‘Challenging’ hurdles means no live coverage available for F1 Academy

At least in short-term, all-female junior series' live races will be absent from F1's OTT offering.
  • Lack of infrastructure makes streaming a challenge
  • United States GP to be only F1 race that F1 Academy will support this season

The all-female F1 Academy's live races will not be available on Formula One's F1 TV streaming platform, at least in the short term. 

Speaking at the BlackBook Motorsport Forum, Formula One's head of digital technology James Bradshaw revealed that the delivery of the live races is “quite challenging” and currently there are no plans in place for live streaming.

“We have this year a non-co-located season, if that makes sense,” Bradshaw told the BlackBook Motorsport Forum. “So we are racing together at the same location later this year, but not at every race.

“So that actually has made the concept of streaming quite challenging, on the basis that we don't have the same infrastructure that we have at the circuit and able to bring that back.

“But we are doing innovative work to bring the content that's being produced at a mixture of locations, either off site or at the circuit, and bring that content back and we will be providing highlights packages, and other shoulder programming of F1 Academy.

“[This] will be going out and social, also going out to our broadcasters, and also, we believe coming to an F1 TV near you.”

This is the debut season of the all-female series, but it appears to have come too soon for the correct infrastructure to be in place. It will be on the Formula One support calendar next season, which should open up easier streaming options, but it appears to be an oversight for the inaugural year.

In related news, Russian cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky has announced its support for Amna and Habda Al Qubaisi for the F1 Academy season, having supported the young Emirati drivers since 2018.

BlackBook says…

The main mission of F1 Academy is to give young female drivers much-needed track time, the most important commodity for a successful single-seater career.

But, in order to get to the top, you also need the funding, and without visibility this is near impossible. Each driver needs to match the €150,000 (US$155,718) support fund on offer from Formula One.

Garnering support from sponsors when their branding will be hardly visible on broadcasts will be exceedingly difficult, with the Kaspersky deal with the Al Qubaisi sisters coming about due to the long-term nature of the partnership.