Formula 1 POV: All F1 drivers to wear Driver’s Eye micro cameras inside their visors in 2023

SaveSavedRemoved 0
Deal Score0
Deal Score0

Image credit: Racing Force Group. You can see the tiny camera inside the padding of Charles Leclerc’s Bell helmet (inside the red square). Racing Force Group, maker of Bell helmets, will expand its Driver’s Eye camera to other helmet manufacturers in 2023.

Formula 1 racing has long been at the forefront of automotive technology, with teams spending hundreds of millions of dollars to create some of the fastest, most advanced racecars on the planet. The Formula 1 worldwide telecast has been blazing new ground of its own, keeping pace with the cars on the track, relying upon helicopters at every race for aerial views, cameras built into the apex of corners and even 360-degree cameras on the cars themselves.

During the last two years, F1 has been testing helmet point-of-view cameras, so that viewers at home could see the track from the perspective of their favorite racers. The mini cameras were initially tested using just a few drivers during free practice sessions at select grand prix weekends. This coming season, F1 is mandating that all its drivers wear the visor cameras, promising spectacular footage from all 23 tracks around the world on the 2023 Formula 1 schedule.

Autoblog speculates that the partnership between F1 and Racing Force Group to bring the mini cameras to every driver this season is due to the burgeoning popularity of the Netflix series, ‘Drive to Survive,’ which documents each F1 season – often with a bit of added drama and flare. The visor cameras certainly provide plenty of drama, giving viewers at home a first-person view from the driver’s helmet, and providing nearly the same view as the driver has of the track ahead. However, the camera lacks the sophisticated stabilization our brains provide when we look around, so it’s not a perfect like-for-like view. On the other hand, seeing how much the camera jostles inside the driver’s helmet makes the physical toll of F1 racing easier to appreciate.

The ‘Driver’s Eye’ camera is tiny, measuring just 8mm (0.3″) in diameter. For comparison, the relatively compact GoPro Hero 11 action camera is 71mm (2.8″) wide and 55mm (2.17″) tall. The Driver’s Eye POV camera weighs a ridiculously paltry 1.4g (0.05 oz.), less than the weight of a US penny. The camera is placed at eye level within the protective padding inside the driver’s helmet. Last season, numerous drivers tested the camera, including Drivers’ Championship runner-up Charles Leclerc at the historic Monaco Grand Prix – his hometown race. The camera was also tested in 2021, fitted inside the helmets of Yuki Tsunoda and Fernando Alonso. So far, the camera appears limited to Full HD resolution, but perhaps with future advancements we’ll get 4K UHD footage from inside the helmet of an F1 driver.

As we mentioned, and you can see above, the lack of stabilization can make the visor cam footage quite shaky. Formula 1 used electronic stabilization during post-processing on Fernando Alonso’s 2021 visor cam footage from the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix race weekend. You can see that footage here. In the beginning, we see Alonso go nearly flat-out through the historic Eau Rouge corner, often considered one of the best corners on the entire F1 calendar.

It may seem odd that it’s taken more than two years to fully adopt the Driver’s Eye camera in Formula 1, given how tiny and lightweight the camera is. Still, every piece of equipment, especially anything placed inside a driver’s helmet, has important safety implications. In the event of a collision, an unfortunate reality of F1, you don’t want anything compromising the integrity of the driver’s helmet. Much of the visor cam’s usage has been during practice sessions, where the risk of an accident is much lower than in a race. However, at last year’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Leclerc wore the camera during his battle with the eventual 2022 F1 champion, Max Verstappen.

There should be a lot more exciting footage during the forthcoming F1 season, which kicks off in Bahrain on March 3.

If you can’t get enough visor cam motorsports footage, here is rally driver Jack Newman as he navigates the twists and turns of the Chimay Escort Rally in Belgium.

Can’t get enough of tiny cameras? Check out more impressive compact camera technology in these articles:

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)