Sky Sports F1 is to screen exclusive live coverage of the third test from Barcelona, The F1 Broadcasting Blog can confirm. The channel will be broadcasting two and a half hours live from each day of the third test, which takes place from Thursday 28th February to Sunday 3rd March. The broadcast will begin at 14:00 on each of the four days with Simon Lazenby presenting, David Croft and ‘guests’ will be commentating.
In another first, Sky will become the first broadcaster to show Formula 1 in 3D, as their coverage throughout the test will be shown on Sky 3D. Martin Brundle said: “This is a special moment for Formula 1 fans and exactly the kind of innovation and access that Sky Sports F1 promised. 3D will show us the real challenges of the race track with added depth and perspective. It will be a new, immersive experience for viewers and I can’t wait to see what F1 action in 3D will reveal.”
Whilst Sky Sports F1’s Executive Producer Martin Turner added: “This is groundbreaking.”We’re as excited as the next fan to see what Formula 1 will look like in 3D. It’s uncharted territory, but this is a big opportunity to experiment and innovate, and we’re grateful to Formula One Management for working with us on this. Sky is a world-leader in the field of 3D broadcasting, so in partnership with Formula 1 we’re in the best position to answer public appetite and take up the challenge of bringing live F1 in 3D for the first time.”
Quite simply put, this is brilliant news, and a Formula 1 first that testing will be broadcast live in this detail. It will also provide a significant boost to the Sky Sports F1 schedule with ’round 0′ being shown live. Two and a half hours a day is 10 hours across the entire weekend, so fantastic news for Formula 1 fans. I don’t think it is likely, but a nice gesture would be to make the channel available to all Sky and Virgin Media customers. The reason I say that is because it is difficult to gauge the exact interest of testing and just what viewing figures it would draw, by making it available to all Sky and Virgin Media customers, you could persuade a few customers to make the jump if they like what they see. Nevertheless, this is brilliant news, and more than what I was expecting a few weeks ago. Obviously it needs to be said that this will not have been all Sky Sports F1’s doing, as with the race weekends, all footage inside a race circuit at testing is controlled by Formula One Management, so no doubt co-operation was required by them as testing is generally covered with much less cameras than a proper race weekend, thanks therefore need to go out to them as well here I think.
As for 3D, I personally have little interest in it, the main news for me by far is that they will be screening testing live. And that, as a Formula 1 fan, makes me very pleased.
Important: You will be able to watch the coverage if
– you have access to Sky Sports F1 OR
– you have access to Sky 3D
You do not need to have 3D to watch it, it will also be screened in SD and HD on Sky Sports F1.
Update at 19:30 – As expected, the broadcast on all four days will be from 14:00 to 16:30, however there will be a repeat airing at 18:30 for those unable to watch it live. The F1 Show on Friday 1st March is also scheduled to air in 3D.