legendary French Grand Prix in 1999: civilization seems to have reached the recreation center on Seliger, but not quite – public television about the existence of TVC, alas, did not suspect . So for me, all the information about the race fit into a 30-second story in the sports news “Lighthouse”.

Hakkinen broke through from 14th place, Schumacher flew in the rain.  France-99 is the top stage of F-1!
Hakkinen broke through from 14th place, Schumacher flew in the rain. France-99 is the top stage of F-1!

Lev Dorogov

The television antenna of our house stubbornly refused to catch the REN TV channel, where Formula 1 broadcasts moved in 2006. To solve the problem of watching races, parents even had to buy a set-top box, which could provide the signal of the channel we need. For a while, everything went well, when suddenly in 2008 on the frequency of REN TV at certain hours began to invade a foreign TV channel. Because of this, the races were broadcast exclusively on record – and late at night. We didn’t have the Internet at that time, so the only way out of this situation was to record. So, the day of the race for me was not a traditional Sunday around the world, but Monday.

The most important thing in this case – God forbid not accidentally spy on the results of the race in sports news releases. One day I came across a report about the Hungarian Grand Prix. So I learned that Felipe Massa dramatically went down the distance three laps before the finish. By the way, the most offensive episode in this whole story is connected with the Brazilian. The next morning, after the enchanting finish of the 2008 season, my older brother told me in detail what happened last night in Sao Paulo – apparently to save the nine-year-old Ferrari fan from mental anguish. And rightly so: the forty-second Mass championship is over! As a result, I did not watch the Brazilian race. Symbolically, this was the last formula broadcast on REN TV – the following year the F-1 returned to the channel “Sport”.

As we saw the F-1 and fell in love.  Fans - about young Popov, RTR and
As we saw the F-1 and fell in love. Fans – about young Popov, RTR and “Technique – youth”

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