How Does Data Drive a Formula One World Champion?

2018 Großer Preis von Italien, Sonntag - Wolfgang Wilhelm
Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s no secret that Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport is one of the most successful Formula One teams in history. They are five-time World Champions, so the team has to constantly push themselves to stay ahead of the competition. How do they do that? By leveraging data.

In Formula One racing, every millisecond counts. So much so that the difference between first and second place can be as little as 0.001 seconds. The team needs to be able to expect the unexpected — anything from the weather to the track conditions can have a significant impact on the car’s performance. The car itself has 300 sensors that capture 10,000 different data points, which translates into gigabytes worth of data. Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport by no means lacks data, but they need to know how to understand and utilize it to establish a data-driven lead on their competition at all stages of the car’s life cycle, be it design, set-up, or during a race.

The first area where the team is using data is with the W09 EQ Power+ race car, new to the track for the 2018 season. The car is the product of an advanced digital development ecosystem. Sitting at its core is TIBCO’s augmented intelligence solutions. These advanced analytics solutions help Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport make sense of the gigabytes of complex live data the W09 produces as it speeds around the track. The team collects information such as tire pressure, tire temperature, engine status, and more that can affect the performance of the car.

Not only does the team use data for the car, but Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport uses data for race strategy.  Data empowers the team to establish the best theoretical configuration and race strategy. Data becomes the common language for collaboration, allowing engineers to communicate data results to the drivers during the race weekend. TIBCO delivers real-time data in a more practical way so Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport can make decisions faster.

With TIBCO, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport can easily access, process and visualize live data along with existing historical data to generate real-time insights into the car’s performance. TIBCO makes it possible to visualize extremely complex data, easing the job of both analysts and strategists at the race and at the factory simultaneously.

These insights empower the team’s analysts and strategists to make informed decisions to optimize their strategy – both during the race and back at the factory. The team can glean insights from TIBCO’s visualizations, or collaborate with TIBCO data scientists on advanced analytics. The cross-collaboration around data at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport gives the team unprecedented visibility into their race strategy and car operations to maximize their chances of winning.

To learn more about how Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport uses data to enhance their championship credentials, check out our interactive brochure.