“As an F1 fan, I have achieved beyond my wildest expectations”
Posted By: Editor   |  15 Aug 2018   |  10:44 am GMT  |  29 comments

For motorsport and technology fans, the F1 Innovation Prize is a unique chance to shape the future of the sport – and win $50,000 in the process.

It brings outsiders into F1’s inner sanctum, with behind the scenes access to the F1 paddock and technology centres.

Entries are judged by the combined might of Formula 1, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and Tata Communications, offering fans and technology enthusiasts a chance to compete in F1’s only global crowdsourced innovation competition.

We spoke to previous winner Datu YogaBrata about how being part of this ground breaking competition changed his life, what his winning idea was and new experiences as an F1 fan.

What inspired you to enter the F1 Innovation prize challenge?

What inspired me to take on the challenge was passion. I’ve been following Formula 1 since 1999 and I was always curious about every aspect of it, so I tried in every way to experience it as more than just a fan; by playing games, driving on race tracks and researching the technology. I found the Tata Communications F1 Innovation Prize interesting because the topics are related to my qualifications in computer engineering and my role as a game designer. I was inspired by the technology to implement ideas for F1 so I thought I would give it a try – and it worked out!

What was the challenge you faced and what was your winning idea?

The challenge I worked on in 2016 was to use VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) technology to develop an F1 fans experience solution. My winning idea was to give a group of roaming commentators their own wearable body cameras via which to broadcast a report. This enables fans to access the VR videos on their portable gadgets, a little like how you access Google Street View, but with video. People can then choose what they want to see by popping up augmented reality on the screen display and it will reveal more details about that object. For example, if the fans encounter an F1 car, it shows the augmented information about the engine, aerodynamics, sponsors, etc. It depends what they want to see. It makes them feel like they are there in person – it also opens an opportunity for sponsors to boost their visibility, and thus bring more money into the sport.

How have you found entering the competition has changed your viewing experience as a fan?

As an F1 fan, I have achieved beyond my wildest expectations. I live in Asia, where very little of the technical innovations of the sport take place as the team garages are mainly based in the UK and Europe. I was so happy when F1 came to Singapore in 2008, I never miss a single visit to the track. The competition has given me better insight into what the sport is really like. I’m so proud and delighted that my voice can be heard and considered with regards to improvements in the sport. I really hope that I have the opportunity to continue to contribute to the sport in the future.

What did winning the top prize do for you?

Firstly, I left Austin $50,000 richer than before! That’s a really good thing. It happened not long after I got married, so I brought my wife to Austin and she got to experience everything with me. It became our honeymoon, so it was a really special and memorable occasion for both of us. Those memories will live with us forever. We even took a photo with us dressed in traditional costume kissing the trophy, that was a way to really appreciate the moment. Other than the financial aspect, it really helped me to benchmark the quality of my design thinking. At work, people send emails to my company about business collaborations or partnerships and I think it’s because they saw my name on the Tata Communications website and then searched for me on Google. It helped to expose not only myself but also the positive impact of my profession.


How do you see the sport evolving?

I think F1 has a good direction since Liberty Media has come in. Previously I felt that it was a bit distant from the fans, many people were confused about why F1 drivers are athletes – they didn’t get the real insight about how mentally and physically challenging it is to be an F1 driver. Now, fans are able to experience things on a different level with the help of social media – to really get closer to the sport – they can have more interaction with their heroes. Street demonstrations are a good example, this lets fans get closer to the action if they can’t access the circuits. The other thing is that F1 experience package, where fans can experience the thrill and G-Force by being a passenger on the double-seater F1 car. So I think F1 should explore more avenues like that. I’m happy that I had a chance to experience some of those for myself. I think overall F1 is on the right track right now.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about entering next year’s prize?

My personal advice is to do more research about F1 and technology than you think you need! Try to really understand the challenge, try to understand how it makes sense from a fan’s point of view, from a business point of view – then be creative about it! Finally, cross your fingers and hope it works out!

Click here to register your interest for next year’s challenge.

By: Jennifer Mason

All images: Tata & Motorsport Images

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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

I had the same idea about a year ago and then thought is was a bad idea haha.


With the risk of sounding like a mossback (even using that word) I seriously believe that there should be a ban of certain technology for teams to use, in how they calculate strategies and enginere their races etc. If it’s possible.


There was a long period when I used live timing and observed the split timing.

Past many years I’ve used my eyes to observe, lap after lap, how drivers close in or lose it, chasing the driver in front of them which is the realty of racing. All the jargons of technology are best left to the teams monitoring the cars for the drivers.

