Scheduling: The 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix / Paris E-Prix

Host of a thrilling race last year, the Baku Street Circuit returns in an earlier slot on the 2018 Formula One calendar.

Because of the domino effect surrounding France, it means that Baku takes the slot previously taken by Russia, with Russia moving into the late-September slot held by Malaysia; Malaysia of course no longer on the calendar for 2018.

The race weekend airs live on both Sky Sports and Channel 4. Eddie Jordan returns to Channel 4’s line-up for the first time in 2018, whilst Lee McKenzie returns after missing Bahrain and China.

Elsewhere, Formula E returns, but the race is only live on 5Spike this weekend. Channel 5’s main station at the same time is airing live coverage of the Premiership Rugby, whilst Eurosport’s duties are split between the World Snooker Championship and cycling’s Tour of Romandy.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
27/04 – 09:55 to 11:45 – Practice 1
27/04 – 13:55 to 15:35 – Practice 2
28/04 – 10:55 to 12:25 – Practice 3
28/04 – 12:55 to 15:45 – Qualifying
29/04 – 12:00 to 16:30 – Race
=> 12:00 – Build-Up
=> 12:40 – Race
=> 15:55 – Reaction

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
27/04 – 09:45 to 11:50 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
27/04 – 13:45 to 15:50 – Practice 2
28/04 – 10:45 to 12:15 – Practice 3
28/04 – 13:00 to 15:45 – Qualifying
=> 13:00 – Pre-Show
=> 13:55 – Qualifying
29/04 – 11:30 to 16:10 – Race
=> 11:30 – Pit Lane Live
=> 12:30 – On the Grid
=> 13:05 – Race
=> 15:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
25/04 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Preview (also Sky Sports Mix)
26/04 – 12:00 to 12:30 – Driver Press Conference
26/04 – 20:45 to 21:00 – Paddock Uncut
28/04 – 15:45 to 16:20 – The F1 Show
02/05 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Review

BBC Radio F1
26/04 – 21:30 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
27/04 – 09:55 to 11:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
27/04 – 13:55 to 15:35 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
28/04 – 10:55 to 12:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
28/04 – 13:55 to 15:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
29/04 – 13:00 to 15:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Formula E – Paris (online via YouTube)
28/04 – 06:55 to 07:55 – Practice 1
28/04 – 09:25 to 10:10 – Practice 2

Formula E – Paris
28/04 – 10:30 to 12:00 (Eurosport 2)
=> 10:30 – Preview
=> 11:00 – Qualifying
28/04 – 10:45 to 12:10 – Qualifying (5Spike)
28/04 – 14:30 to 16:20 – Race (5Spike)
28/04 – 16:35 to 18:00 – Race Delayed (Eurosport 2)
29/04 – 11:40 to 12:45 – Highlights (Channel 5)

British Touring Car Championship – Donington Park (ITV4)
29/04 – 10:40 to 18:20 – Races

Formula Two – Azerbaijan (Sky Sports F1)
27/04 – 07:55 to 08:55 – Practice
27/04 – 11:55 to 12:35 – Qualifying
28/04 – 08:55 to 10:10 – Race 1
29/04 – 10:05 to 11:05 – Race 2

World Rally Championship – Argentina
Every stage live via WRCPlus.com
26/04 – 23:00 to 00:00 – Live: Stage 1 (BT Sport 1)
28/04 – Day 1 Highlights
=> 09:30 to 10:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 12:30 to 13:00 (BT Sport 2)
28/04 – 13:00 to 14:00 – Live: Stage 10 (BT Sport 2)
28/04 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Live: Stage 14 (BT Sport/ESPN)
29/04 – Day 2 Highlights
=> 09:30 to 10:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 12:30 to 13:00 (BT Sport 2)
29/04 – 13:00 to 14:00 – Live: Stage 16 (BT Sport 2)
29/04 – 16:00 to 17:30 – Live: Stage 18 [Power Stage] (BT Sport/ESPN)
30/04 – Day 3 Highlights
=> 09:30 to 10:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 09:30 to 10:00 (BT Sport 1)
01/05 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights (Channel 5)

As always, the above will be updated if anything changes.

