Start, Monza, 2019

F1 responds to criticism of television broadcasts

2019 F1 season

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Formula 1 has responded to criticism of the quality of recent race broadcasts including occasions where live action was missed because of replays or shots of crowd footage.

In a Q&A issued by the championship, F1’s director of broadcast and media Dean Locke addressed complaints about the recent Italian Grand Prix coverage.

“Monza is tricky because of the first chicane,” he explained. “On the first lap the field comes to that chicane very quickly.

“This year we had a really good battle at the front involving three or four cars. Conversely, at the back of the field you also had a very quick guy, Max Verstappen, and you have to make the choice of where to go.

“We were aware that there were some things happening at the back and we knew people were going through the chicane. But if you’ve got two cars side by side at the front, you have to stick with that.”

Fitting in replays of the start around the live action is one of the regular problems F1 has to solve during its race broadcasts.

“In terms of replays what makes Formula 1 a challenge is we don’t have natural breaks,” explained Locke. “We’re not like tennis, or cricket in that respect. Therefore we’ve got to feed in replays while live action is happening, unless we get a Safety Car.

“If you ask any sports director what is the hardest part of broadcasting live sports, they will say replays. And that’s compounded when you don’t have natural pauses. You’re looking for an advantageous lull – and in Monza, with a lot happening at the front in the first few laps that was difficult.”

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While other sports use picture-in-picture displays to show replays alongside live footage, F1 has not embraced this solution.

“We have the mechanism to do that but we tend to shy away from it because the we have a wealth of information already on screen and a lot of graphics and adding to that makes things very complicated,” said Locke. “It’s also difficult for commentators.”

This weekend’s race on a five-kilometre temporary street circuit in Singapore is one of the most logistically challenging for F1 to cover, he added.

“It’s one of the longest circuits on the calendar and it’s hot, so it’s certainly physically tough for the guys who are out on track. But from a logistical point of view it is the length of the lap.

“There are 23 corners at the Marina Bay Street Circuit and we have to cover those with 26 trackside cameras. There are no real run-off areas apart from in turn one and turn two, so the cameras are on top of the cars, shooting through very small fence windows. There are a limited number of angles they can shoot from and if they are pointing the wrong way, they might miss something.”

“On top of that we have to really convey what the city is like, this amazing skyline and these fantastic buildings. Each track and each race is unique. And we’ve got to highlight that uniqueness to fans – the tifosi at Monza, the fireworks in Singapore, the Foro Sol in Mexico and so on. We have to reflect that as much as possible.

“Singapore is a tricky one, but to be honest, broadcasting a motor race at any circuit is a tremendous challenge. Televising a grand prix is very different to other sports.”

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107 comments on “F1 responds to criticism of television broadcasts”

  1. Replays are obviously tricky to time and it is a guessing game, but I don’t see anywhere in here why they feel the need to give us random shots of the crowd when there is a big event in the race. That is probably what irks most people and certainly winds me up when you’re missing what is happening.

    1. @danstimo exactly this. He simply dodged the questions. I understand it’s a difficult job, but there are a couple of easy choices you can make:
      – do not show the crowd. Stay on the most important/relevant battle
      – wait to show replays. A safety car or a more relaxed moment are always coming

      1. He deflected to how hard it is to position the cameras. The cameramen actually do a stellar job. It’s the directing that sucks.

    2. Indeed @danstimo, I can agree with most of what is said here, but I very much noted there was no response to the time loss of random crowd, and team member/bikiniclad women shots. Though at times a short shot of a Toto Wolff reaction might be okay, round after round of Horner’s foot being nervous is a bit much, let alone yet another shot of the crowd being the crowd.

      1. But Lewis said it was the best crowd ever!!

    3. Agree with the above. Choosing to cut away from live action to a replay is always going to be a difficult judgement because the audience could miss something live on the track. However missing live action because the director shows a crowd shot at the discretion of the director is inexcusable and deserves criticism. This Q&A does nothing to address the concerns of the viewing public that: (a) FOM recognise there is a problem with the editorial judgements of cutting away from action to show the crowd, and (b) they are taking measures to solve it.

