Just type Nurburgring in to YouTube and you will find thousands of onboard videos of people lapping the ‘Ring during Touristenfahrten. But is filming actually allowed? Where can you mount your camera? And can you post the videos on YouTube? In this article we will explain the Nurburgring filming and camera rules in detail.
can you film on the Nurburgring?
Officially, both the Nurburgring driving regulations and safety rules state that filming is prohibited during tourist drives – see screengrabs from the rules below. Also check out our full list of the Nurburgring tourist driving rules that you should familiarise yourself with before heading out.
Unofficially, however, it is generally ok to film. Read on to see what we mean…
These Nurburgring filming and camera rules banning video recording were first written in the mid 2000s when both GoPros and YouTube were rapidly gaining popularity and the ‘Ring management had a real bee in their bonnet about people filming. This lead to the Nurburgring imposing a total ban on in-car filming and videoing, and this ban was strictly enforced by the marshals for a number of years, into the 2010s.
Exactly why they decided to ban it is unclear. A few theories were thrown around – maybe journalists were filming crash scenes and turning them in to over-dramatised stories, maybe there had been cases of people or lawyers using camera footage in lawsuits against the ‘Ring – but the exact reason was unclear.
But now we’re in 2022, so what’s the deal? Can you film on the Nurburgring? Well, yes you can. Using in-car cameras during tourist driving is ok. Those rules above might still be written on the Nurburgring official website, but they are a hangover from the past and are not enforced. So long as your camera mount is ok, and you are not filming for commercial purposes without a media licence (more on both of those things further down this article) then filming onboard videos on the Nurburgring is ok.
And don’t forget, whilst you’re at the ‘Ring you are always being filmed on the Nurburgring webcams.
where can I mount my camera?
For onboard videos during tourist driving on the Nordschleife, you need to have a camera mounted INSIDE the car. Any camera mounted on the outside of the car, regardless of how it is attached, will not be allowed if spotted. This could be a camera suction-cupped to a window or body panel, clamped to your rear wing or threaded in to your towing eye hole.
Externally-mounted cameras are seen as a safety hazard by the Nurburgring (and by most track day organisers). There is a risk of them falling off and becoming debris; an especially dangerous hazard when sharing the circuit with motorbikes.
For cameras mounted inside the car, the marshals will prefer to see a mechanical mount. Clamping your camera to a rollcage, or using a special headrest mount will be fine.
If using suction cups, you might get away with it but you may also be asked to provide a secondary tether. This can be something as simple as a large cable tie attached to both the suction mount and something else solid nearby.
Secondary tethers are used to prevent the mount (and camera) from becoming a free-roaming deadly projectile inside the cabin in the event of a heavy impact. Whether you’re using a suction cup or a mechanical mount it’s good practice to use one all the time as a belt-and-braces approach.
Motorbike riders, I appreciate you don’t really have an ‘inside’, everywhere could be classed as external mounting. But normally if you keep the camera within the width of the bike you should be ok.
Mounting it to the top of the tank behind the windshield, like the below view for example (taken from the Rideezy YouTube channel), should be good. Again – make sure you have a secondary tether. Mounting it to the side of your front fairing so it sticks out the side of your bike is less likely to be accepted
Most Nurburgring Taxi companies will offer to provide video footage of your once-in-a-lifetime passenger lap with cameras already installed in the taxi.
For helmet mount information, see the section below.
are helmet cams allowed on the Nurburgring?
The Nurburgring helmet rules state that you don’t need to wear a helmet in a car during tourist driving. But obviously you do on a bike.
Wearing one gives you the option to mount a camera to one for the driver’s or rider’s-eye view, to capture your laps and see just how far off the Nurburgring bike lap record you really are.
Whether or not helmet mount cameras are allowed seems to depend on which marshals are patrolling, and how rigorously they are looking in to each car that lines up at the entrance barriers. Look on YouTube and you will undoubtedly find some videos of helmet-mounted ‘Ring videos. Most of the time you will probably get away with it, but don’t be surprised if you are asked to take it off. Take a backup fixed mounting solution with you just in case.
helmet mount camera safety issues
There have been concerns for a numbers of years now about the impact a camera mount can have on the integrity of a helmet. It’s possible these concerns really came to the forefront of public perception when Schumacher had his horrific skiing accident; he was wearing a camera mounted to his helmet at the time, and it was reported that the helmet split clean in two around the mount.
Whilst conclusive studies on this seem to be lacking, the FIA have banned any competitor from using any kind of helmet accessory that is not approved by the helmet manufacturer. Doing so invalidates the helmet’s FIA homologation.
Many other national motorsport governing bodies have followed suit. Motorsport UK are one of them, and rule K.10.3.3.(d) in the 2022 MSUK blue book states that:
“Fitment of cameras to helmets by whatever means is not permitted unless an integral camera is provided by the helmet manufacturer and that model of helmet is approved under one of the accepted standards”.
The FIA have just begun approving a very specific, and very tiny type of integral helmet / camera system which is being used across the F1 broadcasts, and which will be compulsory for all F1 drivers in 2023. This is the system which is illuded to in the rule above; everything else is not allowed.
Also, if you do mount it on your helmet, don’t obscure your view! Or don’t have it positioned in a way that, in an impact, means the camera could hit your face.
All food for thought when you are deciding how to mount your camera for your next Nurburgring trip.
are dashcams allowed on the Nurburgring?
The Nurburgring filming and camera rules treat dashcams the same as any other in-car cameras, so yes you can run a dashcam. They can be solidly mounted or suction cupped to the windscreen. Bear in mind an eagle-eyed marshal may ask to see a secondary tether for suction cup mounted cameras, as mentioned earlier in this article.
can I post my Nurburgring footage on YouTube?
If you are filming your onboard laps to put on your personal YouTube channel with the aim of getting a few views and to be able to show your friends and family, then yes go ahead.
It is only when you start to commercialise these videos, and that includes monetizing them on YouTube or other social media platforms, that it can get a little shady. If you don’t post crash videos or do anything rule-breaking in your lap videos, then you won’t draw much attention to yourself and you’ll probably be fine.
However if you regularly post Nurburgring onboard videos that amass tens or hundreds of thousands of views and earn yourself a few quid in the process, you might get noticed. The Auto Addiction YouTube channel who specialised in posting Nurburgring crash videos which had millions of views was banned from filming at the ‘Ring and escorted off site by the Polizei.
The solution is to apply for a Nurburgring Social Media Application (know as a Media License), as seen above. There are a few pre-requisites to being granted one of these based on size of your following, and it is never guaranteed you’d be accepted. But you may well be.
We will do another post on this in more detail soon. For now, here is the link to the Media page on the Nurburgring website where you can find the above form.
Also check out Misha’s useful video on the subject below.
summary of Nurburgring filming and camera rules
As long as you have a camera correctly mounted inside your car, then you can film your laps on the Nurburgring Nordschleife during tourist driving sessions. Helmet mounted cameras are usually ok, but there are safety concerns surrounding the helmet’s integrity when a camera is attached.
Posting your videos on YouTube is fine until your start to commercialise and monetize them – at that point you need to look at a the social media application form to get a media license.