You’re running up to the rear of Max Verstappen’s number 33 Red Bull Racing Honda. The starter’s bridge passes over your head in a blur and you edge to your right. Verstappen moves to block you. The hard left belonging to turn 1 of Dubai’s Yas Marina Circuit is approaching at 178 mph. You pull farther right. Then, as Verstappen hits the brakes to make the turn, you cut your wheel a fraction of a second before he does, roll over the rounded curb, and take the lead. The crowd in the grandstands behind you goes wild.
If this sounds like a scene from a Formula 1 video game, it is…kind of. The difference between this and other video games is that the gamer is racing live during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix using actual data from the actual race. In other words, although the race began with 20 real drivers piloting their Ferraris, Hondas, Mercedes, and Renaults as they accelerate at the green light, you (if you are a gamer) will soon be able to take a position as the virtual 21st car driving the race in real time. This is just one of the many gifts that Israeli company Griiip is offering to the racing world and its fans.
Founded in 2015 by Tamir Plachinsky and Gil Zakay and headquartered in Petah Tikvah, Israel, Griiip asserts that they live where adrenaline and innovation meet. Their mission is to “make Motorsport more accessible and affordable, by providing new ways to engage with racing.”i Their technology centers around the startup’s media software called Racing Media Platform (RAMP).ii By putting a “Red Box” communication device into a race car, RAMP is able to draw out a huge amount of information. Not only will a viewer/user be able to see the typically available information – driver profiles, comparisons to other cars, positions on the track – but they can also deep-dive other data such as battery status, tire data, engine information, even driver stress levels.iii
For drivers, RAMP gives access to an enormous amount of real-time dash information and comparative analysis for improvements. For racing teams, the hardware/software combination helps them stay on top of what is happening real time with the car and with their driver during races and at practice.iv But, for many, the most exciting part is how this software will revolutionize live race gaming. The future for Griiip is so bright that car manufacturer, Porsche, has jumped on board, becoming a minority stakeholder in the company.v
Israel is once again on the cutting edge of technology. Much of the innovation that comes from the Silicon Wadi is life-saving or addresses some great critical need. There are other technologies, however, that are just really cool and bring more enjoyment to life. It is in the latter category that we find Griiip. They aren’t out to change the world; they’re just looking to make it a little more fun. And, in that, they are exceeding greatly.
i “Homepage: Griiip: Better Motorsport Experiences.” Griiip, www.griiip.com/.
ii Solomon, Shoshanna. “Carmaker Porsche Invests in Israeli Startup to Give Fans Greater Race Thrill.” The Times of Israel, 8 July 2021, www.timesofisrael.com/carmaker-porsche-invests-in-israeli-startup-to-give-fans-greater-race-thrill/.
iii “News Briefs Archives.” NoCamels, nocamels.com/category/news-briefs/#post-101333.
iv “Homepage: Griiip: Better Motorsport Experiences.”
v Shoshanna Solomon.