Well, I dont know what kind of server sends the feed, but you get it with the online java app for free, it would not be hard to change it between seasons to anything else. But in my opinion java is the right choice now, we get it for free, and we can see the livetiming in the browser window, on any operating system without having to install a live timing client. Changing the software to another, written in a different language, we would either lose the platform independency, or we would have to download and install a client to get the feed. In both cases it is highly likely that you’ll have to pay, and none of them would be more secure.
The only way that now your computer could be affected in any way, if the attacker does something to the java applet on formula1.com. As long as the site is secure, there wont be any problem, but if the site is not secure, would it make a difference, if the attacker modified another program, not the java applet? Nope.