The context

Established in 1950, Formula 1 is one of the world's most successful sports entertainment brands, boasting 503 million fans globally. But this success hides a story of unrealised potential.

In the 90s, F1 was estimated to be worth as much as the Champions League. Today, it's worth four times less.

It was clear then that F1 needed to innovate - to grow and change to win the fans of tomorrow. But it also needed to maintain its heritage, avoid alienating its existing fan base and remain true to the essence of the sport. In order to do that, it needed to connect with its fans.

Prior to 2017, F1 didn't have an insight team. It didn't believe in data or research and, with the exception of one TV data report, didn't use or subscribe to any other insight service. F1 didn't know what its fans looked like, or their motivations, and never turned to them to inform decisions.

But when new management arrived, F1 approached Flamingo to help it understand how to grow in the right way. In order to do that, Flamingo first had to understand the true nature of F1's appeal. Getting there wasn't easy.