F1 set for more driver-eye cameras in 2022 after new deal

Formula 1's driver-eye helmet camera looks set to become a more permanent fixture in 2022 following an agreement between grand prix racing's chiefs and its maker.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

Since this year's Belgian Grand Prix, F1 has been experimenting with a new mini camera that is positioned in the lining of a drivers' helmet.

First trialled by Fernando Alonso at Spa-Francorchamps, it has been run several times over the second half of the campaign, with Charles Leclerc trialling it at this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

With the footage having been a hit with fans, and F1 happy it adds an extra dimension in terms of offering a better perspective of what the drivers experience in the cockpit, there is a provisional deal in place now to roll it out more extensively next year.

F1's partner in the current venture is Bell helmets and its parent company Racing Force Group, which has now signed a formal agreement with the championship's commercial rights holder about the camera's use in 2022.

In a short statement, RFG said the agreement would mean drivers which run Bell helmets in 2022 could have the camera available for use at every race next year.

"The Driver's Eye is the FIA-homologated micro camera (8 millimetres in diameter and weighing 2.5 grammes) positioned at eye-level on the protective padding on the inside of the driver's helmet," it said.

"The technology will be available over the course of the 2022 season to all drivers on the Formula 1 grid who wear a Bell Helmet."

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Alpine

This year there have been 11 drivers racing with Bell helmets. They are Alonso, Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi RaikkonenLando Norris, Esteban Ocon, George Russell, Pierre Gasly, Antonio Giovinazzi, Nicholas Latifi and Nikita Mazepin.

F1 has not yet decided about how extensively it will roll out the use of the camera next year, and much will depend on whether or not all teams who have the chance to run it are happy to accept running the technology and the extra weight, even though its impact would be minimal in an F1 car that weighs around 790kg.

The camera is currently only homologated for use by the FIA in the Bell helmets, and cannot be used by other manufacturers at grand prix weekends without passing mandatory safety tests.

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