We’re well into the 2021 season, and one thing’s clear: The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team is maintaining its legacy as one of the most successful teams in F1 history.

It’s a testament to teamwork—between cars and drivers, between analysts and engineers, and between the Mercedes-AMG organization and its partners. And today, more than ever, success in F1 is a product of data.

Why Modern Formula 1 Racing Is Data-Driven to the Max

Data allows F1 teams to turn gut instincts into winning outcomes.

Formula 1 racing requires split-second decisions that are made by a multitude of minds, factors, and technologies. In this way, today’s F1 races are different than they were decades ago. Data has always played a part, but today it’s one of the most data-driven sports in the world.

Data is right there in the driver’s seat, augmenting the physical abilities, experience, and courage of every driver.

The Mercedes F1 team’s engineers, analysts, and race strategists analyze data collected from more than 200 physical sensors in its cars. This allows them to glean every possible insight to enhance performance, keep drivers safe, inform pit-stop strategies, and more. Additional data is continuously gathered from the factory and track—currently averaging 20TB/day.

That’s more than twice the data from just two years ago.

So, What Does Instinct Powered by Data Mean?

“The biggest change is in terms of the workload for the driver and that they have to be data analysts themselves to some extent.” –James Allen, President, Motorsport Network

In large part, today’s drivers are the same as yesterday’s drivers. They’re bold and athletic and take risks. They listen to the car. Instinct plays a big part in their success, helping them make decisions when data can’t—say if inclement weather prevents tests prior to a race. It’s also the magic of the sport: drivers mastering machines at incredible speeds.

But you can’t overlook one important difference of today’s F1 drivers: how they’ve had to adapt their jobs to modern cars. Where data capture used to come primarily from the driver, now it comes from the car.

Motorsport Network President James Allen notes, “The biggest change is in terms of the workload for the driver and that they have to be data analysts themselves to some extent. They sit there and they are given all sorts of sheets and information about how they slowed the car down before the corner, how they turned the wheel in and rotated the car, loaded up the front tires, the rear tires, etc. They can make microscopic changes on all these details to improve their driving.”¹

They’re also connected via earpieces and biometric sensors that send their heart rates to teammates in the pit to better ensure their safety. Outside of their cars, the team is watching competitors, too.

To pull this off, they need data that can move as fast as they do. They can’t wait on laggy car data when a critical turn is seconds away. That’s where Pure comes in. It gives Mercedes F1, Lewis Hamilton, and Valtteri Bottas the extra agility and confidence they need to take risks and turn instincts into outcomes.

Powering the Business of F1 off the Track

For Mercedes F1, having operational agility is a bit like being aerodynamic off the track. Where F1 cars are designed to slice through the air with minimal drag, the organization can move faster, be ready for anything, and go after big wins when it’s free from data silos and bottlenecks.

Mercedes F1 uses detailed metrics in almost every aspect of its operations, from social media to lean manufacturing. Data is a core part of each decision-making process. The team’s data demands are incredibly vast, leveraged for everything from design and prototyping to manufacturing and testing.

All of this means that data has to be highly accessible, not trapped in silos that create bottlenecks. Here’s where the agility and power of the Modern Data Experience™ come in.

Pure Delivers Confidence and Split-second Agility

With Pure, the team has been able to cut components of the computation process by up to 15%.² The Modern Data Experience™ gives Mercedes F1 a competitive, cutting-edge data center, in turn giving the team the agility to make decisions that influence race and business outcomes. It’s characterized by key pillars, which together give teams the confidence to make breakthroughs:

  • Cloud-ready. The Mercedes F1 Team runs a majority of its applications on Pure, giving it a single storage infrastructure shared across all platforms.
  • Innovation leadership and sustainability. With the small footprint of the Pure FlashArray™, data rack space has been reduced by nearly 70%. That means substantial savings on operating costs and simple, on-site assembly and disassembly of IT equipment.
  • Modern data protection. For F1 teams, resilience and security are key. Data from cars can’t be recreated when it’s lost, and competitive edge means keeping in-transit data safe.

Turn Your Instincts into Breakthroughs

As an official technology partner, Pure Storage is proud to be an instrumental part of Mercedes F1’s victories. It’s a perfect expression of our Modern Data Experience and how data is helping to drive the wins of a modern F1 team.

But you don’t have to be suited up and in the seat of a Formula 1 car to need agility and fast access to data. You could be anywhere in the world, running any organization that wants to make a breakthrough. With Pure, you don’t even have to be an enterprise to get enterprise-grade infrastructure and experience. It’s all a part of a service-defined future and the Modern Data Experience, and it’s designed to help you chase down your best instincts and turn them into business wins.

That’s when breakthroughs occur. And Pure is here to help you embrace them.


  1. https://sloanreview.mit.edu/audio/why-f1-mathematicians-should-be-paid-more-than-drivers/
  2. https://www.purestorage.com/docs.html?item=/type/pdf/subtype/doc/path/content/dam/pdf/en/ebooks/eb-pure-mercedes-from-disrupted-to-disruptors.pdf