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April 02, 2006

Australian Grand Prix on Greek TV

F1ongreektv Well, I discovered one unlooked for advantage of being in Crete this morning. The combination of being two hours closer to Australia and the 7am chorus of church bells meant that I got to see the Australian Grand Prix live for the first time in years.

My interest in Grand Prix has mainly been driven by games - whether on the Sega Megadrive, the PlayStation or the PS2 I've spent so long driving around virtual versions of the circuits that I feel that I could probably drive them from memory. I think the virtual driving really enhances your appreciation of the skill involved - presumably the corners that it is difficult to propel pixels around are even harder in a real car. It also helps that some of the TV coverage looks exactly like a game now, as you can see in the picture.

Watching it in Greek was quite difficult though. The commentary was impenetrable, but thankfully the captions are the same worldwide, so we could still follow the action in English. One thing for those of you back in the UK still moaning about the adverts interrupting ITV's coverage of the sport - you should try it here. The advert breaks take 3 or 4 lap chunks out of the race at regular intervals, so you probably miss around a fifth of the race due to commercials. Even more astonishingly, the split-second the winner goes over the finish line they cut to another set of commercials. By the time they come back, the race for all the other positions is over. You get to see the final classification, but with no idea of how the drivers actually finished in that order - I hadn't a clue why Button went from 5th to 10th in the space of a lap. It seems quite crazy to watch something for nearly two hours, and then not get to see the end!

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