The tech of F1 2013

This year Formula One is going to be different. Hamilton isn't racing for McLaren, Red Bull's car is two-tone purple and maybe, just maybe, Vettel won't win it.

On 17 March, the engines of F1 will be fired up in Melbourne and off we go again. As always, Formula One will be flying the flag for every possible form of technology and we figured it might be fun to take a look at just what sort of tech you can expect.

3D

No private jet to whizz around the world and watch every race in person? No problem, you can enjoy Formula One from the comfort of your own home, thanks to the magic of television. And this year Sky is taking the immersion one step further. The third test of this season's cars at Circuit de Catalunya will be broadcast in 3D from 28 February to 3 March.

HD TV

You can already watch Formula One in HD on both the BBC and Sky, as well as with 5.1 surround sound. Sky's deal with F1 means all races will be broadcast live on its dedicated F1 channel. The BBC, however, will show only 9, including Spa, Monza, Brazil, Silvertsone and Japan. It won't be showing Monaco live.

Pocket-lint fave, Suzi Perry will be replacing Jake Humphries this year as the BBC's lead anchor, whereas Sky's team will remain the same.

Apps

Part of the fun of viewing Formula One is seeing what each driver is getting up to. Sky's brilliant Sky Sports for iPad app will be back in action with F1 companion services as the season starts. It lets you track individual drivers, see what pit crews are doing and provides an overview of all the timing for the race. 

The alternative is the F1 2013 Timing App for iPad, iPhone and Android, which is pricey to say the least (£23.99), but it does offer the most accurate and responsive timing data in F1. 

READ: Sky Sports for iPad F1 pictures and hands-on

The BBC will be posting highlights packages from F1 on to its iPlayer app once races are finished so you can catch up with anything you might have missed.

BlackBerry also tells us that Hamilton and Rosberg will be using Playbooks to look at telemetry and timing while in the car, while it is understood that the Mercedes team will also continue with its partnership with Autonomy to provide live statistics to help drivers.

Cars

The cars really are what make Formula One so exciting. The 2013 season is the last time we'll see the 2.4 litre V8 engines used, with 1.6 litre V6 engines making things a bit more eco-friendly in 2014.

The current F1 cars then really are at the peak of their performance. The new Red Bull RB9 was described as an "evolution, not revolution" by F1 design genius Adrian Newey. Pocket-lint was at the RB9 launch, courtesy of Casio Edifice, and got to witness first hand the car being unveiled. 

Infiniti is now a title partner with Red Bull Racing, which means the signature blue of the car is now streaked with purple. It looks great close up, although we aren't yet sure just how it will fare on our HD TVs. 

READ: Lotus F1 steering wheel has tweet button

Ferrari's F138 is on "another planet", according to driver Massa when compared to last year's car, so should present a decent challenge to Red Bull this season. The Mercedes car, which Hamilton will be driving, looks more ominous as the famous British driver has already crashed it during testing.

All eyes will be on McLaren and Sergio Perez, who takes over from Hamilton. Button now appears to be lead driver, so will need to put in a better season than last year. Certainly the new McLaren car looks the part.

Lotus put together a special steering wheel for its 2013 car for driver Kimi Raikkonnen. It features a dedicated tweet button as well as a "Button" button. We suspect it may not make it to the races, however.



>