Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Live telemetry and more from F1 teams this year // An increase of information from the pit wall in 2010

Published by Mr. C

This week, two F1 teams launched revamped websites to coincide with the new season. Both have taken different routes and both have pushed the online F1 experience forward in their own unique way.

AT&T Williams

The new Williams site offers inline commenting on all stories including news items, and iWitness columns. Additionally you can rate posts, and leave feedback on videos. This puts user generated content front and centre within the site. No longer are thoughts from fans tucked in a corner where people in suits hope no-one will spot them.

I love that the Williams teams have done this and the only downside appears to be the need to register before commenting. When Red Bull Racing revamped their site a few weeks back, they too opened comments on posts and multimedia items, but allowed anyone to comment with ease.

Another tantalising section of the Williams site promises driver blog updates throughout the year, apparently Rubens is up first and blogging in Bahrain. This is something we've been calling for since Sidepodcast started way back in 2007, and might just set new standards in F1 coverage.

One notable exemption from the Williams site, is the live timing system, which debuted during winter testing, and that is where McLaren have the edge.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Team McLaren will to be pushing the technological envelope to it's maximum this weekend in Bahrain, with the launch of their new Race 1.0b Live Data Viewer. A system that will provide live information to fans during every practice session, qualifying and the race.

A screenshot of the Race 1.0b live data viewer, offering insight from the pit wall.
Credit: mclaren.com

McLaren are no strangers to supplying live updates over the web. Last year they came up with a peculiar telemetry widget which detailed information on braking and acceleration changes from both of their drivers on track.

The Race 1.0b (no I don't get the name either) appears to be a vast improvement though. Amongst other things, it promises:

  • Live GPS circuit map data
  • Detailed car telemetry
  • Comments from the pit wall
  • Comments from mission control (in Woking)

The accompanying teaser video also suggests driver radio messages will be transcribed and relayed back to us, which will be a massive boon after the commentators have talked all over them.

We are very much looking forward to seeing the 1.0b in action. Whilst we can't pretend to be huge fans of the revamped McLaren web site, the offer of live data more than makes up for the kooky design. In fact it pushes McLaren to the forefront of fan interaction. Can anyone raise them?