A year and a bit of F1 Access

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    Alright guys, they’ve had time to iron out the kinks. If you subscribe, what are your long term impressions of F1 Access? The good? The bad? Is it good value at £20 for a year? Predominantly it looks like the benefit is the live timings and the extra videos.


    It’s actually completely superfluous and underdeveloped compared with the brilliant FIA WEC app. Yes, it’s useful to have the timing data at your fingertips when you’re spectating at the track, but with the delay in live TV coverage, it becomes a pointless prophecy of what will happen in thirty seconds time when used with the live TV coverage.

    What is true of F1 Access is true of all F1’s engagement with digital platforms: it is completely outclassed by other sorts of motorsport, especially MotoGP. F1 really needs a Dorna of its own…


    I subscribe purely for the live timing on my tablet, yes the delay exists between app and tv coverage but all you need to do is pause the app for however many seconds (around 7-10 for me in australia) and have the tv a 1-2 seconds ahead. It is also very handy to have the live streaming downloadable for the races I record, i just wish it was easier to get to the live timing for a concluded race without possible spoilers.

    Needless to say it is outclassed by other formula’s apps, just as F1 is in all types of media. I’d much prefer to subscribe to F1 live streaming instead of paying for pay-tv subscriptions, maybe in 10 years time this may be a reality when subscription tv revenue is possibly not as lucrative as they feel it is now.


    It’s worth it to me. When travelling, I’ve found myself in sports bars with no audio commentary, so I plug in headphones and listen to the commentary on the app (which btw is much better than UK’s Sky commentary).

    Apart from that I mainly use it for live timing, tyre usage (although I haven’t found where they show the weekend allocation/usage per driver, if at all) and the circuit map. The biggest time gap between the app and TV is when I watch on Sky using NowTV, but it’s easy to pause the live timing for a minute or so to synchronise. The lag to C4 is much smaller at around 3-4 seconds.

    It’s also really useful to be able to download a session to run alongside a TV recording, if I’ve missed live coverage.

    I wish it covered pre-season testing, for those of us that go to watch at the track.

    I’m not interested in more than this. I spend enough time watching all the live sessions and don’t need any added content. I might take a quick look at the championship standings but apart from that I keep an eye on twitter to see if there’s any breaking F1 news or gossip.

    It always seems like the app’s not going to be ready in time for each new race year, but it always makes it in time. And it’s pretty stable these days. As an experiment I’m purchasing it on a monthly basis this year, as and when required. I’ll add up what I’ve spent at the end of the year to see if it’s less than the annual subscription, but I don’t begrudge £20 for the whole year. I appreciate it might cost too much for some people, but unless the new management regime make sweeping changes it seems you don’t get much for free in F1 any more. I’m more concerned about the cost of TV coverage than the cost of the app, and I hope that the move from free-to-air to (poorer) PayTV backfires on the greedy owners.

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