The F1 magazine is a great format which enables me to watch it on the go - on my phone with my headphones in and I can watch it on the bus, or in my lunch break. This 'new' media also gives those watching an immediate opportunity to interact by commenting on the video
This particular episode gives you everything you'd expect from a regular F1 magazine including a race review and race preview (as Malaysia and Bahrain are just a week apart). The F1 Times crew also benefit from having input from Formula One teams and drivers with Lewis Hamilton giving an interview, Pirelli discussing tyres and Ferrari's Marc Gene talking us through the steering wheel. These features give us a real insight into the sport and much quicker than possible through the traditional print media. This insight also sets it apart from all fan made video's and random items you find on YouTube these days.
The F1 magazine opens with a really good title sequence, very nicely vision mixed and very proffessionally produced. This gives the air of something your more used to seeing in your TV coverage.
Then there is the equivalent of a 'contents page' where you are talked through what's coming up on this episode, accompanied by really nice looking graphics and just enough information on each segment to make you want to watch it all!
This particular episode which i have embedded here in the review then moves on to a review of the Malaysian Grand Prix. The commentary is really informative however the only thing that is really missing is any footage of the race itself. I can only assume that this is due to FOM (Formula One Management)'s over zealous stance on taking any footage down from YouTube due to agreements with regional TV companies. However the still images from the race give a different way of reflecting on the race and certainly help to tell the story. You certainly don't miss out on what happened in the race as the segment is comprehensive.
The standings tables at the end of the race review once again have consistent and really impressive graphics. It really feels very professional.
The next section is news. This is small 'bullet points' fleshed out with pictures and a voice over giving you a great overview of the current talking points in the sport. There are also little stats popping up in between segments which are a really nice touch.
Following this is the Lewis Hamilton interview, which is a really good piece of film. Its bang up to date filmed just before the Malaysian GP and gives you a bit more insight of the character of Lewis. An insight you don't get from the TV commitments at a race weekend thanking the team and the sponsors etc... .
The next segment gives you an insight into Pirelli's wet tyres for 2014. The graphics here are also fantastic and you get an awful lot of insight in a small amount of time.
Marc Gene - The Ferrari test driver then gives you an explanation of the new for 2014 Formula One steering wheel. Once again you get a lot more information here than you would if this was being crammed into a print magazine. its certainly very interesting to hear how much drivers have to do during a race!
Lastly is a quick preview of the Bahrain Grand Prix and an on-board lap in the simulator courtesy of Mercedes AMG Petronas and Lewis Hamilton.
All in all the video is professional, informative and really gets you hooked. You want to watch the whole thing! Its certainly the best I have seen outside of a TV broadcast as the information and sections are pieced together really well.
My personal criticism is that I think it'd be great if the small features were available to watch separately or together as a playlist, as the bite-size chunks would be easier to catch during the day or to re-cap if you want to re-watch something. Of course it would benefit from some more footage but that is unlikely whilst FOM keep up their current stance on non TV broadcasts. I also believe the addition of further social media involvement (some scrolling tweets across the bottom etc) and maybe some give-aways / competitions would boost viewers and gain regular followers / subscribers to the channel.
I would definitely recommend that The F1 Magazine is great viewing for any F1 fan as it caters for both the regular and casual viewer with its mix of information & updates. Formula One needs forward thinking people using new media as it certainly doesn't self promote itself! - This video magazine is perfectly timed to grab your attention and fill a gap in the market. Best of all its completely free!
The F1 Magazine was started by Lukas Redl (@lukasredl
on Twitter ) who covered the World Series by Renault using a similar video magazine format a few years ago. As part of The F1 Times it has support from Editor Ryan Wood (@f1times
on Twitter), and is a partner of #F1extra. F1extra is a service run by Duurt (@Formula1Extra
on twitter) which promotes blogs and websites including this one and has gained much support in the F1 community, in the paddock and on-line. These partnerships will see this video magazine go from strength to strength in the future providing us Formula One fans with a new way to access news and reviews.
I personally wish the guys at The F1 Times and Lukas all the best, Thank you for giving me the opportunity to review your work and I certainly look forward to continuing to watch the F1 Magazine!
All of the video's in the F1 Magazine series can be found here