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Tech Innovation will help bring back the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix In 2021

Ollie Howard avatar

Ollie Howard

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Tech Innovation will help bring back the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix In 2021

The Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix is a pillar of Victoria’s major events calendar, boosting Victoria’s economy and providing jobs and entertainment. Each year the leafy, inner-city suburb of Albert Park is transformed into a world class venue for one of the world's most prestigious sporting events. Quiet commuter roads are transformed into a 5.3-kilometre challenge to the greatest drivers in the world, and a playground for Victorian sport lovers and visitors from all corners of the globe.

2020 event cancellation

Startupbootcamp was at the Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2020 on Thursday 12 March showcasing local innovation at our Melbourne Sports & EventTech scouting event. Despite the impending pandemic, it felt normal around the track that day but things were rapidly changing in the background. Following confirmation that a McLaren Racing Team member had tested positive for COVID-19, the FIA convened a meeting of the team principals on Thursday evening. Those discussions concluded with a majority in favour of not racing. With fans waiting eagerly at the gates to enter the track on Friday morning, the event had been cancelled. The Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix 2020 was the first, but not the last, major event to be cancelled or suspended in 2020.

2021 event planning & innovation

To ensure the best chance at delivering a close to normal and COVID-safe event, the AGPC are planning this year's Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix a few months later than usual, on 18-21 November 2021. "This year's Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix will be different, with the circuit divided into several zones. This set up offers some pretty exciting new things for fans - both those at the event and those at home." Says AGPC General Manager – Legal & Strategy and General Counsel, James Rosengarten.

Formula 1® is one of the most sophisticated and innovative sports, and this year's event will see innovation from the teams to the stands. Mr Rosengarten shared, "There will be a tech presence from the moment fans arrive at the track. It is likely that digital tickets will be used to access the venue and that it will be a cashless event." Just as important will be the virtual experience to share with those fans at home, in Australia and abroad. "We want to ensure all fans are engaged and connected with other fans and the teams they follow. We are looking at virtual experiences to ensure this is maximised."

In addition to the Tech & Innovation Precinct at the event, the AGPC is open to finding other innovations that will help deliver a COVID-safe event. And what better place to showcase Victorian technologies on the world stage!?

Some covid-safe technologies we've seen recently

Startupbootcamp is currently scouting the world for leading Sports & EventTech startups. We reviewed 24,000 startups in January, and have received over 400 applications to join our 2021 Sports & EventTech program. As we begin to open up and major events are running again, we are seeing a lot of startups pivot their focus to COVID-safe event delivery.

1. sEATz

sEATz is a mobile solution that allows fans in a stadium to order food, drinks and merchandise from their phone and have it delivered to their seat or prepared for express pickup. sEATz mobile ordering makes a venue cashless and encourages social distancing through minimisation of interaction in queues.

2. Unleash Live

Unleash Live is a software platform applying A.I. analytics in real time on video with zero latency. The Unleash Live solution can be implemented in or around a stadium to track attendees and monitor the density of crowds to ensure COVID-safe event delivery.

3. Maggy

Maggy is a small wearable device helping organisations to maintain social distancing while respecting everyone’s privacy. The powerful Maggy contact tracing capabilities allows venues to maximise event continuity.

If you are a COVID-safe event delivery startup, or interested to learn more about the topic, we’d love to chat! Please contact me directly at

Photo by: Australian Grand Prix Corporation.

Ollie Howard avatar

Ollie Howard

Sports & EventTech Managing Director @ Startupbootcamp Australia