F1 2023 broadcast plans revealed with more helmet cam footage on the way

A camera focused on F1 drivers. Sao Paulo, November 2022 Credit: Alamy
A camera focused on F1 drivers. Sao Paulo, November 2022 Credit: Alamy

Broadcasting in the F1 2023 season is set to take further steps forward, with helmet cam being expanded to being a mandatory part of a driver’s helmet this season.

Between six and eight drivers are set to have helmet cam in use over the course of each race weekend after a successful trial of the driver’s eye camera angle, which takes TV viewers inside the cockpit and offers a realistic view of what drivers can see as they race in Formula 1.

Formula 1’s director of broadcast and media, Dean Locke has spoken about the operation which takes place to broadcast the sport around the world from the sport’s headquarters in Biggin Hill in the UK.

And alongside the expansion of helmet cam, the re-introduction of pedal cam after a two-decade absence also received positive reviews from race-watching fans, seeing the drivers’ throttle inputs as they go about a lap.

“We were quite pleased with the feedback we had on the pedal shots,” Locke said to SVG Europe.

“We’ve tasked the onboard camera team to look around the cockpit areas and bring some more visibility there, and we’ve tasked them with some elements around the rear light area as well.

“But it is always incredibly difficult to get anything on a F1 car, no matter what it weighs, or what the power or the heat is.”

There are further ways in which the sport is looking at improving their broadcasts for the F1 2023 season, including potentially adding microphones to the cars themselves to help accentuate the audio mixing for the viewers at home, to try and translate that feeling of being at the track into people’s living rooms.

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“There’s huge interest in F1 and attending live events, so the crowd noise has got bigger over the years and in places like Austin and Mexico it just goes off when a driver like Perez comes around,” Locke explained.

“I think we need to do more to bring that feeling of a live event to the viewer. Mics on the cars is another area where we’ve been doing a lot, but then we’ve got to get more audio channels off the car which creates a bottleneck.”

“We’ve got a growing fan base, particularly in America where it has grown dramatically. So we can’t take it for granted that everybody knows the dark arts of strategy in F1, so we need to consider how we can we tell that story really effectively.

“It’s difficult, but we put a lot of attention in it over the winter period to do that and to make sure that we’re not alienating the really entrenched fans while making sure we tell the right story.”

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