The secret science behind motor racing

The Tech Race was the culmination of a multiyear development of motorsport animation production, primarily featuring weekly Formula 1 car technical updates to an engaged global audience. Starting as a 1 year independent contract in 2015, this project expanded and was acquired by Motorsport Network in 2017 where it quickly became the hero content for their Youtube and social channels.

Renowned F1 journalist Peter Windsor approached me in 2015 with a desire to demystify the complexities behind F1 technology. He wanted to package this in a 3D animated format that would have mass consumer appeal and could be distributed to a global audience. This posed a multitude of technical and logistical hurdles that needed to be solved.

Problems to solve

1

Each race weekend, the teams bring new components to their cars, first seen on Friday. For this to be newsworthy, the animated videos needed to be live 24 hours later, ahead of the race on Sunday.

2

The videos would need to be published in three different languages for partners in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

3

With races taking place all over the world, time zones would play a significant factor in delivery and launch scheduling.

4

The teams do not publicize car updates, so we need to scan the grid for changes, capture “spy” photography and determine which updates are newsworthy. 

Solution

The primary hurdle after capturing the reference imagery and writing the story was how to build, animate and render a 1-minute video in less than a day. Following extensive research into rendering options, Element 3D was the perfect solution, enabling near real-time rendering of 3D objects within AE. The advantage of this solution is VFX, motion graphics and multi-language captioning could all be produced within After Effects, saving valuable production time. Now, instead of rendering requiring hours overnight, multiple versions could be pushed out in a matter of minutes, meaning we could react to last-minute updates and amendments.

Process

Brand development

Timeline

Results

Sky Sports F1

In 2019 Sky Sports, the leading Formula 1 global broadcaster, reached out regarding the usage of our tech videos in their programming. We were able to supply them with content as part of their race preview package, hosted by lead commentator and ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle.

Motorsport Network had been attempting to establish a business relationship with Sky Sports for several years and this deal became the key jumping-off platform to begin talks.

Mahindra Partnership

Mahindra Racing have competed in the electric FIA Formula E Championship since the inaugural season in 2014. They approached us in 2018 off the back of the success of our F1 tech videos to produce a series for their channels on their upcoming Formula E car. 

This started out as a 5 part series to be produced fully by our in-house team and also tied in with a promotional deal across Motorsport Networks channels. The success of the series led to renewals of the series in both 2019 and 2020, where the series was also expanded into their road car division.

Thank you

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