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Sky Sports F1 pick up GP2 and GP3 for 2012

The new Sky Sports F1 digital channel has announced that it has picked up the rights to show live races from the two support series GP2 and GP3 in 2012.
GP2 and GP3 races will be shown live on the new Sky Sports F1 channel in 2012, the broadcaster has announced.

"We are delighted to be showing GP2 and GP3 live on Sky Sports F1," said the channel's executive producer Martin Turner. "The series promises nail-biting and fascinating racing and we'll track gifted drivers through the ranks as they aim for F1."

Lewis Hamilton arrived in F1 after winning the 2006 GP2 championship, and Romain Grosjean has managed to fight his way back into a Grand Prix seat at Lotus F1 for 2012 after dominating last year's GP2 title. Last season's GP3 champion Valtteri Bottas is currently a test driver for the Williams F1 team.

Typically held as support events during an F1 Grand Prix weekend, GP2 and GP3 race weekends consist of a feature race up to an hour long, and a shorter sprint race. As well as live coverage of the races themselves in high definition, Sky Sports F1 will also provide news and analysis coverage of both series in its weekly motorsports magazine programme hosted by Ted Kravitz and Georgie Thompson.

GP2 races start with a non-F1 related event at Sepang in Malaysia on March 24-25, after the series combined its European and Asian championships into one 24-race season for 2012. The shorter Europe-only GP3 Series starts in Catalunya, Spain on May 12-13, and two weeks later will for the first time join GP2 at Monaco for the F1 Grand Prix weekend.

Crash.net has a full set of dates for the 2012 season for both GP2 and GP3.

GP2 and GP3 television coverage had previously been available in the UK via British Eurosport. However, last year the channel noticeably downgraded its GP2 broadcasts to the point where few races were shown live in 2011, suggesting to many fans that the channel did not expect to continue with the rights in 2012. Prior to Eurosport, ITV also had the rights to GP2 coverage while they were broadcasters for F1, before the races briefly passed to short-lived digital channel Setanta Sports in 2009. Eurosport initially picked up the TV rights in the fire sale that followed Setanta's mid-season collapse.

SPEED Channel shows GP2 in the United States, and it's expected (but not confirmed) that Sky Sports F1 will take the world feed commentary supplied by SPEED Channel F1 pit lane reporter Will Buxton.

Sky Sports F1 channel launches on March 9, and will be available to all Sky customers with the Sky Sports package or with the HD package. Subscribers can also watch online or on tablet and mobile devices with Sky Go at no extra charge. The channel will also be available to Virgin Media customers who have the Sky Sports package, albeit in standard definition only.

Under a pre-existing contract, Motors TV will also continue to show GP3 Series highlights in 2012. Motors TV is a free-to-air channel on the Sky platform, and is also available to XL subscribers on Virgin Media.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) leads the field into turn one on the opening lap of the race t the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.]
Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Ocean Racing Technology) and Fairuz Fauzy (MAS, Super Nova Racing) collide out of turn 1 at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.]
GP2 drivers on the stage during the season launch party at the Billionaire Club, Istanbul, Turkey in May. [Photo credit: Drew Gibson/GP3 Media Service] Portrait
GP3 and GP2 logos [Photo credit: Drew Gibson/GP3 Media Service.]
GP3 driver Tio Ellinas will test Marussia F1 car in 2013   [pic credit: GP3 Series]
GP3 driver Tio Ellinas will test Marussia F1 car in 2013   [pic credit: GP3 Series]
Sergio Canamasas (ESP) while testing with iSport International in post-season testing at Jerez - Thursday November 22 2012. (World Copyright: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Kevin Mirocha (POL, iSport International) during post-season testing at Jerez on 23 November 2012. (Photo: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service)
Facundo Regalia (ARG, iSport International) during the first day of post-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain on Thursday October 30 2012. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) celebrates his Singapore sprint race victory on the podium with Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) and Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering).(World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) celebrates his Monza sprint race victory on the podium with Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) and Jolyon Palmer (GBR, iSport International) (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) leads Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) and Jolyon Palmer (GBR, iSport International) through the chicane. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni), Johnny Cecotto Jr. (VEN, Barwa Addax) and Marcus Ericcson (SWE, iSport) on the podium after the Monza feature race. (World Copyright: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service.)
Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) crosses the line to take victory in the Spa feature race. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) celebrates his victory in the Spa feature race on the podium with James Calado (GBR, Lotus GP) and Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) celebrates his victory in the Spa feature race. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX, Lotus GP) celebrates his victory on the podium with Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Barwa Addax Team) and Jolyon Palmer (GBR, iSport International). (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX, Lotus GP) celebrates his victory on the podium with Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) and Luiz Razia (BRA, Arden International). Round 6. Valencia Street Circuit, Valencia, Spain. June 23 2012 (Photo: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service.)

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RD350LC - Unregistered

February 03, 2012 7:02 AM

Aye, for a lot of people it is nothing to do with a lack of passion for the sport and is more to do with not giving any of our hard earned cash to any company that has Murdoch connections it is a decision based on morels for me and I suspect a lot of others

breezyskells - Unregistered

February 05, 2012 10:52 AM

did the 1st one that said something check twitter. Eurosport said that due to contract running out these guys will not show GP2. therefore Sky was not robbing anyone. I was waiting for this type of answer



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