The real-time truth of an F1 Fan’s digital race experience

[Case Study]

Note: This case study was first published on


Formula 1, like many broadcasters of live TV experiences, are challenged with how to make their product as exciting and engaging as possible for the fans who now have so much choice of what to watch and when to watch it via SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) services.

Solution & Results

Rather than rely on traditional research approaches using reported behaviours to understand their experience, the insights team at F1 partnered with Walnut Unlimited and RealityMine on a duel-pronged approach.

Firstly, by asking race fans in the US to download the RealityMine passive metering app on to their various digital devices during two full race weekends. This allowed us to map exactly what F1-related content was being consumed at what times, from which channels/brands, and on what platforms. It was analysis of this complex but highly valuable data that enabled us to work together to establish the key moments during a race weekend for certain types of content and which brands were currently fulfilling these needs best – identifying new opportunities for F1.

At the same time, in-home ethnography using eye-tracking glasses with a small number of fans in Germany allowed us to bring to life exactly how secondary screens and information sources are used during a grand prix to support and enhance the experience for the fan – supporting content development strategy for the following season.

“The ability of this research to take us inside the true digital behaviour of our fans during their natural race weekend was eye-opening. Working with the teams at both Walnut and RealityMine, we were able to uncover nuggets of insight that, when we dug a little deeper, turned out to be rich seams of understanding that can really impact the way we engage with our audience over these channels.”

— David Bailey, Senior Research & Analytics Manager, Formula 1