The F1 TV Pro package gives access to live timing services including leaderboard data, real time telemetry, and best clips of team radio. Picture: REUTERS
The F1 TV Pro package gives access to live timing services including leaderboard data, real time telemetry, and best clips of team radio. Picture: REUTERS

South African Formula One fans no longer require an expensive DSTV subscription to follow their favourite sport.

They can now watch F1 on demand and live stream every race, qualifying and practice session via Formula One’s official TV streaming service that costs $4.99 (R76) a month.

That’s a big saving compared to paying R819 for DSTV’s premium package, the only way that F1 enthusiasts could legally watch live races at home until now.For $4.99 a month the F1 TV Pro package comes with all the bells and whistles, giving full access to live timing services including leaderboard data, real time telemetry and best clips of team radio.

It also puts you into the cockpit with on-demand access to all F1 onboard cameras, and you can also watch race replays and highlights, and F1’s historic race archive.

For a full motorsport fix, it also allows you to live stream the supporting F2, F3 and Porsche Supercup races at Grand Prix weekends.

A cheaper $2.99 (R46) per month TV Access package offers race replays and highlights, but still gives on demand access to all onboard cameras, timing services, as well as F1’s historic archive.

With a bumper 22 races on the schedule, the 2020 Formula One season starts on March 15 with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.To subscribe to the F1 TV streaming service go to www.f1tv.formula1.com.


First two MotoGP races cancelled due to coronavirus fears

The first two MotoGPs of 2020 have been cancelled due to coronavirus fears. Picture: REUTERS
The first two MotoGPs of 2020 have been cancelled due to coronavirus fears. Picture: REUTERS

The second MotoGP race of the season, which was scheduled to be held in Thailand this month, has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus epidemic, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Monday.

The decision to postpone the March 22 Thailand Grand Prix at Buriram comes a day after the season-opening race in Qatar on March 8 was cancelled due to travel restrictions on passengers from Italy and elsewhere.

“The MotoGP ... has to be cancelled and postponed to another day and another month depending on the situation,” Anutin, who is also the country's health minister and chairman of the event's organising committee, told reporters.

The race is the latest in a long line of international sporting events affected by the flu-like virus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, and has killed nearly 3,000 people and infected more than 86,500 globally.

- Reuters


Mercedes head for Australia as top team in F1 testing

Mercedes outpaced by its great rival Ferrari in testing, but the real test comes on March 15 with the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Picture: REUTERS
Mercedes outpaced by its great rival Ferrari in testing, but the real test comes on March 15 with the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Picture: REUTERS

Formula One champions Mercedes will head to Australia for the March 15 season-opener as the top team in testing but with rivals Ferrari and Red Bull hinting at hidden pace.

Valtteri Bottas produced the quickest lap from the six days of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona and also on the final Friday.

The Finn's best time of one minute 15.732 seconds was set last week but he also topped the week two timing screens with a 1:16.196.

"It feels good to wrap up testing at the top of the leaderboard and end two intense weeks for the team with a decent final day on track," said Mercedes technical director James Allison.

"The car's been pretty strong throughout the whole of winter testing and it's been an exciting period for us exploring its potential.

"We clearly still have some more work to do on the reliability to get us up to the standard that we expect by the start of the season. But if we can do that then I think we've got a decent chance of a good showing in Melbourne."

Mercedes will be chasing their seventh successive title double this season, with Lewis Hamilton also after a seventh drivers' crown to equal Michael Schumacher's record.

The Briton said he had total confidence in the team to sort out any lingering issues and was looking forward to going racing again.

Hamilton and Bottas completed 787km between them on Friday, with Hamilton doing 90 laps of the Spanish Grand Prix circuit and Bottas 79.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was the second fastest driver overall, with a 1:16.269 and on the harder C4 tyre compared to Bottas's C5.

Renault's Daniel Ricciardo was third fastest over the six days and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc fourth with Hamilton fifth.

- Reuters


Simola Hillclimb excitement builds

Excitement builds for the Simola Hillclimb in Knysna in May. Picture: SUPPLIED
Excitement builds for the Simola Hillclimb in Knysna in May. Picture: SUPPLIED

The success of the annual Simola Hillclimb over the past 10 editions has been built on the wide array of cars and drivers that compete in this event. It has established a reputation for attracting the biggest names in local motorsport, along with a growing contingent of drivers from abroad.

Each year, the challenging 1.9 km Hillclimb course, which snakes its way up from Knysna to the Simola Hotel, Country Club and Spa, is transformed into a playground for the country’s fastest, wildest and most extreme cars, and it will be no different this year for the 11th Simola Hillclimb which takes place from May 7 to 10.

“We received almost 200 entry applications this year and were oversubscribed more than a month before submissions closed at the end of January,” says Geoff Goddard, Simola Hillclimb’s sporting director.

“Our careful selection and approval process aims to deliver an exciting spectacle that showcases a diverse range of cars and drivers, and the 2020 Simola Hillclimb is sure to surprise and delight the thousands of spectators and hundreds of thousands live-stream viewers around the world.”

Classic Car Friday, taking place on May 8, is limited to 65 entries, with the line-up featuring more than 25 brands, and spanning nearly eight decades. The oldest car in the field is a 1912 Ford Model T Speedster which will compete against a bevy of vintage entries from Austin, MG and Riley from the 1920s and 1930s in the class for pre-war cars.

Add in a dazzling array of entries from the 1950s all the way to the early 1990s, and there truly is something for everyone. Reigning five-time Classic Car Friday winner, Franco Scribante and his Chevron B19 will once again be the man and car team to beat for the overall title and the class victory for pre-1990 single-seaters, sports cars and GTs.

For King of the Hill, which takes place over two days on 9 and 10 May, the eventual two winners will gain entry to the FIA Masters Hillclimb event in Portugal in October. More than 30 vehicle manufacturers are represented on this year’s entry list for King of the Hill, and which is restricted to 84 competitors.

The most outlandish and talked-about entrant from last year was Franco Scribante with his radical, multi-winged Nissan GT-R which returns to defend his Modified Saloon Car category win.

There will be several sports prototype entrants too, competing in the likes of the Radical SR1 and Shelby CanAm.

Tickets for the 2020 Simola Hillclimb can be purchased on the event website (www.simolahillclimb.com).