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What are the must have interactive tools for following F1 2011?
What are the must have interactive tools for following F1 2011?
Posted By: James Allen  |  31 Jan 2011   |  6:58 pm GMT  |  134 comments

I got a message last night from a reader, looking forward to the new season, who asked the following question:

“Is there a way you could create one post on different interactive tools that will be available in the new season on-line?

“I am talking about apps, McLaren telemetry on-line, etc. It would be cool to know what is available out there – sometimes races are boring, but when you have live timing, telemetry and other apps it is much more interesting.”

This was quite a hot topic at the Fans Forum in London last summer, so with the new season in prospect, this is a call out to all the readers to suggest what you think are the must-have interactive online tools for following F1, alongside the TV coverage?

Let’s share the knowledge so we can all get the most out of the new season.

I’ll kick it off with a few.

If you’ll forgive me, I’ll start with the JA on F1 Tweets website, ( which pulls together all the best tweets in real time from teams, drivers, journalists and other F1 insiders. We’re relaunching it this week to co-incide with the new car launches and the start of testing. You can follow all the action this week from Valencia, as told by the people on the spot.

The beauty of this twitter aggregator site, now refreshed and revitalised for its second season, is that you don’t have to be on Twitter to follow all the people on the lists. You just go to the site and watch as it auto-refreshes, bringing you insights from the paddock and live blow by blow coverage of the race weekends and the bits in between.

I do a live analysis of qualifying and the race as well as of things I see of interest at the race track.

Check it out on JA on F1 Tweets And let us know what you think and what we could do to make it better.

The timing on is a must, of course. I always have a window open with that on, even when I’m in the press office at the track.

During the race I also follow the live track map on the BBC F1 website, which shows the positions of the cars around the circuit in real time. The same thing was available on the Soft Pauer iphone/ipad app. I think that’s still going, but I know they had a tough year last year.

Anyway on a computer the BBC map (which they get from FOM) is free to view and it’s very handy during the race for seeing where the cars are relative to each other around the time of the pit stops.

Let us know what tools you use to enhance your understanding of the sport.

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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

but we need more feeds… for China we’ll hook up another couple of screens for the Mclaren and Williams telemetry feeds…. but we’re still looking for an api to the telemetry data so we can build an app that shows a similar kind of graphic to the one the BBC has for the engine revs, gears, DRS availability, KERS %age, etc. etc.


Hi to you all. I just set up a list of interesting tweeters related to F1, and I’m following the Valencia tests through it, while I’m at the office, and I would like to share it with you. The list is published at!/list/escher75/f1



Here’s a picture of my setup, the only thing you can’t see is my phone’s Twitter feed (as I’m using it to take the photo!)


Alarm clock works wonders for Aussies watching the Brazil GP.



I thought it was you who wrote comments for last year’s iPhone app. Is that correct? What was the problem? 2011 app is already for sale (I bought it in december). I hope it will work fine, because it really helps and makes watching F1 more interesting.

Oh, and thank you for your Tweets site…


No I did it in 2009, but not last year. They were short of budget last year


I just use the official ‘Live Timing’ screen on my laptop – in addition to the BBC’s excellent coverage of course.

Anything else is superfluous.


We all love pictures! And Darren Heath captures some fantastic moments. It would be wonderful if we have a slideshow of pics accompanying each article or probably a weekend package of 20 odd pics.


Living in a countryside area without broadband internet and the house mid in forest in a black hole for receiving cellular phones, ….

The most advanced tool i bought last autumn were wireless earphones. Having 5 children (4 daughters, 2 teenage ones) aged 3 to 15 i noticed that the last time i could actually listen to a TV speaker while a Formula1 race was 2 years back.

Without the phones most i was hearing was talk like:

“Der Vettel ist ja so süss, hat der eine Freundin?” “Ja!” “Mist!” “Der ist doch eh zu klein…”

Vettel is so sweet, did he have a girl friend? – Yes! – Shit! – He is too small anyway…

Our oldest daughter is sadly 193 centimetres. So all this talk about engines, overtaking, rules, …

What people really want to know: Girlfriends, most liked food, how to do the food (in case they really meet a driver and want to cook for him), …

So fire these old technic experts, hire some girls with knowledge about high society, cooking, fashion. Do a split screen, and the race please be the smaller part.

