Formula One is starting to grasp the wonders and advantages of the internet, but maybe not fast enough. Motorsport.com reports that the streaming service we’ve all wanted won’t be ready by the start of the season this weekend, and that F1 delayed the service’s rollout and gave no official date for when it will be ready.
The sport announced F1 TV just under a month ago, with monthly pricing at $8 to $12 for commercial-free streaming in multiple languages. F1 said the service would show every practice, qualifying and race live, along with interviews, press conferences, live coverage of support races and on-board cameras for all 20 cars during each race session. Streaming isn’t available everywhere, but the current list includes the U.S., Germany, Austria, Switzerland and much of Latin America.
What F1 didn’t specify was when this year the service would launch, saying only that its “biggest investment in its digital transformation to date” would come out “early” in the 2018 season. Motorsport.com reports that F1 intended for it to be ready for the season opener in Australian this weekend, but things are now delayed with no date for when the service will be ready.
This weekend will instead be a streaming test. From Motorsport.com:
“We will do a stress test/beta test session during the Melbourne weekend,” an F1 spokesman told Motorsport.com, “with the aim to be fully operational as soon as possible.
“It’s a normal process when you develop a new product. It won’t be a public test, it will be an internal test. We will have people spread in various locations in the world, testing the system and functionalities.”
Asked about the likely timing of F1 TV’s introduction the spokesman said: “As soon as possible. There is not a set deadline.”
Motorsport.com reports that a spokesperson said F1 is also working on an “F1 Vision” device, similar to handheld Fanvision devices people can rent at races with streams, commentary and radio. There’s no specific date on that, either, other than “by the start of the European season.”
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