Would love to see more close racing and see how drivers trip over one another, even better when one out drive or out wit the other, that’s more fun and exciting right?

No matter what amount of high technology being upgraded year after year if there’s no real racing F1 has missed the basic principle of good racing eh.

And I don’t need any empowerment and all that bs.

I don’t mind a free ticket on raceday though, LOL!

And yes, please bring back the grid girls. It’s part pf F1 DNA.


18″ rims sooner and aero that allows overtaking without the need for drs. This would mean large wings without cascade elements.

These things would fix much and make the cars look cool. It will never happen just like VR won’t either.


This prize was for innovation, not technology. F1 has more than enough Technology what it needs is innovation that leads to improving the Fan-F1 relationship. Clearly what we are expected to do is to cough up vast sums of money in order to be able to watch the most unexciting F1 in 5 years or more. Liberty cannot expect the financial income to increase year on year. That has already been taken by someone else. Hopefully their accountants can remember the story of the South-Sea bubble because, we the F1 fans, who put everyone where they now have world-wide had enough. Give us back free-to-air viewing.


Here here


Augmented reality in this case, to really improve the spectacle, would be glasses and headphones that filters and warps an usual procession into a exiting race full of great conbats, overtaking and great sound all over the grid…no that is dreaming sorry


Can I have a set of those please but on mine can you program in grid girls , remove all the “ no nothing about F1 third rate celebs” from any broadcast image and make the post race interviews come from the podium?


This dinosaur shudders everytime he hears any phrase in F1 that includes ‘technology’. because in this context it means more algorithms.

If we can’t get back to man and machine versus man and machine could somebody please put a stop to the rush to involve more and more software in my sport.

PU’s have replaced engines, computer models have replaced engineering and experience.

It also appears to this fan that Liberty have achieved very little. Apart from the removal of the Grid Girls. They have however implemented a new logo, a screen view cluttered with graphics and a series of stupid bing-bongs (who knows where that will end?) and some new microphones. They certainly can’t lay claim to the close contention of this year’s WDC!


Unless Liberty do something really bold about this depressing PU situation for 2021, the removal of the grid girls could well remain their most significant achievement — and it’s not a partiality good one if I’m honest.

Given the enormous damage that these PUs have inflicted on F1 I’m actually absolutely perplexed as to why an emergency hadn’t been called a year ago to fix it, and that they’re still patiently waiting for 2021.

I blame the enormous resilience of the fans who continue to watch and attend races inspite of the F1 product’s significant drop in quality since Melbourne 2014.


Jeez well done to the fella.

But it’s like dragging a dead donkey on a beach and trying sell rides to F1 Fans.

2019 is the death nail into free to air viewing of F1.

The only connectivity will be, giving Brundle a prostate examination via the red button on the remotes of a few viewers who subscribe to SKY .

Otherwise it’s buying the F1 game or watching Alonso in Indy Car on some highlights program that you can tap in via Turkish TV from a defrag with box with an aerial in on hand while hanging out your Attic window.

Yep they can stick their connectivity up Murdoch’s……


Sainz signs multi deal at McLaren.

The time is 14.24pm (British Summer Time) on 16th August 2018

Right let’s see how rapidly motorsport update name only JAF1 😱

Gosh this will be fun ⏰⏳🌞🌛☄


Did you see my other comment about TV ratings?

Italy, little’ol Italy, swung F1 world wide viewing figures by 7% this year since going to pay coverage.

UK paid TV? I’m betting it pushes F1 WW figures down another 10% in 2019.


And even IF it goes back to FTA after a few years, it will already be too late.

I’m quite into pro-cycling at the moment. That really is man and the machine! (And it’s a lot cleaner than it used to be) Check out the Tour of Spain in a couple of weeks time!


Gotta be honest with you. I liked cycling during the V10 era more too! 🙂

Now, they are just pretending that it’s all on the up and up. Cleaner? Thank you Russia for exposing that whole “exceptions” racket by the way. Cleaner indeed.

DYK: that the bicycle industry is reeling in huge revenue drops, I heard to the order of 30%+ range down from few years back? And do you know what many are pointing at? Lance Armstrong. Who could think that Lance coming “clean” would be so devastating to selling road bicycles. They’ve demonized him, and in return people have turned their backs on buying expensive road bikes. Add to this the commoditization of bikes in general, China producing low cost but high quality road frames in all types of exotic materials, and for good measure throw in online low margin sales gutting physical bike shops, and you have the perfect storm. Servicing bikes barely keeps lights on for some apparently.


