Watch Kubica’s visor cam view of driving the new Williams with Halo

2018 F1 season

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Williams has presented a new visor cam view of a driver running a 2018 F1 car with the Halo fitted.

The team’s test driver Robert Kubica drove the new Williams FW41 around Motorland Aragon as part of a filming day.

Kubica drove the short configuration of the Spanish circuit.

Mercedes has also revealed a driver’s-eye-view of its new W09 being driven by Valtteri Bottas with the Halo fitted.

2018 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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48 comments on “Watch Kubica’s visor cam view of driving the new Williams with Halo”

  1. I could get used to that view! Finally these “filming days”/shakedowns start to bring us fans something interesting to look at too.

    By the way, does anyone have a clue why they did not fit the mirrors into their housings?

    1. I would assume that because the mirrors are fitted in the day of the sessions and adjusted by the mechanics, because this was a solo run they probably didn’t bother because they would have to adjust them tomorrow again.

    2. Could be just that they made new mirror housings (found little aero improvement) but the parts arrived too late and they simply did not have time to add the shiny bits before the filming runs. I’d expect the teams to go through variety of small parts like that during next week

    3. I am sure someone will get injured by halo, time will tell

    4. i think it was to avoid reflections of light on the car for filming and photos

  2. Surely the Halo presents its own safety risks through reduced visibility?

    It’s easy enough to spot the apexes as you approach the bends but what is striking is the lack of visibility of what’s going on directly ahead on the straights.

    1. Camera only has one eye. Humans have two eyes. As such the camera gives false impression of the visibility straight ahead. While in camera the halo looks like it blocks more in reality it doesn’t.

      You can prove this to yourself by taking your phone or hand and put it vertically in front of your nose between your eyes. It doesn’t block your vision at all when both eyes are open. But close one eye and you lose some visibility. The camera is basically you looking at the world with just one eye and gives the wrong impression of the visibility. Google stereoscopic vision.

      1. Solid explanation. Thanks :)

      2. not to mention that looking ahead is not the most important thing for an F1 driver anyway – that is why they always put the antennea, pitot tubes etc, in the middle – much like the stalk for the Halo.

        I’d also guess that the camera is slightly higher up than eye level, making it look far more at the wider top part of the halo than any driver will while racing.

  3. The only word that comes to mind is strange. Obviously, no one wants to see anybody hurt, but it seems to me that alpine skiing is now far more risky than Formula 1.

    1. @gpfacts to be fair, alpine skiing has been more dangerous for a solid 30 years

    2. I wouldn’t want to be the guy standing directly in front of a halo car.

      1. I wouldn’t want to be the guy standing in front of any car.

        Not sure why the Halo makes a difference.

  4. So basically, Robert drives a Formula 1 car with one hand. And he’s on pace doing so… Wow, just wow.

  5. I notice Robert’s right hand is not gripping/holding the steering wheel properly or is it just me?
    And Halo is definitely creating substantial blind spot.

    1. I noticed his hand as well—makes you wonder. I totally disagree about the halo. Something would have to be pretty far away for it to be substantially blocked and directly in front of the car. So I feel it will not be a problem.

  6. The Halo doesn’t distract me at all when looking directly ahead.

  7. the halo is gonna cause an accident more sooner than later

  8. I feel cross-eyed staring at that column whille trying to anticipate the corners. I’ve watched quite a few videos like that now, and the feeling isn’t really going away.

    1. But of course it will be totally different for the drivers, not to mention they likely won’t be staring at the centre column.

  9. Since the view is nicely centered I would assume the camera was mounted on top his helmet. I guess the driver has a much better view than the video would suggest. When blocking the top 50% of the video it’s pretty ok.

  10. Bet when you are actually driving it makes no difference but looking at a view on TV or in a computer game that is awful visuals.

  11. Looks bad. It’s different from a person to another, but I find it kinda distracting. Is it me or Kubica is moving his head to the left and right on purpose starting from 1:12 in order to have a look at the racing line from the straight… ’cause the view its blocked by the Halo?! Also, would have been nice to see some footage with some other cars on-track.

    1. Going to be an interesting start to the season. If only the FIA could have combined the Halo with knock-out qualifying.

      Oh well…can’t have all our cringes at once.

