US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

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sandman1347
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US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by sandman1347 »

Okay so I've been watching F1 coverage in the United States for decades and David has been a staple in the broadcast team the entire time. It saddens me to say that it is definitely time for him to hang up his microphone and allow someone else to take over. He used to bring that ex-driver's perspective to the races and make insightful comments. Now he seems to alternate between mumbling incoherently and sticking his foot in his mouth after making inappropriate jokes (did you catch his Chinese torture comment today...). My honest opinion is that the whole team could use a shake-up but David is the most glaring weakness.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by bsanderson »

All three are 100 times better than the announcers on ABC. I like Hobbs but then, I'm old :)

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by Tassadar »

never did like the speed guys, although Matchet had some REALLY good technical insights. I just found they moaned and grunted too much and didn't do enough actual commentating. Hobbs had some good one liners, but was pretty awful otherwise.

I actually liked ITV with Brundle and Allen (even with all his blunders). I'm currently watching sky for the first time. Dunno what to make of it yet.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by HS Thompson »

The idea that David Hobbs has some sort of Formula One experience is one that I have always found very very amusing. Just a brief reading on how many F1 races he's been in and the results obtained, is quite amazing.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by moby »

(not US sorry, just interfering :] )

Sounds like Murry Walkers last few years commentating. Wanted to throw things at the TV and had to block him out

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by PRFAN »

Agree

One has to retire already, I mean no disrespect. And Steve Matchett tends to oversell the action and sometimes his technical analisys or comentary is lacking, likes to point out the obvious.

This team needs two new members

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by Blake »

Personally, though I like both Hobbs and Matchett at times, i have longed for an American representation on the broadcast team. There is no reason why it can't be done. I preferred Varsha to Diffey by a lot. There is no justification for every member speaking with a foreign accent. Even the pit reporter, will Buxton falls into that category.

As for the poster criticizing David Hobbs for his F1 experience... bullsh1t. Hobbs had a fine racing career in multiple racing disciplines and earned respect not fan ignorance. Making a quick, narrow google search on a driver's F1 success and then drawing a conclusion of his capability to be a racing broadcaster is asinine. I have watched much of David Hobbs racing career when he was active on the track and can say that he was a very capable driver and has insights to racing that most cannot and do not have.
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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by HS Thompson »

Blake wrote:Personally, though I like both Hobbs and Matchett at times, i have longed for an American representation on the broadcast team. There is no reason why it can't be done. I preferred Varsha to Diffey by a lot. There is no justification for every member speaking with a foreign accent. Even the pit reporter, will Buxton falls into that category.

As for the poster criticizing David Hobbs for his F1 experience... bullsh1t. Hobbs had a fine racing career in multiple racing disciplines and earned respect not fan ignorance. Making a quick, narrow google search on a driver's F1 success and then drawing a conclusion of his capability to be a racing broadcaster is asinine. I have watched much of David Hobbs racing career when he was active on the track and can say that he was a very capable driver and has insights to racing that most cannot and do not have.


Nice assumptions, but you are flat out wrong. I've watched David Hobbs since he first started broadcasting F1, either with ESPN or SpeedVision. I've always known that his F1 career was at the scrub level.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by BalanceUT »

sandman1347 wrote:Okay so I've been watching F1 coverage in the United States for decades and David has been a staple in the broadcast team the entire time. It saddens me to say that it is definitely time for him to hang up his microphone and allow someone else to take over. He used to bring that ex-driver's perspective to the races and make insightful comments. Now he seems to alternate between mumbling incoherently and sticking his foot in his mouth after making inappropriate jokes (did you catch his Chinese torture comment today...). My honest opinion is that the whole team could use a shake-up but David is the most glaring weakness.

