All eyes are on Miami this weekend as international celebrities arrive for the city’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix. The European racing event has attracted American fans in droves, thanks to the “Netflix effect” of Formula 1: drive to survive – the hit franchise that sparked some of the most engrossing rivalries in modern streaming and has just been renewed for seasons 5 and 6.
This in turn has attracted a new class of tech sponsors, including Google, Amazon, Dell and Oracle, who can use their computing power to analyze the 100,000 data points these $20 million machines generate per second. This means the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship calendar is not just a celebration of speed, but the triumph of math, science and data every weekend from February to November.
In addition, the technology tested on the track – constantly evolving due to ever-changing governing body regulations – tends to trickle down to passenger cars, so what’s on show today could be in the showrooms tomorrow.
Here’s the best tech we spotted at the Miami International Speedway around Hard Rock Stadium this weekend.
McLaren Racing’s Formula 1 team is benefiting from partnerships with Google and Dell this year. Google has branded the MCL36 driven by Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo with logos for Android and Chrome, the primary colors of which run around its hubcaps, which returned to F1 cars for the first time since 2009 due to new regulations this season.
But the multi-year partnership goes further.
“This collaboration has the potential to solve large and complex engineering challenges – from improving the team’s telemetry and design capabilities through AI, to accelerating decision-making and protecting team communications using Android 5G,” Google VP of Marketing Nicholas Drake wrote in a blog post.
The McLaren team also uses Android-connected phones, tablets and headphones to monitor performance from the pit, as well as Dell’s prototyping and simulation software.
“We are in a constant state of rapid prototyping our cars to make them faster with data-driven engineering changes, on average around every 20 minutes,” said Edward Green, senior digital architect at McLaren Racing, in a press release.
Among the top five cars on the circuit, the margin between the fastest and slowest cars can be a very slim 0.15%, making the simulation power Dell provides an integral part of team performance. .
Red Bull Racing’s car may have the cure that will allow the team and driver Max Verstappen to defend the world title: its title sponsor’s Oracle Cloud software that uses machine learning to analyze race-day variables , from when to make a pit stop to what type of tires to use.
The software will analyze data points from Friday and Saturday’s practice laps at Hard Rock Stadium to simulate races and decide the best course for Sunday. This is especially important on new race tracks such as the temporary 19-turn Hard Rock Stadium F1 circuit where historical data does not exist.
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez said the surface conditions at Miami Gardens were difficult. “There’s not a lot of grip on the racing line at this track,” Perez said after falling behind in Friday’s practice sessions, “and it’s also very serious there. .”
IT expertise can also help Red Bull solve a challenge most teams have faced so far this season: a phenomenon called ‘porpoising’ for the bouncing effect it produces when cars are speeding on long straight lines. This is an effect of FIA rule changes for the 2022 season which give teams greater control over ground dynamics to generate downforce.
Red Bull’s solution is a metal strip that adds stiffness and rigidity to the floor of the team’s RB18 race car. This “ice skate” design also acts as a skate that reduces flex once the subfloor touches the track.
Mercedes AMG Petronas
After a disappointing start to the 2022 season, the long-dominant Mercedes team is rolling out updates to its front and rear fenders for the Miami race.
FIA regulations that changed the design of the front and rear wings for 2022 and reintroduced a beam wing after a nine-year hiatus have forced teams to rethink their aerodynamic systems, particularly for the front wing, which serves as the first crucial point of contact. which directs airflow through the body. Mercedes’ upgrades aim to improve efficiency and reduce drag for the W13 race car driven by George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.
Russell led Friday afternoon’s second practice lap, giving the team and their fans hope that Mercedes have ironed out the issues. Meanwhile, seven-time world champion Hamilton has been given a temporary exemption for the weekend to wear jewelry he cannot easily remove, including a platinum nose ring, so the team can advance to full speed.