Major technology award for F1 high speed camera

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A high-speed camera for recording and diagnosing crashes, developed by the Global Institute for Motor Sport Safety in conjunction with Magneti Marelli, with research funding from the FIA Foundation, has won the ‘Motorsport Technology of the Year’ award at the Professional MotorSport World Expo.

The high-speed camera, always pointing at the driver, was installed in every car from the first race of this Formula One season and was first used to record a major crash involving Fernando Alonso at the Australian Grand Prix (above). The camera works in conjunction with a tiny accelerometer in a driver’s earpiece that measures the forces on his head. They in turn work with an Accident Data Recorder – essentially the ‘black box’ of F1 cars – which measures all of the external forces.

Combined with the multiple camera angles from the cameras around the track, safety researchers have more information than ever before to determine what exactly happens at every millisecond of a crash. This is essential for deciding on future areas of safety development and research. The camera, which was introduced into Formula One at the beginning of the 2016 season, rapidly films the driver at up to 400 frames per second. The data it captures provides information of what happened in the event of a crash and can help inform medical officials of any injuries a driver has sustained.

Roberto Dalla, head of Magneti Marelli Motorsport, said of the award: “We are honoured to receive such an important award particularly because it fully seals Magneti Marelli Motorsport’s main goals in the field of competition: developing new technologies through racing that we will see applied in our road cars tomorrow, and make our know-how and talent available to the FIA in order to improve the safety of our racing cars and our street cars day after day.”