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Top 3 at Melbourne talk about Aussie GP (VIDEO)

Mar 17, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

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Kimi Raikkonen is your early leader in the battle for the Formula 1 world championship after taking Lotus to the top step in the Rolex Australian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen will take a seven-point lead to Malaysia over Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso (who finished second) and a ten-point lead over defending three-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel of Infiniti Red Bull (who finished third). In the constructors’ standings, however, Ferrari has put a four-point gap between themselves and Lotus thanks to Alonso’s runner-up and teammate Felipe Massa’s fourth-place effort; Lotus also got a points-paying result from Romain Grosjean, who finished 10th.

Following the Aussie GP, NBC Sports Network’s Will Buxton spoke with Raikkonen, Alonso and Vettel about their afternoons. You can check that out at the top.

  1. steveday72 - Mar 17, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    NBC Sports Network coverage of the first F1 race of 2013 was a disaster!

    Picture quality was awful, despite being on a digital channel. It was so bad that I couldn’t read any of the official onscreen data such as laps, times, driver names. (Area: Charter Communications Digital, Spring, TX 77373)

    The letterboxed picture was shifted up the screen to make way for the annoying ticker, shoving the letterboxed race off-center – meaning that on my widescreen TV (which I selected letterbox mode to fill the screen), there was a black bar at the bottom of the screen and an equal amount was cropped from the top of the broadcast.

    As for the barrage of advertising breaks… it was averaging 3.5mins of ads to 4mins of race. This happened four times in a row!

    I gave up in the end and will download the BBC coverage instead.

    • unndunn - Mar 17, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      You need to watch/DVR the live broadcast instead of watching the replay.

      They don’t show the ticker on the live broadcast, so your HDTV is filled with F1 action in beautiful, crisp 1080i (unlike Speed who had it in muddy, blurry 720p.) In addition, the live broadcast featured “F1 Non-Stop” which let the race continue in a corner of the screen during commercials so viewers didn’t miss any action (which, I suspect, was the reason for somewhat more frequent commercial breaks.) NBC also front-loaded all the commercials, so towards the end of the race, we got maybe 10-15 glorious, commercial-free laps to the finish–at least 20 minutes of commercial-free action when it counted.

      As for the picture quality, blame your cable company. NBC’s HD quality is among the best in America, but that doesn’t matter if your cable company compresses it to bits. I have Verizon FiOS TV, and this morning’s broadcast was pristine and razor-sharp, much better than Speed’s broadcasts ever were.

      Overall, I couldn’t be happier with how NBC’s F1 coverage is turning out. It’s regrettable that they couldn’t cover Q2 and Q3 live, but in all other respects, they’ve brought a level of quality and money to their coverage that Fox Sports never did.

      • Matt Thorne - Mar 18, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        what unndunn said. all of it.

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