Pit Lane Channel (1996-2002, 2012-present)

2019 Season

Pit Lane Channel from the 2019 Russian Grand Prix – note the addition of numbers to the 3 Picture-in-Picture boxes

The Pit Lane Channel has had the following changes during the course of the season:

  • The channel was made available on F1 TV for the first time – Exclusively for F1 TV, World Feed support race commentator Alex Jacques provides commentary on the Pit Lane Channel, with the advantage of being able to refer to what’s happening on the on-boards in the additional 2 PIP boxes. Jacques originally commentated only on the race, however part-way through the season he started commentating on qualifying as well. Free Practice sessions have no commentary. Other broadcasters who offer the channel broadcast it with no commentary for all sessions.
  • A few races into the season (after the Canadian Grand Prix), numbers were added to the 3 PIP boxes to aid identification. Box 1 still always shows the World Feed, and Boxes 2 and 3 show additional footage, mostly on-boards.
  • Pre-race during the formation lap, a full-screen VT showing the pole position & 2nd place laps from the previous days qualifying is shown, comparing the drivers’ pace using the “mini-sector” timing information. This is typically posted to the F1 website beforehand.
  • Whenever the World Feed (shown in Box 1) is showing an on-board or a replay, either Box 2 and 3 switches to showing the live Track Mix.
  • Boxes 2 and 3 from time to time also show their own replays from the on-board cameras.
  • Occasionally (at least during practice sessions), Box 2 or 3 shows an in-vision interview from the Pit Lane.
  • Sky Sports are still referring to this channel as the “Multi-screen”. The title card however still says Pit Lane Channel and Alex Jacques refers to it as the PLC (for short) in his commentary

2018 Season

Pit Lane Channel holding card (2018 season)
Pit Lane Channel from the 2018 Mexican Grand Prix

In keeping with the graphics updates across the whole of F1’s broadcast package for 2018, the Pit Lane Channel got another new look:

  • Instead of 1 World Feed + 1 PIP box, a 3rd PIP box was introduced, replacing the social media box.
  • Both extra PIP boxes now switched to showing primarily on-board shots rather than pit lane footage, to an extent that Sky Sports begun to refer to the channel as the “Multi-screen”, despite the fact that the pre-session title card refers to it as the Pit Lane Channel.
  • PIP boxes 2 & 3 also began to show more of their own replays & other footage during busy races.

2015-2017 Seasons

Pit Lane Channel holding card (2016 season)
Pit Lane Channel from the 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix

In keeping with the graphics updates across the whole of F1’s broadcast package for 2015, the Pit Lane Channel got a new look:

  • The 2 PIP boxes were swapped around with the larger of the two now showing the World Feed, and the smaller one showing the pit lane footage
  • Posts from teams & other F1 associates’ social media accounts were now displayed from time to time in the bottom-right graphics box

2012-2014 Seasons

Pit Lane Channel from the 2013 Indian Grand Prix

From 2012, the Pit Lane Channel was re-launched, and was picked up by several broadcasters either for showing on their Interactive/”Red Button” TV services or for streaming online. Both Sky & the BBC in the UK showed the channel online & via TV during live sessions.

The channel featured a Picture-in-Picture setup, showing the World Feed in a small box on the top-right of the screen, and a larger box on the bottom-left, showing live footage taken from cameras throughout the pit-lane.

The remainder of the space was taken up by various graphics showing statistical or weather information. Many more exclusive team radio clips were also frequently broadcast on the channel.

Very occasionally, a third PIP box would appear in place of the bottom-right graphics box, showing on-board footage or replays.

1996-2002 Seasons (F1 Digital+ only)

FOM’s F1 Digital+ enhanced World Feed package ran from 1996 to 2002, and among the feeds it offered to broadcasters was a Pit Lane Channel.

This showed footage from cameras throughout the pit lane, team radio clips, and occasionally featured in-vision interviews conducted by Nick Daman & Bruce Jones among others, as well as occasional graphics showing technical updates to the cars between races.

From 1996 to 2001 this also doubled up as a highlights channel, and as such, featured highlights reels at several points during the session. For F1 Digital+’s final season in 2002, the Highlights reels were split off into their own dedicated channel.

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