Channel 4 Reveals Its Ten Live F1 Races For 2017

If picking 10 races out of the 20, based upon F1 Fanatic’s average Rate The Race scores and the rule that there can be no more than two consecutive races that is live or not live (ignoring other rules such as the one that Sky and Channel 4 take turns), our intrepid Channel F1 Fanatic Free TV station (hereafter shortened to F1FF) would have:

1 Australian Grand Prix March 24 – 26 Channel F1FF in all except b2) (7th highest Rate the Race mark; not used in b2) to allow Bahrain to break up the Bahrain-Russia-Spain-Monaco block)

2 Chinese Grand Prix April 7 – 9 Channel F1FF (3rd highest Rate the Race mark)

3 Bahrain Grand Prix April 14 – 16 Channel F1FF b2) (11th in Rate the Race. Only possible if willing to break Australia-China pairing to resolve Bahrain-Russia-Spain-Monaco dilemma)

4 Russian Grand Prix April 28 – 30 Sky (27th in Rate the Race mark)

5 Spanish Grand Prix May 12 – 14 Channel F1FF a) and b1) (21st in Rate the Race mark)

6 Monaco Grand Prix May 25 – 28 Channel F1FF b1) and b2) (17th in Rate the Race mark)

7 Canadian Grand Prix June 9 – 11 Channel F1FF (2nd highest Rate the Race mark)

8 Azerbaijani Grand Prix June 23 – 25 Sky (compelled due to higher Austria-Britain following duo, and in any case 28th in Rate the Race)

9 Austrian Grand Prix July 7 – 9 Channel F1FF in all except b1) (13th highest Rate the Race mark; in b1) is lost due to need to break Bahrain-Russia-Spain-Monaco group)

10 British Grand Prix July 14 – 16 Channel F1FF (6th highest Rate the Race mark)

11 Hungarian Grand Prix July 28 – 30 Sky (9th highest RTR but would cause triple if F1F had it, and neighbouring races are better-ranked)

12 Belgian Grand Prix August 25 – 27 Channel F1FF (4th highest Rate the Race mark)

13 Italian Grand Prix September 1 – 3 Sky (14th highest Rate the Race mark, dropped in all methods of resolving Bahrain-Russia-Spain-Monaco group)

14 Singapore Grand Prix September 15 – 17 Sky (compelled due to higher-ranked preceding Belgium-Italy)

15 Malaysian Grand Prix September 29 – October 1 Channel F1FF (10th highest Rate the Race mark)

16 Japanese Grand Prix October 6 – 8 Sky (18th in Rate the Race)

17 United States Grand Prix October 20 – 22 Channel F1FF (5th highest Rate the Race mark)

18 Mexican Grand Prix October 27 – 29 Sky (24th in Rate the Race)

19 Brazilian Grand Prix November 10 – 12 Channel F1FF (8th highest Rate the Race mark)

20 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix November 24 – 26 Sky (19th in Rate the Race)

The main problem with this system is that there is a barren patch of four races – Bahrain, Russia, Spain and Monaco all end up Sky once F1F’s 10 races are allocated, which cannot happen under the rule.

There are two ways of dividing up the triple, which I will assess for the distance from the theoretical optimum line-up (which would in this case feature races 2-11th in Rate the Race as the Nurburgring isn’t in use this year):

a) make Russia or Spain a Channel F1Fanatic Free race or

b) make any two of the four a Channel F1 Fanatic Free race.

If going for method a), then Spain (21st in Rate the Race) makes a rather better choice than Sochi (27th in Rate the Race – note there are only 28 circuits in the list!) There are no compelling reasons for Sochi to be selected over Spain. In this case, Italy would be the dropped race, as it has the lowest rating of the naturally-chosen ones. 7 places off optimum (due to exchanging Italy for Spain).

Method b) is more difficult. Instinctively, one would want the highest-two rated races to be selected here – Bahrain in 11th and Monaco in 17th. However, to choose Bahrain, it is necessary to drop either Australia (7th) or China (3rd)…

Method b1) Leaves Bahrain alone, selecting Monaco (17th) and the next-best option (Spain, in 21st). Italy (14th) and Austria (13th) would need to be dropped to make way. 11 places off optimum (4 lost when swapping Austria for Monaco and 7 lost when swapping Italy for Spain).

Method b2) Makes Bahrain (11th) a Channel F1 Fanatic Free race, as well as Monaco (17th). Australia (7th) and Italy (14th) would be dropped. 7 places dropped (4 when exchanging Australia for Bahrain and 3 when exchanging Italy for Monaco).

So I present two equally strong candidates for Channel F1 Free’s line-up. Note that consecutive races are indicated by / between them, and those with at least one Sky round between them are indicared by – between them. I leave you, my fellow readers, to decide which of them better represents what F1 Fanatic readers would make the best season of 10-race free F1 programming:

Selection a) – Australia/China, Spain, Canada, Austria/Britain, Belgium, Malaysia, USA, Brazil

Selection b2) – China/Bahrain, Monaco/Canada, Austria/Britain, Belgium, Malaysia, USA, Brazil

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