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F1's Onboard Camera Is Pretty Terrible With The Halo

Illustration for article titled F1s Onboard Camera Is Pretty Terrible With The Halo
Screenshot: Twitter

Love it or hate it, the Formula One halo is here to stay. Unfortunately for the series, a lot of people hate it. And it looks like there’s going to be a whole new reason to keep wishing for the old days.


Fans tuning into the first free practice sessions of the Australian Grand Prix to see how this year’s cars look on track were treated to some shots from the onboard shoulder cam. Which, uh, weren’t that great.


Yeah. The shoulder camera is pretty much directed right at the halo. And if you need a video reference:

Maybe it’s just a learning curve, right? Teams testing out different locations for their cameras, seeing what works best for the coverage? Well… not so much. As per FIA tech regulations, “All cars must be equipped with four positions in which cameras or camera housings can be fitted,” and any changes to the camera housing configurations would have had to happen prior to June 30, 2017. So, with the halo not officially announced until July, there wasn’t much they could do.

So F1 teams are at a little bit of an impasse this year. They can still play around with any of the other, more unconventional and pre-approved camera mounting points, but there’s not a whole lot they can do about entirely moving the location of the shoulder cam until 2019.

But look on the bright side: it seems that a hole was made in the front of the halo for the purpose of mounting a camera! Hopefully someone, somewhere is testing out the view from the front of the halo.


However, because it wasn’t one of the FIA-cleared mounting points, we probably won’t be seeing any hasty changes this season. Which, to say the least, won’t be doing any favors for the halo’s reputation.


At least the overhead camera shots are still pretty awesome.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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The fact that this will mean people call for the halo to be removed is amazing to me. It is a safety feature. So they couldn’t find a better place to mount the camera that takes the halo into account, it doesn’t take anything away from the effectiveness of the halo in doing it’s job, protecting the driver. I don’t like that kind of fan. It’s racing, not a bloodsport. They can do a lot of different things to improve the spectacle without rolling back safety.

If every Youtuber can figure out ways to mount a GoPro I’m sure they can find a great place to mount a camera for better onboard angles. I’m just surprised the FIA didn’t take this into account earlier. Given the timing of the rules changes and the halo’s introduction, they should have done everything they can to prevent goofs like this because they have to have known there would be this kind of fan out there.

The way this unfolded also just draws more attention to the halo, which was already controversial, and means it is just one more reason the FIA has to defend it. This is so unnecessary.

BTW, welcome Elizabeth.