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High tech for the Formula 1 start: the digitized starting place

High tech for the Formula 1 start
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E s is the dress rehearsal for more security at Begin. To the left of the home straight of the Spa-Francorchamps route, 26 LED displays are installed. The marshals on this page are equipped with a switch box. FIA race director Charlie Whiting has a display on his starting tower that shows him the starting positions with the corresponding names.

Whenever a driver rolls into his starting box, the marshal in his starting row presses a green button. Whiting then sees on his screen in green which driver is already on his starting position. He no longer needs visual contact with the marshals who were previously handling flags.

Warning signal in case of problems at the start

If all boxes are green, Whiting can initiate the start procedure. If one of the participants signals a problem, the marshals press a yellow button. The launch site then immediately lights up yellow on Whiting's display. At the same time, he hears a warning signal over the radio.

He can abort the start and immediately knows who the culprit is. This is to prevent the starter from overlooking the car and still allowing the start. The driver also knows immediately if something is wrong. Its LED panel will then flash yellow.

The system will be premiered in Spa. But not in Formula 1. 'We first practice in the GP2 race. For Formula 1, we only take over the technology after a few test runs,' says Whiting. So not in Spa. And probably not in Monza either.

In our gallery we show you the new technology in detail.


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