Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Hands on with Fanvision's portable F1 interface (Part 2) // A full review of the options available on the track device

Published by Amy Fulton

In part 2 of her look at the new FanVision handheld device, Amy digs deeper into the available data, tunes into some live radio and picks out her favourite features.

Up close and personal

I made a lot of use of the driver tracker (Picture 5) as I like to get at least one in focus shot of each driver over the course of a weekend so it was nice to know when drivers I hadn’t managed to snap yet were about to make their way past my grandstand.

Picture 5 - the driver tracker
Picture 5 - the driver trackerCredit: Amy Fulton

There was also this fantastic graphical representation of everyone’s lap times, (Picture 6) longer bars mean a faster lap and shorter bars mean a slower one. The bars also changed colour depending on whether a driver had set a personal best or the best lap time overall.

Picture 6 - lap time visualisation
Picture 6 - lap time visualisationCredit: Amy Fulton

This pit stop data (Picture 7) is something I had never seen before. It’s not available to viewers at home and it wasn’t on the old model device. It was really interesting to see who was losing time in their pit stops compared to other drivers.

Picture 7 - pit stop facts
Picture 7 - pit stop factsCredit: Amy Fulton

I also loved this live analysis screen (Picture 8) – it gives you all the details of your chosen driver, as well as their position on track and the main video feed. Unfortunately I grabbed this picture after Heikki had already been knocked out of qualifying!

Picture 8 - live analysis and comparisons
Picture 8 - live analysis and comparisonsCredit: Amy Fulton

Nothing on but the radio

One feature I would like during qualifying is a countdown timer as where it says Q1, Q2 or Q3. They have a lap timer during the race, and the countdown on the video screen is a little bit too small to read comfortably. Is that a 3 or an 8?

There is also a twitter feed that displays any mention of @FanVision_F1. Mr C used this to communicate with me while I was in Malaysia!

The main thing that makes me a massive fan of the G3 is the availability of BBC 5Live commentary. Ant and Crofty are a fantastic pairing and are always far better than the trackside commentary option. For some reason if you select 5Live as your audio option before they’re broadcasting it forgets you’ve chosen them once they actually go live so you have to go back into the menu and select them again but I’m sure this is something that can be fixed in a future software upgrade. The new audio feature this time around is the option of replaying team radio (Picture 9). I listened to that Schumacher clip about 10 times and still couldn’t work out what he was saying – thank goodness Ant and Crofty speak pit radio language and could translate for us!

Picture 9 - audio replays
Picture 9 - audio replaysCredit: Amy Fulton

There are plenty of other features that I don’t have pictures of. You can get instant replays of video, but I tend not to use them as I like watching the live action. The G3 will also tell you all the info on the current track – how long the circuit is, how many laps will they be doing, total race distance, how many corners and what the lap record is. There is also a screen that reports the messages from race control. You never realise how many people go off and rejoin the track until you watch that screen for a couple of minutes!

There is a screen full of championship standings – drivers, constructors, and an as-of-now screen that I’m sure is very useful when you get to the end of the season – it’s always nice to know who’ll be leading the championship if a race finishes in its current order! The final screen I find useful is the event information – knowing what time the F1 and support categories are on track makes scheduling merchandise shopping or a spot of lunch much easier!

If you attend multiple races in a season all I can say is you must buy the FanVision G3. It’s amazing! If you’re only attending one race but you have a bit of money to spare, I’d recommend it to you too. The G3 is Wi-Fi capable and the FanVision team are currently trying to make their service available to customers in their own homes. I hope they can get the rights sorted because that would be the best feature of all. I already found myself missing the pit stop data during the Chinese Grand Prix and would love to have that available to me all year. Even if you never go to any races, once you can use this at home it’ll be a must have device. The price includes activation for all 2011 races and from 2012 onwards there will be a small fee per race to access the data – still much more affordable than hiring an older model! If you want to buy one or you just want more information, head to FanVision.com.

All content in the series Amy's FanVision G3 Review