Podcasting Formula 1 is incredibly difficult. The ING Renault podcast began this season, with Holly Samos from BBC Radio 5 Live at the helm. She would be at the circuit for each race, and would talk to both the drivers about their feelings towards the race and then after the race. She would also catch up with the engineers and mechanics and would bring us all the gossip and behind the scenes information.
The problem is that Bernie Ecclestone has huge copyright issues when it comes to anything and everything surrounding F1. There are rights issues when it comes to broadcasting anything that takes place inside the circuit Ė including the sound of F1 cars. He owns all the video that takes place inside and there are just serious copyright things to take into consideration.
For a moment, it looked like the Renault podcast was going to have to fold, and they released one show that was only 12 seconds long, saying they would be back with a new, reformatted show. Which basically means that it was no longer inside the circuit.
The new show was more of a roundtable show with the same level of interviews and behind the scenes tidbits, but it felt a little bit less cutting edge.
The good thing about team podcasts is that itís another way to get closer to the teams and really feel like you are involved and that they want to share their experiences with you. With F1 being such a secretive sport, with spies always ready to catch the latest technological development, itís a great thing to see the teams opening up a bit more.
It is harder now that the shows canít come directly from the track Ė because what better way to gather all the team together and get the best information about the latest races. But I think they have really pulled the best they could out of a difficult situation. Renault are quite often at the forefront of the media and technology Ė they have recently announced they are launching a factory in Second Life Ė and this just cements their reputation.
The most recent show talked with Pat Symonds about some of the technological issues that the team has been facing, and how they are working to get back some of the pace they have lost from last year.
Itís definitely worth checking out, whether you go to the blog or through iTunes, because even though it lacks the excitement of being on location, the actual content of the show has not suffered at all.