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F1® stars congratulate Australian winner of 2015 F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize

29 Oct 2015

Tata Communications, Official Connectivity Provider to Formula 1® and the Official Managed Connectivity Supplier to the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team, have unveiled the Grand Prize winner of the 2015 F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize.

The winning entry, by Australian Paul Clarke, demonstrates a novel approach to displaying critical race car telemetry used by the Silver Arrows engineers at the race track and at the factory in the UK to make faster decisions through real-time visualisation of data.

The winning idea, Signals and Streams, is a creative combination of traditional web technologies and state-of-the-art protocols, which would bring consolidated data insights to the team in real time (see a visual of the Signals and Streams application here). The incoming data, Signals, would be distributed to race engineers the instant they are received. To help the team make sense of the wealth of data they receive, they would be provided with an artificial analyst called ARROW (artificial recognise-react oriented worker). Powered by machine learning, ARROW guides accurate decision making in a data-saturated, high pressure environment such as F1® racing. To help the team communicate regarding the Signals they receive, the solution would be equipped with an instant communication feature called Streams. The combination of these tools would enable the team to consume the huge amounts of data they gather during each race and react as effectively as possible.

One of the judges of the 2015 F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize jury, Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical) of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team, says, “We received a series of incredibly strong entries this year from around the world. The Signals and Streams application stood out for its creative, yet viable, approach to harnessing the huge volumes of data we generate during each Grand Prix and practice sessions. The winning entry demonstrated the potential to enhance decision-making with real-time data analytics and visualisation.”

The winner, Paul Clarke, user experience specialist, says, “I’ve been a huge F1® fan since the late 1980s, so the opportunity provided by the F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize to combine my technology expertise with my passion for the sport was a dream come true. My aim was to use modern approaches to data visualisation to provide clear, intuitive and instant information to engineers and drivers. I am delighted that the jury saw the potential of the Signals and Streams tool to make a difference for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team – arguably the pinnace of motorsport and engineering.”

Julie Woods-Moss, CMO and CEO of NextGen Business at Tata Communications, says, “Our goal through this competition and our work as the Official Connectivity Provider to Formula 1® is to demonstrate the immense potential of data in accelerating innovation in the sport. Data is not only an invaluable tool in the teams’ arsenal – it can also take fan experience to a new level. It's inspiring to see recognition for ideas that are both disruptive and viable. The ideas of the grand prize winner and the runners-up showcase what the future of the sport could look like, and we look forward to being part of it.”

John Morrison, Formula One Management’s Chief Technical Officer says, “In the second year of the challenge we have yet again seen some highly innovative ideas from international entrants who display an incredible depth of knowledge of the sport. It is fantastic to see so many submissions and the standard is so high that marking them is always a challenge. I look forward to meeting those who submitted the top entries and discussing their ideas in more depth.”

The goal of the prize is to inspire technical visionaries and creative minds worldwide to harness innovation in Formula 1® racing through two technology challenges, set by Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team and Formula One Management. The competition, launched last year, has inspired entries from technologists the world over, including the UK, Spain, Australia, and the US.

The Grand Prize of the F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize is a cheque for $50,000 and a bespoke trophy, to be presented to the winner at the end of the season in November. The five runners-up of both challenges will be awarded VIP trips to the final race of the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship, the 2015 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. You can read more about the winner and runners-up on the prize website.

The judging panel consisted of drivers and F1® technologists including John Morrison, Chief Technical Officer of Formula One Management; Lewis Hamilton; Paddy Lowe and James Vowles, respectively the Executive Director (Technical) and Chief Strategist of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team; David Coulthard, former Formula 1® race driver and F1® commentator; and Martin Brundle, former Formula 1® race driver and F1® commentator. They were joined by Mehul Kapadia, Managing Director of F1® Business at Tata Communications.

Tata Communications is the Official Connectivity Provider to Formula 1®, enabling the sport to seamlessly reach its tens of millions of fans across the globe. As the Official Managed Connectivity Supplier to the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team, Tata Communications has trebled the speed of data transfer for the team, enabling real-time communications between the trackside and the team’s factory in the UK. It has also enabled remote operations on a large scale by providing a resilient, intelligent infrastructure for high-speed connectivity.