One of the most valuable second-screen apps any Formula 1 fan could have each year has been the official F1 app. In years gone by there has been a free and paid version offering different levels of access – in 2014 a single app has been released with enhanced features accessible via in-app purchases.
I was happy to shell out the $40 each year for detailed live-timing at each grand prix of the year. In 2014 the shock news for me is that the access to that same level of data and content will now cost just $11.49.
Available for iOS and Android, the app is free to download, but don’t be mistaken – that app gets you little more than the basic news and info which is available free online.
For free you’ll see news, the leaderboard (top level who’s in what place during the race) and text commentary.
Jump into your iTunes account for that in-app purchase and you’ll get sector times, team radio, a new in-corner analysis.
The in-corner analysis which shows as a camera icon on the track map on only selected corners, allows you to “compare team mates’ entry, exit and apex speeds. See their track position, their braking points, in-corner gear and rpm data, and where they start accelerating out of the turn.”
That’s worth the cost alone – then there is team radio – “each live session features exclusive driver radio transmissions not available anywhere else.”
If you like to monitor things like DRS – something that is exclusive to the Official F1 App, “the interactive map shows which drivers have DRS available and how they are using it. Monitor a driver’s speed, gear and track position as they pass through the clearly marked DRS zones.”
There’s a whole heap more – like audio commentary and tyre history data, but from what I can see this app is a huge leap forward in terms of access to information, and it comes at a more affordable season price. Top marks to the FOM for that one.
While we now get sensational live coverage of the races and qualifying on free-to-air TV, I’d still be happy to pay a lot more in-app to get live video from the practice sessions too!