Formula 1

How can we better engage a TV audience?

Formula 1 car
At a glance

Imagine witnessing the highs and lows of the Formula 1 live experience, on a second-by-second basis, from home.

Using biometric sensors to compare implicit responses with reported responses, our partnership with Formula 1 unearthed the specific ingredients that blend together to create the thrill of the race. Our client could then tailor broadcasting formats to deliver a televised experience that truly grabs and holds the attention of viewers.

A world first, this study ushers in a new era of technological innovation in market research.

Formula 1 driver celebrating
The full story

You need only to stand within shouting distance of any major sporting event to know that their strength and success lie in raw, emotional, in-the-moment experiences. The best way to understand someone’s emotional response to these experiences is to capture it passively, unobtrusively and in real time; this removes the risk of bias or reliance on post-rationalism. We worked with partners MindProber and Yonder Data Solutions to deliver a biometric approach that captures and tracks the implicit emotional journeys that all of us go on when we consume media.

We used Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) signals, taken from the palm of the hand, to discover and record how the autonomic nervous system responds to timely stimuli – the larger emotional load of the content, the higher perspiration activity is.

We were able to automatically analyse the data using state-of-the-art algorithms, generating emotional impact reports within an interactive dashboard. Analysing peaks and dips in engagement across the race could then inform content production – including which unique camera angles are most engaging, what type of commentary has a positive impact, how & when team radio can be best utilised, and the decay effect of using replays. The study also played an important role in the formation of the 2021 technical regulations for Formula 1 and helped make F1 a more exciting sport to watch.

The application of this methodology heralds a significant moment for market research, showing the ever-increasing importance of live, long-form content, and the ability to measure engagement with it on both a second-by-second basis, and quantitative scale.


of respondents said F1 puts fans first after taking part in the survey, versus 47% prior to the race


of UK viewers said they enjoyed this season more than the last

Man celebrating with champagne

24% increase in Sky’s live race viewing figures in the first season post biometric testing

Gold Trophy Winner
(1st Place)

ESOMAR Research Effectiveness Awards 2020

Silver Award, Sports Tech of the Year - for Sport & in Sport

Sports Business Awards 2020

“The research provided us with a far more detailed understanding than we could have imagined of how viewers engage with a race…The value of the research is clear, and we’re very keen to build a bank of knowledge about our fans’ engagement so that we can move the sport forward in the right way.”

Pat Symonds, Chief Technical Officer, Formula 1


Media / Gaming / Sport



What we did

Brand & Business Strategy
Customer Understanding