Strategies to Power Your Business: 3 Lessons from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

Mercedes AMG Petronas TIBCO
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Data-centered decisions drive victories on and off the track

Cars thunder down the track, one overtaking another, rounding the curve, swerving right, swerving left, and straight across the finish, with all these split-second decisions monitored and recorded. Burning tires, smoke-filled views, and the sounds of victory: this is the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team

When the excitement dies down, and the cars pull into the pit, it’s up to the Team engineers to analyze this captured data to make and predict winning outcomes for the future. 

Here are three takeaways on how to drive home wins like the most successful Formula One Team in the modern era of motorsport:

Gain a Competitive Advantage with Data-Driven Design

According to Geoff Willis, Director of Commercial Engineering for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, the key to success is the pre-race preparation: “We can develop a good, highly refined model of the vehicle, its aerodynamic and vehicle dynamic performance, and detailed models of the tires. Combined with the detailed model of the track, we run simulations, and we optimize the car setup.” This optimization means the car is performing its best and the drivers can trust its efficient design to speed them to victory. 

Cars supply enormous amounts of data through hundreds of channels, and it’s up to the Team to make sense of the volume, variety, and velocity of their data for the ultimate competitive advantage. This data-fueled advantage allows the Team to outperform the competition with metric benchmarks and predictive analytics, always one lap ahead. They learn what works, what doesn’t, and which areas need improvement, even before getting on the track with their digital twin.

While data-driven decision-making is the focus, the Team’s ultimate goal is to turn that data into information and then into knowledge. And the faster they can impart that knowledge to different areas in the organization, the more success the organization gains as a whole. 

Prepare On and Off the Track

The defining difference between one-time winners and consecutive champions is learning from failures and focusing on continuous improvement. Every race lost or podium won is a learning opportunity for the Team, and they are continuously preparing for the unknown. 

The Team goes into each race with a plan for likely scenarios, but not everything always goes according to plan. According to Willis, “The thing that we struggle to predict until we get very close to the race is the exact environmental conditions.” And what they can’t predict, they use other simulations to circumvent. Willis continues, “We run a big suite of simulations across all sorts of parameters of tire grip, of tire track temperature, of track grip, and characteristics, and so we arrive at the circuit well prepared.”Each of these conditions can have a massive impact on race performance, showcasing the importance of constant monitoring.

Arriving prepared means the Team can make split-second decisions to achieve better outcomes, and while they can’t always predict the future, they can come to any scenario with a comfortable understanding of what could happen and what they can do about it.

Fuel Your Victory with TIBCO

With so much riding on the Team’s simulation models, having the best-in-class tools to aid in analysis and decision-making is critical to keeping a competitive edge. TIBCO technology helps them sustainably innovate and continuously improve based on real-time data and analytics, which is instrumental to their success. 

“That determination, that desire, that intent to continually improve, continually learn, continually be better is not just limited to the performance side of the organization. That mantra runs throughout the whole of the organization,” said Michael Taylor, IT Director for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. Continuous improvement defines the strategy of Mercedes and is one of the main reasons they are 7-time Consecutive World Champions.

In an uncertain year like 2020, building a solid foundation has been crucial to adapting and innovating for continuous success year after year. TIBCO is key in enabling the Team to adapt on the fly with analytics and decision-making support. Not only does TIBCO help them on the track but that same powered-analytics system helps businesses in a myriad of industries, like energy, agriculture, and healthcare.

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The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team shows that taking advantage of data and predictive capabilities can lead people to a great victory, one data-driven decision at a time.Ready to bring a championship-winning strategy to your business like the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team? Check out this case study featuring their data-driven preparations and ideas for continuous improvement, made possible by TIBCO.