From the outside, the looks of the Halo don’t really matter because when you’re watching the cars lap the circuit, you don’t really notice it. But during Friday practice we were ‘treated’ to some onboard footage and fans were less than impressed.
The regular T-cam view isn’t too bad. Sure, the Halo is unmissably ugly, but you can still see the track.
The same can’t be said of the shoulder cam. Use of this has ramped up in recent seasons to provide more of a driver’s eye view. It’s also a bit of a throwback to onboard cameras of the late 1980s, so there’s a bit of a nostalgia hit, too. But this year…
Brilliant. The Halo blocks pretty much the entire view of the circuit. Why did F1 not envisage this would be a problem? Why weren’t onboard camera locations adjusted? Unsurprisingly fans were outraged at the prospect of having to endure a camera view which blocks a huge part of the action.
The one thing with #halo in @f1 is that it makes the onboard camera virtually useless. How can you see what's going on? @SkySportsF1 @bbcf1 #notagoodview pic.twitter.com/BOxQOXsJSJ
— Andrew (@andrewjtye) March 23, 2018
Onboard cameras are pointless on the cars now @F1 will never see any decent action shots with halo in the way
— Tony Bowie (@toninobowie) March 23, 2018
Onboard shots with the halo feel as if you are inside an American football helmet. And not in a good way.
— Pablo Elizalde (@EliGP) March 23, 2018
How, in the nine months since Halo was confirmed for this season, did it apparently not occur to anyone at @F1 to move the onboard cameras so we can actually see the track?https://t.co/6fDy4mSGuj #F1 #AusGP
— Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) March 23, 2018
I could totally see this happening if Bernie was still around #F1 #AUSGP pic.twitter.com/87Y43nwi25
— Mattzel89 (@Mattzel89) March 23, 2018
Loving the F1 onboard cameras this year! #SkyF1 #f1 #Formula1 pic.twitter.com/4Dxn49twKd
— Paul Clare (@paulclare) March 23, 2018
1) Stop using the side camera
2) Use more nose camera
3) Nail down some new camera locations for 2019
4) You should have realised this last season@F1 #F1 #AusGP pic.twitter.com/3ck0tx6wMK
— Daithí (@Racerx34) March 23, 2018
They had so much time to think about the onboards with the Halo, and this is the best FOM can come up with? Gimme more @IndyCar onboards ASAP! #F1 #AusGP pic.twitter.com/hdQi7opyGY
— Mattzel89 (@Mattzel89) March 23, 2018
They've just got to get rid of the helmet level cameras (which is a shame as they were ace – especially in Senna's day and THAT lap in 1988). Gonna have to stick with the ones above the driver which still have a decent view.
— Joe Davies (@joedaviesitn) March 23, 2018
How it feels trying to see the track from the new onboard shots pic.twitter.com/HYxCs6bvmL
— F1 Banter (@banterf1) March 23, 2018
Switched on this morning and first thing I saw was an on-board. Can't see the corners so why bother. Once it's removed from UK free to air i'm struggling to justify a sky subscription
— David Halls (@thisiswheree) March 23, 2018
Why didn't the @fia & @F1 think to check what the onboard feeds would look like with that ridiculous looking Halo, as that is all you see? So much for thinking of the fans!
Instead they release a pointless theme tune & ban grid girls. Good job Liberty Media & co 🙄#AusGP #F1
— Richard Khan Jr. (@RichardKhanJr77) March 23, 2018
Yeah, there’s plenty of angry fans out there, and why FOM didn’t see this coming and make changes beforehand is confusing. But no problem, they can just get rid of the bad cameras and put them somewhere else, like on the front of the Halo, right? Err, not quite…
The thing is, the rules required the FIA to tell teams the camera positions for this year by 30 June in 2017, which means we’re stuck with what we have for the rest of the year. The introduction of the Halo wasn’t even announced until 19 July 2017, so the current camera positions were locked in without it being taken into consideration.
Our only hope is that FOM realises how incredibly negative the feedback has been and keeps the use of the shoulder cam to an absolute minimum for the rest of the year. There are a few other camera positions which could be utilised throughout the season instead (such as the rarely used nose cam) but who knows whether they’ll get any more use.
Let’s at least hope some new camera mounting points can be sorted for next year because after the outcry from just a single day of practice, it’d be silly not to.