So the most asked question in my family is not new car technic but how Vettel will name his new car and who is the girl behinf this name.

Ted the Mechanic

My favourite tweeters are @GrandPrixDiary and @sniffpetrol. They are legends in their own lounge rooms…

I try to come up with some funny tweets myself but @GrandPrixDiary is classic.

Also less races starting at Midnight New Zealand time would be nice…

I have trouble getting to work at 7.30am when I çan’t go to bed until 2.00am every 2nd Sunday!


The killer app for me is Sky+



Let us know what tools you use to enhance your understanding of the sport.

To answer this bluntley – a bottle of wine for my girlfriend – provides the silence i need to watch the race in peace and quiet (possibly not the kind of thing this post is about but true none the less)


Me? I go with BBC TV coverage, F1 official live timing screens and then the BBC car tracker – although as someone else pointed out, it can be a tad slow to refresh (but then again that might not be their end, but mine).

I use the car tracker only around pit-stop time, to see if someone will gain\lose a place whilst another is pitting etc, etc – other than that it’s useless im(h)o, unless you wish to follow a specific driver lower in the pack (ie, not regularly on the TV feed).

I used JA tweets page last year during testing – it’s the best place for all tweet feeds as James (or his cronies – ha ha!) combine all 🙂 Nice work!!

And that’s it… any more and for me it’d be information overload.

I’ve normally got a good idea\vibe of who is where on the track (which comes from watching F1 for years n years) and my girlfriend gets annoyed with me because I keep pre-empting the commentators – ha ha!! ie, I’ll say something, 2 mins later the commentator says the same thing… I then receive an incredulous look 😉 [Wow! Get me!!!]

So I’m more than happy with what’s provided for my enjoyment\benefit.

I’ve got to say the director of the TV feed is normally pretty sharp and must have analysts (a Mark Hughes type) in the background alerting the director to potential incidents, over-takes etc, etc – so that they catch the action. Is this one person\company responsible now? I think it is. I seem to recall in the 70’s and 80’s each country broadcast their own race, thus in certain countries you wouldn’t see any other car, other than that from the host nation 😉


I’d like to have the TimeZone Reset app running! That way it would be daylight here when the races are on and the damn vampires would not be obstructing my view!


someone may have mentioned this or not, but I use the Formula Racing app for iPhone, its not the best but it has a live timing app that works seamlessly even out in the boonies where I live and only have GPRS connectivity, posts live updates of practice, quali and race during the weekend and compiles all the F1 articles from for your steady dose of F1 crack during the week. Its all Ive got when JAonF1 refuses to load the mobile version and I dont have my laptop handy.


When watching a race on TV, I like to have F1 timings and a selection of tweets (mainly from teams) to keep track of what going on of the stuff not shown on TV.

In 2010, I liked to keep an eye on Kobayashi.

However, when attending a race, Kangaroo TV offers some good features when it comes to timings an choice of audio.

There is even a mode for die hard fans to hear BBC Radio 5 Live commentary and pretty much anything said between driver and pitwall as well as some pitwall conversations between engineers/staff.

I also keep an eye on my selected tweets via my mobile phone.


I think the whole reason for the Soft Pauer app having a tough time is definitely due to costs. I am a complete >>die-hard<< fan (seriously!)but I really cannot see how they can expect people to pay over AU$32 (£18-20?) for this. That is a lot of money for an app. Sure, they must have to pay a large licence fee to FOM to use the data, but if they reduced the cost to a third of what they ask, I'm fairly certain they would get more than 3 times the sales. AU$10-12 (£6-7) is a far more reasonable price for a year imho. Whats the average monthly wage for countries such as China, India, South Korea etc? How do FOM expect to break into these markets when the majority of people trying to follow wont be able afford access to this helpful technology? Lower the price Soft Pauer- more sales, more profit, everyone happy.


But still. Per race its not that expensive.


On another note, TEAM RADIO!

I recall reading this will be open to broadcasters or race tv director starting 2012/13?? or was it a wet dream??

please reply James, I believe that by itself will transform the show 10 times over.


how about the FIA opening up more of its comm’s for TV, so as we can hear feedback from safety car driver/ comms between stewarts in relation to penalties during races (as opposed to having text flash up at bottom of screen)etc


There is a move to make it more available to public. I guess FOM are the ones to sell it via their site


Hi everyone. I am in USA, and used to watch both the pre-race and the race show on SpeedTV. However, I’ve given up pay television, and am just relying on the internet now.

