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Information overload March 17, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Formula One.
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It’s the first race of the F1 season, I dutifully got up at 5am to watch the Sky F1 coverage then tuned in again at 1pm for the BBC F1 coverage.

Normally on a race weekend I am quite an active tweeter and enjoy conversations with people about the races but today I felt like my brain was getting well and truly boggled! I wondered why? Why was this different to the other qualifying sessions I have tweeted through? Have I really aged that much over the winter that I can’t handle it? I can only put it down to one thing – information overload and I blame 3 things for this!

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1. Twitter – Last year I had a different twitter account and on that account I didn’t follow very many people and had a smaller group of people I talked to, as a result it was easier to follow while still keeping up to date on the race. Since last year I changed my account and now follow nearly 700 people, as you can imagine this now makes my timeline pretty full. I was still trying to follow my twitter account in the way I did the old account ie reading every tweet but I soon discovered this is not possible. I also found that when I tweet things now I have a lot more people who respond, which is fantastic and I love that but can also be distracting.

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2. The amount of ipad F1 apps I have – I will admit I barely looked at the apps I have this morning but I have numerous ones I could refer to and it was playing on my mind during qualifying, wondering what these apps had to offer. There would be no way I could have followed the apps, Twitter and the race so this weekend the apps are getting ignored.

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3. The Sky F1 style of coverage itself – This is not a criticism but the new Sky F1 coverage is much more technical than the BBC coverage. Anyone who follows me will know that I love the BBC coverage but even I find they do ‘dumb down’ F1 too much sometimes. Sky cannot be accused of this and this will take a bit of getting used to! I don’t really have a technical mind, unfortunately, and this, combined with the fact that it was a 5am start, made it a bit hard for me to follow everything that was being covered! I wonder if I might find this easier at races which are held later in the day? At the moment Virgin TV have not got the red button facilities up and running, in some ways I’m glad because it will mean even more information when they do! I definitely felt that the BBC coverage is more designed for the masses wheras the Sky coverage is aimed at the crazed F1 fan. Where I would call myself a crazed F1 fan, at 5am in the morning it was a little too much for me. (Oh and I know you were excited but did you have to shout quite that loud Crofty? I went back to bed with a headache after it.)

So what can I do to stop feeling this overloaded during the race tomorrow and even at the subsequent races? My style of following twitter will have to change, I’m afraid I won’t be able to read every tweet but I’ll do my best to find the edited highlights! The apps will have to wait until a later race to be used, or maybe I will peruse them after the race but during the race, this weekend anyway – no way. As for the Sky coverage, there is not a lot I can do about that other than try to have an early night and pick up as much as I can.

So tomorrow, during the race if I suddenly go quiet, spare a thought for me as my brain may have exploded!

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Follow me on Twitter @NicF1Fan

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What if… March 12, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Formula One.
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The F1 season is about to start in a matter of days, and days that can be counted on one hand! I have been excited for the new season starting ever since last season finished in November.

I don’t know if anyone else gets this but at this time, just before the season starts, I start to get a little bit of panic and my ‘What ifs’ appear!

What if … the season is not as good as I think it’s gonna be? What if … someone (probably Vettel) just runs off and wins all the races without real competition? What if … unreliability rears it’s ugly head, especially with the teams I support? What if … the Sky F1 coverage for the first 2 races actually sucks? What if …………..

I know it’s stupid and irrational but I get this every year. I have built F1 up in my mind so much and my expectations are so high that I actually then start worrying it will let me down. But I know it won’t! As soon as those engines start, those red lights turn off and the commentator utters whichever catchphrase he’ll probably use for the whole season I no longer worry. F1 is back! Who cares if it’s a ‘boring’ season, who cares if Vettel wins every race, who cares if half the cars break down and the Sky coverage is the worst ever? The fact is F1 is back and I’m gonna love it!

Follow me on twitter @NicF1Fan

First impressions March 10, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Formula One.
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Last night was the launch of the dedicated Sky F1 channel and, since I have the Sky Sports package now, I was as keen as anyone to watch the show. I tuned in at 8pm and was greeted by a stirring intro and the new Sky F1 title music. I love the song ‘Just Drive’ but I am unsure whether it really works as an introduction music, it is an emotional song but I don’t find it stirring. I want my title music to excite me!

The Sky F1 show started and was very slick, very professional and very interesting. I particularly enjoyed the parts where Ted talked us through the technical elements. As always, for me, Ted didn’t disappoint. I also particularly enjoyed the section where Natalie Pinkham interviewed Mark Webber, top girl meets top guy in my opinion so it was always gonna be a winner for me.

Maybe my unfamiliarity with the new presenters got in the way but I was not so keen on Georgie Thompson and Simon Lazenby. I found Simon slightly stiff and it resulted in a lack of rapport between him, Martin and Damon. When we are so used to the amazing rapport between Jake, DC and EJ I found it slightly uncomfortable to watch. I hope as the season goes on they can build this rapport and it will become easier to watch.

