Formula 1® Managing Director of Motorsports, Ross Brawn, and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Driver, Lewis Hamilton, today crowned James Gough the winner of this year’s USD $50,000 F1® Innovation Prize at the FORMULA 1 PIRELLI 2018 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX in Austin. The lifelong F1® fan from the UK developed his entry around the ‘My F1®’ themed challenge using the sport’s unique set of human, mechanical and technical data to create the ultimate customised viewing experience for fans worldwide.
Lewis Hamilton, James Gough, Tata Communications’ CEO Vinod Kumar and Ross Brawn
In a world-first for global sport, this year’s winning idea will be incubated with the intent to prototype it at Formula 1®’s Media & Technology Centre in the UK. During the incubation, James will work closely with Formula 1® engineers to develop his idea, which – as the ultimate demonstration of fan engagement – has the potential to shape the future of the sport.
F1® Innovation Prize is a joint initiative by Tata Communications, Formula 1® and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. James beat out fierce competition from around the globe with his Virtual Smart Assistant idea, which stood out for the esteemed panel of judges. The app, which functions as a fan’s personal F1 guide, provides seamless, instant access to insights on each driver, team, car, practice session, qualifying or race-on-demand. As a result, it could help turn new fans from casual viewers into F1® experts, while offering hardcore fans a whole new level of insights. Excitingly, not only is the proposed solution integrated with existing smart assistants including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, it is also equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. So, the more a fan uses the Virtual Smart Assistant, the more it learns about their preferences, customising the information it offers accordingly.
The ‘My F1®’ theme of this year’s competition is part of Formula 1®’s mission to enable everyone – from trackside fans to the most casual armchair viewer – to create their own, more customised F1® experiences using different data points and digital platforms.
“We want to break down the barriers of language and technical know-how so that more people around the world are able to immerse themselves in the greatest sporting spectacle on earth,” said Ross Brawn, Formula 1®. “Through new features like the Halo graphics and live events like our F1® Festival series, we’re continually looking for ways to bring more fans closer to the sport. That’s exactly what James’ winning idea seeks to do too in a truly innovative way. I look forward to seeing his concept come to life in our Media & Technology Centre.”
“This is such an exciting time for the sport, with more and more ways for people around the world to get close to the world of F1® – through social media, online, and of course the F1® Innovation Prize,” said Lewis Hamilton. “There’s so much happening at any given second during a race. James’ idea was my favourite because it lets both die-hard fans and those who might be new to the sport make sense of it all and really immerse themselves in the action.”
“I’ve been a huge fan of F1® since I was a teenager, but never in a million years did I think that one day I’d get the chance to be part of the F1® circus – that’s why winning means so much to me,” said James Gough. “Through my app, I want other fans to get a glimpse of being on the inside of the sport they love. I hope that my idea will help give fans access to all the data they want, and that they’re able to use the data to not only see what’s happening but to understand why it happened. It should lead to more people getting involved in the sport.”
“During the last five years, this competition has shown us how much untapped potential there is in the global community of F1® fans, and now we’re taking this initiative one step further by turning the winning idea from concept to reality,” said Mehul Kapadia, Managing Director of Tata Communications’ F1® business and the company’s Global Head of Marketing. “From bringing half a billion fans worldwide the Grand Prix action each season to testing in action cutting-edge technologies like UHD video and virtual reality – we’re excited to be part of the digital transformation of this great sport. Like with other multinational enterprises, it’s all about supporting Formula 1® as the organisation leverages the latest tech innovations to grow its global audience and open up new revenue streams.”
The panel of judges for the 2018 F1® Innovation Prize included Lewis, Ross and Mehul, as well as Roberto Dalla, Managing Director of Broadcasting and Technical Operations, Formula 1®; Technical Director of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, James Allison; and former F1® Driver and Sky Sports F1® commentator, Martin Brundle.
Join the conversation: #TataCommsF1Prize
For rights-free images, see here.
+44 (0)7917 173 853
+44 (0) 20 7413 3171
Tata Communications Limited (CIN no: L64200MH1986PLC039266) along with its subsidiaries (Tata Communications) is a leading global provider of A New World of Communications™. With a leadership position in emerging markets, Tata Communications leverages its advanced solutions capabilities and domain expertise across its global network to deliver managed solutions to multi-national enterprises and communications service providers.
The Tata Communications global network includes one of the most advanced and largest submarine cable networks and a Tier-1 IP network with connectivity to more than 240 countries and territories across 400 PoPs, as well as nearly 1 million square feet of data centre and colocation space worldwide.
Tata Communications’ depth and breadth of reach in emerging markets includes leadership in Indian enterprise data services and leadership in global international voice communications. Tata Communications Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India.
Formula 1® racing, which began in 1950, is the world's most prestigious motor racing competition and is the world's most popular annual sporting series. In 2016 it was watched by 400 million unique television viewers from over 200 territories. The 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship™ runs from March to November and spans 20 races in 20 countries across five continents. Formula One World Championship Limited is part of Formula 1, and holds the exclusive commercial rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship™.
Formula 1 is a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LSXMA, LSXMB, LSXMK, BATRA, BATRK, FWONA, FWONK) attributed to the Formula One Group tracking stock.
Certain words and statements in this release concerning Tata Communications and its prospects, and other statements, including those relating to Tata Communications’ expected financial position, business strategy, the future development of Tata Communications’ operations, and the general economy in India, are forward-looking statements. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including financial, regulatory and environmental, as well as those relating to industry growth and trend projections, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of Tata Communications, or industry results, to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from such forward-looking statements include, among others, failure to increase the volume of traffic on Tata Communications’ network; failure to develop new products and services that meet customer demands and generate acceptable margins; failure to successfully complete commercial testing of new technology and information systems to support new products and services, including voice transmission services; failure to stabilize or reduce the rate of price compression on certain of the company’s communications services; failure to integrate strategic acquisitions and changes in government policies or regulations of India and, in particular, changes relating to the administration of Tata Communications’ industry; and, in general, the economic, business and credit conditions in India. Additional factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, many of which are not in Tata Communications’ control, include, but are not limited to, those risk factors discussed in Tata Communications Limited’s Annual Reports. The Annual Reports of Tata Communications Limited are available at www.tatacommunications.com. Tata Communications is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements.