Digital Catapult, the UK body for accelerating the adoption of advanced technology, has partnered with Formula 1 (F1), the prestigious motor racing series, to explore how 5G could shape events in the future.

Their work will focus on finding 5G solutions that can “enhance event experiences for auto racing fans” by making viewing more inclusive and interactive for audiences onsite or at home.

They will test emerging technologies and quantify their value, work with startups and scaleups to find fan engagement opportunities, and seek to build on F1’s existing culture of innovation.

Digital Catapult and F1 will deliver the work with a cohort of small and medium-sized enterprises as part of the UK’s 5PRING 5G commercial application accelerator program.

Pete Samara, director of strategic technical ventures at Formula 1, said: “F1 is thrilled to be exploring with the startups and scaleups focused in this area, knowing that 5G is a technology that will transform and hugely impact event experiences globally.”

Jeremy Silver, chief executive of Digital Catapult, added: “Bringing together the repute and expertise of Formula 1 with the entrepreneurialism of the startup community will result in powerful collaborations, that can stimulate exciting new solutions for the events sector.”

Meanwhile, Dutch F1 champion Max Verstappen has agreed a multi-year content partnership with Viaplay, the streaming service run by European media giant Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT).

As part of the deal, Verstappen will feature in documentary programming in which he will discuss his approach to driving F1 circuits and will give an insight into his life away from the sport, among other things.

He will also feature in other exclusive Viaplay content.

In addition, Verstappen will become an ambassador for Viaplay in all markets that the platform holds rights to show F1.

NENT holds F1 rights in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, with rights in Finland being added from 2022 and in Poland from 2023.

Viaplay will launch in the Netherlands on March 1.

Peter Nørrelund, group chief sports officer, said: “Partnering with Max Verstappen shows the strength of our commitment to Formula 1. Viaplay covers this fantastic sport in a way that is simply not available anywhere else, with the very best studios, driver access, and on-air talents like Mika Häkkinen, David Coulthard, and Tom Kristensen. Adding exclusive content from Max will take viewers inside the fastest show on Earth like never before.”