“Pretty cool” new heart rate graphic trialled during F2 broadcast may come to F1

Formula 2

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Frederik Vesti was impressed by the trial of a heart rate monitor which supplied data broadcast live during last week’s Formula 2 race.

The Mercedes junior driver and his nearest championship rival Theo Pourchaire both had examples of the monitors attached in Austria. A graphic appeared on the world feed showing their heart rate on a scale of 120 to 200 beats per minute.

This was a trial run with plans to continue for the rest of the F2 season, while there have been discussions around introducing it in Formula 1, where similar graphics have been used before.

Vesti praised the innovation and said it will give fans a better understand of the demands placed on drivers during races.

“I watched 10 seconds of the [sprint] race yesterday where I saw my heart rate going up while I was doing an overtake,” said Vesti. “I think it’s a pretty cool thing.”

He said there is room to improve how the devise is attached to the driver while they’re in the car.

“There’s a bit more development to do on how it feels and when you have it done, but I think it’s a really good starting point and it’s a good addition to the fans. They can see what sort of pressure we’re on, it’s not only physical pressure it’s also mental, and I think it shows it pretty well.”

Vesti enjoyed a strong weekend in Austria. The Prema driver stood on the podium in the feature race, though he lost the lead to Richard Verschoor on the penultimate lap.

It extended his championship lead over Pourchaire to 20 points with the season just past its halfway point. However Vesti said he isn’t considering the possibility he might win.

“There are two answers to that. One is you don’t think about it and just go for the win every time. The other one is that you go for the win every time, but if there is a place where there’s high risk you maybe think a little bit more about it.

“But the thing is if you think too much about it, it’s definitely not going to help. So it’s important to clear the head and go for every point and every race win possible.”

The F2 season has just six weekends remaining, three of which come before August. Vesti has never stood on the podium in a single-seater race at Silverstone, the venue of this weekend’s round.

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Ed Hardy
In 2019, Ed started working on Formula 1 writing articles during race weekends. Alongside that, he also built up experience in football working on...

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18 comments on ““Pretty cool” new heart rate graphic trialled during F2 broadcast may come to F1”

  1. “Biometric Intensity Level”?! How about “Heart Rate”? It’s a race, not a shampoo ad.

    Heart rate’s been measured occasionally over the years – Sid Watkins recalled a study with Pironi and Gilles Villeneuve (Pironi’s heart rate was strikingly lower) and predictably HR was through the roof at the start of the race…

    I wonder how low it would go now at that stage of a Grand Prix where F1 drivers are seconds off the pace, conserving tyres?

    1. Heart rate’s been measured occasionally over the years – Sid Watkins recalled a study with Pironi and Gilles Villeneuve (Pironi’s heart rate was strikingly lower) and predictably HR was through the roof at the start of the race…

      If anyone wants to see this it is in Sid Watkins’ excellent book “Life at the limit”.

    2. This might be a good one to see for, e.g., Max. Might help clear up the question of whether it’s been as easy for him this season as it looks.

  2. FIA, MotoGP would like to have a word with you.

    1. I mean… They are presenting this as a revolutionary idea, and they saw it in MotoGP… like 1p years ago. Oh, but they did give it an original name. Too bad it’s the silliest name I’ve ever seen. I’d rather they remove the stupidest graphic ever, marking cars like in video games for no logical or practical reason. It does bother me as a viewer. This one at least gas a function, it just need to be called what it is.

      1. Yep, Dorna are light years ahead of Liberty when it comes to this sort of innovation.

        1. @sonnycrockett Technically the other way around as there was heart rate graphics used in F1 back in the early 90s way before anything similar was popping up in MotoGP.

          Graphic comes up at 34 seconds.

      2. Coventry Climax
        6th July 2023, 12:11

        As a motorsports fan:
        Any part of my TV screen that does not show me what happens on track, bothers me.
        Any noise through my speakers that does not directly come from the circuit, bothers me.

        I frequently turn the sound off, as I can make up my own comment and don’t need anyone else to yell at me. These laps with the sound turned up? That once used to be the norm. It adds to the atmosphere, the immersion.
        Maybe they could monitor the ‘biometric intensity’ on commentators, and adjust their microphone volume accordingly – inverted please.
        These AWS graphics are quickly becoming a reason to turn off my TV altogether.
        Heck, I even turn off all these non realistic gimmics as much as I can when I’m behind the wheel in my playseat.

        It’s one thing to try and engage younger fans, but making everything toddler level?

  3. I work with pro cyclists and we all wear watches. *not cycling I must stress, I can ride a bike but I’m not going up a hill.

    I’m always 20bpm above them, no matter what we’re doing. What strikes me most is how much they don’t care. They focus way more on power output and training schedules.

    If you think F1 has a drag / aero efficiency issue, Max and Lewis aren’t worrying about shoulder growth in the gym.

    When I say Senna had a very low heart rate, they’re puzzled as to what that means? Better focus? I’m happy to see it graphics, but what is better I’m not sure.

    That Vesti’s changed when going for an overtake is obviously interesting, but why some care and some don’t, I dunno. A cardiologist or sports scientist would know far more. I like the graphic regardless.

  4. I’ve only ever seen F1 try this once before and non-officially:


    But there’s no need to market it with nonsense wording, it’s cool enough as it is.

    1. @ciaran Heart rate graphics have been used during F1 race broadcasts before way back in 1991.

      @ 34 seconds.

      1. Great footage, thanks for sharing!

    2. I was looking for this. They did this in multiple sports in the ‘80s too. Personally, I’ve always found it uncomfortable to think about my beating heart. Not sure exactly why. Maybe it’s the fact that a malfunction could kill me at anytime.

  5. They used to do this in the early 90s if I remember correctly, it stopped after Senna’s accident.

  6. Coventry Climax
    6th July 2023, 11:49

    All these ‘powered by Amazon’ gimmicks are sure to raise my biometric intensity to such levels that I just have to switch off my TV.

  7. It’s a graphic that needs to be much more minimalist.

  8. Electroball76
    6th July 2023, 18:53

    Good to see them focus on the important details

  9. Cool . We use this on twitch streams streaming iRacing events for years now, and ocasionally woth horror game night streams end of october each year. Viewers love it

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