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New iphone app to bring F1 fans a fuller picture
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New iphone app to bring F1 fans a fuller picture
Posted By:   |  17 Jun 2009   |  3:21 pm GMT  |  50 comments

There is a very exciting new piece of technology on the market for F1 fans. Soft Pauer, a company set up by former Honda F1 executive Otmar Szafnauer has launched the official Formula One Timing and Track Positioning Application for Apple iPhone OS 3.0.
Picture 30

The application allows fans to track the progress of all the cars in real time on a dynamic track map. So when a car is losing time in the race, for example, you can see the icons of the other cars all bunching up behind it.

The data is taken directly from the official timing feeds generated at each circuit, giving the user unprecedented portable access to the information used by race engineers in the pit lane, with the added ability to track the individual driver of your choice.

Also you can re-run the timing and track maps after the race, so if you were unable to watch the race live and recorded it, you can launch the application as you press play on your video recorder and the application will run in parallel with your TV coverage, running to your timetable. It is the only piece of equipment capable of doing this.

Picture 31
There is also an expert text commentary, reading the race and analysing the action in real time.

It’s aimed at people in front of TVs who want a more rounded picture of what is going on as well as people who are unable to watch a TV screen or who are following the race on radio, for example.

Radio 5 commentator Anthony Davidson is a fan of the app and used a trial version of it during his commentary of the Turkish Grand Prix.

“I’m very excited by this application as it will allow fans to keep in touch with what is going on whilst on the move, ” said Bernie Ecclestone.

I’m excited about it too, for reasons which will become clear in time.

A pass for the rest of the season costs £20, which is £2 per race. Full specification and prices can be found on the iTunes store via htttp://www.softpauer.com/f1app/link.html

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50 Comments
  1. Lee R says:

    Nice one, just bought it, £4.99. Do you get a fee James?!

  2. Smithology says:

    Well it looks like a great app – but £4.99 for 1 race, then additional fees for a season pass is a rip off!

  3. Moohcowh says:

    While it looks great, its very expensive especially comparing it to the free one on the main web site.

    Its also very expensive with the high probability of the subscription price increasing next season too.

  4. Vidge says:

    Have you seen the cost though!? £5 per race thats rediculous in my view! i can see this rapidly going the way of F1 digital, or what ever bernie called it,

    Charge far to much, turn people off it, then it folds up while bernie claimes it cost him a billion pounds a year to operate.

    Nice idea, price wise bernie, you can shove it, i will stick to the website where its free (though for how long??)

  5. Snail says:

    Does it come with a refund if/when F1 self destructs?
    :-)

  6. Zak says:

    This looks like a pretty cool app with the exception of one thing – $32.99 US? Come on. $10 maybe.

  7. Dave says:

    Nice. Now somebody should turn their attention to a decent live-timing app for desktops. The one offered on the official F1 website is far too basic. We need times down to the thousandth, and GPS information, for starters.

  8. martin_tf says:

    Its quite expensive but could improve the viewing experience. Might wait a couple of races and see what the feedback is like until I give it a try.

  9. Babur says:

    $7.99 per race? That’s a bit much, no?

  10. Sam says:

    That looks like a brilliant app! Thanks for the heads up

    The link is wrong though – should be http not htttp!

  11. Kyle says:

    How much did Apple pay you for that bit of promotion James?

    And why buy it if the most interesting cars you can follow are Manor’s, Campos’ and Force India’s?

  12. iceman says:

    Contrary to what they may have told you James, it’s not the only way you can replay a race in dot form – check out http://www.visionf1.com. This iPhone app looks a lot swisher, and I guess might have some more detailed timing info, but it looks essentially the same as what the visionf1 site has been doing for 4 years!

  13. Nuvolarifan says:

    This might be really cool, but are there any F1 fans left?

  14. rpaco says:

    Haven’t got one. I suppose it works with this new fangled electricity, we should never have given up steam, even gas showed alot of promise. I heard it gives people blue teeth. Bahh humbug!

  15. Simon says:

    £20 for an iphone app….no thanks

  16. Tom says:

    To many t’s in the HTTP.

    I really want an iPhone right now…

  17. James Westgate says:

    £4.99 for the british GP, but then an additional cost for every race.

    I might pay 4.99 for the app but stop at paying per race.

  18. Paul Douglas says:

    I’ve been waiting for them to do something like this (MLB has had a similar App out for some time). It looks ace, looking forward to using it this weekend.

  19. Richard says:

    Looks good – but they are having a laugh with the price! Not the way to expand the F1 fan base.

  20. Craig says:

    None of these apps use GPS.

    So, when the safety car comes out, it’ll go to pot (seeing as it’s based upon sector times / gaps)

    Still, another day another dollar

  21. adrian says:

    It’s not only very expensive but the pricing is far from transparent – it’s clear from the reviews that many people brought it for £5 not realising that this was only for one race! I would easily have done the same if I hadn’t read the reviews.

  22. Dan says:

    I will be getting this to use as I stand in the grandstand at silverstone on Sunday.
    £4.99 is cheap when you consider Kangaroo TV is over £60!

    I take it that you are the commentator James? If so, good luck and congratulations.

  23. Paul says:

    Expensive app….looks pretty comprehensive though!

    Did anyone notice how James said “I’m excited about it too, for reasons which will become clear in time.”? Is something being hinted at here??

    Really like your site, JA.

  24. Jon says:

    No way would I pay this much for an app!!!!! There is another looks pretty good for .99 checking that one out so this is good advertising for them too :-)

  25. AndyB says:

    That is far too expensive, an accuracy of 200 yds too – not good enough for the money unfortunately.
    Just go to the official F1 site and register and you get access to the live timing screens as used by the race teams.
    No fancy graphics but it is totally free and you get all the info such as penalties and safety cars.