    2. Why do people assume that what these videos show is exactly what the drivers are experiencing?

  12. I can’t see anything, but for different reasons, I’m on mobile and the video doesn’t appear.

    @keithcollantine not sure if I’m a one-off

    1. You mean, in this particular case, and not in general? :P

    2. @johnmilk You are not a one-off, I’m getting no in-article video content on mobile either for some reason. :(

  13. Not sure of the the vertical viewing range a driver has whilst having a helmet on and it’s not the perfect filming angle, but I’m finding the halo HUGELY distracting.

    I’m guessing they dont see the upper part as much as the camera does? But if the view is roughly what the drivers sees, I’m going to have a crash.

    1. I think the helmet already letterboxes their vertical vision somewhat.

  14. Maybe it’s just the exact camera positioning, but to me the visibility from the Williams cockpit looked much better than that from the Mercedes cockpit.

    1. Bottas was wearing a pair of glasses with a camera in the center so that was more of a drivers eye-level view & actually gave a fairly realistic impression of what the drivers see.

      Kubica has a GoPro camera stuck to the carbon strip at the top of the visor so it’s a few inches higher. That tends to be where most of the visor cam style shots are located.

  15. The halo didn’t even protect him from that flying piece of gunk that stuck to his ‘visor’! So much for it being safer! ;)

    There’s some mods that let you use the halo in Assetto Corsa, and in VR it’s much less distracting. I think the 2D video makes it look worse than it is.

    Still ugly as sin, though.

  16. Jeez, I don’t like it but that little runt Jean seems to.

  17. I am never going to like it but been trying hard just to tolerate it, but I cant – that’s horrible.

    Robert is only gripping the wheel tightly with his left hand. I think he has done a great job just to get back to where he is, but if that is how he drives surely Williams got their decision correct. Even if he can drive at speed like that if favouring the left arm he has to fatigue in a race – especially Monaco or Singapore, as it normally goes the two hours.

    1. Robert is only gripping the wheel tightly with his left hand.

      Shouldn’t be a problem. Power steering is a thing. Even in the weird world of F1. I have ridden motorbikes most of my life at which point i instinctively avoid gripping with my right hand in a way that applies torque because it’s managing throttle and the front brake so minor adjustments are all in the left hand although a sharp right turn gets a big shove on the bars with the right hand (yes, push the right handlebar away from you to initiate a right turn). It feels disconcerting as hell taking my left hand off the wheel to shift a manual car, despite the fact I have a licence for such and currently own such.

    2. he has proven he wont get fatigued in both f1 testing and 3 years in rallying

    3. Nico Rosberg said in an interview back in May 2006 that his technique (copied from Michael Schumacher) involved keeping only a light grip with both hands, unless putting extra pressure on was necessary.

      If Robert is driving without needing to grip hard with both hands at any point, then that could help him in the more fatigue-generating races such as Singapore, because any and all capacity to grip with the right arm will still be available to him after grip in the left arm starts reducing. It’s difficult to say how that would compare with other drivers (who tend to grip with both hands but know they can rely on them 100%) in advance of a situation where they get to race together.

    26th February 2018, 2:17

    What am I looking at when I look (in Kubica’s view) at the underside of the halo, right of center?

    1. The camera is almost certainly on TOP of his helmet, so Kubica would a) look with two eyes (making them sort of ignore the stalk) b) sitting about 10 cm lower, so looking more or less straight through the openings instead of directly at the wider part at the top of the stalk

  19. After expressing concerns about the intial Mercedes Bottas run in the 09 and seeing the surprising amount of forward vision that is restricted. Although my comments at the time which werent printed, were of concern seeing what l saw and how it made me feel. Now the Williams and the reaction its getting tells me that the debate goes on regardless of Alonsos calls to just accept it and hope for changes in the off season. I intended to let this Halo issue go as FA urges. Now look how many see the limits of Vision through the Halo and are giving their opinions.
    I think its nuts to go so fast and now have to deal with car parts which limit your view like this.

    1. @TEDBELL So rather than take heed the words of the likes of Bottas who has said there is no visibility issue, you would rather look at camera views and armchairs fans’ opinions, with the assumption the camera view is showing exactly what the drivers are experiencing?

  20. It’s no different to driving one of these

  21. 90% of commentators need to read what @socksolid wrote above before just scrolling to the bottom to comment/rant.

  22. this is where the camera was on Kubica’s helmet.

  23. and the aero´isation of the halo begins now. They put a wing ontop of it!

  24. 50% of the view is now blocked by Halo, and although it is still potentially useful for some shots, those shots are not going to have any context. It may work for the drivers but it doesn’t work for me as a TV viewer, giving one more strike against a device I already have safety-based misgivings about.

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