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BBC F1 introduces driver tracker

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Andrew Benson | 06:00 UK time, Thursday, 8 July 2010

This weekend BBC Sport is launching a new aspect of its online Formula 1 coverage.

We will be adding to the selection of video feeds available to UK users on the website a graphic showing the live location of all the cars on the track during the race.

The animation, which will be selectable in the video section at the top of the F1 live page, is provided by Formula 1 Management (FOM) - who call it a driver tracker - and we hope it will prove a nice complement to the rest of the BBC's F1 coverage.

The best use of it is probably in addition to the TV coverage as a way to better understand the race. It could be a huge help, for example, in the pit-stop period, when the TV coverage does not always show whether a driver emerges from his stop ahead or behind a rival. The driver tracker will show you all this live.

The driver tracker will be added to our live video module - which we locate at the top of our live page on the website whenever there are cars on the track. This module also has live video coverage of every on-track session, an in-car camera channel, alternative commentary streams and rolling highlights.

A sample image from our new F1 driver tracker

The driver-tracker option features a top-down circuit map, on which the drivers are identified by colour-coded shapes bearing their standard FOM three-letter abbreviation (ALO, for Fernando Alonso; HAM, for Lewis Hamilton; BUT for Jenson Button etc). These identifiers move around the track as the cars do, allowing viewers to track the progress of the drivers and the visual gaps between them.

After a recent update, the live player, as we call it, automatically gives you the best quality video your broadband connection can tolerate - and we have discovered that at least 80% of you are now getting the high-quality video at all times.

We are making this available for this weekend's British Grand Prix as a trial, with a view to introducing it for the rest of the season.

So please do try it out and let us know your thoughts.

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