Advertisements

A quick-fire guide to your motor racing streaming services for 2018

Over the years, this site has tended to cover television coverage more than other forms of media, with weekly television schedules whenever there is a Formula 1 race on. The site also has a dedicated page covering all the key UK television and radio contracts.

But, alongside your traditional methods, many championships allow you to watch their action online. Here, we look at what each championship offers directly to the consumer, bypassing the broadcasters, or not as the case may be. This article is aimed at UK readers, but the information may be useful for overseas readers as well.

Note – This is an experimentation post and may not cover every single series out there. Please leave a comment if you find this useful and would like to see this repeated in future with updated information.

Dorna Sports (review)
The commercial rights holder for MotoGP and World Superbikes, Dorna Sports have over-the-top platforms for both. Every session, including support races, airs live on the over-the-top platform with a dedicated on-site team. Full-length replays are available if you missed the action first time round, with the fan able to view the action from a variety of on-board camera angles. Access to the respective platforms also unlock MotoGP’s and World Superbikes’ rich archive.

Available via desktop, Android and Apple devices, the MotoGP package is priced at £174.36 for the complete season, or £44.45 in four instalments. The World Superbikes offering is considerably cheaper than MotoGP at £60.98 for the season, or £13.00 per month. Even considering the smaller calendar, on a per-race weekend basis, the MotoGP price works out at £9.18, whilst the Superbikes offering is just £4.69, a sign of their respective popularity.

Formula E
Despite being one of the newer series in this list, surprisingly the electric Formula E championship does not have an over-the-top platform. Fans wanting to watch the action can find some live coverage on Formula E’s YouTube channel, but the availability depends on territory. UK fans can watch live practice on their YouTube channel, but no further than that.

The geo-blocking restrictions are lifted after the session for practice and qualifying, whilst full races are made available several weeks after the race, although one might argue that they have lost their value by that point in time. The lack of an over-the-top platform currently may come and bite them back in a few years’ time, especially considering the recent developments from Formula 1.

Formula One Management
Announced in February, Formula 1 has confirmed that their streaming service will launch ready for the Spanish Grand Prix in May. At launch, F1 TV Pro will be available via desktop and will only contain Formula 1 coverage; with other devices, and the appearance of the feeder series’ coming later in the year.

However, UK fans will not have access to the premium version due to the television agreements already in place. Barring some form of new arrangement between Formula One Management and Sky, do not expect UK fans to be able to access F1 TV Pro until 2025. F1 TV Access though, is another question…

GT Sport Organisation
GT Sport created and is responsible for the Euroformula Open and the International GT Open, both of which air live in the UK on BT Sport.

As with other championships on a similar footing, GT Sport live streams the action on their two YouTube channels, covering qualifying and the race: EuroFormulaOpen and GTOPENseries. English commentary comes from Ben Evans, who fans in the UK may recognise from BT Sport’s IndyCar coverage.

IndyCar
Unlike Supercars below, IndyCar does not currently offer an over-the-top product for overseas fans of the championship. Race Control only extends as far as live timing, but no visual imagery is involved. However, its social media offering is comprehensive, with live streaming of its feeder Indy Lights series, as well as live action from practice via their various outlets.

For fans without access to BT Sport, the full US race programme from either ABC, ESPN or NBC is uploaded to IndyCar’s YouTube channel around four days after the event. With IndyCar’s domestic rights in the US changing for 2019 in NBC’s favour, the streaming picture could change as well.

SRO Motorsports Group
Not to be confused with GT Sport’s portfolio of championships, SRO Motorsports Group is the commercial rights holder for several of the leading GT championships worldwide. If you are into GT racing, the GTWorld YouTube channel, operated by SRO, is the place to be.

It is on YouTube where SRO live stream the likes of the Blancpain GT Series and the British GT, for free. In addition, the Blancpain website plays host to live streaming of the GT Series.

Supercars
Not in Australia? No problem. The Virgin Australia Supercars streaming service SuperView gives fans outside of Australia the ability to live stream, rewind and replay every Supercars qualifying and race session in 2018. The restriction that previously applied to the Australian Grand Prix weekend was lifted for 2018, meaning that all events are now available on the service.