    4. Indeed, it has angered me a few times.
      In the middle of an overtake BAM crowd shot.WHYYYY!

      Keep that for the replays or something.
      I’m guessing the camera people have no idea an overtake can have multiple moves…
      It has to be adressed!

    5. They should take note of this comment. Crowd shots are superfluous even in idle moments. On the other hand, I like the fact they avoid the multiple images simultaneously on screen ‘solution’, especially when they leave acres of empty space on screen. Why would anyone sane do that? They’re right that the live on-screen information, full-screen, is essential to F1 coverage. I’d happily see it take up more space (overlaid) to see more lap time information, laps done on current tyres etc.

      TBH some of the decisions of when to put in replays or follow one driver rather than another just seem very poor. Various times recently there has been an obvious attempt to overtake building and the coverage has gone to a random shot of some other driver and missed the action. That’s just bad direction.

      1. On the other hand, I like the fact they avoid the multiple images simultaneously on screen ‘solution’, especially when they leave acres of empty space on screen. Why would anyone sane do that?

        Because that way you don’t miss anything on track. It works perfectly on the Indycar coverage and I think F1 would benefit from doing the same. They also do the same for the inevitable ad breaks, again for the same reason – so at least you don’t miss anything.

        It does help that the Indycar coverage is made by NBC and not a global feed so if the commentary team is making a specific point about part of the track (the Toronto race from this year comes to mind, where there was a repair on the inside of the final corner that resulted in lots of spins due to the different grip level) then the video feed pretty quickly cuts to a reply/live shot of what is being discussed. Clearly that won’t work for F1 with its global feed but I’ve found myself enjoying coverage of Indycar far more than F1 – and some of what NBC is doing with Indycar can definitely translate to F1 coverage.

    6. @danstimo Something changed in the last few years, as they intend to show the reaction of the people, rather than the action, so emphatize how exciting things are and how people are feeling in the racetrack. Maybe it became more frequent after the amaizing high-five fail in the USA in 2012…

      It’s so annoying tho. I don’t understand. If life as a TV director is so difficult, why show LIVE shots of the crowd? that could easily be put as a replay, and if you cannot fit a gap to show it, then don’t show it. It’s irrelevant to the action on track. The other day, when Seb spun off, all we wanted to know was how badly it had gone. Forget about his crash with Stroll, maybe he had a puncture or something, we weren’t sure yet how he had spun off. But they inmediately cut to the crowd and it took a long time before they returned to the action.

      Same with Bottas vs Hamilton at Silverstone. Inmediately to the crowd. Why?!

      1. Peter Waters (@)
        18th September 2019, 21:55

        I get it is hard to find a time to show a replay when there is a lot of action on track. However, when they show the same replay over again, instead of returning to the action on track. I find this hard to comprehend.

    7. Even the picture in picture comment is a cop out, yeah they do have a bit of info displayed on the broadcast but sometimes they have very little, making a PIP template would be no harder than any other template that they switch between.

      I think we’ve all gotten used to the race start replay on lap 2-4, and bringing up replays throughout the broadcast is normal, especially on moves that the broadcast missed, but if they were PIP I think the audience and commentators would be able to handle it.

      Deciding on what battle to follow isn’t an enviable task, especially in a race like the Monza GP where there was a compelling fight for the lead for the entire race and a huge fight between Max and Sergio that was completely worthy of airtime, but they made the right choice to stick with the lead fight, but again, some PIP of Max vs Sergio would have been cool.

      But I agree completely, showing a cheering crowd WHILE THE MOVE IS STILL ON is the most infuriating thing, I literally start yelling at the tv over it, please stop that immediately.

    8. Totally agree, it is a race going on, focus on that.

      And it is also frustrating when you see that there is a Yellow flag in “Sector 2”, but nothing is presented in the live feed, maybe after 30 seconds you get to see a replay… but why not switch to that camera immediately? (unless some heavy action is going on right now)

    9. Pedro De Almeida Carvalho
      20th September 2019, 1:41

      How many time is wasted every race just filming toto wolf? Even on qualy on the last lap after a Mercedes finish the lap, we have to look at toto reaction, why?

  2. He’s not really addressed why they show crowd reactions when there is actual action occurring on track (e.g. Vettel’s rejoining at Monza). I get the other points he’s making, but this was something that stuck out jarringly.

