Zak O’Sullivan

In this chat we talk to British formula two driver Zak O’Sullivan, 19, who switched to night lenses to help his progress with his motorsport career. Zak realised his vision was rapidly deteriorating from the age of 14 to 16, so he sought out a solution and night lenses proved to be a more than capable one! A great watch for any elite sportsperson who feels like their eyesight is holding them back. Zak talks openly about how night lenses have helped his motorsports career and why he recommends them for elite athletes.
Great to chat with you, thanks for your time. I’m just looking at your amazing backdrop. Where are you right now?
I’m In Saudi Arabia for my second race of the season here in Jeddah and the track is right behind me. Looking forward to the race!

How’s the season going?
Good! Once race down so far where I placed 4th, so not too bad of a start. A bit of work still to do but that’s normal.

Everything is going good so far. It’s a new track for me here in Jeddah. It’s a very difficult circuit so I’m looking forward to it. It’s probably the hardest track of the year for us but it’ll be fun!

What’s the plan for the season? Any goals or objectives?
I think everyone wants to win but lets see, I think that it’s more of a focus on myself and what we can do as a team via teamwork and all the small details. Provided that we do all that right, then results should follow.

Image: @dutchphotoageny
I see your Williams Racing shirt. I hear that you joined their team recently. How’s it been since you joined Williams Racing?
Really good. I think as a British driver aswell, to be with a British academy is quite a big thing and they’ve been instrumental in supporting me through my career for 3 years now, since I was 16. It is amazing to have such support from a very young age!

What did you use before getting into night lenses?
Nothing actually! When I first started racing, I had no issues with my vision. Everything was fine and was normal. Then it started to fade quickly around the age of 14 to 16. I remember not really realising that it was going as it slowly declined. I then realized and of course the first question was “how am I going to sort this out?” as wearing glasses, especially in a helmet, wouldn’t be a viable option. Day lenses have their complications with lots of carbon dust flying up towards us, aswell as debris. So we then came across night lenses and they seemed like the perfect solution.

So what’s it like in the helmet? Do you get a lot of sweat in the eyes from zooming around the track?
Yea! Especially when it’s 80% humidity here in Saudi Arabia. We have some very hot races and like you said the helmet causes sweat to get in my eyes. It’s not really the environment where you can wear glasses or day lenses, which would be even worse! Like I briefly mentioned, there is a lot of carbon dust that gets into the helmet and onto our faces, debris aswell. Small things like that where is small things are going wrong, you can’t really do anything to rectify it as the helmet is on and not coming off!

Image: @dutchphotoageny
I’m guessing that night lenses have been an absolute no-brainer solution for all these issues?
Yes! For me it was the best solution as they work super quickly. After one or two nights I can go from my lowest point in vision to 20 20 but I wear them more or less every day. I have a pair of glasses just in case but the night lenses saves me from wearing glasses and from losing them. Over time aswell my vision improved and for sport it was massive!

Do you find it great not having to wear glasses or day lenses during your day to day life?
It’s a big added bonus! Like everyone, I can sometimes be a bit lazy and I won’t put them in for a couple of nights. I’ll then just be like “oh, I can’t see!” and instead of putting some glasses on I’ll suffer for the day and put the night lenses back in the next night. So yes, it’s a massive help, especially when you have a lot of back to back races, with sometimes 3 or 4 happening back to back! So I’ll just take the night lenses with me when travelling and obviously it’s a small liquid so it can go in my hand luggage and I can still put them in every night!

Would you recommend night lenses to other elite sportspeople in particular?
I think so, definitely! Obviously motorsport is quite an extreme sport but also you’ve got rugby and with any other contact sport you can’t really afford to have anything fragile around your eyes, Having nothing in your eyes makes a massive difference. For me, it’s been a game changer. I don’t really know what I’ll be doing without them. I think I’d be struggling with glasses, day lenses and god knows what with all the debris going up and into my eyes!

Good luck with the rest of the season, we will be hopefully watching you progress over time. Have a brilliant season!
Thank you very much!

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