Christian Horner on air double the time of anyone else on Sky F1’s 2022 broadcast
An analysis into the representation of each team on Sky Sports’ broadcast has shown Christian Horner appeared more than double that of Toto Wolff.
To those familiar with Sky’s offering, this stat should come as no surprise given Horner’s role at not only one of the top teams but also one that was involved in plenty of memorable moments throughout 2022.
As the provider of not just the British feed but also one that is broadcast in the US via ESPN, Sky is often seen as the main broadcaster of the global sport and as such, those featured on the coverage are presented to a large audience.
Motorsportbroadcasting.com has taken a deeper look into the British broadcaster’s coverage to determine which teams and individuals are appearing more than others.
As part of their study, they solely focused on Sky’s offerings which are prepared in advance including their build-up to each qualifying, sprint, and race session during 2022.
This includes paddock interviews, driver analysis via the Sky Pad and feature-length segments but does not include ‘glamour’ VTs before and after a commercial break, ad-hoc analysis from within the paddock, post-race analysis, and Sky’s supplementary programming, including The F1 Show and Any Driven Monday.
They then took the data and gave each driver, team and team principal a percentage as to how much they appeared on viewers’ screens.
Christian Horner appeared more than double the amount that Toto Wolff did
As the man at the centre of not only the Championship winning team but one that was involved in a cost cap breach, it should come as no surprise that Horner tops the list but it is the degree in which he does so that is of note.
In a comparison of other non-driver personnel to be interviewed, Horner accounted for 33.7% of the time while Mercedes’ Wolff was only on for 18.2%.
There are context factors behind this which explain the discrepancy. For a start, Red Bull were the most noteworthy team in terms of on the track and off it in 2022 but also Horner is the sole British principal on the grid, making him an ideal interviewee for the British broadcaster.
It will also depend on the individual’s desire to be interviewed, for Sky may have attempted to interview Wolff just as many times as Horner but the Silver Arrows boss could not make time in his schedule.
Horner is not the only Red Bull member to break the top 10 with principal strategy engineer Hannah Schmitz featuring 2.9%, owing to her extended interview following the Hungarian Grand Prix.
McLaren also featured regularly with both Andreas Seidl and Zak Brown among the top 10 while Ferrari’s former team principal Mattia Binotto was on for 7.7% of the time.
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Charles Leclerc is top while Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton tie
In terms of the drivers, it should come as little surprise that Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is at the top with the 25-year-old experiencing his most dramatic season to date.
Sky took a particular focus of the Ferrari man’s pole-setting laps, especially while his Championship bid was still alive, and he was on screen for 13.7% of the time.
Lewis Hamilton may not have won a single race but his presence and appeal in the sport is still huge, as represented by his 11.6% of airtime, just 0.04 percentage points more than Max Verstappen although the Dutchman’s refusal to speak to Sky for the Mexican Grand Prix should be taken into account.
George Russell, in his maiden season with Mercedes, finished narrowly behind the pair of them with 10% while another British star Lando Norris was on screen 9.4% of the time.
At the other end of the table, Williams driver Nicholas Latifi did not feature in a single interview during Sky’s pre-sessions build-ups in 2022 and both the Alfa Romeo drivers were low down the list.
Ferrari drop after Championship bid goes up in smoke while Daniel Ricciardo rumours see McLaren soar
As well as analysing the time spent on screen, Motorsportbroadcasting.com also looked at trends over the season and how unfolding stories affected Sky’s choice of interviewee.
At the beginning when Ferrari were the dominant force, they featured heavily but as their title bid fizzled out, they began to appear less and less on the screen, ending with the third most appearance time behind Mercedes and Red Bull.
Given their dreadful start to the season, the Silver Arrows started with a huge lead over their rivals but as the problem became old news, their coverage levelled out, rising again with their upturn in form.
Red Bull meanwhile were pretty quiet in comparison to the top three early on, spending several race weeks with the least amount of time covered of the three leaders but their cost cap break saw them take a dramatic rise, resulting in them topping the pile by the end of the season.
In the midfield, McLaren rose dramatically as rumours over Daniel Ricciardo’s future began to swirl and he became a frequent figure in front of the Sky cameras.
At the other end, Alfa Romeo were the lowest behind AlphaTauri and Williams.