Georgie was a whole different story though! I found her choice of outfits bemusing to say the least. Her leather outfit while interviewing Jenson and her Glitzy gold outfit while using the SkyPad seemed like odd choices to me, as one of my Twitter friends said ‘Georgie you are presenting a sports program not going to a party.’ I am sure she is a very nice person and I’m sure it’s just my own personal jealousy talking but I wasn’t keen on her.

What has amazed me though is the complete split of opinion on Twitter over the new channel. I looked through the @SkySportsF1 @ mentions and the contrast in opinions is staggering! There are many, many tweets of congratulations and positive feed back but there seems to be an equal amount of people finding small faults in the coverage to ‘slag off’ Sky or just blatantly calling it rubbish.

I think Sky were very clever with their launch of the F1 channel the week before F1 starts. We have all been starved of F1 for months and are desperate to see anything new around our favourite sport. I feel that a lot of the ‘wow’ factor from last night was purely because we all needed F1 so much after being starved of it for so long. I may be wrong, maybe the style of presenting really did hit the note for some people but I just wonder if a show of that level shown mid season would have had as much of an impact.

I am of the opinion that many of the people ridiculing it are people who do not have the channel and there is either an element of ‘Sky hating’ preventing them getting it so no matter what Sky did it would never be good enough or for those who cannot afford the channel there is an element of jealousy that they cannot watch the coverage. I can understand the latter much more easily than the former, it was only recently that I discovered that we would be able to have the channel and I know if I hadn’t I would possibly be slagging off the Sky coverage as well! As for the ‘Sky Haters’ I understand why you hate BSkyB and Rupert Murdoch but we just want to watch F1 races live, it was the BBC who sold it to Sky not us so I won’t feel guilty about watching the sport I love, sorry!

Someone made a comment this morning which I read as meaning that since Sky have a dedicated F1 channel they therefore have more dedicated staff so therefore their coverage will be better. I completely disagree with this. I don’t think anyone can doubt the dedication of the presenters and crew who bring us our BBC F1 coverage, you can tell that F1 passion runs through them but also I need to point out that the coverage ie camera angles and shots during the race will be identical. This all comes from a common feed which goes to every country so the really important part (the actual race itself) will only be unique in it’s commentating and personally I’m tempted to listen to James Allen on 5 live for this as I am a big fan of both him and Jaime!

I have mixed feelings about last nights show. I didn’t get the WOW effect that some people seem to have got, I enjoyed the show immensely, I hated the adverts with a passion but I look forward very much to watching more. They say first impressions last, I’m hoping with me my opinion grows, I really don’t want to be left feeling ‘Sky F1 – Meh’

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Why do people always say that? March 6, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Formula One.
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I was in hospital last week for a small operation which involved a General Anaesthetic. I had been told that I had to be in the hospital at 7.30am even though my operation wasn’t until the afternoon and that I would be kept in overnight so I did what any self respecting F1 fan would do and took in a copy of F1 racing magazine and a copy of Autosports magazine to keep me entertained.

Nothing unusual there you may be thinking but I am female and this seems to make a difference to people. I am used to the producing of these magazines causing a few raised eyebrows but the comments people make still astonish me and it was brought to my attention again on that hospital ward. Comments of ‘what on earth is that you are looking at?’ and ‘you’re not a car fan are you?’ are bad enough but the one that really gets on my wick is the ‘I don’t know how you can watch that racing, all it is is cars going round and round in circles!’ comment. It makes me so mad.

Generally the people who make these comments know nothing about F1 and have never actually tried to watch a race. These people have seen one or two laps around about the middle of the race (you know that bit where there is a little bit of a lull with not much happening) and they have made a snap decision on the sport based on those 5 minutes or so. They then feel, having made this snap decision, that they can make comments on the sport in an educated manner. I’m afraid not!

I am not a fan of football but I have watched many full matches (and I even understand the offside rule) but I would never criticise someone who wanted to watch a match, I don’t like skiing due to Ski Sunday being inflicted on me for many years by my sister and mum but if anyone chooses to watch it I am not offended – feel free. Something about a woman watching a motorsport though really seems to offend people and I cannot for the life of me understand why!

As for cars just going round and round in circles, well yes there is an element of that, but there is so much more going on that, obviously to the untrained eye, seems to go unnoticed. The strategies involved, the timings on when to make the perfect move, the team orders (unpopular as they are), the messages coming back and forwards between team and driver, the pitstops and the battles within battles going on all over the racetrack are what make F1 and many other motorsports great! I understand that if you have only ever watched a dull 2 laps of a race you will not have seen all of these aspects but if you have only seen a dull 2 laps of a race then don’t make a judgement on it! There are millions of F1 fans worldwide, do you really think we would all watch race after race if it was really just all ‘cars going round and round in circles’?

I am an F1 fan, I am female and I am proud of it, if you want to know more about the sport ask me -I’m happy to answer but please don’t say those words again!

Follow me on Twitter @NicF1Fan

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