    Also… a replay of Max rear-ending someone (a Racing Point?) that cut away before the actual collision. That was sloppy directing again.

    1. @phylyp The crowd shots were something Bernie always pushed for as he felt showing the crowd, mechanics in the garage or any celebrities that were around reacting to something added to the sense of drama. That philosophy is something I gather Liberty also believe in.

      As to the Verstappen replay I gather that when they tried to play that in with other start replays initially the replay system glitched which is why they cut away from the start replays abruptly & then started them again from the Verstappen collision a few minutes later once the system had been sorted.

      1. @gt-racer – I think the fact that they got this crowd cutaway timed so badly is what made it resonate with everyone. Yes, a judiciously-timed shot of the crowd/crew/guests can definitely enhance the experience, when it doesn’t come at the cost of the actual racing (I still remember Rowan Atkinson’s reaction to a crash!)

        That said, there has been a slight – but noticeable – decline in TV direction in the last 1-2 years. I’m not sure if that’s due to personnel rotating in, or a change in directing priorities, or other factors, but the latest example was only emblematic of what I’ve seen as a wider – and recent – problem.

        Thank you for that explanation about the replay glitch, that makes sense. I know replays have been interrupted in the past when some action occurred in real time, so in this instance it was odd to see the interruption wasn’t followed by something that explained the interruption, and again, that’s why it stuck in my mind.

        1. @phylyp @gt-racer Yep, I understand the impulse of crowd shots to enhance the drama of the broadcast. Perhaps a compromise solution (where possible) is to find wide angles that allow you to see the crowds react in the same shot as the cars going by. We all have HD TVs these days, so we can make out a crowd leaping to its feet in a wide shot. Seeing the spontaneous reaction in the same shot without a cut, to me, only enhances the feeling of immersion. And I think F1 have done a good job of enhancing crowd noise in the sound mix, which adds a lot even without a closeup.

        2. @phylyp It’s my understanding that the Vettel cutaway at Monza was a mistake.

          The crowd shot was prepped although intended to be called for after Vettel had rejoined the track, However a miscue resulted in it been brought up straight away.

          When you have a dozen voices in your ear sometimes stuff like that can happen.

          1. I suspect the Vettel cutaway was so they wouldn’t show what could have been another t-bone impact if Stroll hadn’t reacted, following the fatal crash in Belgium

    2. I have to agree about the cutting away to cried shots, with a particular stand out being Austria and the constant cutting away to the orange army.

      However, I am going to defend the race director a bit with cutting away when Vettel was rejoining the track in Monza. It looked like a collision was inevitable and then they cut away. I suspect they had the tragic F2 accident from Spa in mind, and had already decided before the weekend that any potential side-on impacts would be cut away from immediately.

    3. Shots with the crowd I like are when they start out zoomed in on the crowd, and then zoom out to show the cars going past them on the track. But yeah, when there’s action happening and they cut to the crowd, it’s incredibly annoying (although I understand why with the Vettel / Stroll incident, but there was a time it happened I think at Silverstone).

      1. Shots with the crowd I like are when they start out zoomed in on the crowd, and then zoom out to show the cars going past them on the track.

        @hugh11 – good one, and yes, those are nice.

    4. Everyone hating on crowd shots needs to realize that without them we would have never gotten ‘Kimi meets crying Ferrari fan kid’. Also, the single best shot in F1 history is technically a crowd shot

      1. @cdavman – that is a reasonable possible explanation. If they do want to go down that route of censoring potential unpleasantness in real-time broadcasts, a longer-term solution might be the use of a broadcast delay. They have multiple feeds to choose from, so even a small delay of 3 seconds (for example) would permit them to splice in another camera’s feed if something bad were to happen.

        @mrboerns – the operative phrase in my comment against crowd shots being “when there is actual action occurring on track”. There are definite lean periods in a race when such stuff can be used as filler, and it is something that was done very successfully in the past.