    Great looking app but I won’t be buying it. Sorry James, I think you’ve recommended a Turkey!

  26. Jason says:

    At 8 bucks a race, or even $33 a season, I DONT THINK SO. Ridiculous.

  27. David R says:

    If it wasn’t for the price, I’d have bought it as soon as I read the shameless advert above. Come on James!! :op (How much are you making on each sale?!!)
    £10, even £15 I’d have paid for the season. It just isn’t worth £25 to me.

  28. djs says:

    Not enough o’s in the Too Tom

  29. virtualmark says:

    Echoing what others have already said … looks like a great idea, but the price is to racey to get my wallet out.

    Halve the price and then I’d give it a try for a few GPs to see if I really like it. But at those prices it’s just an interesting idea that I’ll pass on.

  30. Daniel says:

    Planning on getting one of the new iPhones soon, but sadly won’t be in time of the British GP (i’m going to qualifying) – would be great to try this out

    As a suggestion for an upgrade…they should find a way of streaming the Kangroo TV signal to the iPhone at the circuit – that would be epic!

  31. Don says:

    It’s a pity the makers of those cool lil handheld data screens you can rent at the grand prix – Kangeroo TV don’t produce an iPhone App version of them… now that would be cool!

    We could be watching the excellent coverage on the BBC and getting all the incar views etc on iPhones… or even on a laptop.

  32. Colin S says:

    Sorry?

    Hold on a second…

    “Press play on your VIDEO RECORDER”????

    Luddite. It’s minimum DVD recorder but more likely hard drive recorder or iPlayer.

    You’re a man with an iPhone James, have some self respect and dump your VHS ;)

  33. Jonathan says:

    This app sounds like the sort of thing that NASCAR has been providing for years, and with the added benefit of uncensored, real-time team radio and telemetry for whichever driver you choose to follow. They have 3 tiers to the service, the one I use is identical to this F1 app (but with team radio) which costs about £40 for a season of 40 races (including non-points races). I find now that having radio/telemetry/gps/real-time live timing totally indispensible, it’s as good as being on the pit box and makes watching a race that bit more intense.

    F1 really is light-years behind NASCAR when it comes to providing services like this to the fans, and whilst this app is a welcome addition, why isn’t it being made available as a service on the disappointing F1.com website? Ultimately this is all a revenue-generator so it’s surprising someone as ill with money as Bernie has been so slow to catch on to this sort of thing.

  34. Andy says:

    I find it odd (and a little frustrating) that this sort of thing is available for an iPhone, but not for a pc or mac.

    Sure, there’s visionf1.com, which is great, but it doesn’t run live during the race. Is there a way to run an iPhone app on a PC by any chance??

  35. benno says:

    Thanks for the tip. A great looking and very slick app, with some great ideas like the time-shift playback.

    But not even close to good value. Frankly, it’s more than *triple* what I would consider. In the AppStore it’s showing as $AUS9.99 for the British GP!!!!!!

    When you consider similar things are available for free ( albeit not as polished ) this really looks like dismal value for money. Maybe like a Turkish GP ticket, people watch it for free on the telly rather than pay an arm and a leg.

    To have even a chance at this price per GP, it must include high quality streaming video ( BBC feed ) and get it’s data via GPS – I’d be in then.

    > I’m excited about it too, for reasons which will become clear in time.

    Will James be doing the commentary? Viva la digital journalist revolution!

  36. Mon Pen says:

    I can’t believe the whingeing about the price. Look at €400 for a place at Monaco plus €75 for a Kangaroo so you actually know what’s going on, the price of this is paltry. It’s only because we are so used to seeing races free on TV that anyone is moaning.

  37. Louis says:

    It looks pretty expensive, I presume the even more expensive one has the “DVR” function for races throughout the season?

    Allow me to promote my own iPhone app: what time is it now in Abu Dhabi? Or Singapore? Find out with an analog world clock: http://bit.ly/nhandsclock

  38. Chris Roberts says:

    There is an inherent problem with this app – it’s too expensive!

    5 quid for an iPhone app is towards the upper reaches of the app price ranges as it is. But to find that this pays for the British GP ONLY, then another £15 on top for the rest of the season, is, like everything else in F1, a rip off.

    I have downloaded this app, it is excellent – but I will NOT be subscribing on the principle of cost.

    I think most other people will do the same.

    A shame, to alienate fans once again. Make it cheaper – or a one of payment – and they’ll get many more customers.

  39. Given that F1 fans have put up with lots of BS this year I think it would have been a useful gesture to at least let people have a race or two for free.

  40. Real time applications of this calliber are the future of mobile apps. Real time + mobile = $$$! The audience are ready…
    Congrats to Otmar Szafnauer & team on this amazing app.

  41. James says:

    Thanks for the information, I’m an Apple geek at heart so I’ll think I’ll be buying iPhone’s for the next while!

  42. ZR Leigh says:

    I probably would have paid for the app if it was £4.99 per season but additional charges per race, you must be joking! This is going to flop and it deserves to be!

  43. Where can i get that software?

  44. Marcus says:

    where is that?

  45. monktonnik says:

    That is fantastic.

    Although, how many of us have a PC next to the telly?

    It is addicting to watch though!

  46. iceman says:

    How do you know James is on VHS and not Betamax or Philips 2000 :)
    But note he did say video recorder, not video CASSETTE recorder – I’m sure he uses the latest solid state drive technology to record video :)

  47. krad says:

    Lots its called a laptop

  48. krad says:

    how will it handle crashes?

  49. krad says:

    in theory probably as they are all java apps i think
    in reality it would be a pain and require a lot of hacking about so probably not

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