When Hobbs is good, he's quite good. But, unfortunately, the years have caught up with him and it is time for him to move to doing filmed filler segments that show what a driver is doing, experiencing, comparisons, etc. He needs to be edited now to ensure his integrity is upheld, to get the best out of him for his legacy and the viewer. Bring in a recently retired driver to fill his role in the live seat. Yes, the 'torture' comment caught my ear and he has a few of those a year now.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by Remmirath »

I didn't actually notice much of the commentary on this last qualifying session, due to spending most of my time talking about the foibles of the new format while watching, but I haven't usually had any problem with the NBC commentators. They have insightful comments every now and again, most of the time it's fairly neutral, and (thankfully, in contrast to commentators on some other sport) much of the time they don't say anything at all. However, I haven't watched any other broadcast of F1, so I don't have other commentators on the same sport to compare them to and am therefore lacking in perspective. To be sure, there is potential room for improvement.

While I didn't catch the "Chinese torture" comment, I'm assuming it referred to "Chinese" water torture, which may have been a reasonable joking metaphor to use to describe certain aspects of the new qualifying format. The torture method doesn't actually have anything to do with China, of course, but the term has been in widespread use for quite some time now, so -- assuming that's what it was, of course! -- that doesn't strike me as particularly bad. Incorrect and far from ideal, but in such common usage that it's not surprising. Of course, I'm missing the context, so it could've been much worse than that.

Blake wrote:Personally, though I like both Hobbs and Matchett at times, i have longed for an American representation on the broadcast team. There is no reason why it can't be done. I preferred Varsha to Diffey by a lot. There is no justification for every member speaking with a foreign accent. Even the pit reporter, will Buxton falls into that category.

I don't see why this matters, honestly; I certainly don't care. If the commentary is good, I care not a whit what accent they have. If it's not good, that's the problem. It's not as though they're difficult to understand due to their accents.
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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by Argentum »

HS Thompson wrote:
Blake wrote:Personally, though I like both Hobbs and Matchett at times, i have longed for an American representation on the broadcast team. There is no reason why it can't be done. I preferred Varsha to Diffey by a lot. There is no justification for every member speaking with a foreign accent. Even the pit reporter, will Buxton falls into that category.

As for the poster criticizing David Hobbs for his F1 experience... bullsh1t. Hobbs had a fine racing career in multiple racing disciplines and earned respect not fan ignorance. Making a quick, narrow google search on a driver's F1 success and then drawing a conclusion of his capability to be a racing broadcaster is asinine. I have watched much of David Hobbs racing career when he was active on the track and can say that he was a very capable driver and has insights to racing that most cannot and do not have.


Nice assumptions, but you are flat out wrong. I've watched David Hobbs since he first started broadcasting F1, either with ESPN or SpeedVision. I've always known that his F1 career was at the scrub level.



So what?

The level he reached in F1 will have no bearing on his ability as a broadcaster. What it will bring, irrespective of the level he reached, is an insight, and experience beyond the level of the vast majority of viewers. Just as, over here in the UK, we've had punditry from, for example, Allan McNish - a driver who in absolute statistics did not fare well in F1, but equally from his achievements in other categories, was an excellent driver. Nevertheless, his experience and insight in F1 is way, way more than most peoples', so why wouldn't his views be sought by TV companies? And viewers?

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by Exediron »

I like Hobbs - in fact I like the whole lineup. They're quirky and fun, and if they don't possess the same depth of knowledge that someone like Brundle does, at least they don't possess the depth of idiocy that can be attained by either Crofty of Lazenby. I've watched both BBC and Sky recorded, and I find the NBC team to be just as likely to make a serious error and less likely to have an absurdly nationalistic bent to their coverage. Also, while they may occasionally get a little bit off topic, they're usually less susceptable to trying to dress up whatever is going on on track as the most interesting thing ever to happen.

In short, Hobbs is fun and doesn't grate on me, but I understand how he might for someone else. There are probably people who feel that way about Jordan, after all... ;)
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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by Cold Gin »

Hobbs isn't as funny as he used to be. Still like Matchett, miss Varsha.
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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by sandman1347 »

Cold Gin wrote:Hobbs isn't as funny as he used to be. Still like Matchett, miss Varsha.

