2013 F1 Live Timing App

Official F1 Live Timing App 2013 reviewed

F1 reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

2013 F1 Live Timing AppFormula One has, for the most part, been embarrassingly slow to embrace new technology.

High definition broadcasts arrived six years after NASCAR’s. Formula One Management’s relationship with YouTube goes no further than barking orders at them to take videos of F1 racing down to ensure the sport remain a secret from a generation of young fans.

The appearance of an official Live Timimg App a few years ago signalled a shudder of movement in F1’s glacially slow progress into the 21st century. Is the latest iteration a genuinely useful application of new technology – or just another shiny product on which to slap the F1 logo and an unrealistic price tag?

For those familiar with F1.com’s live timing page – still running on creaking, bug-riddled Java – the main timing page on the official app is a substantial improvement. Sectors times are given to three decimal places, each driver’s top speed in each sector is shown along with and – most usefully – live tyre information.

Flip between pages and you can see breakdowns of which tyres each driver has used during the session, instant ‘perfect lap’ calculations and more.

2013 F1 Live Timing AppThe 3D maps which show the positions of each car run more smoothly than before, with data updates being fed in between two and five seconds.

If you’re unable to watch a session live you have the option of re-playing them and pause, rewind and forward through them.

In every area the official app brings you a step closer to the level of detail the teams get on the pit wall. However quite a few of the pages present the same information in different ways, so that I found I relied almost exclusively on the main timing page when using it.

The latest version of the app also incorporates Twitter feeds and allows you to add your own. But although I find Twitter a very useful service during race weekends (and post hundreds of updates to it during sessions on F1 Fanatic Live) it’s hard to credit a paid app for including a service which is available for free.

With so much information available the bigger the screen you’ve got the more useful the app is. On an iPhone 5 I found the 3D view unusably small and constantly had to scroll up and down the timing screen. This app is much more at home on a tablet.

2013 F1 Live Timing AppThen there is the sticking point of the reliability of FOM’s services. There have already been several occasions this year when the public timing screens have not been available and the official app is not immune from the same glitches.

I found myself wondering who the app is aimed at. Armchair viewers can glean much of the same information in real-time from Twitter, multi-channel TV coverage and the existing free live timing page (which makes me wonder how much longer the latter will remain in existence).

It would be most useful for track-side spectators to stay abreast of the action they can’t see. But network availability and the cost of data will be a problem at many circuits – one that the late lamented FanVision service had cracked, as well as offering live audio and video, though for a considerably higher price.

If the thought crossed your mind of buying a one-off subscription for a race weekend visit, the disappointing news is the app is only available on a per-season basis. Android, Apple and Blackberry platforms are catered for but there is no version you can simply log into with a web browser.

Priced more competitively or offered with a more flexible payment system this slick and useful app would easily get four stars. As it is for most tech-literate fans this is a product that’s nice to have but one you can live without.

F1 Fanatic rating

Rating three out of five

The official F1 Live Timing App 2013 can be purchased through Google Play for Android, iTunes for Apple and BlackBerry World. The Android app is also available via Amazon in the USA:

Buy the official F1 Live Timing App 2013 (USA)

Official F1 Live Timing App 2013

Format: Android, Apple, Blackberry
Publisher: Soft Pauer
Published: March 2013
Price: ??23.99


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86 comments on “Official F1 Live Timing App 2013 reviewed”

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  1. I’ve been using f1 figures by Pickle AppWare for the last two years, it’s about £1.49 from the app store I think. It has all the functions of the F1.com live timing (You need to have an account on the F1.com site) I got this when the free official app disappeared and it’s very good, although the reviews don’t seem to reflect that. If you just want timing and position graph etc get this app.

  2. Amusing that it’s available for Blackberry but not Windows Phone/Windows 8 RT

    ‘I’ll use it on my BB Playbook!’ said at least 4 people.

    1. @gridlock : Windows phone is stone age..

  3. I’m sorry if I’m wrong but don’t they just promote a 3rd party app by tagging it “official” now? IIRC, there was an official (free) F1.com app in the last years which they now seem to have dropped.

  4. I have the app but for 2 years running now I can’t get it to work due to it being unable to open a Port on my connection. Help is appreciated! :)

  5. The new app is much better than the previous versions, but I ran those on my BlackBerry. This year I am running the app on my iPhone and iPad. You are right – it looks great on the iPad.

  6. I use this app since there was available some years ago. I know this is not really necessary, but makes my life easer during a race, or when I’m not at home during some weekend session. 28€ is not cheap but on the other hand is not a quantity that can break any budget. The only small inconvenience is, as TV signal has some delay, one take note of things previously to watch it in the TV.

  7. In my opinion, way overpriced for what most potential customers are willing to pay for nearly any kind of app no matter how good or useful. I’ve followed F1 since the 60s and embrace technology wholeheartedly, but it seems like a medium priced app would get more F1 fans on board. It would generate more cash to sell 10,000 apps at U$10 than to to sell 1,000 apps at U$34.

