There couldn’t be a better day than this Sunday to be a fan of open wheel racing. As I mentioned earlier today, the 2011 IndyCar Series kicks off Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Florida. Meanwhile, the top Formula One drivers are in Melbourne, Australia for the start of the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship season. Coverage of the Australian Grand Prix will begin late Friday night at 1:55am ET/10:55pm PT with live qualifying (an encore will air at 8am ET on TSN2). Then the 55-lap race will air live late Saturday night at 1:55am ET/10:55pm PT (once again, an encore will air at 8am ET on TSN2). The 2011 Australian Grand Prix will be special because it will be the first ever high definition broadcast of a Formula One race for a worldwide audience. Every Formula One race in 2011 will be available in HD on TSN HD.
Once again Speed will air coverage in the United States. In Canada most of their live broadcasts will be blacked out due to TSN’s exclusive rights; however, Friday practice and encore broadcasts of qualifying and the races will be available. Four races this summer will air on Fox. Those will be available in Canada.
TSN will be picking up the BBC’s coverage again for the 2011 season. This year BBC will debut a new commentary team consisting of former drivers Martin Brundle and David Clouthard. It will be interesting to see how Brundle, a long time analyst, will handle his first season doing play-by-play. Ted Kravitz and Lee McKenzie will return as pit reporters for BBC. The tried and true team of Bob Varsha, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett will be calling coverage on Speed and Fox again. Will Buxton will return to report from the pits.
You can see the full 2011 Formula One on TSN broadcast schedule here. Highlights incude the Monaco Grand Prix (May 29), Canadian Grand Prix (June 12) and the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix (November 27).