Ross Brawn and Lewis Hamilton marked a new milestone today for Formula 1 by launching the F1 Innovation prize, featuring the first ever competition in world sport where a fan idea will be incubated and prototyped for use in the sport itself.
The F1 Innovation Prize, now in its fifth year, is F1’s crowdsourcing initiative. The 2018 challenge is set to transform both the fan engagement and content consumption experience by challenging fans to present solutions for a new viewing experience that are personalised under the banner of “My F1”.
One overall winner will be rewarded with $50,000 and their winning idea incubated and prototyped at Formula 1’s new R&D centre in the UK.
For 2018, the ‘My F1’ challenge theme seeks ideas that bring fans closer to the cockpit. It challenges entrants to take the sport’s unique set of human, mechanical and technical data and combine it with the publishing and broadcast capabilities of Formula 1, to create the ultimate customised, immersive viewing experience for fans worldwide. This could be in the form of an app, a homepage or even a way of joining up interactive content across a dozen different devices.
The theme for this year supports the drive by Formula 1 to ensure everyone – from trackside fans to the most casual armchair viewer – can engage with the sport through a level of customisation that breaks the barriers of language, interest and technical know-how. It’s a push that is already changing the way viewers watch the sport with additions such as the new halo graphics and Twitter live shows and has paved the way for a fan’s idea to be developed by Formula 1.
Five finalists will be awarded a trip to the Formula 1 Pirelli 2018 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas to present their solutions to the panel of judges. The Grand Prize winner will receive a cheque for USD $50,000 and see their winning idea be developed at Formula 1’s R&D centre.
Speaking on Formula 1’s Facebook Live, Ross Brawn, Managing Director of Motorsports, Formula 1, said that the revamped initiative was an another example of Formula One’s owners looking to increase fan engagement.
“I think the great thing about it, is that it’s what the fan wants. We want to understand, if you’re a fan, what collection of elements of Formula One would you put together to have a perfect viewing experience,” said Brawn.
“When we get those ideas we can put them into the Formula One system and make them real.
“I’ve had ideas when I’ve sat at home and watched motor racing, wishing I had all these elements that I can’t have. On the pit wall, you’ve got so much information, but we want to understand what the fans want.
“It’s a new philosophy, it’s the new approach of Formula One. We want to understand what the fans want.”
Long-time supporter of the F1 Innovation Prize Lewis Hamilton added that he was looking forward to seeing fans’ ideas becoming a reality.
“I’m so happy, this is world first. I remember we started this five years’ ago, they’ve had all these great ideas and they wouldn’t ever do anything with these ideas. Great ideas always went in, but they were never put into action,” he said, as fans chanted ‘it’s coming home’ behind him in the Silverstone pit lane.
“That idea is actually going to go into R and D, and Ross is going to make it happen and see if they can really make it work. It’s a really cool experience for a fan to be able to do something like this and to really be what people see and use.”
Mehul Kapadia, Global Head of Marketing at Tata Communications, said: “The new incorporation of incubation and prototyping at this level has never been done before in any global sport and it’s a great development to be able to involve the fans in such an immersive way.
“We look forward to seeing how the entrants would utilise the vast amounts of data readily available to them in real-time to heighten and individualise their experience of the sport.”
This year Lewis, Ross and Mehul will be joined on the judging panel by new judge Frank Arthofer, Director of Digital and New Business, Formula 1. Technical Director of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, James Allison and former F1 race driver and F1 commentator for Sky Sports F1, Martin Brundle will both be returning to judge the competition.
To find out more and to register for the challenge go to: F1 Innovation Prize