Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Anti-social Formula 1? // Some new website launches as F1 teams get social

Published by Mr. C

During this week's show we discussed the pending launch of official social networking sites from F1 teams Honda and Renault.

In the end, little came of earthdreams.info, but as our discussion was mostly based on speculation we can't really blame the team for that. It may still happen, but at the moment it doesn't look as though there will be much social dreaming from Honda in the short term.

Fan site

Renault on the other hand did manage to launch their site. I couldn't access it until today, a full two days after its promised debut, but I'm in now and that's all that matters.

Screenshot of Renault's fan site

My first impression is that it's a little bit underwhelming. My own stupidity got the better of me when I struggled to create an account because "United Kingdom" wasn't on the list of available countries. Eventually I twigged that "Royaume-Uni" was the choice I needed and access was granted.

It's here that the problems really started though, because while I can happily upload images and create new blog posts, everything appears to require moderation. Even uploading an avatar becomes a very slow process - one hour after sending a picture, I'm still looking at the default image. I appreciate the need to prevent copyright infringement, but a little trust wouldn't go amiss.

Beyond the usability problems, there isn't much else to shout about at the moment. It's a fun experiment and I'm glad the team are trying, but essentially there's just not much to do on there right now. This isn't the revolution we were hoping for.

All is not lost

There's a small light at the end of the tunnel though, because with uncanny timing Ram Rao commented on F1 Minute earlier today, suggesting that we should check out Force India's official fan club, known as Club Force.

Screenshot of Force India's fan site

Now this site is more like it. Registration is easy, updates are instant and there's plenty to play around with, including calendars, groups and video uploads. You don't have to log in to look around and our mini site should be available to all (link removed).

We're still experimenting with this one, it has the potential to be a great fan resource and we'll no doubt be discussing it more during the show next week.

Others

If there are any other team sites we should be looking at, or you think are worth promoting please do let us know in the comments.

Also if you're already using any of the above, please add us as friends and tell us what we've missed.

Update: If you're looking for our Renault fan site profile, you'll find it here (link removed).