  3. Yup; completely ignore the main issue which is a decision to deliberately cut away from the action to show a crowd shot. Its been happening repeatedly since the decision to switch from the Ham/Bottas battle at Silverstone to a crowd shot. And as for Monza Q1, Q2 an half of Q3, the director must have been the only one wanting to watch the guy doing the towing, whilst the rest of us wanted to be watching the guy being towed. As for the last part of Q3, I thought for a minute the cars were going so slow as it was the only way the director could keep up.

    1. Harsh, but not unwarranted ian dearing!

    2. Not to mention Verstappen’s first ever pole lap. We only saw the crowd, not the car.

      And that dude in the Ferrari pitbox had more airtime than overtakes on screen.

  4. Saying that they won’t do picture-in-picture because of graphics and info annoys me – I would rather have a replay of something interesting playing over the top of a current/developing/potential move and momentarily lose the stuff that I really don’t car about (like current gear/speed or full running order)…

    1. @joeypropane am I also the only one to notice that the gear, throttle and brake traces etc that they overlay are also always horribly out of sync with what is actually happening? It renders that whole thing completely useless despite its potential to be quite cool.

      1. @danstimo no you are not. The problem is that the telemetry data is live (or very close to live) but the onboard shots are on delay of about 1 second.

        It’s also noticeable when there is an overtake and the director switches from the car doing the overtaking to an exterior shot. Usually the cars are close at the time of leaving the onboard shot, but the overtake looks complete by the time of the exterior shot because of the distance between the cars gained in that 1 second period.

        1. I notice too that when they do the opposite – ie switching from an exterior shot to an onboard shot, the onboard shot starts about half a second after the exterior shot ended, so maybe you see a guy turn in on exterior shot, it cuts to onboard, and then you see him turn in again. I think that the onboard cameras are just a bit behind the exterior shots.

    2. @joeypropane It’s not simply down to that. That sort of split screen/PIP is something a dozen broadcasters are also not in favor of. I also gather there are some regional TV regulators that have restrictions on that sort of thing for whatever reason.

      @danstimo @georgeod The delay is due to the onboard video having to be processed into a format that can be broadcast (Something that’s done on the cars) . It’s been an issue to varying degrees since the switch to digital transmission systems occurred around 2004/2005 & it’s not something thats exclusive to F1.
      They opt not to delay other feeds to get everything in sync because of how many feeds they produce & the way all there systems would make that difficult on top of the delay varying between cars, cameras as well as other things that can play a role in loss of sync. It would be impossible to get everything synced consistently.

      It’s something that become a bit more obvious since the start of 2016 because of the shift towards full 1080 HD/50fps onboard cameras & a new way of pulling feeds from the cars that allows them to pull live feeds from every car now.

      1. That sort of split screen/PIP is something a dozen broadcasters are also not in favor of.

        @gt-racer – That’s very interesting. Do you have any information as to why they prefer not to go for PIP? i.e. Broadcast regulations aside.

        The delay is due to the onboard video having to be processed into a format that can be broadcast.
        It’s something that become a bit more obvious since the start of 2016 because of the shift towards full 1080 HD/50fps onboard cameras

        Ah, good to know this. I do appreciate the fact that today pretty much every camera angle shows the same quality of image, instead of swapping between low-quality onboards and crisp trackside views, so this is probably the price we pay until technology catches up.

    3. Yup, also the ‘brake’ slider is like a switch… It only shows either no brakes or 100% brakes. If that is all that it can read then have a brake light not a damn slider like the throttle…🙄

      1. Well, in motorsport (at least in four-wheelers, I think two-wheelers differ), braking is literally like that – you’re either fully on the brakes, or you’re not. There’s no modulating or feathering the brakes that drivers perform, because if you modulate the brakes you’d lose time; you would be faster being on the throttle instead, and doing a full braking later (on the road we modulate & feather the brakes for reasons of comfort and safety).

        So it’s not a question of sensor accuracy that it can only detect that the brakes are on or off, it is how race drivers drive. I’m sure the sensors measure as finely as we’d like, either as a potentiometer on the pedal side, or an actual pressure sensor on the hydraulic side.

        In terms of the on-screen graphics, I think they’ve gone for a slider for aesthetic reasons, braking is the opposite of acceleration, so it helps to have its display mirrored (and I personally like how the bar fills up with red!).

