Oracle’s Red Bull deal highlights the power of data processing in Formula 1

Oracle will be title sponsor of the Red Bull Formula 1 racing team in 2022. (Image: Oracle)

As part of an agreement demonstrating the growing importance of cloud-based data processing, Oracle will become the title sponsor of the Red Bull Formula 1 racing team, with plans to scale up the team’s use computer simulations to improve performance on the track.

The improved relationship will be key as Red Bull driver Max Verstappen seeks to defend his racing world championship after a thrilling year-long duel with Mercedes’ seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. Red Bull said its 2022 season will feature extensive use of Oracle Cloud for analytics-based racing strategy, engine development, AI-based driver training and a bespoke fan experience.

“Data is our lifeblood,” said Christian Horner, Team Principal and CEO of Oracle Red Bull Racing. “We are a data-hungry company.

“Oracle Cloud allowed us to make race day decisions that helped Max Verstappen win the 2021 Drivers’ Championship,” said Horner. “Every element of our performance is based on data analysis. Having Oracle as a Title Partner shows the confidence we have in their expertise and ability to deliver a true competitive advantage.

Details of Oracle’s investment were not disclosed, but media reports suggested the five-year deal was worth around $100 million a year. Oracle is investing in the growth of its Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), which seeks to gain traction on the “Big Three” cloud platforms from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google.

The deal gives Oracle greater visibility in Formula 1, which is enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the United States behind the popularity of Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” documentary series. Oracle becomes the second technology company to serve as the title sponsor of a Formula 1 team, joining IT services company Cognizant Technology Solutions (Aston Martin Cognizant).

Red Bull claims that using Oracle Cloud in 2021 increased the number of simulations they ran by 1,000 times, improving the accuracy of their predictions and sharpening their decision-making. Equally important, OCI has dramatically reduced the cost of billions of simulations, allowing Red Bull to cost-effectively improve on-track performance, a key issue under F1’s tougher spending regulations for 2022.

“Red Bull Racing is more committed than any other F1 team to using technology to gain an advantage, and it’s paying off,” said Ariel Kelman, Oracle’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “Our commitment to this partnership reflects our belief that OCI is a strategic weapon on race day, helps create the most exciting experience for fans of the sport and can define the future of F1.”

“Our commitment to this partnership reflects our belief that Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is a strategic weapon on race day.”
Oracle’s Ariel Kelman

Simulations are essential to the development of 2022 cars

Data simulations have taken on a bigger role ahead of the 2022 season due to a technical update to Formula 1 racing cars, which comes with a spending capo of $140 million per year. team. New specs include refinements to make it easier for riders to race close together, as well as new 18-inch-wide tires (up from 13 last season).

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To develop the basic design and new regulations, The Formula One Group made heavy use of cloud computing capacity from Amazon Web Services, which provides the power of the cloud for everything from computer-aided design for cars to an amazing suite of data analysis and visualizations for F1 fans.

F1 claims to have used 500,000 gigabytes – or half a petabyte – of data running computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations in developing the car. CFD enclosures are a computer model of the entire prototype car (or pair of cars), which simulates the airflow in and around the car, allowing the F1 Motorsport team to precisely quantify the airflow. aerodynamic influence of the geometric changes they brought.

“Our CFD models range from 150 to 600 million cells and run on high specification AWS cloud computing systems,” says FIA aerodynamics manager Jason Somerville. “The fastest F1 simulation results are returned to us within 2.5 hours of case submission.”

How cloud data processing power speeds up the F1 racing experience

It’s hard to overstate the role technology plays in F1 racing. Each F1 car contains 300 sensors that generate 1.1 million telemetry data points per second transmitted from the cars to the pits.

F1 teams rely on partnerships with technology providers, leveraging high performance computing, machine learning and edge computing to gain the edge on the track. These relationships are also valuable to service providers, showcasing cutting-edge uses for their data center technologies.

Partnership extends to eSports

This season, OCI will allow the Oracle Red Bull Racing Team to increase the volume and variety of data they analyze and increase the speed at which simulations run to better predict podium tactics. .

“Oracle Red Bull Racing is, and will continue to be, the most forward thinking and innovative F1 team in the world,” Kelman said.

The companies announced several aspects of their extended relationship:

  • Oracle is working with Red Bull Powertrains to develop the next generation of F1 engines due to debut in 2026 as Red Bull Racing becomes one of only four current manufacturers supplying engines for F1. Red Bull Powertrains will use OCI to optimize the combustion chamber modeling of its new engine to reduce costs while improving results.
  • In 2022, Oracle Red Bull Racing will integrate new features and capabilities into The Paddock, Red Bull Racing’s fan engagement platform, including the ability to create user-generated content.
  • Red Bull Advanced Technologies and Oracle are also teaming up to help develop the next generation of world-class drivers. Through projects applying AI and machine learning, Red Bull junior drivers will better understand how data can inform and refine their driving style to reduce their lap times.
  • Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports marks the evolution of a partnership in one of the fastest growing sports industries in the world, esports. Taking inspiration from its real-world counterpart, the team will use OCI-powered analytics to optimize car setup, improve race strategy and provide its drivers with training that can help them consistently post lap times. ideal on any virtual track, in any simulated time.

The 2022 Formula 1 season begins March 18-20 with the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix in Bahrain.

For a more in-depth look at Formula 1’s use of cloud computing and HPC, see our article How cloud data processing power speeds up the F1 racing experience.

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