Formula E uses VR in race broadcast

The FIA Formula E incorporated Virtually Live’s true virtual reality footage into its world feed for the Qatar Airways Paris ePrix.

Using footage supplied by Virtually Live, the collision between Jean-Eric Vergne and Nelson Piquet Jr. from the previous race in Monaco was given a new perspective. In addition, Virtually Live has updated its Formula E VR app, which allows fans to revisit the races from Marrakesh, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Monaco, and experience them in a whole new way in fully immersive, computer-generated imagery using HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or on PC.

Another first for the championship in Paris was the simultaneous live broadcast of the first practice session via Facebook Live and Periscope. Available for free and without geo-restrictions, the live broadcasts opened up the potential for the championship to engage with a host of new fans.

Ali Russell, Formula E’s director of media, said: “At Formula E we always want to be at the forefront of broadcasting technology, pushing the boundaries of how our sport is delivered to our fans. Virtually Live offers an amazing new way of viewing the races and this is just the beginning of our aims in this area. Live streaming through Facebook Live and Periscope also helps us to get the passion and excitement of the series to a new generation of potential electric racing fans.”

Virtually Live’s director of motorsports Oliver Weingarten said: “It is exciting to push technology boundaries and innovate with Formula E. We are delighted to bring fans updated content alongside new features to our Virtually Live-Formula E App, including the ability to not just be able to stand anywhere on a race track, but also to be able to drive around it, and get a good perspective and understanding of the chicanes and straights in a unique city-centre race track. We have also provided fans without VR headsets the ability to enjoy a second screen experience on PC, giving fans new angles to watch the race that are beyond the limits of the TV cameras, as was shown in today’s world feed.”