I was on the terrace with my binoculars just after 8am last Sunday morning watching the first of the Monaco Historic Grand Prix cars race through the “Nouvelle Chicane” when an idea struck me. Maybe a video of the passage through the 1st Chicane for all the races would be interesting.
I don’t think this is as daft as it sounds because on the Monaco Grand Prix circuit the chicane is just a few hundred metres after the super fast tunnel exit. This makes the braking zone into the chicane an excellent passing opportunity. From a video point of view it also makes for the possibility of some interesting fender benders. The downside is that the chicane is 1.1km from my terrace, thus the binoculars.
After the first race finished I had about 30 minutes to collect camera, lens and tripod and setup before the second race. For the technically minded the camera is a Canon R5 body with a cheap RF-EF convertor to a Canon EF 100-400mm telephoto lens. I should have filmed it in 8k but unfortunately my editing software can only handle 4k. The more k’s the better as it gives me the option to digitally zoom down to 1080p HD in post without losing image quality. Anyhow I was stuck with 4k for today.
For each race I filmed the cars passing through the chicane on the first two laps. I only wanted the 1st lap for the video so the second was a backup. You can easily tell which is the 1st lap as it’s the only one where the safety car follows them.
I quickly found out that pressing the buttons to start/stop recording was inducing massive camera shake with the long lens so for the following race I setup an infra red remote control.
The camera eats batteries so I was forever charging and swapping between races. This was going really well until the last race when the battery didn’t charge properly, so I missed the first two laps finding a battery with enough charge.
For the sound I was just using the built-in microphone. This worked OK except that it also picked up the commentary from our TV and various discussions on the terrace. For a couple of the races I had to use the lap 2 sound on the lap 1 video. Hopefully no one will notice.
For next time I need to buy a proper external microphone and crack the 8k editing thing.
Anyhow here is my little video of old Grand Prix cars negotiating their First Lap (mostly) of the Nouvelle Chicane. Amazingly I only spotted one actual crash. See if you can find it.