Formula 1 reveals its next-generation race car that teams in the 2022 season will use. The more aerodynamic vehicle design intends to create more wheel-to-wheel racing and more action on the track. The project was run using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and thousands of computing cores on Amazon Web Services (AWS), saving F1 both time and money to deliver the new design.

With drivers hitting speeds as high as 230 mph, taking pit stops in under two seconds, and flying around corners with a force of 5G, Formula 1 (F1) needs a technology provider as fast as their sport is. F1 is a battle between the world’s best drivers, but it’s also a battle of some of its most innovative engineers. By using AWS, F1 utilises innovative technologies, such as machine learning (ML) models and high-performance computing (HPC), to digitally transform the sport.

A significant change in the sport

AWS’s broadest and deepest functionality and unmatched pace of innovation is changing how F1 collects, analyses, and leverages data and content to make decisions. With 300 sensors on each F1 race car generating more than 1.1 million data points per second transmitted from the cars to the pit, F1 is a genuinely data-driven sport.

Increases action on the track

F1 and AWS are using data to improve the performance of both vehicle and driver. By using AWS high-performance computing, F1 was able to run aerodynamic simulations to develop its next-generation car 70% faster than ever before, creating a car that reduces downforce loss from 50% to 15%. This dramatic reduction offers the chasing driver a higher chance of overtaking and in doing so provides more wheel-to-wheel action for the fans. This next-generation car will be introduced in the 2022 season. F1 is also exploring the use of machine learning in its simulation process, giving the organisation new insights and into more than 550 million data points collected through more than 5,000 single and multicar simulations.

Increases fan engagement

The fan experience is changing during a race weekend. With AWS, F1 has been able to turn millions of data points transmitted from cars and trackside into an engaging fan experience through its F1 Insights. F1 uses 70 years of historical race data stored on Amazon S3, analysed by complex models and shared with fans as rich data insights that reveal the nuances of split-second decision making and highlight performances through these advanced stats. 

“Right in the beginning of this project, our main aim was to get cars that race closer together,” said Pat Symonds, chief technical officer for Formula 1. “Running in the cloud and running with AWS really removed all the barriers of time and computing capacity and allowed us to run what we want, when we want, and how we want. This is something I think I wouldn’t have believed was possible unless I’d been able to really leverage that power of AWS and see where the future might lie.”