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F1 Drone Race Footage

F1 Explores Drones for Dynamic Race Footage

04/03/2024

Red Bull’s drone video at Silverstone ignites F1’s interest in aerial tech for capturing high-speed race action.

Last week, Red Bull showcased a video featuring Max Verstappen and a drone at Silverstone. The remarkable footage captured by this mobile camera, capable of reaching speeds up to 300 kilometers, has piqued F1’s interest, prompting further exploration into the matter, as Dean Locke, the director of broadcasting, explains.

“We’re always experimenting with drones. They’ve been phenomenal for certain sports. For us, it’s still very challenging because the cars’ speed is ridiculously fast. Moreover, we host events attended by more than 400,000 people over a weekend, making it difficult to fly over crowds,” notes Locke.

“We had a meeting with the FIA to discuss various matters, and we talked about several areas in Vegas. We did some great things there. So, we’re working not only on the drones’ speed but also on their lightness.”

Drones Redefine F1 Broadcasting

However, F1 still needs to find solutions to make this feasible legally, both in terms of flight paths and the drones’ lightness: “Can they become incredibly small, so if they fall or do something, they cause very minimal damage?”

“We’ve been approached by companies offering gigantic drones, and it’s simply terrifying. What they’ve done with it is really interesting. Since it was a private test, they didn’t have to adhere to 90% of the rules we have to comply with, but we’re in discussions with them.”

“Is this something we could do? What do you make of it? It’s very fast, but you can’t fly over crowds, you can’t cross the track, and it doesn’t have a mobile head or things like that.”

“So it has to follow the car from behind or from the side. It’s quite difficult. But there are places, like the back straight in China, the back straight in Austin, a few places where we intend to discuss it with them.”

Locke also mentions that there are technical questions regarding broadcasting: “Getting a fast and high-quality signal from a drone, with low latency, in the most RF congested environment on the planet is a real challenge.”

“It worked well during tests, then everyone, the teams, the fans, arrives, and it doesn’t work as well. So, there are many challenges, but we intend to do more around this as well.”

F1 Drone Race Footage. F1 Drone Race Footage

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