F1antics

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  • #328137
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    F1antics
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    It’s worth it to me. When travelling, I’ve found myself in sports bars with no audio commentary, so I plug in headphones and listen to the commentary on the app (which btw is much better than UK’s Sky commentary).

    Apart from that I mainly use it for live timing, tyre usage (although I haven’t found where they show the weekend allocation/usage per driver, if at all) and the circuit map. The biggest time gap between the app and TV is when I watch on Sky using NowTV, but it’s easy to pause the live timing for a minute or so to synchronise. The lag to C4 is much smaller at around 3-4 seconds.

    It’s also really useful to be able to download a session to run alongside a TV recording, if I’ve missed live coverage.

    I wish it covered pre-season testing, for those of us that go to watch at the track.

    I’m not interested in more than this. I spend enough time watching all the live sessions and don’t need any added content. I might take a quick look at the championship standings but apart from that I keep an eye on twitter to see if there’s any breaking F1 news or gossip.

    It always seems like the app’s not going to be ready in time for each new race year, but it always makes it in time. And it’s pretty stable these days. As an experiment I’m purchasing it on a monthly basis this year, as and when required. I’ll add up what I’ve spent at the end of the year to see if it’s less than the annual subscription, but I don’t begrudge £20 for the whole year. I appreciate it might cost too much for some people, but unless the new management regime make sweeping changes it seems you don’t get much for free in F1 any more. I’m more concerned about the cost of TV coverage than the cost of the app, and I hope that the move from free-to-air to (poorer) PayTV backfires on the greedy owners.

    #315492
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    F1antics
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    The app finally showed that my account was no longer active, and prompted me to subscribe again, so I renewed on the app not the website. I’ll report back after FP1 if I have any problems with my account on either platform.

    #315318
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    F1antics
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    The app says my subscription is still active, 5 days after the purchase anniversary, but I got an email today thanking me for downloading and asking me to upgrade for £19.99 pa or £2.29 pm. I’m still really pissed off that I couldn’t use the 25% discount they offered late last year and wonder if I’ll always miss it if my subscription renews in March. I’m tempted to take out the monthly subscription and see if they offer a discount on the annual subscription later this year. It’s not much money in the scheme of things but it would be nice if they rewarded loyalty.

    #314908
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    F1antics
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    Maybe the £19.99 was a one-off charge, rather than an annual charge??? I haven’t got a clue, but if that’s the case it might explain why I wasn’t able to take advantage of the 25% discount offer that they ran at the end of last year.

    Anyway, I purchased the app exactly a year ago today. The app still says my subscription is active, and I have access to everything on the F1 Access website. I’ll see if anything changes over the next few days.

    #313515
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    F1antics
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    We were there on a non-Alonso day last week, so I can’t comment on crowds, but I agree with Colin (above) that it would be hard to imagine it ever getting crowded. It’s very quiet, with a few people scattered around each grandstand. It’s a great opportunity to work out the sightlines for different seats/grandstands or even for scoping out good places for general admission.

    Even without paddock access you can see familiar faces. Paddy Lowe wandered along the length of the pitlane, and Ted Kravitz seemed to be everywhere :) I had access to paddock passes via JDC (who have a pit box) and saw several drivers and team managers. It would have been easy to get into camera shot with so many interviews going on.

    The weather was glorious so there was plenty of running. The sound of the cars this year is loud enough to make conversation difficult, but I didn’t need earplugs.

    We stayed at the Mercure, just across the valley. Our room had a distant view of the circuit, and you could see and (with the windows open) hear the cars from there. We mainly saw McLaren and Renault team members at the hotel, but I was told there were more. They looked exhausted.

    Trains from the airport to Montmelo and Granollers run every half hour and cost around 4 euros for a single fare. There were plenty of taxis at Montmelo and I imagine a taxi to the circuit (based on the cost to our hotel) would cost less than 15 euros on test days.

    It is a wonderful experience, and a great opportunity to get back up to speed with F1 after the long winter break.

    #312531
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    F1antics
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    Apologies to Keith if he’s already posted it here on f1fanatic, but here’s a link to who’s driving when during the first week of testing:

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/122870

    #312330
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    F1antics
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    Not long now :) For week 1, I’m doing one day of hospitality (Wednesday) followed by one day standard entrance (Thursday), in the hope of seeing most of the drivers.

    I’m assuming there’ll be food on sale, with standard entrance?

    And has anyone taken a guided tour, on a test day? They seem to be selling out fast.

    #311390
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    F1antics
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    This is the company we used, who I’d highly recommend, who host pre-season hospitality at Barcelona. They have a box overlooking the pitlane, with good views down to the garages and also back over the paddock. You can access the roof for a good view of the circuit. We were given paddock passes (for a limited time, but enough to spot several drivers). We were also taken on a drive round the edge of the circuit while the cars were on track. I don’t know if they can guarantee paddock passes; it’s worth checking with JDC first.

    http://www.jdcpromotions.co.uk/formula-1/f1-testing

    #311323
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    F1antics
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    I’m going to the first test and will then stay a bit longer in Barcelona to explore. Unfortunately the week of the first test coincides with the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona so accommodation prices are sky high.

