This weekend, F1 stopped at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin for a collision of cultures. The high-tech world of F1 collided with the American art of entertainment, right in the Live Music Capital of the World®. In true Austin style, there was always something happening both on and off the track. Top artists included Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, and Lewis Hamilton. What did these artists have in common? They’re talented and rely on a proven band or team to deliver and delight fans. And team spirit is one that prevailed throughout the weekend for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team.
As a team, they came fully prepared. Although the US Grand Prix is one of the driver’s and the team’s favorite tracks, and on paper it fits well the Mercedes W08, the team worked extremely hard to arrive with the best possible setup to have an optimal car on Friday. The team invested in an intense simulation activity to understand the best setup and strategy, combining performance and reliability. Analytics are a key element of these simulations. They leverage data from past races, which allow engineers to define the models that the simulations are based on and test for consequences. The setup the team decided on proved ideal—even the rain during the first free practice on Friday did not stop Lewis Hamilton from being the fastest. On Saturday during qualifications, the tricky wind that had pushed several drivers beyond limits by increasing their speed did not bother Hamilton either as he took another pole. The qualification session set many records for Hamilton, who not only broke the record for poles, but also broke the lap record—twice.
As a team, they reacted to attacks with strategy. The simulations, this time combined with real-time data, helped the strategy team make the best decisions in confidence, and based on the context (such as the car ahead), could indicate which strategy to adopt. For example, when Sebastian Vettel had an excellent start, Hamilton was not able to be the first to take turn one. The team quickly reacted to give Hamilton the setup to overtake him a few laps after. On the other hand, the team could not adapt Valtteri Bottas’ one pit stop strategy soon enough. In his second stint, he defended the Ferraris so much that he got more wear than planned on his tires, forcing him to pit a few laps just before the checkered flag, falling to fifth place, a position that did not do him justice given his pace and the performance he delivered on track.
As a team, they won. In spite of Bottas’ distant finish, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team got its fourth consecutive Constructors’ World Championship. Another championship won with superior engineering, inspired strategy, and flawless execution. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team designed a car that stood out on critical quick tracks while being exposed to the competition on slower tracks. The team keeps on developing an approach to strategy based on capitalizing on data acquired and leveraging it to understand context and inform decisions. Finally, the best drivers in the world make the strategy a reality while the mechanics keep delivering race after race, especially during pit stops. Finally, and just as important, as a team, they stay focused on the next steps. Hamilton strengthened his lead in the championship, and the whole team is already at work to make his wish a reality: win the next races. More simulations and more analysis are already being applied to win next week in Mexico, and then in Brazil and finally, Abu Dhabi.
At TIBCO, we are very proud to partner with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team, contributing to their performance with our technologies and our team. We’re proud to be part of a group of companies and individuals who have contributed to Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team’s fourth consecutive title: #4TheTeam.