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Spark Sport's Formula One coverage struggles during Bahrain Grand Prix practice

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Sunday, 31 March 2019, 2:54PM
Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland steers his car during qualifying session at the Bahrain Grand Prix. (Photo / AP)
Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland steers his car during qualifying session at the Bahrain Grand Prix. (Photo / AP)

A number of Formula One fans have been left unimpressed after Spark Sport's coverage cut out during the final Bahrain Grand Prix practice session last night.

Spark Sport posted a Facebook message this morning saying they were aware of some issues with the live stream and on-demand service which have been fixed now.

"We're aware of some issues last night with the live stream of the F1 Bahrain practice session 3 and the F2 Bahrain race. Customers currently won't be able to view these On Demand on Spark Sport," the company posted on their Facebook page.

"The live stream of the F1 Bahrain qualifying race played successfully, although the On Demand coverage of the qualifying race was experiencing playback issues, and was temporarily removed from Spark Sport while we worked on fixing this issue. This issue has now been fixed and the replay is available on Spark Sport.

"We are currently investigating these issues with our platform provider and will provide an update on our social pages as soon as possible, as we know how much F1 fans are looking forward to watching these races."

An updated message said the qualifying session was now available to view.

Spark Sport purchased the Formula One rights after it had been shown regularly shown on Sky Television. It's the first big test for Spark ahead of the Rugby World Cup later this year.

The opening race of the season in Melbourne was also aired on TVNZ's Duke channel however the Bahrain Grand Prix, which takes place tonight, is the first race to be exclusively on Spark Sport.

"I feel like I need to thank you for actually doing your job," one comment responded on Facebook.

"I suggest your 1 month free trial should not start until you have a working platform," said another fan.

"Very frustrating, was really keen to get up this morning watch the qualifying and stay off social media to not know the results, too late... so annoying, think you need to extend your free trial until you can actually offer what you say you are offering," another comment said.

"For God's sake show F1 & F2 on Duke tonight. You may have the rights but that implies a responsibility to show the racing," wrote another frustrated viewer.

On the track, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc topped all three sections of qualifying, to take his first pole position of his career.

"The car was amazing," Leclerc said. "A lot of emotions, I'm trying to stay as cool as possible."

Ferrari secured a 1-2 on the grid as four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel qualified in second place.

Lewis Hamilton was third, followed by Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull's Max Verstappen qualified fifth followed by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.


ON AIR: Daniel McHardy Afternoons

1PM - 4PM