Video: racing through the eyes of an F1 driver
This is the first ever footage "through the eyes of an F1 driver" claim F1 tyre manufacturer Pirelli.
Following a spate of front wing damage in F1 recently, Pirelli strapped a camera to the helmet of their test driver and current GP2 contender, Lucas di Grassi and sent him out lapping to get some shots from a driver's eye-line giving us mere mortals a taste of just how little you can (or should that be can't) see from a driver's perspective.
As you can see from the footage shot at the Circuit de Catalunya (F1's favourite test track), the tortuous right hand turns that seem to go on forever in the first sector of the lap will definitely give F1's most talked about aspect this year – the tyres – a serious work out. That'll be why Pirelli chose the Barcelona track then.
With Messers Hamilton and Schumacher experiencing, shall we say slight frontal visibility problems recently (ok, so they smashed into the back of the car in front, tearing the wing off their own car in the process), it's easy to see why judging where your nose is in close quarter combat is a tad tricky given you can't even see it when you're sat with your backside just inches off the road.
Amazingly, in order to get accurate pictures of what a driver would actually see Pirelli had to slap the camera on di Grassi's visor obscuring one eye.
"I had to drive with only one eye open as the camera was blocking my other eye, it was quite tricky," the Brazilian driver said.
Hats of to di Grassi then; reaching around 165mph (you can just make out 264kph among the mass of dials and knobs on his steering wheel) in an F1 car on an out lap with cold tyres and having to catch a rear end slide under braking while using only one eye is pretty impressive.
Check out the video and the glorious wail of the Pirelli test car's 2.4-litre V8 revving to 18,000rpm.