Amazon Web Services Making An Impact In Formula One

With their innovative cloud computing solutions, Amazon Web Services are revolutionizing how Formula One teams store, analyze, and utilize data to make strategic decisions on the track.

In 2018 Formula 1 partnered with Amazon Web Services and the partnership can be seen in the TV graphics.

Formula 1 uses machine learning tools from Amazon Web Services to analyze new data generated by vehicles and analyze patterns. This will give Formula 1 a better understanding of the type of racing that attracts fans and allow them to follow suit. In addition, the partnership will deliver a better racing product overall, enhancing the spectacle that Formula 1 has come to expect.

British automotive engineer Robert Smedley who is in charge of Formula 1 racing after several years at Williams, Ferrari and Jordan said “We are exploring where else we can leverage it within Formula 1 and across the Formula 1 /AWS partnership. Specifically, harnessing the true power of AWS machine learning, analytics and expertise. We are looking for something that will make the sport more exciting,” he commented. “We have already used it extensively in the CFD design iterations we did for the 2022 car. AWS played a big role in that. So we're definitely pretty busy right now designing the track."

Formula 1 wants to expand into new markets and is looking for new tracks much like Jeddah and Miami. Their goal and mission is to always provide the best possible product. While there may be many opinions on what a good race actually means, Smedley stresses that the data collected also plays a role.

"You can imagine a scenario where you can collect data for all routes," he explained. “Look at overtaking, and look at its trajectory and speed profile, and the myriad of other input parameters it needs. When you train the model, these are the most important factors, so the track actually looks like this: The design of a track with a single track is not very complicated and overtaking is predictable.” 

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However, factors beyond the circuit layout such as weather conditions, grip levels, track temperature and the ability of the cars themselves also contribute massively. "Where it becomes more difficult is when you add in, the models become, the algorithms become an order of magnitude more complex," said Smedley. You put into that one car following another, or when you come to that variable grip level throughout the race. This is because you have less at the start than you have at the end of the race. Or when you've got external factors such as wind and rain, and all that type of stuff. If you're able to build complex enough algorithms and models where you can put all this stuff in. Then, it designs the track for you. That would be the absolute best in that. There's lots of brainstorming. The thing I like about this partnership is there's a lot of stuff. We're always looking for the next big innovation, and it's got the horsepower behind it to really do that."

Engineering isn't a black-and-white world. It's a complicated process that engineers welcome and relish. "It's throwing up more and more questions," Smedley says. "If you go back 25 years ago, when I first started, you got a little bit of data, because you thought if I acquired that bit of data, then I'm going to know everything, that's the bit that I need - and all it does is just lead you to the next bit, and the next bit, and the next bit, and you never, ever stop. It's just a constant mining of knowledge that you can never ever stop. Once you get to the holy grail, you think if I could build something that would tell me all of that, that would really resolve all of my problems. You do that, and then it becomes clear that there's more that you don't know, and the more that you don't know just becomes bigger and bigger. That's the exciting bit, to be honest.

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