Posted on June 17, 2009
New iphone app to bring F1 fans a fuller picture | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

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.

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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://

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New iphone app to bring F1 fans a fuller picture
50 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Lee R
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 3:33 pm 

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


  2.   2. Posted By: Smithology
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 3:37 pm 

    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.   3. Posted By: Moohcowh
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 3:38 pm 

    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.   4. Posted By: Vidge
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 3:39 pm 

    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.   5. Posted By: Snail
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 3:41 pm 

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


  6.   6. Posted By: Zak
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 3:49 pm 

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


  7.   7. Posted By: Dave
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 3:49 pm 

    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.   8. Posted By: martin_tf
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 3:56 pm 

    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.   9. Posted By: Babur
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 4:05 pm 

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


  10.   10. Posted By: Sam
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 4:10 pm 

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

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


  11.   11. Posted By: Kyle
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 4:25 pm 

    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.   12. Posted By: iceman
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 4:27 pm 

    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 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.   13. Posted By: Nuvolarifan
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 4:34 pm 

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


  14.   14. Posted By: rpaco
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 4:34 pm 

    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.   15. Posted By: Simon
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 4:41 pm 

    £20 for an iphone app….no thanks


  16.   16. Posted By: Tom
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 4:55 pm 

    To many t’s in the HTTP.

    I really want an iPhone right now…


  17.   17. Posted By: James Westgate
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 5:10 pm 

    £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.   18. Posted By: Marcus
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 5:11 pm 

    where is that?


  19.   19. Posted By: Paul Douglas
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 5:16 pm 

    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.


  20.   20. Posted By: Richard
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 5:26 pm 

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


  21.   21. Posted By: monktonnik
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 5:45 pm 

    That is fantastic.

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

    It is addicting to watch though!


  22.   22. Posted By: Craig
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 6:07 pm 

    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


  23.   23. Posted By: adrian
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 6:17 pm 

    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.


  24.   24. Posted By: Dan
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 6:44 pm 

    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.


  25.   25. Posted By: Paul
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 6:47 pm 

    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.


  26.   26. Posted By: Jon
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 7:08 pm 

    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 :-)


  27.   27. Posted By: AndyB
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 7:27 pm 

    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!


  28.   28. Posted By: Jason
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 7:58 pm 

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


  29.   29. Posted By: David R
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 8:15 pm 

    If it wasn’t for the price, I’d have bought it as soon as I read the shameless advert above. Come on James!! :o p (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.


  30.   30. Posted By: djs
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 8:44 pm 

    Not enough o’s in the Too Tom


  31.   31. Posted By: virtualmark
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 8:55 pm 

    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.


  32.   32. Posted By: Daniel
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 9:12 pm 

    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!


  33.   33. Posted By: Don
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 9:24 pm 

    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.


  34.   34. Posted By: Colin S
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 9:36 pm 


    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 ;)


  35.   35. Posted By: Nada de novo no horizonte… « F1 Around
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 11:22 pm 

    [...] James Allen reportou o aplicativo para iPHone; Keith Collantine relembrou os seus 20 anos de dedicação à F1 e Clive Allen escreveu inspiradamente sobre suas reminiscências do GP Britânico. Os posts de Keith e Clive são duas pequenas obras primas e eu expressamente recomendo a leitura. [...]

  36.   36. Posted By: Jonathan
        Date: June 17th, 2009 @ 11:23 pm 

    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 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.


  37.   37. Posted By: Andy
        Date: June 18th, 2009 @ 12:49 am 

    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, 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??


  38.   38. Posted By: benno
        Date: June 18th, 2009 @ 3:06 am 

    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!


  39.   39. Posted By: Mon Pen
        Date: June 18th, 2009 @ 9:15 am 

    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.


  40.   40. Posted By: Louis
        Date: June 18th, 2009 @ 9:26 am 

    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:


  41.   41. Posted By: Chris Roberts
        Date: June 18th, 2009 @ 9:59 am 

    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.


  42.   42. Posted By: iceman
        Date: June 18th, 2009 @ 10:42 am 

    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 :)


  43.   43. Posted By: driving courses
        Date: June 18th, 2009 @ 12:24 pm 

    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.


  44.   44. Posted By: iPhone Developers
        Date: June 18th, 2009 @ 12:29 pm 

    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.


  45.   45. Posted By: krad
        Date: June 18th, 2009 @ 1:07 pm 

    Lots its called a laptop


  46.   46. Posted By: krad
        Date: June 18th, 2009 @ 1:09 pm 

    how will it handle crashes?


  47.   47. Posted By: krad
        Date: June 18th, 2009 @ 1:11 pm 

    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


  48.   48. Posted By: James
        Date: June 18th, 2009 @ 8:08 pm 

    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!


  49.   49. Posted By: ZR Leigh
        Date: June 18th, 2009 @ 9:22 pm 

    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!


  50.   50. Posted By: Ronald Atmoredjo
        Date: June 19th, 2009 @ 10:51 am 

    Where can i get that software?


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