Priced at £32.80 based on the current conversion rate for the complete season, SuperView is a steal if you are looking to watch some motor racing action at your leisure throughout 2018. With 16 races across the year, the series costs UK fans just £2.05 per race weekend.

World Rally Championship (review)
From 2018, rally fans can view every World Rally Championship stage live. For £7.79 a month, or £77.98 for a complete year, fans can watch every stage either live or on-demand across a variety of devices.

However, you can only do that up and until the next rally comes along: there is no way to view the ‘All Live’ content once it disappears from the schedule a few days after the event finishes. Whilst the live element is great, WRC’s over-the-top product is still rough around the edges which is worth bearing in mind if you are unlikely to watch the action in a timely fashion. Nevertheless, WRC’s pricing structure remain extremely good value for money.

Are there any other major championships that have streaming capability that I have not mentioned? Have your say in the comments below.

Scheduling: The 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix

Both Formula 1 and MotoGP remain outside of Europe, as both championships embrace round two of their respective seasons.

For MotoGP, it is a trip to South America for the Argentine round of the series, whilst Formula 1 heads to the Bahrain International Circuit. The action from Bahrain airs live across Sky Sports and Channel 4 for the third year in succession.

With Channel 4’s Lee McKenzie reducing her Formula 1 commitments further this season, her former BBC F1 colleague Tom Clarkson is super substitute, for Bahrain at least. Mark Webber and Susie Wolff join Steve Jones in Bahrain. The channel’s free-to-air race day schedule changes slightly for 2018 to cater for the F1 race starting ten minutes later than in previous years.

The Formula Two season roars into life in Bahrain, with races on Saturday and Sunday. Elsewhere, the British Superbikes returns on Easter Monday (April 2nd) at Donington Park, with action remaining live on Eurosport. Rachel Stringer joins the team as race reporter, Stringer having previously covered a variety of events for the BBC and BT Sport.

Both the domestic and world touring car series’ return as well, although the latter has a new name. The former World Touring Car Championship is back, but now known as the World Touring Car Cup as the series no longer has manufacturer participation.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
06/04 – 11:55 to 14:10 – Practice 1
06/04 – 15:55 to 17:35 – Practice 2 (More4)
07/04 – 13:00 to 14:30 – Practice 3
07/04 – 14:55 to 17:45 – Qualifying
08/04 – 15:00 to 18:45 – Race
=> 15:00 – Build-Up
=> 15:45 – Race
=> 18:20 – Reaction

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
06/04 – 11:45 to 13:50 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event from 12:00)
06/04 – 15:45 to 17:50 – Practice 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
07/04 – 12:45 to 14:15 – Practice 3
07/04 – 15:00 to 17:45 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Mix)
=> 15:00 – Pre-Show
=> 15:55 – Qualifying
08/04 – 14:30 to 18:55 – Race
=> 14:30 – Pit Lane Live
=> 15:30 – On the Grid
=> 16:05 – Race
=> 18:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
04/04 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Preview
05/04 – 13:00 to 14:00 – Driver Press Conference
05/04 – 20:45 to 21:00 – Paddock Uncut
07/04 – 17:45 to 18:20 – The F1 Show
11/04 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Review (also Sky Sports Mix)

BBC Radio F1
05/04 – 20:00 to 20:30 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
06/04 – 11:55 to 13:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
07/04 – 12:55 to 14:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
07/04 – 15:55 to 17:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
08/04 – 16:00 to 19:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)

MotoGP – Argentina (BT Sport 2)
06/04 – 12:45 to 20:15 – Practice 1 and 2
07/04 – 12:45 to 20:15
=> 12:45 – Practice 3
=> 16:00 – Qualifying
08/04 – 13:30 to 21:00
=> 13:30 – Warm Ups
=> 15:15 – Moto3
=> 17:00 – Moto2
=> 18:30 – MotoGP
=> 20:00 – Chequered Flag

MotoGP – Argentina (Channel 5)
10/04 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights

British Superbikes – Donington Park
01/04 – 15:30 to 18:00 – Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
02/04 – 13:00 to 18:00 – Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
04/04 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

British Touring Car Championship – Brands Hatch (ITV4)
08/04 – 10:15 to 18:20 – Races

