(CTN News) – This season, F1 fans will get helmet camera views from all 20 drivers, plus multiple enhanced graphic options. Please note that these are prototypes and don’t necessarily represent the final product.
Recently, helmet cameras have become more popular, but F1 was restricted to only using Bell helmets homologated by the FIA, meaning only those drivers running that brand could be selected.
With all 20 helmet suppliers now approved, F1 has every option to broadcast, but only 8 per race are likely to be live due to bandwidth constraints.
Additionally, pedal cameras will be used to show both footwork and steering wheel inputs simultaneously, as well as the workload drivers have in the cockpit.
Dean Locke, F1’s director of broadcast and media, said the cockpit is one area we don’t see much of. I’m jealous of those riders who do everything on a bike. We don’t see a lot of the cockpit, so how can we get more of it? They’re doing so much in there, so how can we get it?
F1 is implementing similar technology from trackside and helicopter cameras to show how battles are ebbing and flowing this season after last season’s implementation of driver tags with onboard cameras that let you see the name of the car in front and live distance between the two.
Aerial shots could show drivers’ positions and gaps closing during pit stops.
Moreover, there will be new “Alert” graphics that will provide faster updates than race control messages, especially when replays are being played out or race action cannot be interrupted.
Additional graphics changes have been approved to provide more information on screen and get fans more engaged by highlighting strategic dilemmas and asking what they think a team or driver should do.
At different points during the season, we’ll roll out many of the graphics as proofs of concept.
There’s been a huge growth in new fans… So how do we really win over those fans without alienating our hardcore, diehard F1 fans? It’s been a battle graphically for years and years.
“I think we were afraid of alienating our fans, but I think we’re finding a good middle ground now. My problem isn’t celebrities on the grid, but sometimes broadcasters say, ‘Oh, you cut away from the battle to the crowd.’
“We’re really lucky to have these amazing environments. It’s really easy to film stadium sports, but they’re all pretty similar. We want people to tune in and say, “Oh, we’re in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Vegas.”.
It’s not just about cars, cars, cars, tracks, tracks, tracks. We have to be really careful about cutaways, because sometimes we mess up, but it’s about showing the event.”
Due to bandwidth and weight limitations, only a few cameras can provide live feeds during races, but more attention is being paid to getting footage from other cameras faster, so extra angles can be shown during live broadcasts rather than after race weekends.