        1. not in cars without ABS. The grip of the tyres is different in 300kph and 150 kph because of the downforce f1 cars have. So in order to brake in the minimum distance possible you want to put more pressure in the brakes initially and modulate the brake as the speed goes down

  5. I got it – it is very tricky, and we just have to shut up.

    1. exactly, they replied by saying “this is hard so deal with it – oh look Brad Pitt”

  6. No crowd shots, no celebrity shots, I’m happy.

    1. Yep, fine before and after the race.

    2. You didn’t ask what other people like/want…

      This isn’t all about you, you know…

      1. Duh. @pastaman said “I’m happy”, reflecting his personal opinion.

        You do know these are comments that we as individuals make on this site, don’t you? Most comments aren’t the result of a “voice of the people” user survey.

  7. Dodgy cuts can be lived with, its live sport after all. David Croft’s continued employment on the other hand is far, far harder to accept.

    1. This. Agree 100%.

  8. I honestly thought the crowd shot as Vettel spun was to avoid broadcasting a potentially nasty accident, prudent in the light of the Spa accident.

    To say “it’s hard” isn’t close to good enough, it’s lazy and indicative that the people doing the TV are hangovers from the Bernie era.

  9. sometimes ive noticed that they will show for example a britsh teams car more in siiverstone than another race car

  10. “On top of that we have to really convey what the city is like, this amazing skyline and these fantastic buildings. Each track and each race is unique. And we’ve got to highlight that uniqueness to fans – the tifosi at Monza, the fireworks in Singapore, the Foro Sol in Mexico and so on. We have to reflect that as much as possible.

    When I go to a race I don’t turn around to watch the crowd, when I watch a televised broadcast I also expect to see the race.

    “Singapore is a tricky one, but to be honest, broadcasting a motor race at any circuit is a tremendous challenge. Televising a grand prix is very different to other sports.”

    No F1 may be the pinnacle of four wheel circuit Motor Racing but the same rules apply as to other Motor Racing events, Moto GP for instance.

    1. MotoGP also has more and more crowd/pit shots. Side by side for instance, but with the final corners very tiny to watch the team react. FFS, I don’t want to see that, I want to see if there is an overtake happening.

    2. @johnrhk I do sympathise with the director when it comes to capturing the atmosphere of some of these grand prix. The incredible setting of Singapore at night—the skyline, the harbor, the landmarks—is why the race is so special. If you transplanted that layout into a car park, or the Silverstone airfield, no one would bother tuning in.

  11. I cant stand it when they cut away to Toto or Binotto and miss the on track action. I don’t watch a F1 race to see team principles and pit wall reaction especially in a vital moment.. So silly..

    1. You really want to miss Toto banging his fist on the console?

      1. @dmw – see it once, and you’ve seem ’em all :)

        Just like how they display fastest lap at the top of the screen when it happens, they could put in a pop-up notification of the following kind:
        – “Toto bangs fist on console”
        – “Horner nervous foot shaking begins/ends”
        – “Binotto gives a ‘Should I update my resume?’ look”
        – “Jos has his usual implacable face on” – and honestly, I don’t know why they cut away to show him, I’ve never seen any other expression on his face.

        1. Haha I laugh because it really is such a good idea but they would never!

  12. Most here have focused on my main criticism, which was the annoying crowd shots at the wrong times. He didn’t even touch on it in his response. I agree that I care less about seeing Jos and family than the racing. Keep the coverage on the track.

    As for the replays, I think the way NBC does it is the way to do it. Watch a Nascar race and they will do a split screen with the commentators talking about the replay while the live coverage is on the other screen.

  13. I never get sick of watching my woke European counterparts destroying the planet one colored smoke bomb at a time. Great television.
    Someone should have asked when the grid girls are coming back.

    1. America. They never went away; just called them ‘cheerleaders’ and claim they are part ‘of our heritage’. Seems bouncing your bits up and down on hot tarmac is a thing over there.

  14. I can understand them choosing the wrong car to follow in certain situations. What I cannot forgive is the ridiculous decision to cut TO THE CROWD when Vettel spun, just as it was blatantly obvious there was about to be something very interesting happening between him & Stroll. Sure enough it ended in the crash while we watched the stands, and I nearly put something through my TV while turning the air blue.

