F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize – Interview with Mehul Kapadia


IBS Publishing Team

Like every year for their F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize, Tata Communications asks Formula 1 enthusiasts for innovative ideas and technologies to revolutionize sportscast. InspiredBySports had an interview with Mehul Kapadia, Managing Director of Tata Communications’ F1 Business and the company’s Global Head of Marketing.

For some years Tata Communications has been the official Connectivity Provider to Formula 1®. To offer the fans an even better experience of their favourite sport, Tata Communication asks every year for entries to their F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize which proves innovative and revolutionary for broadcasting in terms of ideas and technologies. The winner is chosen by an expert panel, which includes four-time world champion Lewis Hamilton among other, and includes a prize money of 50.000 US Dollars.

Formula 1 and Tata Communications have been working together since 2012. What impact has Tata Communications on the Formula 1?

Mehul Kapadia: We have been the official Connectivity Provider of Formula 1 since 2012. That means, we make sure that more than half a billion fans around the world can enjoy the season of racing sport. Contrary to other sponsors of Formula 1, Tata Communications provides an essential service for the F1-ecosystem – for the F1-organization itself, the current world champion Mercedes and over 20 broadcasting partners.  


With our network, cloud and security services we help key figures of the racing sport to completely make use of their current digital progress. An example: There are hundreds of sensors in a F1 vehicle by Mercedes which send hundreds of parameters to the crew in the pit and the headquarter in England. We transfer the most important team data via our network to every grand prix worldwide. The high-speed connection accelerated the decision of the engineers on site and the racing experts, who support the team of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas from England.

Quelle: Tata Communications

How did this partnership come about? And what are the achievements up until now?

We started our commitment in the racing sport in 2012 as a showcase for our customers. Formula 1 is a fast-paced and technologically progressive working environment, in which we can show our abilities at full length. The logic behind that is simple: If we can meet the requirements of the F1, we can also meet the requirements of every other customer.

In the last six racing seasons, we have built a close collaboration with Formula 1 and could include our experts in all fields of the sport. This is especially true for our collaboration with the Mercedes Team and the more than 20 broadcasting partners.

What idea is behind the F1 Innovation Prize?

The F1 Innovation Prize is the ultimate crowdsourcing competition. We are looking for new ideas by the F1 fans and by tech enthusiasts from all over the world to drive forth the innovation in racing sport. We are in the fifth year of the competition with our partners Formula 1 and Mercedes, yet this year we opt up the ante: The winner of the 1 Innovation Prize 2018 does not only get 50.000 US Dollars, but are also involved when their ideas are implemented by Formula 1. This has never happened in any international sports before. Lewis Hamilton, one of our judges, summarized the concept fittingly:

“Nobody can tell us more about the fans’ needs than the fans themselves. The more we interact and work with them, the better the sport gets.”

I can only agree with that. Our mission is to bring the sport closer to the fans and to interact with them in new ways.

Source title image: Tata Communications