F1's On-Screen Graphics Might Suck, But They're Better Than What We Used To Have

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Screenshot: Formula One (Chain Bear via YouTube)

Plenty of people have been thoroughly annoyed by some of the latest Formula One graphics that have been popping up mid-race. Do we really need all this excess information about the probability of overtaking and tire performance? Do we really? But for as pointless as some of these new inclusions seem, they are at least better than the absolutely terrible excuses for graphics we used to have... if we even had them at all.

As new and terrible things are introduced into F1, it’s always a good thing to remember where we started, because that starting place was probably also really awful so at least it’s not that anymore. Which is why I’m very thankful Chain Bear on YouTube once again went out of his way to show us how things could have been.

In this latest video, we take a trip down memory lane to look back on all the graphics F1 has used over the years.

I’ll be totally honest—I don’t mind the inclusion of pointless graphics because I spend an obscene amount of my free time watching old races from the 70s, where you were lucky to even have graphics. Who’s leading the race? Is that a backmarker running up front, or are they just being lapped? Who knows! It’s a mystery! It wasn’t until 1994 that a graphics package was actually standardized and you could kind of follow a race.


This video puts the relatively harmless—albeit stupid—new graphics into perspective. Back in the day, graphics were relatively simplistic because the quality of broadcasting at the time didn’t really enable anything smaller or more complicated. And, I mean, it makes a pretty good case for the whole “you don’t actually need tons of information to follow a race” argument.

We have the capability of shoving tons of information at viewers nowadays. Whether we actually need it or not is probably a matter of personal choice—but at least things just look better in 2019.