    I do appreciate the review and the comments as I have been wondering about this app. A lot better quality reviews from true F1 fans here than at the app store.

  8. I don’t have a smartphone but on the computer I use this: http://code.google.com/p/f1lt/

  9. I have run it for the last two years on my Android phone and Nexus 7. While this year’s price increase was steep, this is the most reliably way to follow ALL SESSIONS live when living here in Alaska. Still worth it.

  10. I think it would be worth the hefty price tag if you bought the app at the beginning of the year for 23.99, and then at the end of every year you can update it for free for the drivers etc of the new season.

  11. Every race i watch with my father and sister, 3 tablets are on the table with this app. I don’t want a big clunky laptop on the table, but we still want to follow the gaps between drivers in a race.
    Must have app imho …

  12. Ben Thomas (@)
    31st March 2013, 22:10

    It’s incredible how behind the times F1 is considering how advanced the sport is supposed to be. I’d like to see something similar to how the NFL show their games over the internet. They have a service called Game Pass which enables you to watch the games live online and I believe up to four at once. For F1, this could mean you watch the main feed, follow a few drivers and have the pit lane feed all on one screen. During the off season, you could also go back and watch highlights of a session/race or even the whole session in full. This would mean the FOM would have to supply some form of commentary. If this were offered at a competitive price, I would be more than happy to purchase this as F1 slowly moves away from free-to-air television. Thoughts?

    1. For FOM to provide an internet service would cause all sorts of problems with the contracts, the tv broadcasters have clauses giving them exclusive rights to f1 video distribution in each country.

      I used to work for the BBC & did a few races in the TV truck working the red button & online stuff & when we did the tv contract in 2008 we had such a clause & the sky/bbc share deal also has that clause, there sharing exclusive rights in the uk.

  13. I don’t see anything to tear me away from just having http://f1.narezka.ru/?lang=eng open.
    Much better than the official web application.

  14. I’m a bit buried in comments so I doubt this’ll get much notice, but I’m surprised nobody seems to have mentioned the wonderful F1LT project (http://f1lt.pl/).

    It’s free, available on multiple platforms, and has a huge amount of data available between tracking laptimes, positions, commentary, track/air temps, pit times. The only thing I couldn’t manage to find last time was which tires a driver was on at a given time.

    1. Thanks for that info. I wasn’t aware of it.

  15. You can get it for free off any torrent site

  16. The price of the app is way too expensive and out of reality – most apps and games in Google play store are around 1€ with some new game titles costing 5-10€.
    If they want to sell this app they should sell it unter 10€.
    Another stupid thing is the expiration at the end of the season. Why should I buy every year the same app again and again. Why can they just automatically update it just like any other app. Or at least to have to pay a smaller amount for the next years update and not the whole price again.
    And last , if I buy the app in the first race of the season or in the last they charge me the same price . Shouldn’t be more fair that the price devaluates as the season progress?
    Luckily for the magority of the people there are some very good free apps out there.

  17. My suggestion would be :
    1) remove this stupid demo(free) app from the market which is useless
    2) Have one basic timing app at minimum price(1-3€) or free ( like it was some years ago)
    3) Have the premium app with the tracker and all the extra stuff at a higher price but for less than 10€.

  18. In my opinion this is a must have app I would be lost without it on race weekends.

    Having sector times and tyre info for Q1 and Q2 I find I am way ahead of what is going with the commentators particularly when the leaders try to get through on a prime run and the midfield switch to options, plus having info sector info for Q3 again means you can see who is doing what ahead of the tv.

    I often use it for FP 1 and 2 while at work and also for FP 3 to get a feel for qualy.

    For the race in the Pirelli era I just find it so much easier to follow what is going on and again with the added benefit of being able to follow your favourite driver if they are not being shown on tv.

    The replay function is excellent and if I have ever missed a session and have it taped can watch it as live again.

    I have had limited bugs and glitches certainly nothing that has not corrected itself quite quickly and again this seems to be linked to the official feed so it is not an app problem.

    I know everyone’s financial situation is different but with 5 sessions a weekend and 19 races that’s about 25p a session, for me that is a no brainier, happy to sacrifice 10 coffees or 5 trips to McDonalds a year for this app.

  19. f1 should be broadcasted over the internet…maybe even youtube..I dont live in Europe, and we dont get f1 practice coverage where I live, only the quali and race is broadcasted(and i dont get any f1 gossip like the pre/post race stuff)..it would be wonderful if we had youtube broadcasts, or some sort of official f1 channel on the internet.that would be just great. I am pretty sure the indian IPL Cricket tournament used to get broadcasted on youtube.

  20. I use an App called F1Live24.
    Shows distance between cars, positions, lap times, and it’s FREE!

    Not bad att all for a free app

    1. *on my iPhone, forgot to mention.

      Not sure whether it is available for Android. (but you can install the “real app” for free anyway)

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