As a little interim quiz, have a look at the following exciting picture of  a chap driving a rather smart yellow car, and try and guess who it is, driving what and where?! (You can find the answer at the end of this article)

Quiz time with Damon Hill

Quiz time

It’s the year 2000, and Mika Hakkinen is having problems overtaking a certain Mr Michael Schumacher. Michael was the sort of guy who really doesn’t like to be overtaken, and is quite good at making his car as wide as possible. So the scene is set, it’s Spa-Francorchamps and we’re onboard with Mika.

He catches Michael after the fast esses of Eau Rouge and gets a good slipstream on the straight. Micheal pulls over to the right and Mika has to ease of the throttle. We ride around the rest of the lap with Micheal out of range, until we come to the same place on the straight after Eau Rouge. This time a third party is present -Riccardo Zonta, who is about to be lapped.

After a full lap onboard with Mika, we can see the challenge of the overtake and know what he has to do. In a split second, Mika makes the decision to squeeze past Zonta on the right, whilst Michael goes to the left! This is top-notch opportunist stuff! This is the real excitement of onboard video -we feel like we are driving the car! Well we can certainly dream and these cameras help!

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From all the thousands of clips available, the ones that I’ve included in this article are personal favourites of mine, and are to give a brief history of our extra TV dimension that is onboard footage. As a final taster, I’ve included a clip which takes us swiftly through the evolution of ‘the onboards’. Incase viewers are wondering who’s driving where, here’s a very helpful list;

  • Juan Manuel Fangio at Modena
  • Stirling Moss at Goodwood
  • Jim Clark at Oulton Park
  • Jackie Stewart at Brands Hatch
  • Didier Pironi at Watkins Glen
  • Jacques Laffite at Monza
  • Ayrton Senna at Monte Carlo (twice)
  • Jacques Villeneuve at Silverstone
  • Mika Hakkinen at Spa
  • Juan Pablo Montoya at Spa
  • Fernando Alonso at Spa.

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If you have a bit of spare cash in the wallet this month you may like to head to the following two links! Each link is a chance to buy more onboard F1 footage at Amazon.

First up is ’50 Years Of Formula 1 Onboard’ DVD.  This has mixed reviews, as it is always compared to its predecessor Lap Of The Gods!

Second up is… you’ve guessed it ‘Lap of The Gods Part 1 and Part 2‘ available only on good old VHS tape as far as I am aware. Dig out your old video player for these, it’ll be worth it. Though maybe someone somewhere has put it on a DVD by now.

The clips are from onboard camera specialist Alain Boisnard, who captured footage from the 1970’s and ’80’s. The added interest in Lap Of The Gods is that Murray Walker narrates it. The VHS tapes are much longer and include more footage than the ’50 years…’ DVD. The DVD obviously tries to span a greater time-span and includes more modern footage with Hakkinen, Schumacher etc and has a few interviews thrown in too.

If you want mind blowing onboards from the 1960’s put into a just about ok plot, the feature film Grand Prix is the one for you. You won’t regret it.

Anyway, they’re out there if you want to track them down.

The cheaper option is to go to websites like youtube, type in ‘onboard’ and ‘your favourite driver’s name’ in the search bar, then sit back and watch the great footage at a slightly poorer quality! One place that has free downloadable clips is the Tyrrell six wheeler tribute website Project34 . In the VIDEO section on there you’ll find fifteen juicy clips of the Tyrrell cars (6 and 4 wheels) from the 1970’s along with a few other cars from that great era. Marvelous!

By the way, the answer to the quiz question: Damon Hill in a Jordan at Silverstone. Well done if you got it correct!

Catch up with the rest of this series of articles “Wouldn’t an onboard camera be great…?”

Part 1 –  Part 2 –  Part 3

And there’s also my article looking at Massa’s 2009 helmet camera

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