Thermal Cameras Are the Hottest View of Formula One

Formula 1 has serious restrictions on in-car cameras during races, but that doesn’t mean teams can’t get some useful data during qualifying. And some of the most important information comes from the tires. Enter the thermal camera.
Using a few thermographic cameras placed on the front wing and above the driver’s head, F1 teams can keep track of tire temperatures through corners to better align the suspension for the track. But up until now, we’ve never gotten a glimpse of what engineers see while testing. That changed at this weekend’s race at Monza, when the Formula One Group gave us a two brief shots of the Force India car driven by Paul Di Resta in the video above and Pastor Maldonado’s Williams below.
Thermal imaging has been around for years, with everyone from Red Bull Racing to Mercedes using the tech since 2008. Paul Hembery from Pirelli says in the video below that tire makers use these systems for product development — both for race cars and road cars — and that the temperatures during racing easily exceed 200 degrees.

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