Helmet cameras in Formula 1 will become compulsory for all teams next season after successful trials in 2021 and 2022.
Helmet cameras have been around longer than one might think in F1. Mark Webber wore one during free practice for the Australian Grand Prix in 2012, before compatriot Daniel Ricciardo gave us a fascinating perspective of what the drivers see during the race that weekend.
Romain Grosjean took fans around a lap of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada in 2018, before the helmet-mounted camera was re-introduced at last year’s Belgian Grand Prix with Fernando Alonso.
It has proven an innovative, exhilarating and intriguing aspect of broadcasting in the pinnacle of motorsport, and Dean Locke, director of broadcast and media for F1, has detailed the challenges of getting a driver’s eye view of the race.
“We’ve got experience with helmet cameras going back 15 years, maybe more,” he told Autosport.
“We’ve done some stuff with David Coulthard, we did some stuff with what was GP2 at the time. So over the years, we’ve tried it several times.
“Most of those solutions were on the outside of the helmet. And as developments go on in F1, that’s not necessarily permitted. Hence why it’s always been tricky to do. So we were always looking to try and get inside the helmet, if possible.”
Charles Leclerc also donned the camera in Abu Dhabi last season, and it has become a regular feature so far in 2022.
It gave us an enthralling view of the battles between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and such has been the enthusiasm of viewers tuning into the races that it has been decided that all drivers will be required to have a camera fitted to their helmets next season.
“Following the trialling of the latest generation of helmet cameras over recent events, they have proved to be a great success, generating significant positive feedback from fans as a valuable addition to the broadcast of grands prix,” read a statement from the FIA.
“Therefore, it was proposed and unanimously approved to update the 2023 technical regulations, mandating the use of these helmet cameras for all drivers from 2023 onwards.”
Across all Sky Sports platforms, TV8 in Turkey, and Canal + in France, 7.23 million viewers tuned in to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last weekend, exemplifying the current pull F1 has.