The 2018 F1 season is upon us and the unsightly change made across the off season is now here for all to see. I’m of course referring to the halo, rather than the logo, although this is not great either but of little consequence.
From the outset, I was not a fan of the halo’s aesthetics and, having now seen them on track some more, my opinion is unchanged. However, the appearance of them on the cars becomes ‘normal’ quite quickly, and although they aren’t forgotten, there is a tendency to not notice them.
Infinitely more offensive is the onboard views which now look horrendous. There seems to be two viewpoints in use for Australia, of which both are dreadful. The higher view provides more track visibility but the curve of the halo obscures the front of the car to give the effect that they are driving a bathtub, whereas the lower view is a waste of time as too much track is blocked.
I’m frankly baffled that the halo project can get this far without someone considering the impact to the onboard cameras. The solution seems embarrassingly simple on the face of it; move the camera in front of, or even on top of, the halo. A counterpoint to this approach is we will lose visibility of the cockpit entirely and miss out on steering inputs, dashboard displays (the one benefit of night races is to be able to see the LCD display) and any gesticulating or flipping of birds from the drivers.
Something needs to change otherwise the trumpeted F1TV feature of all 20 onboard cameras will be something of a disappointment as I find the onboard footage unwatchable at the moment. Not that I can receive it here in the UK until 2024 due to a horrendously shortsighted exclusivity deal signed with Sky TV…