Point-of-view cameras mounted on drivers’ helmets will be introduced into television coverage of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship this season.
Drivers including reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne trialled the technology at the pre-season test in Valencia and e-racing365 has learned that ten units are set to be used at the season-opening Ad Diriyah E-Prix later this month.
The initiative has been orchestrated by Formula E and cameras are set to be supplied by Bell Helmets, which has two models – HP7 and HP77 – homologated by the FIA.
A wire runs through the helmet into the camera, which is inserted into the liner or padding next to the driver’s temple, with the other end plugged directly into a small box module fixed to the side of the car’s monocoque.
The NTT IndyCar Series has been at the forefront of bringing unique POV views from drivers’ helmets, having been the first to transmit them in 2002.
Helmet cameras have since been used routinely in IndyCar races and have been universally praised by viewers and fans.
Formula 1, however, has had a more protracted relationship with the concept of POV cameras.
Fernando Alonso wore one of Bell Helmets’ cameras at last year’s US Grand Prix but the images were not used, while previous tests took place with Pierre Gasly at Monaco and Romain Grosjean at Montreal.
The concept is still yet to be fully embraced by Formula One Management, however.
E-racing365 understands that it will be at Formula E drivers’ discretion whether they run with the cameras during race weekends but ten units will be initially available in Saudi Arabia later this month.