F1 TV finally had its covers taken off to the public during the week in preparation for the Spanish Grand Prix and the remainder of the 2018 season.
Due to Foxtel’s extensive Formula 1 coverage in Australia simulcasting UK’s Sky Sports coverage, not all features are accessible to fans in Australia with F1 TV Pro only available to selected markets around the world where there’s limited coverage of the sport.
For Australian customers, F1 TV Access costs $4.99 per month and mirrors the outgoing F1 Access subscription service, where fans could view live timing and data as well as tune into live radio commentary of F1 sessions.
All these features have been carried across to F1 TV Access, with additional features including a range of archival races and highlights. If already subscribed to the former F1 Access subscription, consumers will be able to automatically switch to F1 TV Access at no extra cost.
For a day one public release, the service is good but will need a little bit more tweaking before it is fully stable. Public response will also be a key driver in shaping future releases and updates.
Highlights for each session only start from this season with every previous Grand Prix from 2002-2017 featuring weekend highlights from each year’s season review DVDs.
Only a handful of races from 2017 or before are available for customers to view in full. Available now are key races such as the drama-filled Azerbaijan Grand Prix from 2017 and the famous four-hour rain-delayed Canadian Grand Prix of 2011.
While hardly a classic race, even the inaugural Malaysian Grand Prix of 1999 at the Sepang International Circuit – where Michael Schumacher played the role of number-two driver to help teammate Eddie Irvine’s challenge for the Drivers’ Championship title – is available to view. The Ferraris finished 1-2, were then excluded for running illegal bargeboards but managed to have the result overturned on appeal.
For the time being, no archival races are available from before 1997, but they could be released in the near future as the drop down box allows viewers to select years down all the way back to the inaugural 1950 season.
Looking closer into the current 2018 season, F1 TV Access provides shortened and extended highlights videos to Australian customers shortly after practice qualifying and the race. Full race replays will not be available, however, to avoid diluting Foxtel’s exclusive rights deal.
So, should you buy it? If you are already paying $5 per month for the former F1 Access, then you’re not losing anything by continuing your subscription on F1 TV Access.
For no additional cost, you’re getting everything you got before plus a growing library of archival races for you to enjoy in your spare time. If you’re a new customer, it is still worth the money for all these great features.
However, if you’re wanting to live stream races, this is not the service for you.