Formula 1 has delayed the rollout of its F1 TV OTT streaming service, with no official date in place for when the system will be fully operational.
Although F1’s original intention was to have it working for the first race, the organisation has instead decided on a phase of testing while the new systems are honed.
That means it won't be available for this weekend's season-opening Australian Grand Prix, with no clear date on when it will kick into life.
F1 TV will be available only in countries where the local broadcaster has given up its exclusive digital rights under new or renegotiated deals.
The current list includes the USA, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and much of Latin America. Fans can subscribe to the service for around $100 for the season.
“We will do a stress test/beta test session during the Melbourne weekend,” an F1 spokesman told Motorsport.com, “with the aim to be fully operational as soon as possible.
"It’s a normal process when you develop a new product. It won’t be a public test, it will be an internal test. We will have people spread in various locations in the world, testing the system and functionalities.”
Asked about the likely timing of F1 TV’s introduction the spokesman said: “As soon as possible. There is not a set deadline.”
Meanwhile there is a plan to introduce the new F1 Vision device – which was known as Fanvision when it was last used in 2012 – for the Spanish GP.
“We should launch it by the start of the European season,” the spokesman confirmed.