Me too. Bob really brought the whole thing together. Lee is growing on me a little but he's not as good as Bob.

To be honest neither Steve nor David are working out for me at the moment. I think David has just aged to a point where things are happening too fast for him and Steve has gotten to be really dry and stale. Things could be worse but I just don't really like this team that much anymore. Would be great if they tried something new.

We need someone like Martin Brundle. We need someone with more direct and recent experience in the world of F1 behind the wheel. I think there are loads of options out there.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by marc420 »

I can't stand the US coverage. Stopped watching it several years ago. Fortunately, I've got other options.

Hobbs used to be funny .... back in the 1980's or so. I got the impression that he was still drunk when he got to the NC studio in the early AM to do the race. Had a wry sense of humor and could be quite entertaining.

But, that was a very long time ago. Last time I listened to him, he just seemed bitter and mean. And generally said the same few things over and over and over.

But, the whole team stunk as well. Varsha was a moron. He'd say something because he thought it sounded good even when it was flat wrong. I remember one year when FOX was showing the races and Bob thought he needed to impress NASCAR fans. He was going on and on about the 'sub-second pit stops' in formula one. And with Matchett, I learned that as a viewer you should expect whatver the opposite of what he said. If said a team was going to pit this lap, they'd be out for the next five. And so on, just always assume he's dead wrong. Lee Diffey is worse than Varsha. Way to impressed with his own self-importance, but generally pretty clueless, and with a voice that sounded like the whine of a dentist drill.

Still, the US has the worst english-language broadcasts, and if one must watch them, the mute button is a life-saver.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by marc420 »

One year, NBCSN was showing the Champ Car races. The 'Voice guy' on the team wasn't too annoying for the breed, and they had a couple of ex-drivers who were quite good at explaining what was going on. I think the last year they used that group one of the ex-drivers was also a team principle who still did announcing on race day. A very good point of view as to what was happening in Champ Car that season. So, naturally that concept had to die and go away.

I thought TNT/NBC did excellent coverage of a NASCAR race one year when they decided to focus the evening on the 'sounds' of the race. Less talk, more sounds of the race. I remember they did pit stops just with good mics around the car and completely dismissed with the screaming pit reporters during the pit stops. And generally of the three NASCAR broadcasters, that group does the best.

Can't stand it when ABC/ESPN does a race. That's pretty much an instant mute button from the beginning.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by Blake »

HS Thompson wrote:
Blake wrote:
As for the poster criticizing David Hobbs for his F1 experience... bullsh1t. Hobbs had a fine racing career in multiple racing disciplines and earned respect not fan ignorance. Making a quick, narrow google search on a driver's F1 success and then drawing a conclusion of his capability to be a racing broadcaster is asinine. I have watched much of David Hobbs racing career when he was active on the track and can say that he was a very capable driver and has insights to racing that most cannot and do not have.


Nice assumptions, but you are flat out wrong. I've watched David Hobbs since he first started broadcasting F1, either with ESPN or SpeedVision. I've always known that his F1 career was at the scrub level.


Big deal... you started watching Hobbs since he started broadcasting F1. So what? You obviously did not follow him when he was racing in F1 and in sports cars. Nor do you have even a small portion of the experience in professional racing that Hobbs has to bring to the commentary. So what if he did not win WDCs or even contend for them... that is not a requirement to have knowledge of the sport and be able to apply it to broadcasting. I hate to be the one to tell you ... even "scrub level" F1 drivers have a hell of a lot of knowledge that you... and I ... do not have about the sport.