    I went last year and thoroughly recommend it. You get access to the circuit that most people wouldn’t get on a race weekend, and drivers seem more relaxed and visible.

    If you can afford it, it’s worth getting a VIP package at a fraction of the normal cost. We were directly above the Ferrari garage so could see behind the top-secret barriers the team had erected (and were desperately trying to keep up in the windy weather) to hide the car.

    #296801
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    F1antics
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    Any thoughts?

    Yes. Racism. I really cannot see any other reason for the totally irrational and unfair comments that I hear and read about him. It strikes me that people know they can’t say what they really think – that they don’t like people who aren’t white – and they certainly don’t like to see them succeed. So they try to justify their prejudice in other ways, but aren’t intelligent enough to realise they haven’t found a single thing to criticise that doesn’t also apply to other drivers.

    My aunt said she didn’t like Lewis because he’s a womanizer, but that she did like “that nice Jenson Button”. My own understanding is that Jenson used to be known as a bit of a playboy and womanizer before he settled down (in fact some commentators have said that he and his father were quite notorious, so that seems to be a widely-held view even if it’s not true), but I’ve not seen much evidence that Lewis is a womanizer – he seems to have been a bit of a one-woman man. So what could have prompted her view of Lewis vs Button if not prejudice?

    I met someone at the Barcelona testing this year who said he didn’t like Lewis, but that he felt Button was a “gentleman” who represented Britain at its best. What did he mean? I’ve known Jenson to come across as quite bitchy, in his day, and I certainly don’t think he’s any more or less of a ‘gentleman’. Did he really mean, deep down, that Jenson’s white (and therefore British with a capital B) and Lewis isn’t?

    Another acquaintance who watches F1 a lot says he doesn’t like Lewis because he wears sunglasses. But he likes Alonso and Kimi. Since then I’ve watched carefully and I can’t see much difference in sunglass-wearing behaviour, so it seems to me he’s grabbing at straws to justify his dislike – because he’d come across as a bit of a prat if he said it was because he was black.

    Many pundits, including very well-known ones, have said that Lewis isn’t intelligent (not just in comparison to Rosberg, although that has also been said – and I couldn’t disagree more). I’ve never heard them say anything similar about the white drivers. Yet Lewis strikes me as a very intelligent driver, not just in the way he adapts to different driving conditions and different technical eras, but in the way he’s managing his career and promoting the sport to the public. He comes across well on TV, seeming intelligent and good-humoured. So what is it about Lewis that makes these white commentators think he’s stupid?

    You mention criticism of his tattoos and I agree, if a white driver has tattoos that seems to be OK. If a white driver sprays champagne (which they have for decades) that’s OK. If a white driver does practically anything, that’s OK. If Lewis does the same things, it isn’t. So there does seem to be a different set of rules and tolerances for him. I’m sticking to my theory that this is to do with race, because I can’t see any other explanation for the prejudice I see. But of course if Lewis was to say that, he’d be crucified – because it’s not something you’re allowed to discuss openly; if you do, it delights and encourages the bullies.

    #292116
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    F1antics
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    KeeleyObsessed, I’d say it’s on average about 60 seconds behind. You can often get offers on day passes (or buy them from ebay), and there’s a weekly pass for around a tenner that will cover all 3 days + some pre- and post-race analysis.

    Simon, a 40% off code is no use if you can’t deal directly with Sky. Those of us who live in apartment blocks have to pay the full price to third-party installers/suppliers, even if we’re already cabled for Sky. There’s no price negotiation.

    #292058
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    F1antics
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    Yes, that sounds similar, although it’s sometimes a bit worse than that. And there’s been occasional buffering during race action but only once or twice early in the 2014 season, then Sky seemed to fix it. I synchronise live timing with the TV coverage at the start of a session or race, which is a useful function on the LT app, but if I’m also keeping an eye on twitter comments (which adds to the experience) then I often know what’s happened before I see it on the screen.

    BBC live coverage tends to be more or less synchronised with LT.

    #292044
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    F1antics
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    I use NowTV to watch Sky’s F1 coverage, and the cost of their sports passes has gone down since the start of the 2014 season. NowTV coverage is nothing fancy and there’s always a terrible time lag – if you’re watching live timing at the same time you have to pause it so Sky catches up. But it’s much cheaper than having a real Sky subscription – something I’m unlikely ever to do because, having to deal through a third party rather than directly with Sky, I never get offered discounts or cashback.

    #291835
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    F1antics
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    Thanks Frieda. I’ll check that they have that before booking.

    #291764
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    F1antics
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    Thanks for your trip reports, Greg. You got some great photos there.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 54 total)