Helmet cameras available to all drivers after F1 signs deal

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In the round-up: Formula 1 has signed a deal to make integrated helmet cameras available for every driver on the 2023 grid

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In brief

Helmet cameras available to all drivers after F1 signs deal

Formula 1 has signed a deal to make integrated helmet cameras available for every driver on the 2023 grid.

After F1 has experimented with helmet camera technology over recent years, but yesterday Racing Force Group announced it had signed a deal for its Driver’s Eye camera to be used in the world championship for the 2023 season.

The camera, weighing just 1.43g and 8mm in diameter, is installed inside the interior padding of a drivers’ helmet. The group says the technology will be available to every driver on the grid no matter their helmet manufacturer.

Paffett named McLaren Extreme E sporting director

Former McLaren Formula 1 test driver and Venturi Formula E race driver Gary Paffett has named the new sporting director of McLaren’s Extreme E team.

Paffett had an extensive history of testing with McLaren from as early as January 2001. In late 2005, he became the team’s main test driver alongside racing successfully in the German DTM touring car series, testing for the team until 2013. He rejoins McLaren with their Extreme E team of Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust after racing a season with Venturi in Formula E in 2018.

“I’m really excited to work with the group of close-knit people that we have in the team, including Emma and Tanner, who showed great progress and strong performances last season,” said Paffett.

“The target for the team is to continue that progression to move towards the front of the field. It’s a very competitive championship with some really fantastic teams and drivers involved, so it will be extremely tough competition.”

Miami GP expands grandstand capacity

Grandstand capacity for the second Miami Grand Prix will be increased by 3,000 for this year’s race, organisers have announced.

The race will also have 61 new hospitality suites and two additional luxury club spaces. General admission ticket holders will also be able to buy a ‘campus pass’ which will also grant access to the artificial marina and amenities on the inside of turns six and seven.

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Comment of the day

Many may be sceptical about Haas opting to bring Nico Hulkenberg into their team for 2023 after three full seasons out of racing, but SteveP sees what Haas is looking to achieve…

You have to consider that the aim of using Hulkenberg (and Magnussen) is not to win many races with what they know is an under-developed car.

It’s to improve the driving standard for both cars and collect feedback on the pro’s and cons of what they have and build on that.

An inexperienced driver like Schumacher couldn’t do that for them so they were on minimal useful feedback in 21, with a big improvement in 22 with the fortuitous loss of Mazepin and replacement with Magnussen.
That clued them up about how lacking the feedback was.

A driver has to earn his way, either in results, in feedback for development, or a big bucket of cash.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ling!

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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20 comments on “Helmet cameras available to all drivers after F1 signs deal”

  1. 10 Things F1 Driver Alex Albon Can’t Live Without

    #11 Red Bull Thailand buying him an F1 seat because Red Bull Austria would rather not put him in any of the four in their own teams.

    1. @proesterchen You still believe in that nonsense.

      1. Albon is associated with Monsoon Valley wines. Different member of the Yoovidhya family.

        1. @uneedafinn2win – True, but my point is about the true reason Williams took him, which was previous F1 racing experience over the other option at the time De Vries.
          @proesterchen – Yes, referencing his personal sponsor Krating Daeng, i.e., RB TH.

      2. I believe Alex is running Red Bull branding prominently on his helmet, for everyone to see.

  2. So not only drivers using Bell helmets anymore, as has been the case thus far?

    1. @jerejj Correct.

      It was originally developed by Bell Helmets & Zeronoise & was fully integrated into Bell’s latest models which is what helped it get FIA homologation (I believe it’s still the only helmet mounted camera that the FIA have homologated).

      F1 worked with the designers of the unit & other helmet manufacturers last year to work out a way to install it in a way that has got it FIA homologation in non-Bell helmets. This was trailed during FP2 in Abu Dhabi last year where one was installed in Max Verstappen’s Schuberth helmet.

      1. @gt-racer Okay, thank you for the info & being unaware of Max’s helmet provider until today, I didn’t know his helmet cam use in Abu Dhabi GP FP1 was a mere trial for another manufacturer’s design. I also found out through quick Googling that he used to wear Arai until he switched to Schuberth for 2019.
        Regarding your separate post below, every single driver indeed won’t use just as not all Bell users (at least, Mercedes drivers & MAG) have had a helmet camera.

  3. Nice to see Gary getting some love!

  4. Yuki being so small and being an F1 driver does make me smile (usually because he is smiling). Obviously these cars pull huge G’s, and I wonder if he could’ve handled the 80’s turbos? Being short doesn’t make you weak.

    He looks like he could have a cup of tea in his survival cell. Mark Webber looked like someone so cramped i’m surprised nobody had to sit on him to get him in.

    1. @bernasaurus He would have hust sweared harder back in the 80s!

  5. I am not a big fan of the helmet camera. The footage is shaky, making it hard to follow and interpret the action. I can see it best working right before the start of a Grand Prix, when all the cars are lining up on the grid. It would give you an idea what cars the driver is watching. Strangely enough, we never get to see such footage.

    1. Grid footage has occasionally appeared.

    2. Agreed re helmet cam being too shaky, personally I don’t like it either.

      I’d imagine that it is also difficult to improve seeing as they have to make the camera small and lightweight and put it on the driver’s head

      1. Yeah, I’ve not been impressed by the footage thus far. I’m sure it’ll get better. Those ‘shoulder cams’ of Senna in Monaco I much prefer, you can see into the distance and the head movement.

        The most interesting thing I’ve found about these is seeing a close up of the dash (when it’s not pixelated).

        1. @bernasaurus I agree with you on your last point, as I’m also interested in what happens on the steering wheel (even on the regular T-cam views, I tend to look down at the display rather than at the track ahead).
          Of course, F1’s helmet cam views don’t feature pixelation largely due to being live rather than pre-edited, which makes this aspect effectively impossible, but still good.
          I’ve always been unconvinced about the necessity & justifiability in artificially covering racing car steering wheel displays since they don’t contain anything extraordinary anyway, nor anything no one has seen before or couldn’t find out through other means.
          They’re pretty decently readable even on T-cam footage, especially under artificial lighting, but also natural light unless the weather is very sunny.

    3. Funny, I just love the helmet camera, and from a sim race background it was really good to have the helmet camera to help me to adjust my FOV the closest to the real thing. Also, it’s really nice to see how they are always looking further ahead on apexes. I am really happy about it. Maybe they can in the future reduce the shaking, but for me this is the more visceral way of appreciation of a f1 race. The helmet cam showcase the talent of the drivers like no other camera. But I understand it’s not for everyone. But nice to have the option for all drivers now, it will be able to notice driving style differences between them.

    4. Totally true. Very hard to watch F1 video broadcast with the helmet cam going on. A few seconds being shown, that is not too bad. Longer than that, unwatchable. Especially 30-60-90 seconds worth, blah.

    5. I hope this year’s camera is an improvement on the 2022 model, which I found physically painful to attempt watching and sometimes had to look away from because it juddered so much. It doesn’t convey what the drivers are experiencing to me either, unless the serious suggestion is that nobody is looking at the track.

  6. On the helmet-cam’s.

    It’s my understanding that the camera won’t be installed in the helmet of every driver on the grid and that it’s just that the camera unit is now able to be installed in the helmet of any driver as the agreement is that it’s been adapted for use in non Bell helmets (It was initially designed by Bell Helmets & Zeronoise so was only designed & homologated for use in Bell Helmets).

    Additionally there was a slight change of the regulations making the helmet camera one of the standard camera positions meaning that every team must have a way for the required cabling to run into the cockpit.

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