Formula Two – Bahrain (Sky Sports F1)
06/04 – 09:30 to 10:20 – Practice
06/04 – 17:55 to 18:35 – Qualifying
07/04 – 11:05 to 12:15 – Race 1
08/04 – 12:10 to 13:10 – Race 2

IndyCar Series – Phoenix (BT Sport 3)
07/04 – 02:00 to 05:00 (Saturday night) – Race

World Rally Championship – France
Every stage live via WRCPlus.com
06/04 – Day 1 Highlights
=> 22:15 to 22:45 (BT Sport 1)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
07/04 – 10:00 to 11:00 – Live: Stage 7 (BT Sport 1)
07/04 – Day 2 Highlights
=> 21:45 to 22:15 (BT Sport 1)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
08/04 – 11:00 to 12:30 – Live: Stage 12 [Power Stage] (BT Sport 2)
08/04 – Day 3 Highlights
=> 21:00 to 21:30 (BT Sport 2)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
11/04 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights (Channel 5)

World Touring Car Cup – Marrakech
08/04 – 10:30 to 11:50 – Qualifying (Eurosport)
08/04 – 16:30 to 18:55 – Race (Eurosport 2)

As always, if the schedules change, I will update the above times.

Update on April 3rd – I would not normally update schedules retrospectively, but it is important to note that British Superbike’s first race of the weekend from Donington Park was moved from Monday to Sunday, avoiding the torrential weather that hit the circuit yesterday morning. I have updated the above for future reference to show what actually happened.

In other news, Ted Kravitz (and his Notebook!) is not part of Sky Sports F1’s Bahrain Grand Prix team this weekend as his wife has given birth to a baby girl!

Update on April 4th – As a result of Ted’s absense, Paddock Live following the race on Sunday has been cut to 25 minutes from its normal 40 minute length.

Scheduling: The 2018 Barcelona test 2

After a truncated first test of 2018 in Barcelona, the ten Formula 1 teams return to the circuit this week hoping for a bit more action on track.

For Sky Sports, the schedule for the four days remains the same as the first test, with Craig Slater fronting the round-up at 21:00 each day, followed by Ted Kravitz’s Notebook. There is no #AskCrofty, as there was in previous years at testing. The Sky Sports Digital and News teams as always will provide updates throughout each day of testing.

There are two special editions of the F1 Report looking back at testing, one a general review, and one a technical overview. The presentation line-up for both is unconfirmed as of writing.

The BBC’s radio coverage also kicks off this week, with Jennie Gow presenting a preview of the new season on Thursday alongside website editor Andrew Benson and new recruit Jolyon Palmer.

Elsewhere, the IndyCar Series begins in St. Petersburg, live coverage continuing on BT Sport. The third round of the World Rally Championship takes place in Mexico, with UK TV coverage airing from Saturday through to Tuesday.

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
06/03 – 21:00 to 21:45 – Day 1 Highlights
– round-up at 21:00
– Ted’s Notebook at 21:15
– schedule repeated for following three days
07/03 – 21:00 to 21:45 – Day 2 Highlights
08/03 – 21:00 to 21:45 – Day 3 Highlights
09/03 – 21:00 to 21:45 – Day 4 Highlights

Supplementary Programming
10/03 – 17:30 to 18:00 – F1 Report: 2018 Testing Special
14/03 – 20:00 to 21:00 – F1 Report: Development Special

BBC Radio F1
08/03 – 20:30 to 21:30 – Season Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)

IndyCar Series – St. Petersburg (BT Sport/ESPN)
11/03 – 16:00 to 19:15 – Race

World Rally Championship – Mexico
Every stage live via WRCPlus.com
10/03 – Day 1 Highlights
=> 09:30 to 10:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 11:00 to 11:30 (BT Sport 1)
10/03 – 17:00 to 18:00 – Live: Stage 13 (BT Sport 3)
11/03 – Day 2 Highlights
=> 09:30 to 10:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 15:30 to 16:00 (BT Sport 1)
11/03 – 16:00 to 17:00 – Live: Stage 21 (BT Sport 1)
11/03 – 18:00 to 19:30 – Live: Stage 22 [Power Stage] (BT Sport Extra 1)
12/03 – Day 3 Highlights
=> 09:30 to 10:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 11:00 to 11:30 (BT Sport 1)
13/03 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights (Channel 5)

If anything changes, the above schedule will be updated.

