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How far does your imagination stretch on how to customise F1 viewing experience?

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How far does your imagination stretch on how to customise F1 viewing experience?
Jul 30, 2018, 10:33 AM

There is just a week to go in the most intriguing of Formula 1's crowdsourcing challenges to date.

There is just a week to go in the most intriguing of Formula 1's crowdsourcing challenges to date.

That's one week to make a submission that could win you not only a US$50,000 cash prize and a visit to the US Grand Prix in Austin with behind the scenes access, but also the chance to have your winning idea incubated and prototyped in the F1 R&D centre possibly to become part of its coverage of F1.

"This initiative is to say to the fans 'what do you as a modern F1 fan really want to see? What's the menu that you want to enhance your viewing experience and your immersion in Formula 1?' Give us those ideas and we will take them and make them a reality," says Ross Brawn, F1 Managing Director, Motorsports.

"The winner of this competition will see that idea grow, and see that idea expand and become part of the portfolio of things that the fan can engage with."

Ross Brawn

The F1 Innovation Prize is now in its fifth year and we are proud to say it has been won on several occasions by readers of JA on F1 - so we are keen to keep up our strike rate!

The challenge has opened up F1's conversation with highly engaged users, especially from the IT professional world. It is a three-way joint initiative between F1, Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport and Tata Communications.

This year's challenge aims to change the way F1 reaches its audience with a concept called "My F1". It offers fans the chance to engage with many different data points, to find new and innovative ways to enhance their enjoyment of F1.

The challenge offers different data points to work with. From the F1 side details of timing information, live broadcast feeds, team radio, audio.

From Mercedes there is information on how the cars are behaving, data like corner speed, gears, steering angle, lateral G force and so on. Users who are interested in race strategy for example can imagine how data on tyre performance and gaps between competitors could be turned into a real time social media running commentary on strategy options.

Mercedes has also made data available around things like driver and pit crew biometrics, data points that are often hidden away from view; a clear sign of how the stakeholders are looking to bring the fans closer to the sport.

Users can even imagine accessing historical data, for example, to compare real life race scenarios to ones that have happened before, either on the same circuit, or where the same choice of tyre compounds have been available earlier in the season.

Recognising the trend towards sports fans looking for customised experiences, the goal of this exercise is to serve fans with the content in which they are interested, on a device that suits them, with a level of customisation that bridges barriers of language, interest and technical knowledge.

"There's a new mindset, a new philosophy of how we present Formula 1," says Brawn. "Keep what's really good about it, make sure we never alienate the traditional fan, but engage the new fans with different technologies they can get involved with and they have options to pick what they need. There are all these layers we can add to the fan that has perhaps a different sort interest; for example the layers of all the different lap times, how the car is behaving, what's happening with the race strategy in more detail."

The key is identifying which are the data points that will really cut through and work in a crowded and busy storytelling environment, to create an immersive experience.

The challenge then is to find the best visual representation in order to personalize the content being consumed and improve fans enjoyment and understanding of the sport.

The judges this year include F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 technical director James Allison and Ross Brawn, F1 Managing Director, Motorsports.

Entries close on August 6. For more information or to enter go to: https://www.tatacommunications.com/sports/formula-1/f1-connectivity-innovation-prize/
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