  15. Every F1 race has been broadcast live for nearly 40 years and it can only have gotten easier for the broadcasters thanks to great advancements in the technology involved!
    Their only response should be: we’re sorry, we’ll try to do better.

    1. @mtlracer It’s gotten easier in some ways but also harder in others because of how much additional video feeds (Trackside & onboard) as well as how much more data is available.

      In the 70s/80s you had maybe 10-15 trackside cameras with a director sitting in-front of 10-15 monitors showing feeds from those cameras as well as a timing screen. He would look at those screens & try to direct the race based on those.

      How you have 30+ trackside cameras as well as a dozen additional action shots mounted in kerbs & on wall’s as well as onboard cameras on every car (since 2016 all transmitting live) as well as a few different tracking & timing systems, Team radio communications & a dozen additional systems to keep track of as well as people monitoring everything to also offer advice & make the director aware of anything he may not have spotted.

      They actually released a video last year of Vettel crashing out of Germany that included some (But not all) of the internal chatter that goes on.

  16. I think they cut away to a replay too quickly after a pass. I want to see the next hand full of corners to make sure the passer is pulling a good gap.

    1. +1

  17. Don’t show the crowds
    Don’t show celebrities
    Don’t show pit area

    When a race is going on.

    1. +1
      Show the race, the whole race and nothing but the race. Replays acceptable.
      Also, I detest seeing a helmet shot of while the race for minor places is still ongoing.

  18. one of the worst cases:
    when Albon was a bit forced on the grass in small at the slight bend of Kemmel at the end go Spa Gp
    that was super dangerous fast and spectacular, but only shown from one angle, from a great distance, without decent duration about the action in the free broadcast

    it was not easy to judge what happened there, imo maybe a casual fan not even realized where it is happening

  19. I’m just grateful for minimal WAG-cam. U.S. racing broadcasts seem to be obsessed with finding young, heavily-made up women in the back of the garage, in the crowd, queuing for nachos in the infield, whatever, for slow zoom-ins.

    1. Give ’em time…

      We had a bad case of it when Carmen Jordá was in the Lotus garage (although she was nominally a development driver).

      1. At lest we don’t have Indy where the race leaders on the final laps have to share coverage with over made up WAGs trying to look glamorous and concerned at the same time.

        1. Ha ha. So @dmw has a point there, even when they show wives, girlfriends and families, it is done in a sensible manner, and not a prurient one.

  20. Just don’t show crowd shots if there is no safety car. We all understand that it’s tricky to cover a live race with multiple fights throughout the field. You can and will miss stuff sometimes. And when you show them in a replay we all understand the possibility of missing something live. But a crowd shot does nothing for the live coverages. Put it in the highlights.

  21. The timing of the replays is indeed easier said than done given the lack of breaks as in some other sports such as Football, Basketball, Ice Hockey, etc., but the crowd and or garage-shots in the heat of an on-track battle is less excusable.

  22. Dmitry Smolyanitsky
    18th September 2019, 15:48

    And don’t get me started on the ESPN broadcasts, especially the qualifying. ESPN allots an hour and got forbid there is a red flag. You will not see the end of the qualification round. ESPN is jus tthe worst.

  23. why don’t they just run “crowd shots” as a separate camera angle on the interactive thing and then if people want to see the crowd waving then they can.
    Or have a separate Sky Sports Crowds channel for only £30 a month.

  24. One more thing they can get rid of is the annoying driver communication interrupting the commentating. All I hear is some fuzzy sounds which even the presenters are often unable to decipher and even if they can understand what is said they often don’t know what it means. Then the message is always few laps old as well and totally irrelevant to what is shown on screen, this is very very annoying.

    1. So true AliceD.
      Are we still on Plan A? Plan A?
      Can you turn the power setting to 11?
      Bad guys. We should have boxed when there was a 25 second gap instead of boxing with the gap down to 5?
      We know Lewis. But at the current pace you should be able to catch them in approximately 8 laps, 3 corners, and 57 meters.

  25. I have one suggestion, and yes, it would mean hard negotiations with advertisers – split screen broadcast during commercial breaks, showing live action, no sound, no commentary, along with the commercial.

