World’s fastest camera drone races F1 champ Max Verstappen

Dutch Drone Gods and Red Bull have unveiled what they claim to be the world’s fastest camera drone.  

Capable of top speeds in excess of 350kph, the manually piloted first-person view (FPV) drone “could change how people watch Formula 1.”

At least that’s what reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen said after the UAV successfully chased him on a full lap around the UK’s famous Silverstone circuit. All that while shooting the awesome 4K footage displayed in the video below:

In early 2023, Red Bull presented the Netherlands-based drone video production company with a seemingly impossible task: to track and film an F1 car at full speed for an entire lap. 

The average pace of a consumer drone is around 60kph, while the top spec FPV models can reach around 180kph. So to keep up with F1 cars, which often drive above 300kph, the drone specialists knew they had to build something next-level quick and exceptionally agile. 

To get the job done, they teamed up with another Dutch company — a drone builder named Quadmovr — to develop the first prototype. “We worked tirelessly for eight months to solve the puzzle of finding the perfect balance in electronics, canopy designs, weight, speed, flight length, and distance,” Dutch Drone Gods said.

After a few trial runs and tweaking with the help of the Red Bull team, the company finally pulled it off — the world’s fastest camera drone that can keep up with an F1 car and film it at the same time.  

Not only does the 1kg drone accelerate like an F1 car, but it also decelerates like one in corners. This means it can get its 4K camera right into the heart of the action, and follow the F1 car as it twists and turns along the circuit. 

“I didn’t recognise the drone; I didn’t know it was following me whilst driving and it was very close to me in some places, so it’s great to see,” Verstappen said. 

It will be interesting to see how this technology gets used going forward. While Red Bull said it isn’t planning to use it in real races anytime soon, it certainly opens up exciting new possibilities — not just for F1 but a number of high-speed use cases like filming airplanes, boats, or motorbikes. 

While we’ll probably have to wait a while for super-speed drone footage to go mainstream, it seems like Red Bull are already scheming. On their Youtube channel they asked their 14.3 million subscribers: “what should we film next with the fastest camera drone in the world?”

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