F1 Connectivity Prize Wants Fans To Solve Motorsport Tech Problems

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Tata Communications launches competition designed to solve connectivity problems, with Lewis Hamiltion on the judging panel

Tata Communications has launched a competition aimed at inspiring Formula One fans to help solve some of the technological problems faced by the sport.

The Indian company is F1’s official connectivity partner and provides communications for all 19 race circuits included in the 2014 calendar with traffic delivered across its global network.

As part of the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize, the firm will issue three challenges designed to test F1 fans’ creative and technological knowledge by solving real-life connectivity issues.

The first challenge will be announced before the British Grand Prix next month, with additional challenges released before the Italian and US Grand Prix later this year. A number of prizes are on offer, including $50,000 and a trip to the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix.

Tata F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize

F1 Tata Mercedes Lewis HamiltonEntries will be judged by a panel featuring 2008 World Champion and current driver for Mercedes Lewis Hamilton, with whom Tata also have a partnership with, his boss Paddy Lowe, F1 CTO John Morrison, Tata’s managing director of its F1 Business Mehul Kapadia and former F1 driver and current Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle.

“Technology is absolutely key to success in Formula 1 racing and we are lucky to attract some of the best engineers and technical brains to work in our sport,” says Hamilton. “The challenges that have been set for the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize look fascinating and I hope, will attract a huge response. For anyone with technology aspirations and a desire to get involved in the world of Formula 1 racing, this is a great opportunity.”

Communications are becoming increasingly vital to F1, with a number of teams partnering with networking firms to ensure that they can instantly analyse data from their cars in the hope that this can give them an edge over their rivals. Tata is able to provide Mercedes with a 128Gbps connection that transfers the data from the car anywhere in the world to the team’s base in Brackley within 0.244 seconds.

Attracting talent

Tata and Formula One hope that the entries they receive as part of the competition will help improve the sport for management, participants and fans.

“Technology has always been a hallmark of Formula 1, so this opportunity to open some of our innovations to the world brightest minds is an exciting initiative from Tata Communications,” adds Morrison. “The resultant ideas should present engaging new features that the talented Formula 1 engineering team can rapidly develop to enhance the F1 fan experience.”

While Tata hopes the competition will inspire the next-generation of F1 communications innovations, the F1 in Schools initiative aims to use the power of the sport to attract children to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and address the skills shortage facing the UK. The programme also has the support of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, and a number of participants have secured themselves jobs with F1 teams.

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