Official F1 Live Timing App 2013 reviewed

F1 review

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

Reviews

Browse all Reviews

Advert | Go Ad-free

86 comments on Official F1 Live Timing App 2013 reviewed

  1. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 31st March 2013, 12:49

    Because race days are working days in the Middle East, I used the 2012 timing app on my iPad last year and I found it incredibly useful. It was a god send when I was in the stands during the Abu Dhabi GP because I struggle to read the text on the big screens, it was handy to have the timing sheets with me.

    Because I liked the app last year (and because the F1.com timing screens are blocked by my office firewall) I got it again this year, this time on iPhone. It is again proving itself to be a useful tool and I have leaned on it a lot during the first two race weekends of 2013. Like Keith I spend most of my time on the main timing page, but I have to say the page which shows you which tyres the drivers are on is incredibly useful. Since the onset of the Pirelli era I found it difficult to follow and plot people’s strategies using just timing pages because you never knew what tyre people were on at a given time, the new tyre page solves that and also gives you the number of laps they have run on the tyre. Following strategies got a whole lot easier. The track map is and was always a gimmick I think. I always reduce it and just have the timing screens up. It doesn’t update quickly enough to be a useful tool.

    All in all it is a good thing I think…though it may well be better for an iPad/table than an iPhone.

  2. I love the sport and i am a massive F1 fan, but there is no way that il spend that kind of money on an app which could be alot better.

    PS. Jailbreak

  3. vishy (@vishy) said on 31st March 2013, 13:15

    It is expensive but love this app.

    The replay and sector times used together is amazing when you want to know how your favourite driver is doing lap by lap. Especially with these tyres it tells you exactly when someone’s tyres are going off.

    Also the live track position tracker is amazing when someone comes into the pits, cause you can tell almost exactly in what position they will come out.

    Adding this app to live tv and f1fanatic live chat to watch each and every session of a weekend makes it an amazing experience.

    Also helps with predictions! Like for example at Malaysia I knew from practice replay that red bulls could hold pace longer than Mercedes.

  4. Delta Golf Sierra (@cumulonimbus) said on 31st March 2013, 13:38

    There’s a free “unofficial” timing app that looks very similar that is available for Android (not sure about iPhone). It doesn’t have the track position map or the Twitter feed, but it does have a running commentary. I found this app to be quite good and timely while watching Malaysia.

  5. Leggacy (@leggacy) said on 31st March 2013, 13:43

    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.

  6. Gridlock (@gridlock) said on 31st March 2013, 14:21

    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.

  7. Starbuck (@starbuck) said on 31st March 2013, 15:39

    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.

  8. himmatsj (@himmatsj) said on 31st March 2013, 15:53

    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! :)

  9. LuvinF1 (@luvinf1) said on 31st March 2013, 16:00

    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.

  10. IDR (@idr) said on 31st March 2013, 16:44

    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.

  11. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 31st March 2013, 17:22

    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.

  12. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 31st March 2013, 18:04

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

  13. Russell Gould (@russellgould) said on 31st March 2013, 21:06

    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.

  14. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 31st March 2013, 21:35

    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.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.