Looking through my archive of paper cartoon material (99% of which shall probably, and justifiably, never see the light of day again), I came across this neat satire of ITV’s coverage of Formula 1.

By 2007, amid falling ratings (the number of viewers had slumped from about five million in 1997 to about two million in 2006 as Michael Schumacher dominance and the number of British winners dried up), the station was delighted to welcome rising star Lewis Hamilton into the front-running McLaren team. Surpassing all expectations, Hamilton proceeded to score nine podiums in his first nine races, putting the highly-rated and reigning two-time world champion Fernando Alonso in the shade.

However, ITV became a little too excited with the coverage. Although the ratings picked up, the coverage dipped into an overly-patriotic mess as ‘Lewisteria’ infested the shows, much to the point where even I, as a hardcore F1 nut, couldn’t bear to watch much of the pre-race coverage, lest I be rammed with more factos about what Hamilton had for breakfast and how his racing helmet compared to Ayrton Senna’s.

So I drew this (click for the full-size blueness of it all):

Drawn in 2007, using a Parker pen. For some reason I enhanced the picture to make it appear even more blue on screen.

In fairness to ITV, the programme was compromised with commercial breaks punctuating the pre- and post-race coverage (as well as the race itself, of course), and things had improved marginally by 2008. But, as the BBC has since demonstrated, the show could’ve been better had their number of interviewees not been so limited.