Everyone knows that Formula 1 cars are some of the fastest machines on four wheels.
While driving one seems like a dream job, the individual who gets strapped into the almost non-existent seat needs to have supernatural reaction times and skills. To show what an F1 driver sees, Sky Sports F1 teams up with Tobii - a company at the forefront of eye-tracking technology - and Sahara Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg.
By using state-of-the-art glasses from Tobii, we get to see Hulkenberg's viewpoint from behind the wheel. Immediately after getting onto the track, his eyes move between focus points – also known as a saccade – incredibly quickly, while his brain is processing the information quicker than regular drivers can ever hope to do. For instance, when exiting the pit lane, it only takes Hulkenberg 100 milliseconds (1/10th of a second) to check and process what's in his side mirror. For the average driver, the same task would take half a second.
When getting off the line, Hulkenberg needs less than 100 milliseconds to react to the changing light. For comparison, if a runner gets off the line in less than 100 milliseconds, it's considered "unhuman" and a false start.
When going into a corner, Hulkenberg hones in on the apex, while his body feels what's going on with the car. His brain then takes all of this information and instantly knows how fast the car can go before spinning out. In addition to having an incredible reaction time and needing less time to analyze his surroundings, Hulkenberg's automatic reflexes kick in to help the driver multitask. F1 drivers, as it turns out, are superhumans.