    1. a split screen showing the leaders and whatever battle in the midfield that we could have seen Max carving up the field on his attempt to get to the front and we could have seen some of the midfield battles.

    2. @waptraveler – while your idea is noble, I’m concerned that it will be misused by broadcasters.

      I’m worried that broadcasters will increase the amount of ad time they sell, simply because they can claim that they aren’t stopping coverage of the race.

      1. Adub Smallblock
        18th September 2019, 22:29

        I would certainly not want that! Guess that would be a risk to even opening that can of worms. However, when FOX had the broadcast rights, we had that form some of the advertising. I’m sure there is some difference between “Base (international?) advertising and local advertising at point of viewers.

    3. @waptraveler That is something that broadcasters are free to do if they wish & are able to.

      It’s something RTL in Germany has done in the past & may still do.

      @Tom Penney The issue with that is that you then get 2 smaller windows which isn’t good for anyone watching on smaller screens.

  26. I understand that choosing when to display replays is difficult with a continuous race, but I feel that they tend to prioritise replays over current and developing on-track action, and I would rather see less replays than miss something that has happened during a replay.

    As for the crowd and scenery shots, which they didn’t address, I’d argue that we don’t need those at all. The number of times I need to see the crowd is zero, and a single establishing shot during the pre-race build-up is quite sufficient to remind us what city we’re in. Occasional views of the pit wall are relevant and can sometimes even add to the sense of the overall race, but aside from those, I don’t want to see anything but the cars on track.

    And then, of course, there’s the non-stop rambling of certain commentators, which could use some good curtailing… we really only need commentary when something is going on that requires an explanation.

    1. a single establishing shot during the pre-race build-up is quite sufficient to remind us what city we’re in

      @remmirath – seconded. They have improved the pre-race build-up to show some interesting titbits of information about the city/country as well, and they can stop with the city glamour shots right there.

  27. Okay showing the crowd while a race is going on is terrible broadcasting, we all agree.
    I also thought the camera work during the podium celebrations of the italian grand prix were quite poor. What a race, what a drive from charles, but then we didn’t have one single close up where we could see Charles’s emotions on the podium and during the anthem. Of course it is important to show the tifosi singing the anthem, but I really missed seeing what the victory ment to Charles after that outburst on the radio.
    A shame I think. The scenes were good, but could have been way better.

  28. I’d like to hear him speak about camera angles, the current angles and positions of camera men mean we don’t get to appreciate the true speed of the cars, I’d like more static cameras dotted around, that cars shoot past at true speed. Less distance shots that zoom out as the cars approach them, these shots make 200 mph look like they’re cruising, some static on board cameras might be nice too, I want to see the bumps and vibrations that these cars experience, the ultra smooth on board cameras also reduce the sense of speed

    1. Classic corporate stooge speak from the FOM rep. “You know, replays are hard and we have graphics on the screen and it’s hard for broadcasters too”. What a load… well, duh yes, this is tricky stuff. But aren’t you supposed to be one of the best in your field? I guess not, just another company yes man hiding behind the overarching corporate brief of investing in graphics over moving images. As for the camera angle issues, I would rather watch nascar than hear his excuses about why the cars look like they are racing in quicksand. That is where one would find all the answers we need.

    2. Bernie already spoke about this. Cameras are placed best for advertisers and hoardings. Turn 10 Spain is a good example. MotoGP have cameras placed to capture braking, running wide, undercut, and lines out through turn 11. F1 have one main camera at the exit of turn 11, which the captures the cars coming out of turn 9 and through turn 10 and 11. All the while keeping the Rolex Bridge in shot.

      1. @riptide – very true, and it’s a shame.

    3. @scuderia29 – it was particularly noticeable some years ago, when fan-captured video (usually on mobile phones) ended up capturing the sounds and the sense of speed better than the way more expensive equipment that FOM use.

      One instance that particularly stands out in my mind is the wet race in 2016 at Brazil. Kimi spun out on the s/f straight, and the other cars were zipping by. But what I saw on TV looked only alarming, not dangerous. And then I saw a fan-made video from the grandstand that captured the same moment – with the cars zipping by sounding like angry bees, and the sheer speed captured perfectly as well, and that brought home the scariness of the situation.

