Sky 3D To Live Simulcast Sky Sports F1 HD For Pre-Season Testing

Mike Wheatley

It’s been a long time coming, but BSkyB (British Sky Broadcasting) has finally revealed its plans to give Formula One motor racing the three-dimensional treatment, with the entire F1 third test at Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya set to be broadcast live in 3D.

Sky Sports F1 HD
Sky 3D to live simulcast Sky Sports F1 HD for pre-season testing

The digital satellite television broadcaster says that it will screen all four days of the event on Sky 3D, alongside simultaneous broadcasts on its Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports F1 HD channels from February 28 till March 3. For now, the extra-dimensional showing is just a one-off, special event, with no plans to extend coverage across the rest of the season, but even so it should make for a very special visual treat for Formula 1 devotees that have access to a 3D-capable HDTV.

No doubt this is some kind of dummy run to see how the concept works with motor sport, and to see if fans enjoy the added dimension as they watch the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso blazing a trail across their screens. Since launching its dedicated Sky 3D channel, the company has aired a total of 13 different sports in the third dimension, including football and golf, as it continues to test the waters of the new technology.

Martin Turner, Executive Producer of Sky Sport F1 HD, admitted as much when he described the news as “groundbreaking”, saying that the team are just as excited as viewers to see what Formula 1 will look like in 3D.

“It’s uncharted territory for us and for the Formula One Management team so we’re grateful to them for working with us to make this possible. It’s a chance to innovate and experiment,” Turner added.

Martin Brundle, Sky Sports F1 commentator, stated that the broadcast will be a “special moment” for F1 fans.

“Sky is delivering on its promises of innovation and access, and with 3D we’ll be able to get a closer than ever before look at the real challenges posed by the race track with new perspectives and more depth,” said Brundle.

Sky says that live 3D coverage from Circuit de Catalunya will begin broadcasting daily from 2pm over the four days of practicing, qualifying, and the race itself. In addition, Sky Sports F1 HD will simultaneously broadcast live coverage, while a daily highlights programme will screen at 9pm.

So what do you think, Formula 1 fans? Will 3D enhance your viewing experience? Or are you one of those who just sees the whole idea as nothing more than a gimmick? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!