Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Heart shaped box // 5live share insight into their road trips, commentary boxes and more

Published by Christine

This year has provided unprecedented access to Formula 1, with drivers on Twitter and journalists giving us great insights into the paddock via blogs and social networking. One particular treat we enjoy on a race weekend is the 5live team and their relaxed attitude towards covering the event.

The team aren't afraid to interact with the audience as much as possible, and during the practice sessions, they'll read out texts and tweets from listeners, answering questions and pondering suggested topics. It's understandable they limit this to practice, as the other sessions are somewhat busier, but you wouldn't find this kind of access on TV.

Another added bounus during practice is Ted Kravitz. During his BBC TV stints, he dishes the facts, then hands back to Brundle and Legard, cool and professional as you like. On 5live, he is more relaxed, has a laugh and a joke, and it feels as though he gets more information that way as well. The two formats are clearly aimed at different people, but we think the 5live format should rule all.

5live commentary box
Credit: @5LiveF1

Ahead of some race weekends, the crew will tweet and twitpic their way through road trips, providing glimpses of Ant behind the wheel, or filling up with petrol. Mundane,maybe, but do you get to see any snippets of Martin Brundle's life? No. During the weekend, the 5live team aren't afraid to describe their commentary box surroundings in glorious, or not so glorious, detail. This weekend in particular, Mr C got very excited when he saw some close up pictures of their mixing desk. We've also learnt that Singapore provide them with webcam access of the pits, because the boxes don't have the best views.

This year BBC TV build up coverage is way better than anything we've seen before, and Jake does an fanatastic job of controlling the people he has to work with. Jake's also a keen blogger, uses Twitter plenty and provides pictures as well. It does feel like he is the only one though, who is trying to keep up with the times. Legard has a blog, but... have you ever read it?

The 5live crew are, for us, the heart of an F1 weekend. We get to see, read and hear so much more than we ever would just watching the few sessions of TV coverage, and the way they approach the sport appeals to us in every way. Already this weekend, we've seen more of Singapore than ever before, particularly from a commentators point of view.

We've collated some of the photos from the 5live Twitpic marathon session this morning. We're hoping for more, and I don't think we'll be disappointed.