All the Tech That Got Our Attention at F1 Miami Grand Prix

All the Tech That Got Our Attention at F1 Miami Grand Prix

The worldwide glitterati descends on Miami this weekend for the city’s debut Formula One Grand Prix. The “Netflix effect” of “Formula 1: Drive to Survive,” the popular program that has spawned some of the most gripping rivalries in contemporary streaming and has just been renewed for seasons 5 and 6, has brought a large number of American fans to the European racing event. As a result, a new class of tech sponsors has emerged, including Google, Amazon, Dell, and Oracle, who can utilize their computer capacity to examine the 100,000 data points generated each second by these $20 million machines.

That implies that each weekend from February to November in 2022, the FIA Formula One World Championship calendar will be a celebration of not only speed, but also the victory of math, science, and statistics. Furthermore, track-tested technology — which is always improving owing to the governing body’s ever-changing regulations — tends to filter down into passenger cars, so what’s on display today may be in showrooms tomorrow.

This weekend at the Miami International Autodrome outside Hard Rock Stadium, we noticed some of the coolest gadgets. This year, collaborations with Google and Dell boost McLaren Racing’s Formula One squad. Google branded the MCL36 piloted by Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo with Android and Chrome emblems that revolve around the wheel covers, which have returned to F1 cars for the first time since 2009 owing to new rules.

But there’s more to the multiyear collaboration. “This collaboration has the potential to solve big and complex engineering challenges,” Nicholas Drake, Google’s VP of marketing, wrote in a blog post. “From improving the team’s telemetry and design capabilities through AI, to speeding up decision-making and safeguarding team communications using Android 5G, this collaboration has the potential to solve big and complex engineering challenges.”

The McLaren crew also employs Dell’s prototyping and simulation tools, as well as Android-connected phones, tablets, and earphones to monitor performance from the pit. In a statement, Edward Green, chief digital architect at McLaren Racing, stated, “We’re in a continual state of rapid prototyping of our vehicles to make them run faster with data-driven engineering improvements, on average every 20 minutes.” The difference between the quickest and slowest vehicles on the circuit can be as little as 0.15 percent, making the simulation power Dell delivers critical to the team’s success.

Red Bull is a brand of energy drink. The remedy for Red Bull Racing and driver Max Verstappen defending the world title might be Oracle Cloud software from the team’s title sponsor, which utilizes machine learning to assess race-day variables such as when to pit and which tries to use. To replicate runs and choose the optimal path for Sunday, the program will evaluate data points from Friday and Saturday’s practice laps at Hard Rock Stadium. This is especially crucial at new racing circuits with no history data, such as Hard Rock Stadium’s temporary 19-turn F1 circuit.

The surface conditions at Miami Gardens, according to Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, were difficult. Perez remarked after lagging in Friday’s practice sessions, “There isn’t much grip off the racing line on this circuit, and it feels extremely gravely out there.” The computer skills might also help Red Bull overcome a problem that has plagued most teams so far this season: a phenomena known as “porpoising,” which refers to the bouncing effect that occurs when vehicles travel at high speeds down long straightaways. 

It’s a result of the FIA regulation amendments for the 2022 season, which offer teams more control over underfloor dynamics for downforce generation. A metal strip added stiffness and rigidity to the floor of Red Bull’s RB18 race vehicle is the team’s response. Once the underfloor has made contact with the track, this “ice skate” design also works as a skid, reducing flexion.