Want high-octane thrills? Spend 90 seconds driving alongside Wolfgang Jaksch in the 2013 Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8 Formula 1 car around the winding Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands.
Courtesy of Rick van Barneveld, full-time engineer, motorsport enthusiast and freelance video maker, we have this wonderful bird’s-eye view of a Formula 1 car navigating the twists and turns of the fantastic Zandvoort circuit, nestled in the dunes at the side of the Dutch North Sea coast.
“I’ve always loved making videos as a hobby, but mostly it was limited to an average vacation video or for some school projects,” says Rick. “I’ve always had a keen interest in Formula 1 (I’ve completed my bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering) and thought it would be cool to do an F1 video.
“Of course I didn’t want to do a boring onboard video, we’ve all seen that before. I wanted to try something more unique.”
He hasn’t. Take a look around here, and below you can read more about how he made it.
Inspired by Lucas Brito’s video When he installed some 360 cameras on a classic Ferrari F1 car in Monaco, including this crucial third person shot, Rick thought it would be cool to do a similar type of shoot with a modern day Formula 1 car to make and add some additional other angles.
“His tip was to use as much tape as possible,” says Rick. “Later on after making the video I found out that Red Bull Racing had also tried to make this shot but one of their engineers/mechanics later told me that the whole setup had failed after three laps.”
Having previously used Insta360 where he drove a Williams Formula 1 car from 2007 using the company’s Go2 action camera as a visor camhe contacted the company about the idea, who then helped him with some suggestions and some camera equipment and accessories.
“As you can imagine, the hardest part was mounting the camera behind the car,” he says. “Everything had to be strong enough to withstand the speed and forces. To make sure everything is secure I bought some heavy duty suction cups and ran some tests to see which was the strongest. In the end I settled on the Delkin Fat Gecko Triple Suction Mount. I think it was particularly good to have multiple suction cups on one mount to have some redundancy in case a suction cup fails for some reason.
“Because of the shapes of a relatively modern F1 car, there wasn’t a really good flat surface to mount it on,” he continues. “The only option was to mount it on the endplate of the rear wing. As you can see, the rod is angled slightly inward. I decided to do this so the camera would be in the middle of the car. The carbon fiber selfie stick can be extended up to 3m, but because of the speed and G-forces that can be applied to the car and camera, I only lengthened it by the smallest amount to make it stronger and the Moment on the joint of suction cup would be less. Once everything was properly secured to the car, I taped over every joint and joint I could find and it felt rock solid.”
Rick says that mounting the other cameras was fairly easy, he placed them on the action camera mounts in the planned positions and tightened them firmly. The video lasted two sessions during which I switched camera positions. With all the cameras being hit pretty hard by the wind, he strapped a Rode Wireless Go 2 mic to the car’s seatbelt to get decent audio quality.
“It was pretty stressful when the car went out on track. Every time it got right to the box I could see the camera was still on it so that was a huge reassurance every time. In the end everything stayed perfect. Looking back at the footage, the mount didn’t move a bit, only the wand had a slight movement, which is perfectly normal.
“When we looked at the footage, we were really amazed at the stability of the footage. The flowstate stabilization that Insta360 has in their cameras does the job really well! Wolfgang, the owner/driver of the car, told me that every action camera he had fitted to the car either died or took horrific footage due to the intensity of the experience.”
Unfortunately the STR8 broke shortly after the shoot due to cooling issues.
“But other competitors were really impressed with the footage and asked if I’d like to mount the camera on their car,” says Rick. “Of course I have!”
Cameras used: Insta360 One X2, One RS and Go2
Mounts used: Delkin Fat Gecko triple suction mount