Williams: F1 helmet cam information capturing is "not ideal"

Williams says George Russell’s Italian Grand Prix driver’s-eye helmet camera is “not ideal” because of the information it captures but it happily runs the technology for Formula 1’s overall benefit. 

Williams: F1 helmet cam information capturing is "not ideal"

F1 introduced a version of the technology that has been used in Formula E since the start of 2020 at last month’s Belgian Grand Prix, with Fernando Alonso’s helmet being fitted with the 2.5g camera that has been produced in conjunction with Bell Helmets for practice running at Spa.

Russell became the first driver to wear the camera in a race setting during the sprint qualifying race at Monza on Saturday after it was also used inside his Williams earlier in the weekend.  

There has been considerable discussion about whether or not revealing the dash display and steering wheel settings to fans and rival operations puts a team such as Williams at Monza or Alpine at Spa at a disadvantage.

The dash display on FE steering wheels is blurred when the driver's eye camera is used during live action.

When asked by Autosport if Williams minded the situation, the team’s head of vehicle performance, Dave Robson, replied: “It is not ideal, really, I suppose from our point of view. 

“But then again if people find it interesting and entertaining then that is all part of the sport.  

“It is not where I would choose to put a camera for us but if people like that view then that’s all part of it and it’s OK.” 

Robson also revealed that Williams “did discuss it a couple of days ago whether we'd just run it for the two free practice sessions and then take it off”, before allowing F1 to keep broadcasting from Russell’s helmet during the competitive sessions at Monza.

George Russell, Williams FW43B

George Russell, Williams FW43B

Photo by: Williams

He said “I think we will see it again” in Sunday’s grand prix and that “I've got no particular objection” to Russell or team-mate Nicholas Latifi, who are two of 11 drivers running Bell helmets in F1, being fitted with the camera again at future events. 

“Obviously, Formula 1 were keen to run it through the competitive sessions,” Robson explained.  

“The installation of it is absolutely fine and it doesn't cause us any problems or disadvantage, it's purely down to what we were talking about before in terms of what's visible on the dash.  

“But I think for where we are and for the good of the sport we're quite happy to run it.  

“There's nothing in particular to hide on the dash.”

Read Also:

Williams is unique among F1 squads in fitting its dash display permanently to the front of the cockpit, with other teams opting to incorporate the displays – larger, customisable versions of which were introduced for 2014 – into their steering wheel designs.

Robson said Williams has considered moving to a steering wheel-mounted dash display, but “decided it wasn’t really worth the effort”.

He added: “And it was absolutely fine where it is – stationary.  

“I don’t know how much [the drivers] look at it when the wheel is turned anyway to be honest – you would like to think they have better things to do at that point in the corner!  

“It is something we will continuously review as and when we redesign the steering wheel but we are pretty comfortable with it and where it is at the moment.”

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes willing to drop MGU-H from F1 power unit to help VW entry
Previous article

Mercedes willing to drop MGU-H from F1 power unit to help VW entry

Next article

Aston Martin says reported Vettel F1 deal doubts are "100% nonsense"

Aston Martin says reported Vettel F1 deal doubts are "100% nonsense"
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022