I don’t know. I use the F1TV, yes, there’s Brundle there, obviously. I’m sure SKY gets a cut but I do not have to deal with it.

Back to the article. Anybody remembers 3D TV fad? VR is in the same bucket. AR, yeah, maybe a good idea, it does not require wearing a stupid computer all over ones head.

VR? Hell no… https://amp.businessinsider.com/images/5898a9203149a12d008b5671-750-375.jpg


The apps with AR in my phone are pretty cool. There is potential. But in F1…


There’s a risk it will all become virtually no reality


“Protect our IP, it’s our greatest asset”


“Best $50K we’ve spent this year”

Corollary to the corollary…

“I’ll spend this year praising Liberty Media for $50K”



𝗜 𝗹𝗲𝗳𝘁 𝗔𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻 $50,000 𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗯𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲!

Well done son! Still, what could that amount buy you in a grand prix sense? Probably the annual budget for the catering department to feed and water those hungry, thirsty engineers……….point is, 50 grand doesn’t go very far in today’s paddock!


It should be enough to cover the cost of F1 TV coverage until the end of current commitment to F1 by most teams, except Renault. 2020 is it?


For the record, how much do you think a brand new, competitive Cosworth DFV V8 cost in 1981? The very engine that powered Nelson Snr to the world championship that year?

UK £15,000. Taken inflation into account, that is around UK £61,000 in today’s money. A turbo hybrid is more like UK £ 7million per engine……

It’s not that simple of course: most constructors needed around 10 engines a year to stay competitive in 1981, and in the wider world the West had gone into recession, making obtaining sponsorship accounts very challenging indeed within Europe and North America, but netherless it shows that in motor sport doing something “on the cheap” will always be a fading memory, with real world inflation and interest rates continually pushing prices up and up and up…….


7 million pounds per PU? Unbelievable.

The insane are running the asylum now.


Drivers were using 3 & 4 engines a race weekend back then and still not finishing races. Who wants to watch 6 or 8 cars racing?


Better than watching 2 or 3 cars racing, which is pretty much what we’ve got now. And at 7 million pounds per PU!

I can’t believe how much it costs to have this underwhelming sound and lack of competitive racing.


Yeah, left unchecked the psychotic behaviour takes over.

Ask me what impresses me more, a 7m GBP useless hybrid, which has no road relevance whatsoever, and never will and requires 18 guys to start up, or a $15K GBP DFV V8 that required a crew of 8 for the whole team and that I could start up, run and use by myself? I can’t believe that F1 fans are so gullible to be impressed with the price they quote on these things vs. the value delivered by them. Are we that foolish? That price and complexity make us think there is value as a result?

Look, I care about F1 at this point about as much as F1 ever cared about me. I’m really fascinated by the whole thing more than I am interested by the sport. It is so far from a sport now, it’s beyond silly. It’s a huge disfunctional thing collapsing under its own weight, in slow motion. I admit it. I can’t look away.

The guy who perpetrated the biggest fraud in F1 history is the right hand man to Ross Brawn, and is responsible for writing the rules and regulations for the sport! I mean…come on, talk about integrity! Show me just one, a single solitary one professional league at F1 level that would tolerate such an indiscretion! Nice to have friends, ain’t it?

I also don’t care about how much they spend, and where they spend it. The more they spend, the worse off the whole thing really is. They can’t see it, because they don’t care. That’s how psychotic they are about winning, that they’re perfectly OK with buying their wins fully.

That’s the fascinating piece in the end. This psychotic behaviour of glorifying your achievements, when they are really just rewards for outspending your competitors to gain an advantage.

Even more fascinating? Fans don’t seem to care that this whole pile of fluff is just us watching one entity outspend another for the best marketing position in your brain. How can you, the fan, celebrate a champion, when the winning team spends thrice the amount of the 4th ranked team?


No matter how much money one spends training a boxer, very few Muhammed Alis emerge. On the other hand “how much money do you want to spend – how fast do you want to go?” – in motor racing, seems to bear out. This cost-cap in F1 now shows the fallacy of limiting and restricting almost everything.

Once heard a non-racing wag describe Formula One as the “greatest capitalist sport.” At the time I thought – right on. However nowadays, that is not politically correct, and everyone connected with the sport sheepishly cow-tows to the politics of socialism. Hence we have testing caps, spec. engines, no competition with tire manufacturers, Ross Brawn writing the rules, etc. etc.. The money advantage may still win out, it is just not publicized.


Give the teams $50,000 for every dirty air producing part they remove


Another one, but more elaborate…

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