  29. Responds to criticism = ignores it. Typical F1.

  30. He needs to go and take lessons from the BBC.

  31. Despite the hiccups and less than ideal moments, think that the F1 live feed is VERY good. I’m constantly impressed with how they almost always manage to capture the key moments. The directors are face with an incredibly challenging job. If you haven’t, I urge you to find the videos that have the audio feeds from the directors during the live action, esp when there’s an on track incident. It’s amazing.

    1. Lol ok Liberty employee 🤢

  32. So basically his response is “My job is difficult”.

    Yeah, no ish Einstein. Do better.

  33. Tbh my major issue is following the race leader on the final lap when there’s some insane racing happening elsewhere.
    Other than that the only major mistake was cutting to the silver stone crowd during the Mercedes battle at the start.

    I don’t like celebrity cuts either but casual fans do, and atleast I’ve never seen one happen at the heat of the moment. It’s usually after

    1. Another thing that detracts from the coverage are those silly shots from the asphalt level, with dark shapes flying overhead for an instant. It shows us nothing and is really annoying. This is presumably to let us know that F1 cars are fast. Gee, I didn’t know that.

      1. I’m neutral on that too heh… many people love it.

  34. Cutting away from the Vettel incident had me literally screaming at the screen. Just as you see him insanely trying to rejoin the track we got several seconds of random crowd reacting.. it was infuriating.

    I fully understand getting crowd reactions and showing that F1 is exciting. I had no idea the crowds actually got as rowdy as they did at F1 races until I went to my first race for real in 99, it was never anything you got much sense of on the TV back then. So I get it, and it’s good to show casual watchers that yeah F1 races are highly charged when you’re actually there in person. By the way I do think the quiet engines have massively helped this as well because we actually hear the crowds over the TV more these days as a result of it not being so drowned out like the old engines did.

    HOWEVER I really hope they are reviewing their vision mixing rules following this. Crucially, never cut away from action when it is still in mid flow. Vettel was just off the track at a fast corner with drivers soon to go past. Hold with the incident until there’s a clear conclusion. To cut away and then NOT to cut back immediately realising they’d made a mistake was a huge issue. Seems like they’d rather not make it look like they’d cocked up and held with the crowd shot an insane length of time, rather than just admit they ballsed up and cut back to the action even if it meant it looked a bit glitchy.

    C’mon guys!

    1. That wasn’t a dead parrot moment. The cutaway was just resting.

      Pathetic excuses from a group of alleged professionals. If motorsports broadcasting is so tough, go cover tennis, Dean – let a team of indignant racefans straighten out the broadcasting in a couple races.

  35. Flew to Monza from Canada to see race. Im glad I did because when I came home and watched it on tv all the best parts of the race were up in the corner of the tv while there was a commercial on. So needless to say tv viewers missed all the live action and had to watch replays wich took away from the rest of the race.

  36. Nobody saying it is easy, when it comes to missing action, thee days they are alot better than in the past conversely in tge past they were alot better capturing live action.

  37. Motogp has picture in picture which I’ve seen up to 3 simultaneous actions on tv. Despite smaller in size (insets) , but the spectators won’t miss any actions even at the back of the pack.

  38. The solution is simple, copy what Eurosport do in UK when covering BSB races. Show any ancillary shot (Team, Crowd, Random person picking their nose etc…) in a PIP in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. It’s not rocket science and works well…

  39. So he basically didn’t answer the part on missing the action by getting shots of the crowd, apart from saying that the tifosi at Monza is like the buildings in Singapore, something they appear to be supposed to “convey” through their work…? just admit the mistake? He even started by saying that sometimes there’s plenty of action on track and they have to make a decision on what to put on screen…which is another argument in favour of “why would you point to the croud *during* the action? I wonder who is the one fooled by such an answer…

  40. Something that hasn’t been mentioned here regarding the replays.
    When not shown instead of critical live track action. I personally do like the occasional super slow motion replay’s when the cars are under stress bouncing over curbs expecially for situations where something breaks. It’s something that IMO provides a unique but interesting perspective.

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