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Website review - BBC Formula 1 - The returning UK F1 broadcaster ramps up their website coverage

Published by Christine

This article was originally written for BellaOnline, but is republished here for posterity.

The BBC used to have rights to show Formula One in the UK, but for the last 13 years the coverage has been provided by ITV. The BBC website for F1 formed part of their Sports site, and although the news was factual and engaging, the stories were often a few days late, and didn't go into too much detail. I used to say that you could tell when a story was really important because it showed up on the BBC.

For 2009, though, BBC have won the broadcast rights to F1 back from ITV, and that includes TV, radio, mobile and online coverage. Last week, they launched a redesigned site, and moved the links on the Sports homepage to second, underneath football. This already shows much more dedication than they had previously.

But what is on the site itself? There is all the news, as previously featured, although with more regularity, and slightly more in depth features. There will be a few columnists, including the journalists who are involved with making the TV and radio coverage, plus Mark Webber will provide a driver's perspective.

Although the news has increased, I do have a slight problem with the design. A black background always makes it difficult to read text, whether it is a stark white or charcoal grey font. I understand the desire to make the site different from the football or cricket section, but it doesn't make for easy reading. However, hopefully the content will be good enough to make it worthwhile.

There is also a picture of the week feature from respected photographer Darren Heath. Although it is called picture of the week, it looks like the series will feature a photograph from Heath's collection after each race. His pictures are usually stunning, with a different viewpoint than the usual car and tarmac approach. At the moment, until the season gets going, the picture is one of Massa on the podium at Brazil, and it sends shivers down my spine remembering that moment.

Hopefully, this year will be just as good, and the BBC can capitalise on a great season, by making their website one of the best.