Williams: F1 helmet cam capturing dash information "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 capturing dash information "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 of 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 Motorsport.com 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. 

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 teammate 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 squads 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

Aston says it's "100% nonsense" new Vettel F1 deal is in doubt

Previous article

Aston says it's "100% nonsense" new Vettel F1 deal is in doubt

Next article

Gasly to start Italian GP from pitlane after engine change

Gasly to start Italian GP from pitlane after engine change
Load comments
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021