Back in the day, when yours truly started watching F1, there wasn’t much beyond choosing the correct channel on the telly box and simply watching the racing. Now, in 2011 there are endles other ways to watch the coverage and additional features to further enhance your viewing of Formula 1, including new improved additions from teams themselves…
Available via the F1.com website for free (after registering), this gives you the same timing data that the teams and commentators use with lap times, split times (time between cars) and sector times as well as number of pitstops and who’s in the pits when. It’s a must for any F1 fan to have on when watching the race, or if you don’t have access to a laptop and the desktop computer is in a different room, you can get the same data on your phone with the F1 Live Timing App (free) or the more expensive one (£19.99), which also gives GPS-powered track positions for each car on a 3D interactive circuit map. If your phone doesn’t do apps, then you can also get the data by going to the mobile.f1.com site.
This is a now the household name for micro-blogging, but as well as random folk talking about the weather, F1 teams and media now use the service, with every single team in the 2011 season tweeting regularly with news and updates, even during a grand prix weekend. You can read our article on F1’s Love affair with Twitter for more information. And there’s also a very useful Twitter F1 Directory on SidePodCast. Of course, you should ensure you follow @BadgerGP – we live tweet throughout each session.
Yep, television is still around and a great way to watch F1, but even this has developed over time. You can now use the ‘red button’ to get additional camera angles and onboard views and there’s also the option for changing the commentary (although we believe less people will feel the need to do that this year)
There’s also now F1 in High Definition on BBC 1 HD – which brings F1 to your living room with great clarity than ever before, it’s seriously impressive and you can read our Guide to F1 in HD here.
What used to be referred to as ‘the wireless’ is still going strong and thanks to the fantastic team at BBC Radio 5 Live, the F1 coverage is superb. It features Badger’s favourite voice of F1, David Croft, alongside ex-F1 driver Anthony Davidson and often guest people too. This weekend there’s Maurice Hamilton and also Karun Chandhok is a popular addition sometimes too.
The BBC also broadcast their coverage of the race weekends online and you can also choose your commentary, great if you’re not wanting to get out of bed for the races on at some ungodly hour – F1 in bed on your laptop – classy. The Friday and Saturday practice sessions are also shown, which is great for your major F1 fans and gives you more F1 for your money (well, your TV licence fee!)
In public / at home
Pubs showing F1 are few and far between, if you have one near you, let us know where in the comments and we’ll start to compile a map of F1 venues… in the meantime though, if you’re London based you should pop to the Sports Cafe on Haymarket – they show all the F1, live in HD. It’s where we have our live GP events and always has a great atmosphere, as well as additional international TV feeds and camera angles.
McLaren and Mercedes GP
Yep, what’s more this year is that not only McLaren, but also Mercedes GP have live data on their team websites and they’re both utterly brilliant. They naturally only feature their own cars and drivers, but there’s a majorly impressive amount of data and information on them. If you’re a Lewis, Jenson, Nico or Michael fan then you really should check them out (active during sessions only) at McLaren’s website and at the Mercedes GP website.
So, how do YOU watch F1?
Here in the Sett (Badger HQ) we have an HD projector showing the action in a massive format, with live timing on the main computer and then Twitter and more on the laptop… well when we’re not at the races! What about you? Share your F1 viewing setups and preferences below in the comments…