LONDON - Formula One is set to test a new on-car display system championed by Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony aimed at helping fans to follow a race without having to take their eyes off the action.
Hamilton said the 'Info Wing', a carbon fibre camera mount with an integrated LED display system, would be trialled on one of the Force India cars in testing next Tuesday after this weekend's Abu Dhabi season-ender.
It may also be trialled on the safety car at Yas Marina this Thursday or Friday. Sunday's race could see Hamilton, leading the championship for Mercedes, secure his second title.
The wing, mounted on the airbox behind the driver's head, would display real time race positions on the endplates in coloured numbers that should be visible from the stands.
The data would be provided by race control, with the wing able to display a range of information updated during the course of the race. Hamilton said the tests would aim to show whether the unit was practical for Formula One and single seaters in general, whether the LED display could be seen from the grandstands and how well it might work for TV audiences.
He recognised it might not work in bright sunlight but felt the concept, with patents pending, was worth trying anyway. "One of the major problems with watching race cars is knowing who is where and who is who without having to take your eyes off the action to find and locate the information on a hand held device, or one of the circuit monitors," said Hamilton. "By the time you have found the information the car has gone past and you're no better off, having missed the action as well.
"I believe that the Info Wing has the potential to make a huge impact on the viewing of races and tests, making it more informative and enjoyable. Hopefully it could bring new fans to the sport and old fans back."