Formula 1 big data contest launches ahead of British Grand Prix

Tata Communications has invited IT innovators to exploit the vast amounts of data in F1 racing to give fans and drivers new insights into the sport

Formula 1 racing communications provider Tata Communications has unveiled the first in a series of challenges in its F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize, with a focus on big data and analytics.

Ahead of the 2014 British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday 6 July, Tata has invited entrants to capture and demonstrate “new and insightful” information from Formula One Management’s live data feeds. The brief is to create a visual package for this information with “suspense and excitement” for audiences.

Contestants will be free to apply analytics creatively in defining what data they use and how it is visualised.

Solutions could, for example, take the form of a TV graphic for broadcasters, a data page for F1 teams or guests of the Formula One Paddock Club, or new elements for the F1 website or smartphone app.

Formula One Management CTO John Morrison said: “It is undoubtedly the case that a wealth of predictive information about proposed race strategy and current car performance can be derived from the session timing information.

A wealth of predictive information about proposed race strategy and current car performance can be derived from the session timing information

John Morrison, Formula One Management

“We are looking for a mechanism to choose specific parameters, produce the calculations and display this information in an exciting and innovative way. Obviously a mechanism to continuously update this information as the race weekend unfolds is a major part of the challenge.”

Entrants will be judged on how well they apply their IT skills to enhance audience entertainment and insight into F1 by a panel that includes Morrison, Tata Communications F1 MD Mehul Kapadia, and Mercedes-AMG-Petronas’s Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton said he would be looking for solutions with additional analysis and new information to complement the data screens used by drivers during live track sessions.

Launched last month, Tata’s contest will run over three rounds, with two further challenges to be set later in the year, coinciding with the Italian and US rounds of the F1 championship. A prize pot of $50,000 is up for grabs.

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