I am searching for ways to watch F1 races online. Live would be best, and I’ve heard about ways to rent a British IP address to get the BBC feed, but it doesn’t seem like a sure thing.

Any other good ideas out there for finding a either a live or a recorded way to watch F1 races online (English language would be best).

Thanks to all.


You can use StrongVPN to watch live BBC coverage. I do the same from Finland.


Normally i follow the tweets of James and the living time of on my PDA all weekend, it´s very interesting and the live timing it´s even a litle bit faster than the tv.

It would be interesting to have a telemetry app with data of the car, tyres, levels of downforce etc…


I follow races online with a few tools, but I enjoy with Keith live blogging coverage. Basically a chat room with the tweets from various main people including yourself I think.

Lots of people, a nice buzz about it.

I would use the F1 app but it cost a fortune now! Too much I think.


Hi James,
I always dream about a website which we can listen the ongoing team radio conversations between the drivers and the could be really usefull and enjoyable to listen every driver when ever you want.I can also pay some extra $ for this:) and i also know i am not the only person who dream about this.


I’ll second that


I used the iphone timing app last year and it was quite jerky & slow to update at times.

The BBC driver feature was good and appeared the closest to what was happening on the TV.

The F1 official site live timing appeared to be slightly ahead of the tv action which was quite disconcerting at times.

Mercedes have a live timing bit on their site which was very similar to the McLaren site.

The problem I found was watching all the timing screens meant I wasn’t concentrating on the pictures enough and ended up just giving up and watching the telly.


I use Tweetdeck (with a customized twitter listing) , you can resize this and setup a quick refresh rate and the live timing screen. Great on the laptop with the race on…


What is different abut your custom listing from the ones of the Tweets site?


One of the most viewed interactive tools of 2010 was eddie Jordan wasn’t it 😉

Apologies, little hacked of as a Newcastle fan. Liverpool CSM have Andy Carroll for 35 million.

Let’s just hope mike Ashley hasn’t decided to buy hrt…..


As a Newcastle fan I share your pain, only a few weeks ago Carroll was saying how he only wants to play for Newcastle and it was the best feeling in the world playing for us, then another club offers him more money and he leaves, where is even a shred of loyalty or respect for the club he supposedly supports, he could of at least waited until the summer to give us time to replace him, greed is a terrible thing. Now we have lost our only good striker the season is not looking as rosey as it was, looking forward to Ben Arfa coming back though.

As for how I watch F1, Mclaren live feed, F1 official timing, BBC track map and of obviously the tv. I think I will add the JA on F1 tweets this season as well.


I’m not sure Carroll had any say in the matter? If they were offered such a ridiculous price, I doubt the Newcastle board could have said no and Carroll would be on his way whether he wanted to go or not.


To be honest Richard, I don’t blame Carroll. He’s seen a chance to go to a club that regularly challenges for the Champions league places, and that has a new owner willing to spend some money.

Why would you stay at Newcastle with an owner like Mike Ashley. I’m less interested in Newcastle than I’ve ever been nowadays.

Lets hope Mike Ashley buys HRT 😉


As Liverpool fan I can tell you that we are the ones who are hacked off…


I bet. Hes like a tall joey Barton James. Smacks a little of desperate bidding. No way is he worth more than tevez…. But money talks doesn’t it.

The only hope is Ashley ships out with his money.

But less about football.


iPhone spelling. For CSM read can have…


I have the Live timing and then also the BBC tracker.

In answer to your question I would love a permanent uninterupted feed for team radio. I know it’s unrealisic but hey I can dream!!

Firstly, because I want to know what the team discussions are live and at that moment ‘should we pit’ should we not pit’. What is there thinking? ie Ferrari in Abu Dhabi.

Secondly, I want the gossip as by the time they are back in the pits they are on ‘For Sure’ mode. What do they really think, I want to hear it all! ie Webber and Vettel before during and after there clash in Turkey.


In 2011 *all* car to pit radio will be available to the broadcasters. So it’s up them.

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