Formula One fans will be watching with interest to see how Sky moves on coverage of the sport when it launches Sky Sports F1 HD later this week (9 March).

Sky gave a hint of its ambitions today when it unveiled a new Sky Sports App for the iPad which is focused on Formula One.

The App is designed to complement the F1 TV offering, and to work as a standalone viewing experience.

And it looks very impressive. It promises to offer a genuine two screen viewing experience that will enhance viewers’ enjoyment and understanding of the races.

The App features the main broadcast of a race, as well as a choice of up to eight different video feeds including on board cameras, pit lane views and highlights. And users can choose to view stats boards too, including race timings and positions. It also incorporates a Twitter feed to provide live fan reaction, which is editorially curated by Sky Sports.

David Gibbs, director of Sky Sports digital media, said the App was “the furthest that Sky had pushed the technology” and was designed to offer the best content and coverage and content before, during and after a race.

There’s no exact date for the launch of the App yet, although it’s likely to be released ahead of the first Grand Prix of the 2012 calendar in Australia on 18 March. A future release of the App in the spring will also offer a split screen option, allowing users to view three screens at once.

Sky’s lead commentator David Croft said Sky has one key ambition for its F1 coverage – “to make Formula One sexy.”

He added that the channel will seek to explain a complex sport so that fans understand what is going on.

Sky will show every race of the season live on their F1 channel, splitting the rights with the BBC which will show ten live Grand Prix with TV highlights for the remaining races.

Tim Dams

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