As this post goes live, the lights will be going out in Melbourne's Albert Park and the first Grand Prix of the 2012 Formula 1 season will be underway. I can't begin to describe the excitement I feel about having it back - or about the fact the there's a McLaren 1-2 on the grid.
One thing that is missing, though, is Fleetwood Mac's The Chain as this race will be carried live on Sky, with the BBC only having the highlights later. It's a new era for coverage of the sport in the UK and such a shame as the BBC's coverage had been excellant in the previous 3 years since they regained the rights from ITV (whose record we will cast a discreet veil over...)
At time of writing, I've not yet watched the coverage of qualifying but the thing that struck me last week whilst I watched Sky's season preview programme was how much of a tribute to the BBC it was. From the pre-title poetic sequence, to the look and feel of the graphics and nature of the pre-filmed features, there was little to differentiate it from what had gone before other than the swanky studio. And, of course, there were a number of familiar faces - Martin Brundle and Ted Kravitz - and voices - David Croft, Anthony Davidson and Natalie Pinkham - from the BBC's TV and Radio coverage.
The credits are low key and pay homage to the history of F1. Even here, though, there is a link to the BBC coverage - the track chosen "Just Drive" was used by the BBC over a montage of highlights at the end of the 2010 season.
Here are the credits:
And here is your Sunday Sound, Just Drive by Alistair Griffin, in full: