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Tata Communications reveals first challenge in 2015 F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize

16 Jun 2015

Tata Communications has announced the first challenge of the 2015 F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize. The goal of the USD $50,000 prize, launched last year, is to inspire technical visionaries and creative minds worldwide to harness innovation in Formula One racing through two technology challenges.

The first challenge has been set by the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and unveiled by their driver Lewis Hamilton, the 2014 FIA Formula One Drivers’ World Champion and also a judge on the prize panel. The challenge is to design a new approach for displaying critical race car telemetry and sensor data, such as tyre degradation and temperature, airflow, aerodynamics, throttle, brake and oil temperature, and movements inside the gear box, for use on the pit wall, in the garage and at the team headquarters during track sessions. The aim is to help give the team a competitive advantage by empowering engineers on the pit wall at the race track as well as at the factory in the UK, to make more accurate decisions through the visualisation of big data analytics in real-time.

Lewis Hamilton says: “Technology shapes our lives and drives us forward and I know the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize will deliver some amazing and innovative thinking again. I’m really looking forward to seeing the ideas that come out of the competition and to helping judge the entries.”

In addition to Lewis Hamilton, the judging panel includes John Morrison, Chief Technical Officer of Formula One Management, Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical) of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, David Coulthard, former Formula One race driver for Williams, McLaren and Red Bull and BBC Sport commentator, and Martin Brundle, F1 commentator for Sky Sports F1. They are joined by Mehul Kapadia, Managing Director of F1 Business at Tata Communications.

Julie Woods-Moss, Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of Nextgen Business at Tata Communications, says: “The F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize is about inspiring the brightest minds around the world to harness their ingenuity, technical know-how and passion for F1 to look at new techniques to experience Formula One through bold thinking and continuous innovation. As the volume of data gathered during each race continues to grow, we call on the entrants to show us their creative flair and design a visually compelling way for displaying all this data.”

New judge for 2015 David Coulthard says: “Two things are the lifeblood of Formula One racing - the bravery and skill of the drivers and the technology. It’s this fragile balance of elements that draws the public to the sport. This prize is about championing technology, as the heated debate around its role in motor racing continues.”

The second challenge will be set by Formula One Management in August.

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 finale of the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship, the 2015 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

A full brief for the first F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize challenge can be downloaded from the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize website. The closing date for the first challenge is July 13th at 0900 BST (0800 GMT). To hear more about the challenge, see this video featuring Lewis Hamilton and this video featuring David Coulthard.

The winner of last year’s grand prize came from the UK. The team’s novel crowdsourcing-based idea demonstrated how F1 fans around the world could be empowered to contribute to the process of cataloguing over 60,000 hours of video in Formula One Management’s digital archive. Read about the winning team’s experience on the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize website.