Op-Ed: Best and worst of the F1 web

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Ferrari on Thursday added a new feature to its website: The Scuderia Ferrari Racing News. While calling it an “online magazine,” it is appearing to me that it will be essentially a video channel.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. That means video — and sound — of various Ferrari race cars. Even Ferrari haters can’t hate that. Too much.

This little pre-Christmas present got me thinking about the official Formula 1 teams and drivers’ different websites. They vary in quality — as I judge it — probably more than the cars and the drivers’ own abilities do. (Keep in mind, I’m talking about the official sites, not fan sites like, say, ours.)

At one extreme is the Ferrari site, which I — as not a fan boy by any stretch — think is hands down the best F1 team/driver site. It is updated frequently, it is easy to navigate and it often does make news. (That might be partially because its Ferrari, and what the team says tends to have more significance than, say, Sauber.)

And I’d argue that near the other end of the spectrum is another team that, if it had a stronger, more easily navigated website, might make more news: McLaren. Gah! Just stick a Lewis Hamilton doll’s leg in my eye while playing his girl Nicole’s music until I bleed from my ears. I think the team means well, but I find the site so unfriendly that I almost hate going there.

The drivers’ sites are equally diverse. Michael Schumacher seems to recognize that what he has to say is newsworthy. It is front and center and his official site. As is a pretty solid photo of our fashion award namesake.

Nick Heidfeld’s is pretty solid, too, especially for a guy without a drive. I give Jenson Button credit for having his Brazil robbery attempt on his site.

Kimi Raikkonen’s makes me laugh because it remains bookmarked as “Ferrari Formula 1 Driver.” But it’s all rally now.

We talk a lot here about F1’s need to embrace more fully new media and the Interwebs. To an extent, at least, the teams and drivers are doing it. But that doesn’t mean F1 itself doesn’t have a long way to go.

I won’t carry on with more sites. Instead, I’ll toss the ball into your court. Are there great official F1 sites I’m missing. Are there terrible ones that are maybe worth a bit of a laugh?

And what would you like to see from the teams and drivers that they aren’t giving us now?


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