F1 cars to be fitted with high-speed cameras from 2016 to aid accident analysis and investigations

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Formula 1 cars will be fitted with new, high-speed cameras that are designed to aid accident analysis and investigations from 2016.

In a document outlining the tweaks that will be made to the F1 sporting regulations for the 2016 season, the FIA confirmed that it would be introducing the cameras following the F1 Commission’s meeting in Geneva last week.

“For the purpose of accident analysis, each car must be fitted with a high-speed camera which has been manufactured by the FIA designated supplier to a specification determined by the FIA,” the document reads.

“This should be fitted to the car during each Event and all tests which are attended by more than one team, teams must use their best endeavours to ensure that it is in working order at all times. The camera must be fitted in accordance with the instructions of the FIA.”

Currently, teams do not have to fit cameras like this on their cars for testing. This proved to be particularly troublesome when Fernando Alonso was hospitalized following a hefty crash in Spain last week, with the only available video being that of a spectator.

The FIA also confirmed that drivers would have to wear in-ear accelerometers to aid investigations in the event of an accident.

“For the purpose of accident analysis, each driver must wear in-ear accelerometers which have been manufactured by the FIA designated supplier to a specification determined by the FIA,” the document reads.

“These should be worn by the driver during each Event and all tests which are attended by more than one team, teams must use their best endeavours to ensure that they are in working order at all times.”

Following Jules Bianchi’s tragic accident at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix, there has been a focus on safety standards and investigations within Formula 1. The fitting of cameras should allow the teams and the FIA to get a better understanding of what happened in the event of a crash.

Further to this, the FIA has added a regulation for 2015 that gives the clerk of the course more power in imposing a red flag during a race.

“If competitors or officials are placed in immediate physical danger by cars running on the track, and the clerk of the course deems circumstances are such that the track cannot be negotiated safely, even behind the safety car, the race will be suspended,” the appendix reads.

Safety standards in Formula 1 are very high, but steps can always be taken to reduce the amount of risk and ensure that the drivers are not put at risk.

Although these steps may only be minor, they will certainly help the sport to learn from incidents and ensure that repeats can be avoided in the future.