Website Review - Renault F1
Firstly, the Renault Blog. It’s written by an insider, who goes under the name “RF1 Paddock Pass”. He’s obviously a mechanic, or an engineer, or someone who has access to all the bits and pieces that go into a race weekend. The wonderful thing about the blog is how honest and open it is. So many Formula 1 teams are secretive and don’t like to include the fans in what goes on behind the scenes. Renault appear to be different in this regard. The blog quite happily talks about the weekends that go wrong, and obviously rejoices when they go right. Also, the blog allows comments which means plenty of interesting ideas from fans, some of which are quite often answered by “RF1 Paddock Pass”. It’s a great way to connect to the team and get some inside information.
The team also provide an official podcast, which is available in iTunes, or the RSS feed is available for any other users. The podcast features interviews with the drivers, with some top engineer bods and anyone else who is associated with the team. It’s not particularly insightful, but it’s sometimes interesting to hear the official side of things. It’s almost an extension of whatever television coverage you get to hear.
My Club Renault is the most innovative part of the website. Unfortunately, you have to pay for it, it’s 20 Euros, and you get exclusive access. You get a free Renault hat, plus some other incentives, but the most important stuff happens during the race. You can log in and get a dashboard view of what the driver is doing. When he turns left, an animated steering wheel turns left, when he goes right, it turns right. You can see when he changes gear. You can follow both Renault drivers as dots around a linear version of the track – just like they do in the garages.
There’s also the engineer’s view, which is a row of graphs where you can select what information you want to see. You can select speed, gear changes, braking, throttle, g forces and other technical information like that. It’s a lot to take in as the cars are going so fast, but it’s a really good way to get involved in what’s happening on screen.
If you want to get behind the scenes at Renault, or F1 in general, I think this website is a good place to start, from the basic blog entries, to the more complex graphs at My Club Renault.
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