April 19, 2024


As Circuit Safety Operations Manager for the 15th edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Ethara’s Stuart Latham has another busy weekend at Yas Marina Circuit.

While the British national has been involved in the race since 2010, this year his job is made easier by the all-new tech upgrades made to the venue’s nerve centre – Race Control.

“First, during the summer, the previous track and drag strip CCTV cameras were removed and replaced with state-of-the-art HD PTZ cameras with much faster refresh rates. We also added 11 all-new CCTV positions that better cover all possible track configurations, improve visibility and footage capture in Race Control,” said Latham.

The act of pulling up and replaying footage in a live situation is much quicker, bringing significant operational benefits during motorsport weekends. The higher specification cameras also mean that footage is much clearer, making the identification of cars much easier which is extremely beneficial to stewards for the judicial process.

All of the circuit’s digiflag panels have also been replaced with the latest FIA-homologated models, reducing power consumption while improving performance.

“The Main Race Control videowall features a new LED matrix above the screens linked to the digiflag system, displaying the status of the track and all three pit lane exits.”

For example, the system highlights to Race Control that a particular marshal post is displaying a yellow flag. In addition, a flashing yellow border also appears around the image from the relevant camera displaying that sector of track on the videowall.

“This highlights the affected sector and allows for much quicker spotting of incidents around the track. We are only the second circuit in the world to have this particular feature in our Race Control,” adds Latham.

He added that the pit exit lights have also been replaced with LED units which are much brighter, as well as all-new start light arrays at main and support gantries and the latest FIA-spec start light controllers.

The systems revamp not only improves visual coverage of the track, and other key areas but makes race operations and management more efficient and, more importantly, safer.

“Take for example, the video terminal newly installed in the Medical Centre. This lets the medical team monitor track activity directly from there in much the same way as they could from Race Control. This will benefit them in terms of witnessing the mechanism of any on-track incidents so it quickens the response time and they can prepare the appropriate level of treatment before the driver’s arrival,” he explained.

The new updates will help lighten the considerable load across the weekend. Latham likens it to keeping 100 plates spinning, but thankfully he and his team have years of experience.

“Despite the global importance of this event, in terms of the actual track action itself, we work together like a finely-tuned machine because we’ve got it to a point now where everything works well and works  efficiently.” 

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247 delivers the latest business and lifestyle news and essential infotainment for, and from the Middle East region, with key focus on the GCC nations: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.
    Follow Me:

    Related Posts