Advantages and Disadvantages of F1 TV

Posted May 24, 2021 by in Lifestyle

It’s a good time to share our impressions of the innovative format of Formula 1 broadcasts. Of course, you could watch the races on Sky Sports F1, but with F1 TV for a rather low price you get access to legal broadcasts in high definition. In addition, you get live streaming of all support races for F1, F13, and the Porsche Supercup.

There are five audio tracks to choose from: English, French, German, Dutch, and Spanish, as well as interference. 

New Ways to Watch Formula 1 Races

The interactive format of the broadcasts is not an innovation for Formula 1. However, in two decades, technology has advanced significantly. And now to watch the races in the interactive format you only need to have a computer, laptop, or smartphone Internet access.

There are four options to choose from when watching a live broadcast or recording races from 2019. Live (Replay in the case of recording) – the actual picture of the TV broadcast. This picture most of the time is duplicated in multi-camera mode “Pit-lane” along with two pictures from the onboard cameras, which the F1 TV director chooses. So, for example, on the last laps of the  Monza Formula 1 Grand Prix, you could simultaneously watch Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas chasing Charles Leclerc. And you can choose an onboard camera on the car of any of the 20 drivers and watch only him, listening to his radio conversations with the team, which do not get into the TV broadcast. It is thanks to F1 TV, by the way, it became known that AlphaTauri ignored Daniil Kvyat on the warm-up lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

There is also a tracker that allows you to track the location of cars at different points on the track. And the data mode presents positions, breakaway, lap times, including by sector, information on tire choice, weather and even such little things as DRS activation in real time. You feel like playing Grand Prix World or Motorsport Manager instead of watching the broadcast.

At first, it is difficult to get used to such a gigantic amount of information and to orientate when and where it is better to look. It is not easy to perceive the information from three pictures in a multi-camera format simultaneously. But it is purely a matter of skill and habit. In the end, the beauty of the interactive format is that the viewer is his own director of broadcasting.

Formula 1 has finally legalized the viewing of replays of races on the Internet. For some reason, the FOM has always ignored the publication of recordings of the Grand Prix, even when technology has more or less allowed it. I remember in 2005, the British magazine F1 Racing criticized the official site of Formula 1 for the lack of compilations with the best moments of the races recorded and gave the example of sites NASCAR and MotoGP. Indeed, on the official site of MotoGP back in 2003, if you subscribe, you could watch race recordings! Formula 1 has a video archive only with F1 TV in 2018.

Failures Happen…

The debut of F1 TV two years ago was not easy. The streaming service didn’t launch until the fifth round of the 2018 season in Spain, although it was originally scheduled to launch in the first race in Australia. The launch in Barcelona was a failure and Liberty Media even had to refund subscribers. But over the past two years, the system was brought up to speed, and now it works more or less steadily. The only big failure this year, on the day of the Austrian Grand Prix qualifying, the service dropped for a few hours. But it happens: even the existing not one year Eurosport Player several weeks ago crashed on the day of the restart of the cycling season, notwithstanding the influx of users.

Curiosities happen when scheduling sessions on the F1 TV site. So, for example, somehow editors did not put in the schedule of Saturday’s race of Formula 2. They have copied the timetable of the forthcoming Spanish Grand Prix from the Hungarian Grand Prix, but forgot to remove the name of the round!