F1 reaches out to fans for Virtual Reality solutions in crowdsourcing challenge
Monaco GP
Posted By: James Allen  |  27 May 2016   |  10:59 am GMT  |  20 comments

F1’s crowdsourcing challenge, the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize, has launched today for 2016 and once again the sport is reaching out to the fan base with two highly relevant challenges from the sport on which they can indulge their passion and help drive innovation.

JA on F1 readers have a strong track record in this challenge; last year’s winner Paul Clarke from Australia, came from among our readership.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 10.52.41

As we have been saying for some time on this site, the future of F1 – beyond broadcast- is in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality and it’s good to see that this year’s challenges will focus on how those technologies could be used to make the sport more immersive for fans, and help the teams work more effectively together in the run-up to and during each Grand Prix.

We really like this one, as it’s all about bringing the fans closer to the sport.

The first challenge, launched today and open to entries, is set by Formula One Management and calls on tech enthusiasts to develop a solution that uses VR and AR to enable fans at home to experience a Grand Prix virtually. The solution should allow fans who are not at the live event to immerse themselves all areas into the exhilarating world of F1 – from the pit lane and the Formula One Paddock Club, to the drivers’ parade and the starting grid formation.


The second challenge will be set by the Mercedes F1 team in July. The F1 Connectivity Prize is a three way initiative between F1 Management, Mercedes F1 team and F1 connectivity partner Tata Communications.

Six winners – three from each challenge – will earn a VIP trip to this year’s US Grand Prix at Austin, with unique behind the scenes access. The overall winner will be announced in Austin and the grand prize is again US$50,000. Some come on, JA on F1 readers, get your entries in and maintain our strong record of providing winners of the challenge!

“We want to give as many fans as possible the opportunity to experience first-hand the thrill of a Grand Prix – and VR or AR could enable us to do just that,” said John Morrison, the chief technical officer of F1 Management. “These technologies represent the next big innovation opportunity for the sport. In the not-too-distant future, they could enable fans to get virtually transported to a Grand Prix, complementing and enriching the race experience.”

F1 Broadcast centre

Morrison is joined again on the judging panel by ex F1 drivers, turned TV pundits David Coulthard and Martin Brundle, as well as World Champion Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe and Mehul Kapadia of Tata Communications.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 10.56.02
To find out more, read the challenge brief and enter the competition, click this link

F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize

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Perhaps I am just a grumpy old get, but I’d much rather they sort out the reality before concentrating on Virtual Reality.


What F1 fans need more than anything is the ability to access media content WITHOUT the need to subscribe to a network run by Rupert Murdoch… That’s a deal breaker for me right there, irrespective of price.


Great initiative! Unfortunately not tech savvy enough to come up with anything, but really looking forward to seeing the results from the boffins!


Rather than focusing on cutting edge stuff like VR, it would be great if F1 concentrated on doing the basics that they should have been doing for years. i.e. subscription or PPV based direct streaming of races.

They don’t need to introduce new technology, they just need to sort out their business model if they want to appeal to fans. The days of ripping people off by distributing content through monopolistic cable and satellite tv providers are coming to an end.


It would be great with VR and the helmet cam from the drivers. Pity for me though is that VR makes me nauseated


The end result, if this succeeds, will be even fewer ‘live’ fans at the circuit.
Just what the promoters need to cover the ever increasing ‘Bernie Tax’ for hosting a race.


Going virtual? Here’s a relatively easy one:

Use engine data from the cars, to alter the TV noise so that the viewer hears the old V8s or (while we’re at it) the 3.5lt V10s. Except for the Ferraris, they will be V12s, obviously. Use clever software to edit the noise so it tracks well with the camera shot on screen and as a bonus, use more car data to keep having the noises made by locking tyres, wailing turbos etc that we didn’t get with the normally-aspirated cars. You can make a mobile app version for fans at the track to have the same experience.


Let’s send Bernie Todt CVC into the Virtual World maybe they can meet the likes of Sep Blatter and all the the other money grabbers . Then we can switch off them Virtually giving F1 and Football Fans some Virtual Payback .


Looks like the fans in the promo pic for this article are already having a virtual F1 experience.


Only allowed to use 3 cameras? Surely that is no where near enough to effectively map the pit lane/paddock etc. Seems like a limit that will make this very hard to do anything interesting at all with. F1 introducing unnecessary and restrictive rules again


Clearly you’ve misunderstood the rules – You can use more than three cameras, but using a fourth will result in it being used from the back of the grid.


I don’t know. I think virtual reality doesn’t give fans the “opportunity to experience a GP first-hand etc.”. Quite the opposite, actually. A GP is sitting in the stands, a too expensive drink in hand, the fans cheering, mud and debris, sun or rain, the brutality of tarmac and speed, of bravery and picking up marbles as you walk back to your car. What they should be doing is lowering prices to make sure your average fan can visit a race. Similarly, if you’re a fan driving a proper kart is immeasurably more satisfying than a simulator. Big events like F1 are about participating. Perhaps I’m getting old.

On The Endfence

Maybe this is a taste of things to come? Imagine this on an F1 car, viewed through a VR headset.



Thats an excellent video. Thanks for sharing 😀


Exactly that’s where you would use VR in F1 and racing in general. Unlike other sports like football or tennis where the action is contained in a relatively small place here cars are miles apart and simulating an spectator’s view wouldn’t be very exciting, better to simulate the driver’s view.


A worthy challenge – it’s not just about
‘. . . the future of F1 – beyond broadcast . . .’
But also needs to consider
‘. . . the future of eSport – beyond F1 . . .’
VR/AR will soon become more engaging than so-called ‘real’ world alternatives.

JAonE1 has a bright future.


Sounds great. But best way to get fans? Closer racing!


If you’re in Brazil you will be paid in gold!

This is quite clever really, extremely efficient product development for F1. Bunch of people develop stuff and all entries can be used without further revenue or reward to individuals who give their ideas away for free by entering.


Applies to every competition.


Sounds Good V.R. and A.R. ????
Good luck to those who enter .

But surely with The Virtual Reality is… The Demon that is the Sky Sports Channels.
Connectivity will only be an isolated app on a sport that is watched by a low private paying audience. While the youth of today move onwards with their own Virtual Olympics were gamers will be the hero’s in a virtual stadium.
The likes of F1 may end up spending tons of money on connectivity with the help of the fans , but , for who exactly in 2018 it will be the start of its downward spiral into the obscure Sports Package that the vast majority will not afford or would not want.
Perhaps the youth of today see more connectivity with Dorna Moto GP and Rally Cross?
While F1kids itself at being a huge popular sport hidden away on Sky, trying to attract audiences with unaffordable subscriptions especially from Youngsters who prefer the Virtual Gaming Olympics and it’s Virtual World.

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