A great fan initiative from Formula E

As F1 bosses celebrate the latest viewer numbers and wax lyrical about “the fans”, Formula E gains the upper hand by giving fans a unique ‘driver’s eye’ live view of the action.

For the all-electric series is putting fans in the driving seat and giving viewers a glimpse of what it’s like to sit behind the steering wheel, with the introduction of ‘Driver’s Eye’ – an innovative new camera connected to the inside of the helmet.

The pioneering camera technology pushes the boundaries of what’s possible in sports broadcasting, by transmitting live footage from behind the visor direct to television screens, which a world’s first in any category of FIA-sanctioned single-seater racing.

Showcased fully for the first time in Santiago, the Driver’s Eye camera angle adds an immersive element to the viewing experience and enables fans to feel every bump and brush against the wall around the tight and twisty city-centre circuits.

The FIA homologated device is perfectly positioned on the protective padding inside the lining of the helmet and sits exactly at the eye level of the driver.

The Driver’s Eye camera is 8 millimetres in diameter and weighs just 2.5 grams, taking many months of research together with the FIA and the teams in order to fine-tune the finishing product ready for race conditions.

“I think it is cool how Driver’s Eye shows fans exactly what I am seeing during a race in real time,” said Felipe Massa. “It gives the viewers insight into the tight and challenging city-centre circuits that we race on in Formula E and it demonstrates what drivers need to manage and control over the course of a race.

“I like tech like this, that brings fans even closer to the action,” he added. “Driver’s Eye is a great way to show the work that goes on behind the wheel.”

“When you speak to Formula E drivers, the first thing they highlight is the thrill and challenge of driving on city circuits,” said Sebastian Tiffert, the series editorial and digital director. “Driver’s Eye provides a new perspective from inside the helmet in live race conditions, showing the skill it takes to thread the car between the walls while processing data and communicating with the team at speed. Driver’s Eye adds a unique dimension to the viewing experience and the innovative camera technology immerses fans in wheel-to-wheel racing.

“We are delighted to bring our fans closer to the drivers’ sensory experience and their engagement with Driver’s Eye content across social media demonstrates the value of innovations core to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.”

Picture Credit: – Courtesy of Formula E