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World's Fastest Camera Drone Chases Max Verstappen Around Silverstone

rb20 at silverstone
World's Fastest Drone Chases Red Bull F1 CarRed Bull / YouTube

Red Bull and the Dutch Drone Gods spent over a year developing the Red Bull Drone 1. Red Bull recently released a video that shows this drone providing an incredible first-person view of Max Verstappen driving his RB20 F1 car around a lap of Silverstone’s Grand Prix circuit.

The Red Bull Drone 1 is a manually piloted first-person view (FPV) drone. It can accelerate to 186 mph in just 4 seconds. To prove what it is capable of the team had a prototype drone drag race David Coulthard in an RB8 F1 car. Sebastian Vettel won the 2012 F1 World Championship behind the wheel of the RB8. Even though the F1 race car is over a decade old, the 2.4-L V-8 puts out 850 horsepower in a car that weighs just over 1400 pounds. Despite his best effort, Coulthard loses to the drone. So, the drone certainly has the straight-line speed. But can it keep up around a full lap of Silverstone?

That is the next test for the fully developed Red Bull Drone 1. It is going to have to handle the 18 turns of Silverstone. And as if that was not enough of a challenge, it will be chasing Verstappen, the reigning F1 World Champion. And Verstappen will be behind the wheel of his RB20 that he will be using in the 2024 F1 season.

Naturally, this being Silverstone, it was raining on the day the drone was to challenge the RB20. The rain kept the speeds down a bit as the RB20 took to the track on a set of full wet tires. But this is Verstappen behind the wheel so despite the rain the drone might have a tough time keeping pace.

It turns out the drone was up to the challenge of the day. It stayed glued to the RB20 for a full lap. And the rain made the FPV video even more dramatic as it captured the water spray flowing over the car. It was striking to see that perspective.

Will F1 fans eventually have the opportunity to watch actual races this way? There are no plans for that currently. But the Red Bull Drone 1 proved that it is technically possible even when it is chasing the fastest driver in the world.

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