This Is What It Looks Like To Drive A Formula 1 Car

Lucas di Grassi is nuts. He drove with a camera covering one eye just so that he could capture what it really looks like from the driver's perspective to throw a Formula 1 car around a track.

di Grassi drove with one eye shut at speeds up to 280km/h according to the car's steering wheel-mounted display.

As the wind roars over di Grassi's helmet, we see the F1 maniac turn his head to look passed a corner to where he needed to be, rather than concentrating on the corner he was currently in. [Jalopnik]


    It is normal to look into the next corner as you need to see where you are going not just where you are.

    Also "look passed a corner" should be past not passed as it is a preposition.

      The GRAMMER NAZI has struck again!!!

    And at a fantastic circuit too. Eau Rouge would be such an amazing experience in an F1 car. Shame it was wet.

    Nice! what a shame it was raining.

    Obviously, he's not hitting top speed or really pushing the car, thanks to the fact that it was raining and that he was driving with one eye closed. But to give an idea if he was going flat out he would have clocked a time of around 1:50, maybe in the low 1:40's if it was completely dry, though he didn't actually do a flying lap. I don't think I ever saw him hit 7th gear, if he did his top speed would have hit 330-340km/h.

    You don't get to see a small section of the track where it chicanes left, passes the start/finish line then 90 degree turns right before heading back onto the long straight, due to where the pit entrance and exit is located, which is unfortunate.

    I was left wondering though why he couldn't have mounted a camera on his helmet just above or below his eyes instead of putting one ON his eye and forcing him to drive with one eye closed. If he had both eyes operating he possibly could have pushed a bit harder.

      He hit 7th twice....

        He didn't stay in 7th very long though, downshifting almost immediately.

          Yeah, I hate it when those formula one guys go soft like that! Perhaps if he reads your comments he can go back out and re-shoot it for you, the way you'd like it. You're awesome!

          He sat in 7th for about 5 secs as soon as he left the pits.
          That's a long time for top gear in an F1 car..

      Just out of interest the track record is 1:47.263 by Vettel in 2009 so its unlikely he could get it to the low 1:40's
      Given the rain the lap was prob around 2:10 and as he wasn't pushing it prob more like 2:15 at least
      Turn 1 (known as La Source) is close to a 180 deg corner not 90
      And I think it (the camera) was mounted on the helmet above the eyes rather than on one eye, based on the fact that they are using a wide angle lens and there is no distortion either left or right that you would get in an off-set camera, just the standard central oriented barrel distortion

      Wow, we are all experts. That was slow because it was an installation / shakedown lap more than anything else = quick check car is ok for longer runs.

    are you sure it was covering one of his eyes?

    the camera view seemed very "central" to the wheel, and the side mirrors were noticeably useless as you couldnt see anything behind him from the cameras perspective which made me think it was above his eyes

    and how crazy would one need to be to drive with one eye and no depth perception over 250kmph ?

      I was just thinking that myself, the angle to the mirrors was way to high to be useful.

      I'm sure I wasn't the only person leaning into the corners watching that

      BS on the one eye covered.

      Open video in youtube. In the description he says quote:" I had to drive with only one eye open as the camera was blocking my other eye, quite tricky"

      I find it amusing reading from all these armchair F1 drivers about how the camera placement was 2" too high or not covering his eye.

      His eyes aren't three feet apart.
      You wouldn't see any difference if he switched eyes half way through for that reason.

    Luca Di Grassi driving a 2010 spec car as a test driver with Pirelli.

    This was also only an installation lap (out of pits, straight back to pits) basically to check the car and its systems are working fine. That's why he isn't pushing.

    How else can you tell?

    See those lights across the steering wheel? They are rev limit indicators. They tell the driver to change up. If you change before they light up you are not going fast enough. I counted only five occasions where he hit the rev limit.

    LDG took slow corners in 3rd gear instead of 2nd. That means lower torque and lesser accaleration out of slower corners. Tyres are cold and have much less grip than they normally require.

    Yes, it's a great perspective. But to see a lap of in all its glory at one of F1's most challenging circuits, Spa Francorchamps, you need a dry track and a longer run with tyres up to proper operating temperature - not to mention going flat through Eau Rouge and Blanchimont as well!

      And here is what that lap looks like (from a little higher than driver's eyeline) at full speed in qualifying from 2011:

    Great view from one of the greatest F1 circuits!!

    @Michael - He hit 7th gear a few times, fine he may of not been going that fast to have a true 7th gear speed.

      Yeah as I said he downshifted almost immediately. So my point remains, he never hit top speed, but that's to be expected given the circumstances.

    Now if only they can make the game feel that real!

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