Find out more about our subscriptions

Fans to get access to more data in '09

FOTA graphicFormula 1 fans watching on television will get access to more data than ever before this season, has learned, with the sport's broadcasters accepting proposals put forward by teams to enhance the show.

The Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) announced earlier this month that it wanted the sport's broadcasters, Formula One Management (FOM), to make use of extra graphics and more information than it was offering.

This included fuel strategy graphics, racing line details, pit stop predictors and total access to the teams' radio channels.

When asked by on Tuesday if FOM was going to take up the teams' offer, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that he would embrace the opportunity.

"Absolutely," said Ecclestone. "We've been a bit strung up with our graphics because although we had the information (before), we couldn't use it. It was the same with the 'ship-to-shore' radio. It was interesting for viewers but the teams said we can't use it.

"It was complete nonsense. We are in the entertainment business and these teams forget that. I think they are waking up now."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh, who heads up the sporting group within FOTA, believes that fans will be the biggest winners from the new information - especially total access to radio transmissions.

"How many teams over the years have spent lots of money with encrypted radio systems to prevent that? That was a big, big initiative," he said at the recent FOTA launch in Geneva.

"There are lots of little one-liners, and I think in a year's time we'll take them for granted. I think in a year's time we won't have perhaps recognised the significance of some of the proposals that have come from FOTA.

"But I do think that the sport and the ability for fans to become involved, to buy into it, to understand it, and to enjoy it, will be greater."

He added: "I think anyone who's responsible for the commercial development of the sport has got to be ecstatic about the teams cooperating more fully with how we develop those things."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
FIA to vote on revised points system
FOTA efforts give small teams a chance
FOTA says crisis can be good for F1
Q & A with Luca di Montezemolo
Whitmarsh: New points best solution
Q & A with Martin Whitmarsh
Revealed: FOTA plans to improve show
The full statement from FOTA
FOTA continues push to reduce costs
FOTA calls for points system overhaul
FOTA set to reveal plans for F1 revamp
FOTA to unveil Formula One vision
FOTA shares FIA's cost cut aims
The full letter from Mosley to FOTA