While data is widely used in auto racing, its value was dramatically highlighted in real time during this past week’s British Grand Prix. Formula 1 is the world’s fastest motorsport, with cars reaching speeds of more than 200 mph and accelerating to 60 mph in under two seconds. No driver could be expected to keep track of everything happening during a race. This is exactly why F1 teams like Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 rely so heavily on data to gain precise knowledge of their cars and drivers to guide every decision.
Mercedes F1 team driver, Lewis Hamilton, beat the odds to secure his eighth win on the Silverstone Circuit—even after an opening lap collision and a 10-second penalty. Leveraging data streamed from hundreds of sensors, Hamilton was able to close the gap and achieve the peak performance necessary to secure a victory.
Lap after Lap, Data-Driven Decisions Capture the Lead
After vying to take the lead in the first lap of the Grand Prix, Hamilton and Red Bull Racing team driver, Max Verstappen, collided on “Copse corner”—one of the track’s most difficult curves. The race was brought to a temporary halt to repair barriers, and Hamilton was handed a time penalty. After having to sit out of the race for 10 seconds, Hamilton returned to the track with the Mercedes F1 team analyzing data to uncover opportunities for making up lost time.
Data-driven insights from sensors that monitor lap times, tire and brake temperatures, airflow, engine performance, and more helped Hamilton sweep past McLaren’s Lando Norris in the 32nd lap. Data also helped guide the decision for Hamilton to pass his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, on the 41st lap.
This opened the opportunity for Hamilton to take the lead. Hamilton asked the Mercedes F1 pit crew if he could “catch” Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. After evaluating the data, the team confirmed that he could. With confidence, Hamilton accelerated past Leclerc with just two laps remaining to secure the race with his home fans cheering.
Check out The Race Wrap: British Grand Prix Edition as Pure’s Matt Oostveen and Mark Jobbins, along with former F1 driver Alex Yoong and F1 journalist Michael Lamonato, dissect the action on the track and in the pit.
Following every race, the Mercedes F1 team of drivers, engineers, and mechanics analyzes the extensive amount of data gathered to glean insights from it and make improvements. Every detail is examined to determine what went wrong or right, with continuous improvement being the focus to keep pace with the fierce competition.
Data from the vehicles is parsed and combined with GPS, weather data, and what the competition is doing to provide a complete analytical overview and develop simulations to prepare for the next race.
High-Performance Data for High-Performance Cars
Perhaps more than in any other sport, F1 is guided by big data and the decisions that flow from it. Simply put, instinct powered by data performance is everything when it comes to being an F1 champion, and success hinges on having modern data storage that delivers the same level of innovation and performance as the vehicles themselves.
With the Mercedes F1 team reviewing this recent win and continuously developing strategies to secure its eighth consecutive F1 World Championship, data is securely in the front seat, driving their competitive edge. As an official team partner, Pure Storage® is proud to be helping the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team achieve victory with high-performance data storage that delivers breakthrough speed, agility, and cost savings.
Buckle up for more excitement as the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team prepares for another win at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, August 1.