Reviewing WRC’s new ‘All Live’ offering

Every round. Every stage. Live.

That was the promise made to World Rally Championship fans at the start of 2018, and this past weekend saw the launch of their new service with the Monte Carlo Rally, the first round of the 2018 season.

The term ‘new era’ is bandied around for many different reasons, but for rallying, WRC’s ‘All Live’ offering is a revolution not just for fans, but for the sport as a whole, especially considering the state it was in just ten years ago. As commentator Becs Williams pointed out during coverage, teams have previously “just seen a tracking map and split times.”

Priced at around £8.00 a month, the premium tier is available to fans worldwide, with no geo-blocking in place. £8.00 for the first month would get you access to the opening two rounds of the season, an excellent deal. Outside usual circles, it does feel like the offering has yet to make a buzz in the wider motor sport community, something I hope changes as the year progresses.

Producing a rally across four days is a major logistical and technical challenge that is difficult to put into words, on a much larger geographical scale than many other motor racing events. Bearing that in mind, the idea of a ‘All Live’ offering is beyond anything that has happened before.

Presentation team strong, but lacks depth
Kiri Bloore presented the four days of coverage from Thursday through to Sunday, with Williams leading the commentary line-up. Jon Desborough, Julian Porter and Paul King rotated in and out of the makeshift studio at the Gap service park, and commentary booth during the weekend. Molly Pettit provided reports from the start of each stage as well as interviewing the key drivers.

The team was on-air for around 30 hours across the four days, from dawn to dusk including mid-day intervals, helping fans get closer to the action. If the number of hours remains similar at each rally, WRC should consider adding two or three on-air personnel to keep the coverage fresh, and to avoid the existing crew becoming exhausted (some of the personnel also are part of WRC’s radio output, hence Williams’ absence from the visual output on Sunday).

2018 Monte Carlo Rally - Gap.png
Kiri Bloore and Julian Porter escape the makeshift studio on Friday evening to interview Jarmo Lehtinen, former manager of Toyota’s WRC operation.

A second presenter and reporter, who could double up as a commentator would do the trick nicely. Additional bodies would allow the schedule to be split into ‘blocks’, with someone new presenting in the afternoon as an example. The sharing of resources between visual (TV) and radio was noticeable on Sunday morning, as fans heard no commentary or could see any footage for half of stage 14 whilst personnel moved between bases.

Pettit was the highlight of the weekend, with her interviews and reporting style, the segments at Gap following Friday’s running helped bring fans closer to the action, and into an area not previously seen. Bloore was fine as presenter, whilst Williams up in commentary was engaging throughout. What I really like is that all three are genuinely passionate about rallying, and that comes through on-screen.

The location of the studio left a lot to be desired. Instead of showing off the mountainous Alps, Bloore and her analyst were against a generic WRC backdrop for most of the studio segments, not the most atmospheric position they could be in.

Stunning imagery, but haphazard timing
One of the beauties of rallying is the images it provides, and the Monte Carlo Rally is no different. Of course, every stage live means that we were treated to all angles, from the night stages on Thursday night, through to the treacherous, snowy conditions on Saturday morning. The on-board camera angles throughout the weekend showed various drivers fighting their machinery, trying to survive and live for another day. Importantly, the imagery makes you appreciate just how difficult rallying is, and how much effort goes into putting the show on the road.

2018 Monte Carlo Rally - Jari-Matti Latvala
WRC’s crew were on hand to chat to drivers as soon as each stage had concluded. Here, Jari-Matti Latvala is about to be interviewed.

The on-screen graphics were slick, passing the keep it simple test with ease. The graphics, showing key details such as elevation change and speed, are easy to understand, and thankfully do not overload the screen. However, as one might expect with a new service of this nature, Thursday’s coverage suffered teething problems, some of which continued throughout the weekend, making the rally confusing to follow at times.