By the way, what am I "flat out wrong" about concerning your post? Answer... nothing.
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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by DaveStebbins »

I like the current broadcast team, but agree it might be time for Hobbs to retire. He doesn't seems to be as sharp as he used to be. maybe it was just the hour for this weekend and maybe he'll be more on top of things later in the season. I actually enjoy the accents, it puts me in the right state of mind for an international racing series where a majority of the teams are based in England.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by Vettel Fan »

I like him, but to think he offers good driver insight is somewhat laughable. The era in which he raced was so long ago. The cars are completely different machines. To me he's just a funny old man on the broadcast. Seems to get on well with Diffey and Machett. They compliment each other. Overall I am happy with the trio.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by SnakeSVT2003 »

He's still there because there is nobody to replace him, really. It's easy to list a type of commentator that is needed, but much harder to actually name somebody that would do it.
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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by kleefton »

I like Hobbs. I find him funny, but I do get annoyed when he makes silly mistakes with the driver's names, positions and stuff like that and it happens a lot.
What kills me even worst is that the other two guys seldom correct him, it's almost like they're not even listening to him.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by Gumption »

kleefton wrote:I like Hobbs. I find him funny, but I do get annoyed when he makes silly mistakes with the driver's names, positions and stuff like that and it happens a lot.
What kills me even worst is that the other two guys seldom correct him, it's almost like they're not even listening to him.

I like Hobbs as well. He is making more mistakes than he used to but I couldn't stand Varsha because it was rare when he didn't get information wrong. I was very happy when Varsha left and unfortunately Hobbs will be just as bad pretty soon. For now though, I think he's a good fit with the group.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by ShaneM »

Hobbs is a treasure, I love his sense of humor, and he has a wealth of knowledge and stories. NBC sports should not let him go.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by HawaiiF1Fan »

I like Hobbs, but I think it's time for him to go.

I'd really love to see one Dario Franchitti in the booth. Massive amounts of knowledge of both F1 and IndyCar.

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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by Exediron »

HawaiiF1Fan wrote:I like Hobbs, but I think it's time for him to go.

I'd really love to see one Dario Franchitti in the booth. Massive amounts of knowledge of both F1 and IndyCar.

Franchitti's not a bad call; I enjoy his Formula E commentary. Totally different personality though, so it's hard to know how the chemistry would be.
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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by F1 MERCENARY »

Blake wrote:Personally, though I like both Hobbs and Matchett at times, i have longed for an American representation on the broadcast team. There is no reason why it can't be done. I preferred Varsha to Diffey by a lot. There is no justification for every member speaking with a foreign accent. Even the pit reporter, will Buxton falls into that category.

As for the poster criticizing David Hobbs for his F1 experience... bullsh1t. Hobbs had a fine racing career in multiple racing disciplines and earned respect not fan ignorance. Making a quick, narrow google search on a driver's F1 success and then drawing a conclusion of his capability to be a racing broadcaster is asinine. I have watched much of David Hobbs racing career when he was active on the track and can say that he was a very capable driver and has insights to racing that most cannot and do not have.

Well stated sir. I guess decades of racing other types of "Race" Cars doesn't count these days. Mind you, in his day, cars were hellaciously brutal and difficult to drive without the creature comforts known as driver aids.

Adding to that, Matchett does sometimes oversell a bit BUT he has a vastly more keen eye than 90% of other F1 commentators. I have an eagle eye myself and see most of the things he does but sometimes he sees the most minute thing everyone else missed. And I do indeed miss my buddy Bob Varsha on the broadcast team. Initially, after so many years with Peter Windsor as the field reporter, I was not too keen on Will Buxton but I have to say I was dead wrong as he is one of the most passionate F1 commentators alive. I still wish Peter was conducting the post race interviews, but I think Will would do a great job, as he does with everything else. Thinking on it, Will is like the Larry Merchant of F1, only he's not at all boring and is completely relevant in every regard.

Now Diffey… HE NEEDS TO GO!!!

OMG his relentless SCREEEAAMING and overzealousness all the time is really annoying. I think he is great for Superbike where it's all action on the edge almost all the time, but his is a terrible fit for F1. And the LIIIIIGHTS GO OUT IN MELBURRRNNN!!!!!! x(
He might just push me to jam a letter opener into my ear like not he X-files. LOL
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Re: US Viewers: Let's Discuss David Hobbs

Post by Rock Brocaine »

Just bring back Varsha.

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