David Coulthard’s helmet camera (Video)

During free practice yesterday F1 fans were treated to some fabulous footage from a camera mounted in David Coulthard’s crash helmet:

This technology has been seen before in F1. Here’s a video of Mark Blundell driving with a helmet camera at Spa-Francorchamps in 1994:

(Originally posted here)

Hopefully we’ll see more of these helmet cameras in 2009 – and plenty of action from it during qualifying today and Sunday’s race, which will be Coulthard’s last appearance in Formula 1. They’ve been used a lot in other disciplines, particularly the (now defunct) Champ Car series in America. Here’s Nelson Philippe racing with a helmet camera at Sufers’ Paradise last year:

Coulthard is also racing with a special livery on his Red Bull for his final F1 race.

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17 comments on David Coulthard’s helmet camera (Video)

  1. his camera is useless, its on his big chin, so you can’t actually see anything but sky… at least in champ car it was eye level.

  2. Ideally the camera should be at the forehead level.

    BTW,Does Brazil 2008 create the record for the maximum number of different helmets in a single race? Vettel, Barri have special liveries. DC has a camera.

    Some helmet fest this is :P

  3. Smitty said on 1st November 2008, 11:38

    That camera is nice, but it should have been placed above the visor, not below. All you see is sky and the cockpit. The driver does see a little bit more than that (not much more tho!)

  4. Marko said on 1st November 2008, 12:05

    Well placement is not ideal, but at least they are trying something new. Personally i like it :)

  5. I love the camera view. Gives a great perspective. And being in the center line of the helmet, it’s much better than the helmet cams previously used in CART.

    However, in Coulthard’s case, the camera is too low, so you see just the dash and the sky. It would be great to have an improved version of this next season, though.

  6. loo9n said on 1st November 2008, 12:59

    i like it.. about time too!
    used to love the pedal camera arrows had in the early 00’s..

  7. ajokay said on 1st November 2008, 13:08

    ITV used a helmet-monted camera for Martin Brundle’s features with Red Bull a year or two ago. THey were perfectly placed and offered a wonderful perspective that I’d never seen before.

    I emailed ITV-F1 after the race to suggest they somehow try and get that type of camera view as a standard one by suggesting it to Bernie.

    It’s far more interesting than the T-Cam.

  8. loo9n said on 1st November 2008, 13:13

    renault also used a well placed driver-perspective cam in promo videos before

  9. Dan M said on 1st November 2008, 15:59

    It cant be at eye level though. It must be mounted right around his chin.

  10. verasaki said on 1st November 2008, 21:03

    brilliant. and aside from the placement being low you can get a good idea of how much of what a driver’s actual field of vision is limited too. it must have been interesting before they made the mirrors bigger.

    i wonder if any of the helmet manufacturers will catch on to doing a design that incorporates a camera placement into the actual helmet. then the fia could choose a couple of drivers each race to have the camera, like they do the onboards now. really these cameras are so small it could be done.

  11. On youtube type alonso helmet cam and you ll get a great helmet cam of alonso at catalunya in 2006.

  12. TVGUY said on 1st November 2008, 21:53

    Some of you armchair ‘experts’ should really think before posting. I have been in tv and motorsport for 17 years.Do any of you know what is involved to get live pictures from a 200mph car? The cameras used fo ‘celebrity laps’ & pr films are very different to what is permitted for a race and the safety regulators for the helmets have a heart attack at the idea of putting anything apart from a head in a helmet. Think about how low a driver sits in a car and the teams accepting the aerodynamic penalty of a lump on the helmet(they do wind tunnel test them you know) To see this is a gift to anyone who has ever wondered what it is like, enjoy it!

  13. Senna's ghost said on 1st November 2008, 23:59

    It’s not too low, that’s what Coulthard actually sees. No wonder he’s had so many crashes this year.

  14. loo9n said on 2nd November 2008, 9:13

    TVGUY… nice reply… on-board cams are very dangerous too… ferrari had a big cock up with the cam with berger/alesi.. it flew off and broke the suspension… it was good fortune that it didn’t hit a driver on the head

  15. Alex Cooper said on 2nd November 2008, 9:40

    Well said TVGUY.

    I would truly love to see DC’s last F1 start from this camera. With all the other cars around that would be fantastic!

  16. Their must be a way to put a helmet cam in every drivers helmet which is safe and lightweight. It would also give a whole new view to looking at incidents from the drivers point of view.

    Still waiting for F1 to have cameras which move around like they do in Nascar and IRL so still be a long time before we see standard helmet cams.

  17. I think the Champ Car camera gives a much better feel than the F1 camera. You can actually see the track and what not. Nonetheless, hopefully we’ll get more this next year or at least get it back for the IndyCar series.

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