Internet video behemoth Youtube is straining under the weight of decades of F1 clips. Even F1 monthly magazine F1 Racing recently ran a feature on where to find the best F1 clips on the Internet.
But what F1 fans really want is to be able to watch entire races – past and present – online. And Youtube, with its poxy 10 minute clips, is not up to the task. Nor, of course, are the majority of the clips on there being shared legally.
Those who want to get decent F1 video on the Internet – and are happy to chance their arms with the greyer areas of copyright law – are doing it quite differently. And much better.
Non-championship Grand Prix races from the 1970s, the World Sportscar Championship in the eighties, Nigel Mansell’s year-and-a-bit in Indycars, last year’s GP2 season – Vendors like Duke Video do a fantastic job of selling F1 season reviews videos but you can’t just pop down a shop and buy footage of races like these.
Of course there’s stacks of recorded F1 footage on eBay, but a lot of it isn’t very good quality and there’s always the concern of how long the DVD-Rs much of it is stored on will last.
In a perfect world, Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Administration would take the same approach to Internet video that the Champ Car World Series does – for a modest monthly fee (Â£2.63) you can have access to Race Director which includes not only all the races during a season via live, multi-camera streams, but also an archive of races going back to 2001.
But while FOA drag their heels on that and everything else, where can an F1 fan get his historic motorsport fix from in the meantime? Especially in the long, desolate months of the off-season.
There’s various sites that offer Torrents for all sorts of files but for something as specialised as motor sport it’s best to look for a site that does just racing stuff.
I reckon these guys do the best job – but a word of advice. If you are going to use this kind of site, make sure you share as much material as you take – otherwise sites as good as this may not last very long. And do bear in mind that you are treading into decidedly dubious legal territory if you use these sites to obtain any copyrighted material.
Not that you would ever do anything as heinous as that.