Lewis Hamilton and Paddy Lowe to judge new crowdsourcing F1 project – $50,000 top prize
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Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Jun 2014   |  10:16 am GMT  |  11 comments

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes F1 team boss Paddy Lowe are among a panel of F1 judges that will decide who wins the $50,000 top prize in a new F1 crowdsourcing initiative, inviting fans and creative thinkers to re-invent some areas of the sport.

The winner and runners up will also get to connect directly with the sport behind the scenes with a VIP trip to the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix.

Launched today, the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize, aims to harness brainpower from around the world and reward creative thinking around three areas of the sport of Formula 1. Along with Mercedes and Formula One Management, the project is empowered by Tata Communications, F1′s connectivity partner and a partner of JA on F1.

Joining them on the panel of judges is broadcaster Martin Brundle, FOM’s Chief Technical Officer John Morrison and Tata Communications’ F1 MD Mehul Kapadia.

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The first challenge will be launched just before the British Grand Prix. The second ahead of the Italian Grand Prix in September and the third in the run up to the US Grand Prix in October.

The challenges will give fans, IT professionals and any creative thinkers a chance to test their creative and technical knowledge by expressing how they would solve real-world challenges for F1. It is a great opportunity to get close to the sport.

Details of the challenges, terms of entry and timescales are all on the F1 Connectivity Innovation Website You can also keep up with the latest news on the competition by following @tata_comm.

Hamilton said, “Technology is absolutely key to success in Formula 1® racing and we are lucky to attract some of the best engineers and technical brains to work in our sport. The challenges that have been set for the F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize look fascinating and I hope, will attract a huge response. For anyone with technology aspirations and a desire to get involved in the world of Formula 1® racing, this is a great opportunity.”

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11 Comments
  1. Ben says:

    Hamilton said, “Technology is absolutely key to success in Formula 1® racing – But the cars a pig ugly. I can’t see how the F1 cars front wings and winglets etc contribute to general motoring.

    1. goonerf1 says:

      Spot on. They don’t. I’ve had several rants on here and elsewhere about the way F1 is going and the hybrid technology its adopted in-particular, not saying that I disagree with it, just that I disagree with the system they’ve chosen, taking into account what they “say” they’re trying to achieve.

      I mean, take a look at the headline figures of the Toyota Hybrid TS040 racing at Le Mans this year.

      As near as makes no difference, 1000hp! 3.7l normally aspirated V8, producing 513hp, ERS systems front and rear axle providing 475hp. Up to 6 Megajoules energy allotment. And it’s already 25% more efficient than last years car!

      I’m sorry, but that is just one awesome power unit! I’d have loved to see something like that on the Formula 1 cars this year. Not this small capacity internal combustion engine rubbish.

      And Toyota are a former F1 team I hasten to add.

      Anyway, I digress, aero. Yes, I’ve never understood why F1 feels the need to spend millions of pounds on aero departments to be honest. I mean, you look at Renault, Ferrari, Mercedes, and the manufacturers that have gone before, BMW, Toyota, they all make engines and car components, this is where their expertise lay, they aren’t aerodynamics manufacturers. Why burden them with such a humongous cost to even stand a remote chance of being competitive? It’s silly.

      Have simple aerodynamic cars, and let the manufacturers battle it out with the component parts.

      F1 should be biased more towards the path of mechanical development, rather than aerodynamics, as the mechanical technology (brake-by-wire, engine modes etc), is what will make it into our road cars.

      I’d therefore just adopt something like the GP2 model, where you have standard aero parts which you purchase from the series, and that’s your lot. Allow drivers infinite adjustment on the angle of attack on the front and rear wings between a certain range of degrees to suit the characteristics of each circuit.

      Thereby doing away with the need for expensive autoclaves, wind tunnels, and design and manufacturing processes etc etc.

      OR, for those of you who want to maintain the competitive element of car design, allow the teams to spend as much as they want designing their chassis, aero packages etc etc, but within strict guidelines (keep the surface of wings, sidepods and engine covers smooth), but with the proviso that all their developments must be made available to the other teams for a fixed amount.

      ie: front wing – can be sold for no more than £50,000 – this method disincentivises massive spending by the big teams, if they do decide to spend big anyway, they can’t gain a huge advantage (double-diffuser), and it still maintains design creativity, ingenuity, competitiveness, and good racing, due to the underlying simplicity of the cars.

      In short, basic, simple aero, and encourage mechanical development.

    2. Grant says:

      I think Newey also realizes that his passion (aero) is no longer aligned with the future of F1, re road relevance, hence the planned move.

      Using F1 as a Research Hub and FrontRunner for future technologies on road cars is brilliant.

  2. Alastair Purves says:

    Hamilton said? I think it unlikely Hamilton said anything of the sort. Reads like PR speak to me.

    1. Michael says:

      I go a step further and suggest that the whole thing is a bit of a PR exercise when the team needs a good diversion.

  3. Brian says:

    Technology is great, but F1 has strayed too far into technology already.The drivers brake by wire and the engines aren’t even engines anymore,but are instead a terrible sounding engine/electric motor mishmash of complex parts and problems. They have to use the steering wheel for a multitude of functions that are not related to steering at all.

    Combine things like the above mentioned with having to now manage things like the fuel flow rate along with the over management of tires and you have a form of motor racing that is alien to F1 purists. That was Schumacher’s complaint- he just wanted to race flat out.

    Maybe the F1 circus should spend more time in karting to get back to what is real and so that they appreciate racing for what it is instead of concentrating on furthering technology for technology’s sake.

    Rant over. Carry on.

    1. goonerf1 says:

      I completely agree with you. F1 cars should be, in essence, glorified go karts.

      If they want to go hybrid, they should of gone Toyota’s route. But it’s a bit late for that now.

      Instead, what we have is a mish-mash that in no-way resembles the core values of F1 racing. Not just with the cars, but with the way the sport is run as a whole.

      Give all the drivers a GP2 spec car or similar, stick one of those 2 million euro a season 800bhp V8 engines in the back that Patrick Head was talking about, and leave it at that.

      I see no reason for any buttons on the steering wheel whatsoever. Getting the car to the end of the race should rely solely on the skill of the driver.

      1. Steve says:

        Then why don’t you just watch the GP2 then? Everything that everyone complains about in F1 is wholly available in other series. I watch F1 for the technology because no other series implements it to the same level.

      2. Grant says:

        +1000
        We can’t stay in the 60′s forever, F1 has to be the pinnacle of MotorSport related Technology.

  4. JohnBt says:

    F1 drivers would love the flat-out racing mode. At the moment they are all suppressed. And suppression kills the spirit. Well what choice do they have now as it’s a bread and butter issue. I sense Alonso will be joining Le Mans soon.

  5. Oudinot says:

    It is not, naturally, beyond my knowledge or experience of the world that it is only big money corporations that can build the fastest open seater cars…
    I just wish they’d take us for thinking adults…or pay us at a reasonable rate for our groundbreaking ideas…and not value us at the rate of, say, a steering wheel.

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