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Inside the medical car - Ian Roberts discusses the future of biometric data

Published by Christine

The BBC's Chequered Flag podcast often grabs interviews with people inside and outside of the paddock, and sometimes they have snippets of conversation that perk my interest. This chat with Ian Roberts, FIA Medical Co-ordinator was recorded for the Japanese Grand Prix preview, after which he unfortunately had to race into action to deal with Jules Bianchi's accident.

It's still an interesting look inside the medical car, though, at what information the support team get and what they are looking to improve on for the future.

If we start off with the monitor in front of me, that shows the circuit map and gives the GPS position of all of the cars. So if there’s an incident we know exactly where it is before we’re told by race control and should there be a significant impact, and that for us is in excess of 15G then I get a pop up alert on the screen. So I know immediately the ball park figure that’s going on. I’ll get the driver number, I’ll get the amount of G that’s involved.

I also get race control messages and this whole lot really has been in development the last 12 months and the next stage is to look at some biometric data. So that we get the driver’s pulse, and pulse oximetry. So we’ve got some physiological data coming back to us, but that’s a work in progress.