Some Friday thoughts from Japan

The news last week that Formula One Management would be directing this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix was greeted well by fans. What it meant today is that we were given a lot of new camera angles which made for some fantastic viewing. The new camera angles have been well placed as well to give a better sense of speed, such as at 130R where the direction change is telling. Trust me, if you haven’t see it yet, you will go “wow” the first time you see it. There seems to be as a lot more camera angles this year from FOM compared to previous years with Fuji Television, although that may just be an allusion from myself and not the actual truth.

One camera angle that I loved as well was the slow-mo camera angle of the cars at the final chicane, it distinctly reminded me actually of one of the shots in the F1 2012 game trailer, the shot looked “game like” rather than “real life like”. And that is a good thing in my opinion. They’ve definitely done a fantastic job with the camera angles this year in catching the raw speed and they should be applauded for it. No more hand held cameras this year!

Whilst I did love the camera angles, what I did not like was Sky’s director deciding to cut away from the World Feed and the stunning camera angles to show Natalie Pinkham interviewing a driver. I know what they look like, you don’t need to show me them, I can use my imagination to see what they look like. I first mentioned this in June, but this has been going on all season. There’s no need for it, unless someone is describing something critical, thus requiring a cut-away. Kimi Raikkonen’s KERS failure was a good example of a sensible cut-away from them. Their problem for me is that they have too many cameras. Too many times are we seeing FOM cut to pit-lane and next to them is a Sky person with a camera directed at the same driver. Why? It is a complete waste of resources when FOM are already doing an adequate job of capturing the action. Leave the “Sky cameras” to before and after the session when they are needed more.

The final point here concerns the Japanese fans. Despite the television audience declining, the hardcore faithful in Japan was as strong as ever. How many Grand Prix’s do you see probably in the region of 50,000+ for practice, probably more? Not many. Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Korea and several more struggle to get that number for the race alone. So, why are we going to those races? To satisfy a few rich-hungry billionaires? Let’s go to countries where people want, crave and demand more Formula 1. I would happily see two Grand Prix’s in Japan or Australia if the grandstands are going to be full irrespective of session or day.


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