There's been a massive uproar over the views offered by some of the onboard cameras in F1 this year
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.
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.