Working together on the second challenge, Uros and Andrew tell their story on how understanding the needs of F1 fans and taking a mobile-first approach helped them create one of the winning entries in this year’s F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize.
The colourful history, the technology, the unpredictability, the speed and the adrenaline – the list of reasons that we are passionate about Formula One is endless. Our earliest memories of the sport date back to the late 1970s, back when there were very interesting looking six wheeled cars, a time that some may refer to as the ‘Prost years’.
Embarking on the challenge, we approached the project by closely analysing the brief, and set out producing multiple sketches, rough prototypes and potential predictive experiences. We knew it was essential to marry it very closely to the desires of true Formula One fans that had an outside point of view, so we got feedback from several fans. Collecting our insights we had earned at that point, we knew it was imperative that we took a mobile-first approach. People want to connect to their interests and their passions from wherever they are, and the same is true for F1 fans.
With over 30 years’ combined interest in F1, we really enjoyed working on the project, but the scope of it was broad, the timescale was tight, and we only had three pages to get our ideas across. It was challenging, but stimulating at the same time and the rapid prototyping, shaping of the text, honing visual ideas and pruning the unnecessary elements meant that the hard work paid off and we were really excited about the final product.
Essentially, our prediction application is a mobile user experience that has been designed to inspire Formula One fans around the world to connect with the sport, by allowing them to predict the final outcome of every single race, no matter where they are. The idea is that handing them this ability and involvement will increase the engagement and allow fans to become embedded into the world of Formula One like never before.
The app itself would provide the ability to learn about the drivers, compare practice results and past races, to inform the fans when predicting safety car appearances, fastest laps, and to then share these predictions with other fans. Alongside this, fans could follow the activity throughout the season in real time and be scored based on the predictions that they’ve made.
Ultimately, and as F1 fans ourselves, it presents data from a number of sources, to paint a clear picture to the fans, and allows them to make decisions and compete. Sports such as football have had variations of this for a long time, with fans becoming immersed in the likes of fantasy football, but for Formula One this is a big step towards involving the fans further and enhancing their connection to the sport in a competitive way.
Without the streams of data that surrounds F1, our project wouldn’t have been half as valuable or even possible. By presenting the user with a wealth of data in a way that is simple and accessible, we’re making sure that both casual and fanatical Formula one viewers can get involved throughout the season. It collects up-to-date information from the Internet and uses it in a way that enables rapid and accurate predictions in an instant. After all, every millisecond counts in the world of motorsports.
While predictive analytics is already supporting and influencing the world of sports, in the future the impact will become more pronounced. The developments in technology and the innovative spirit that fuels challenges such as the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize will mean that data will become increasingly useful, and be used in different ways to benefit the industry, the teams and the fans, and create an on-going and instant connection throughout the sport.
Tata Communications was the Official Connectivity Provider of Formula 1® between 2012 and 2019. Tata Communications was also the Official Managed Connectivity Supplier to Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, and Official Digital Transformation Partner to ROKiT Williams Racing until the end of the 2019 season.