Over the years Bernie Ecclestone's TV production crews have worked wonders in upping the standard of Formula 1's broadcasts, so much so that the remaining two independent productions - Monaco (hosted by Tele Monte Carlo) and Japan (Fuji TV) - are found wanting in many areas, be they camera angles, breakaway or atmosphere shots, or the simple task of identifying a race within the race, and focusing on that.
Where once F1 fans were at the mercy of partisan host broadcasters, who fervently followed the local hero's every move - even when said driver was battling away in total solitude in P26 - Formula One Communications' (FOC) grey-tented village graces 90 per cent of grand prix venues, and there is little doubt that the commercial rights holder, having introduced the 'world feed' in 2007, is aiming for a monopoly.
F1's camera operators are a talented bunch of guys and girls © LAT
It makes sense; kit and cameras are owned, as are production facilities, while FOC's camera operators are well versed in the art of following cars travelling at 200mph on various circuits in all weather. Above all, the producers understand the sport, and instinctively know where to seek action, and identify dramatic situations.
Would a Magyar Televizio producer have known where to start investigating the cause of Felipe Massa's 2009 Hungarian accident, let alone identify the wayward spring that struck the hapless Brazilian? Doubtful - yet within minutes Bernie's boys found the footage, then 'slo-moed' it to a worldwide audience.
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