Data may seem like a no-brainer for any business operating today, but according to Formula One global research director Matthew Roberts, who heads up the research insight team in London, it made a rather late entrance into the world of Formula One.

“Pre-2017, pre-Liberty takeover of F1, there was no data of Formula One,” he revealed at the recent MRMW APAC conference in Singapore.

Much of the data that was collected back then were “of the cars” and “sponsorship exposure of key partners in terms of how many seconds they were on screen”.

Fast forward to today, and the organisation is coming around speedily to data with “a multitude of projects” ranging from researching spectator experience and minting a CRM database, to launching F1 Fan Voice, which allows its 56,000-strong online fan community to shape “the sport of F1” through surveys, polls, forums and blogs.

The findings from these efforts and initiatives are used to engage both internal function leads and external stakeholders. Over a hundred people “within the business” – including race teams, promoters and sponsors – receive regular reports on these projects.