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Formula 1 fans angry after Sky Sports reduces web coverage

Thursday, April 9th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Formula 1 fans have hit out at Sky after it removed part of its coverage of the sport from its website.

The popular Race Control feature allows viewers to switch between on-board cameras, a live timing screen and a driver tracker.

It is now only available via the red button or the Sky Sports app for iPad after Sky Sports dropped the web version ahead of this season’s coverage.

Customers have taken to social media and to Sky’s forum pages to complain about the change.

On Twitter, Martin Bashforth said Race Control was a “big part” of him having Sky Sports in the first place.

“The main reason I stayed with Sky rather than going to Virgin was the Sky F1 package (including race control),” he said.

“It would have been nice to be told back then that it was going to be removed and inaccessible to anyone without an iPad.

“Sky have now taken this service away with no warning and especially [as] nothing [was] said when I renewed with Sky, being that for some reason Sky decided to then make it only available to iPad owners I now need to buy one if I want to keep using it.”

Mr Bashforth was told by the Sky help team that there would be no reduction in package costs as Race Control is a free service, and that there are “no known plans” for an Android version of the app.

'Massively reduced service'

Marc Mulligan said on Twitter: “Very very disappointed @SkySportsF1 have decided to scrap Race Control. How do you justify a massively reduced service?”

Sky forum user StephenSky said: “I honestly can’t express the level of my anger!

“After being forced to subscribe to Sky F1 (after terrestrial TV dropped it), they have now dropped race control.

“Watching the different angles on my laptop added huge enjoyment with every race, I feel as if I've just dropped back to the 80s F1 coverage and expect to hear Murray Walker’s voice any second.

“Is Sky going to charge for widescreen TV now dropping back to 4:3 format as standard then?”

Fellow forum user SteveLWA added: “Disgraceful, my enjoyment of the first two races so far has been severely hurt due to the loss of the extra angles and all that.”

A Sky Sports spokesperson said: “Sky Sports can confirm that the web version of Race Control will not be offered for the 2015 season.

“Live coverage of Formula One can still be viewed cross platform and on both Sky Go or Now TV.

“Race Control remains available to subscribers on Sky Sports for iPad which was the most popular platform for our customers and behind the red button.”

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