Play your part in shaping F1’s future: Crowdsourcing prize launches new VR Challenge
F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize
Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Jul 2016   |  10:15 am GMT  |  4 comments

The second challenge in F1’s crowdsourcing initiative, the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize, has launched today for the sport is reaching out to the fan base with another relevant challenge 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. So we’re looking for engaged fans, who want to get involved and maintain our readers’ strong performance in the challenge!

David Coulthard Tata F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize

Once again the theme of Challenge 2 is Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality and this time the challenge has been set by the Mercedes F1 team, who want fans with a technical interest to suggest ways that VR and AR can improve their communications between the track and the staff working remotely at their UK factory to boost competitiveness. This is going to be a big growth area in the next few years, so this challenge is right at the cutting edge of F1 thinking.

Currently, the two teams of engineers come up with a race strategy, review component changes and resolve any issues using audio communications and two-way video feeds between the track and the factory. The objective is to show how this collaboration could be enhanced using VR or AR during mid-season tests, practice, qualifying or race day, helping the two teams to become a more closely integrated unit, and ultimately boosting the drivers’ competitiveness.

Six winners of Challenges 1 and 2 will get to go behind the scenes with Mercedes and with F1 Management at the US Grand Prix in Austin in October where the Grand Prize winner will receive a cheque for US$50,000.

Tata  F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize

Paddy Lowe and Lewis Hamilton head the judging panel along with TV stars David Coulthard and Martin Brundle, John Morrison, Chief Technical Officer of Formula One Management; and Mehul Kapadia, Managing Director of F1 Business at Tata Communications.

“VR and AR applications are set to transform how people engage with each other and the world around them, so the exhilarating, high-pressure environment of F1 is the best place to explore the full potential of these technologies,” says Julie Woods-Moss, Tata Communications’ CMO and CEO of its NextGen Business. ”With this challenge, we look to unleash the collective brainpower of F1 fans and technology enthusiasts worldwide to show how creative applications of VR and AR, underpinned by superfast connectivity, could boost F1 teams’ competitiveness.”

The first three winners from Challenge 1 were announced yesterday. This challenge, set by Formula One Management, called on fans to develop a solution that uses VR or AR to enable people at home to experience a Grand Prix virtually. The winning solutions, by James Gough and Rich Pilsbury (UK), Paul Clarke (Australia) and Datu YogaBrata (Singapore), showed how fans who are not at the live event, could immerse themselves into the exciting world of F1 racing – from the pit lane and the Formula One Paddock Club, to the drivers’ parade and the starting grid formation.

Tata Communications

A full brief for the second F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize challenge can be downloaded from the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize website. The closing date for the second challenge is July 27th 2016.

Lewis Hamilton Tata F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize

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Anyone else think that maybe, just maybe, VR and AR could best be used for the races themselves and that fans should have a say in how that might be implemented?

Race build-up and team communications are simply side issues when it comes to promoting ‘engagement’. The latter’s ‘Virtual Operations Solution’ appears to exclude fan-access so why don’t Merc simply do their own research?

If anyone from Tata happens to read this – what, pray tell, is your VR ‘race-roadmap’?


This to me sounds like a solution looking for a problem…

myles montgomery

will get into this one! …but New Zealand not on the list of eligible countries!


Never mind the VR, why can’t we have all the footage of the race available to see ?

Plenty of people would like to have seen more of Werhlein’s race, of Button’s or the Ham Ros incident from all angles, they have this footage, why is it not being used.

All FOM seem to do is chase kind people who post bits on YouTube in case any advertisers get extra coverage for free or some such idiocy

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