How Data is Driving Formula 1 Success

Pierre Gasly of Scuderia Toro


As the Formula 1 season came to an end, thousands of people made their way to oil-rich Abu Dhabi to see their favorite drivers one more time. And the picturesque Yas Marina didn’t disappoint.

The Mercedes team that already had the contractors’ championship in the pocket displayed another strong performance, with both drivers taking the first two podium positions, followed by Ferraris’ Sebastian Vettel who settled for third while retaining the second spot in the driver standings.

As the events unfolded in front of Formula 1 spectators, not many of them realized that the race was also playing out in hundreds of powerful computers around the world. As racecars flicked in front of people’s eyes, they were simultaneously sending gigabytes of data back to the pit wall and to the teams’ factories half-way across the world. The data so important, that if it stopped, the cars would have to be pulled off the track and return to the box immediately.

Formula 1 cars are fitted with hundreds of telemetry (tele = remote, metron = measure) sensors. These sensors help engineers to monitor the car remotely and use the collected data to adjust the setup of their cars. In fact already, during the last few races, teams have started thinking about next year, using time on the track to make important design decisions for the next year’s cars.

Commenting on the qualifying session in Abu Dhabi, Toro Rosso’s Chief Race Engineer Jonathan Eddolls revealed that this is exactly what they did: “The engineers spent an awful lot of time analyzing all of the data in terms of tyres, aerodynamic behavior and mechanical set-up to try and understand the issues that we had yesterday… even if our main focus has been on next years’ car for some time now, this doesn’t mean that we will give up until seeing the chequered flag of tomorrow’s race.”

The same goes for all the other teams, including Ferrari and Mercedes. Ferrari was seen experimenting with a Red Bull style diffuser evaluating its design options for the next year’s car, and Mercedes tried a high-rake concept, also from Red Bull, as it looked for more stability in 2018.

So how important is this data? The answer is – very. Toro Rosso’s Head of IT Raffaele Boschetti once said that “even losing physical resources or the entire garage is not so bad compared to losing data.” Physical resources can be easily replaced, while the lost data, or lack of data, may be not an easy task to fix.

Prior to its partnership with Acronis, Toro Rosso once experienced a data loss incident, and it took about a week to recover. “We lost some CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) data,” said Toro Rosso’s Team Principal Franz Tost. “From the development side, one week of downtime can translate to losing two to three tenth of a second of performance on the track. And if you look at the qualifying times, even one-tenth of a second can decide your position on the grid.”

Losing time on the track because of data loss is not an attractive proposition for racing teams, especially if it can be avoided. And this is where Acronis has a perfect solution. Toro Rosso is using Acronis Access Advanced to optimize the sharing of sensitive data, and in the words of Toro Rosso’s Team Principal Franz Tost, “thanks to Acronis, this data is always protected and available.”

As a global leader in hybrid cloud data protection, Acronis released a number of innovative solutions this year that won immediate recognition in the automotive industry. An increasing amount of business is coming from the major industry players where reliability and speed matter most.

Acronis’ innovative technology offers complete protection for hybrid IT infrastructure of any size. With the world’s fastest backup and 15-second data recovery offered by Acronis Backup 12.5 motor racing team can rest assured that the data will always be available. In addition, Acronis offers blockchain-based Acronis Notary and Artificial Intelligence-driven Acronis Active Protection to protect data against tampering and cyber attacks. It is the full protection the racing teams need.

This weekend in Abu Dhabi, Acronis and Scuderia Toro Rosso celebrated a year without data loss. An achievement for some, but for Acronis and Toro Rosso — business as usual.

We wish Toro Rosso good luck and great success in 2018!

 

(Photo: Pierre Gasly of Scuderia Toro Rosso during the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit, November 24, 2017. Source: Red Bull Content Pool)