In normal circuit racing, you know when someone is heading towards the Bus Stop at Spa, or around the final bend at Melbourne. However, you do not have a visual of when Sebastien Ogier is close to finishing his stage, which is why a constant timer on-screen is vital. Unfortunately, timing graphics during each stage were at a premium for the first half of the weekend, making stages difficult to follow without anything to reference, and the commentators appeared to be in the same position.

I liked the GPS virtual map that was on display throughout the weekend, although it may serve better within a picture-in-picture type format, to help show how far away drivers are to finishing their stage. At times, the map felt like a holding screen whilst the director looked for the next car to focus upon.

Telling the story
An important aspect of motor sport is to decipher the various on-track stories throughout the weekend, and even with every stage covered, it felt like something was missing from the package. I did wonder if the production team had access to every on-board in the gallery, the impression I had watching the rally was that they only had access to a limited number of cars to play out live, restricting what fans could see. Williams mentioned several incidents in commentary, but clips never aired until later in the day.

2018 Monte Carlo Rally - Sebastien Ogier interview
Sebastien Ogier is grilled by the media on Friday evening.

From an early stage, it became clear that Ogier was battling against Ott Tanak for victory, yet the direction did not reflect this fact. Split-screen was one technique WRC could have utilised to show the two cars, and to show how far Tanak was behind Ogier at each split (or vice versa), therefore showing why Ogier has the upper hand. If not possible during the stage, it is something that could take place during one of the service breaks to help viewers understand why the rally is following the way it is. To try new things like this though, you need the right number of people in front of the camera…

Frustratingly, Ogier called the first stage on Saturday morning the worst of his career in the snow, yet viewers saw very little of it. Split-screen could have helped demonstrate this, as well as showing conditions improve with every passing driver. The direction felt repetitive during some phases of the rally: instead of focussing on emerging battles, the director focussed on cars one-by-one during their final two minutes.

The best round-up of events that I watched was during the Power Stage on Sunday afternoon, possibly because the segment was packaged as a standalone TV show for those broadcasters airing that stage. There was no sign of the studio during the 90-minute Power Stage, nor were any references made to All Live. Desborough presented this part, disappointingly no sign of either Bloore or Williams.

2018 Monte Carlo Rally - Craig Breen.png
Craig Breen was the first driver to experience the snow on Saturday morning. The graphic on the right shows RPM (top); speed, gear and whether the hand brake is active (middle); and how much pressure Breen applied to the brakes and throttle (bottom).

An aspect of rallying I like returned on Saturday, with fans hearing pace notes from Dan Barratt towards Elfyn Evans. Evans was one of the many drivers’ door stepped at the end of stage by Pettit and Porter, showing the immediate raw emotion, whether it was satisfaction or disappointment. As the action played out, the pecking order from 4th to 7th turned on its head significantly in the Power Stage with Esapekka Lappi falling down the order due to an off-track excursion, all of this caught by the live cameras (Lappi’s reaction as you can imagine over the line was a little more than disappointment).

The online service and app
The video player provided by WRC is basic, but does the job on both laptop and through their Android app. Impressively, every stage is immediately available after its initial broadcast, with no delay whatsoever.

Like MotoGP’s Video Pass, I do think WRC should consider adding ‘markers’ in their live programme for people arriving late, or for those who want to relieve a key moment. Ogier’s spin during stage seven was a key moment on Friday, but to find this in the live offering you had to manually trawl back through the various clips to find it.

Following the conclusion of each stage, fans have access to every on-board camera, allowing you to compare two drivers with one another, very similar to what I think would be useful to see in the live stream. Until I clicked on the ‘Onboard Action’ section did I realise that you could access every on-board through here. Again, the user interface feels slightly rough round the edges, but is usable.

Many things above I am acutely aware are a result of this being WRC’s first ‘All Live’ weekend, and will improve over time. Live broadcasting is difficult at the best of times, and considering this is the first time WRC have transmitted every stage live to fans, they have started fantastically.

As I mentioned at the start of this piece, rallying is one of the most difficult forms of motor sport to cover from a broadcasting perspective, yet the team covered the full weekend without any major breakdowns. Yes, there are areas to improve, but that will happen as the season progresses. If Monte Carlo was a minimum viable product, then for rallying fans, the broadcasting revolution has only just started…

2018 Monte Carlo Rally - Thierry Neuville.png