3 Ways the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Uses Data to Navigate a Changing Race Industry

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Across every sport, change is inevitable. For instance, starting next year, bases in Major League Baseball will simultaneously implement changes to the defensive shift, the pitch clock, and increase the size of the bases in a bid to decrease on-base collisions between infielders and baserunners. The National Football League constantly debates the scope and enforcement of pass interference and roughing the passer. 

Whatever the sport, adjustments are made every year to improve athletes’ safety, achieve more equitable competition—and of course, maximize the entertainment value for spectators.

Formula One is no different. In 2022, FIA—the sport’s governing body—launched the biggest technical regulation change in a generation: reinvented car specifications, new aerodynamics, a cost cap, and limits on wind tunnel testing. It’s more challenging than ever to sustain success year over year for the top teams on the grid.

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director, explains how the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team navigates high-stakes decision making with complex trade-offs.

A Bold Strategy

Over the last seven seasons, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team has achieved a dominating level of success in the sport. But the Team’s 2022 car is unlike any of its predecessors—or the competition—incorporating bold design choices such as a revolutionary sidepod-less design, the only team on the track with this unique setup. 

It was a high-risk, high-reward strategy. 

And as with any sport—or business—a bold decision inherently risks short-term progress in favor of big-picture success.

This is exactly the situation Mercedes F1 found itself in. Although this year’s reinvented car was designed to allow it to more easily navigate through turbulent air on track—at certain speeds, an aerodynamic effect known as porpoising made the cars slower and more difficult to drive.

How Porpoising Effects Aerodynamics 

When a bold chance is taken, and the outcome isn’t what you expected, how can you work the problem without losing focus or straying from the master plan?

The Team’s answer? 

Don’t deviate from a winning strategy: an obsession with being a data-centric and analytics-driven organization.

3 Ways the Team Uses Data and Analytics

TIBCO analytics technology is integral to helping Mercedes F1 collaborate around, understand, and optimize the performance of its complex race cars. Whether through running millions of simulations to determine which designs and adjustments will likely yield the best outcomes or enabling aerodynamic engineers to drill down into trends and specific mechanisms to inform car design changes, the Team uses the TIBCO platform to tackle its most pressing data challenges.

In combination with other leading technology solutions on the market, Mercedes F1 has embarked upon a three-part plan to overcome its most pressing immediate challenges that will still enable the Team to stay focused on its long-term goals:

1. Gain Consistency

2. Optimize the Car

3. Compete to Win

In our newest case study, learn how the TIBCO platform is critical in helping the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team gain consistency on the track, optimize its cars for the best performance, and compete to win another championship.

TIBCO for the Win

With TIBCO solutions, Mercedes F1 has hit its stride for the season, overcoming a range of seemingly insurmountable design and aerodynamic obstacles and once again racing competitively. You can follow all the latest Formula One racing action with TIBCO on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #TIBCOfast.

The TIBCO platform isn’t just for racing performance. TIBCO is a leader in many industries like retail, banking, insurance, manufacturing, and many more. Contact us to fuel your championship solution.