How Aston Martin Red Bull deals with all the data its F1 cars generate

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The Formula 1 heads to the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore this weekend.

Ahead of qualifying and the race we sat down with HP Enterprise (HPE) to chat about how its SimpliVity hyperconverged platform is helping the Aston Martin Red Bull racing team gain an edge on the competition.

As you might be aware, F1 is as much about what happens off of the track as what happens on it. During every race the cars are fitted with over 100 sensors that extract data about everything from tyre temperature to engine wear and more.

Speaking to strategist at HPE Sorin Cheran, and managing director at HPE South Africa, Kena Setshogoe, we learn that in races such as this weekend’s Singaporean Grand Prix, cars can generate between 500GB to a couple of terabytes of data.

HPE came to the party for Aston Martin Red Bull in the form of SimpliVity.

SimpliVity combines existing on-prem IT infrastructure with advanced data services at a fraction of the cost of cloud and edge solutions. This allows companies such as Aston Martin Red Bull to improve its existing IT infrastructure by adding the power of edge computing while still keeping control of its data.

Naturally, as teams move every weekend, Aston Martin Red Bull’s use case is unique but we think its testament to how versatile the solution is. Remember, this is a solution designed for enterprise after all.

More than the added compute power, it also helps Aston Martin Red Bull in terms of space.

“The FIA told teams that they are only allowed to bring two racks with them to the race. Now teams are trying to optimise the two racks in order to understand how to store the data and which analytics you can pull quickly,” explains Cheran.

And this is where SimpliVity comes to the aid of Aston Martin Red Bull once again.

“The purpose of SimpliVity as a hyperconverged platform is really to optimise operations in a software defined environment where you combine compute, storage and virtualisation requirements into one platform that is typically a very small foot print” Setshogoe tells Hypertext.

“We were able to pack in a lot of data centre requirements that these guys needed in a relatively small footprint that can be deployed quickly at trackside and can be quite easily managed by two engineers that also double as pit crew,” the MD explains.

In addition Aston Martin Red Bull was able to cut the time needed to process data from 15 minutes down to just five minutes.

This means that Aston Martin Red Bull can bring a car into the pits during FP1 after a hotlap, grab the data gathered by the sensors on the car, and process it before the tyre warmers are strapped on.

That data can then be analysed by the driver and team so that adjustments can be made ahead of the race on Sunday.

At the end of the day, data is vital to an F1 team and while there are myriad limitations on the sport, solutions like SimpliVity help teams get that extra fraction of performance from a car.

But data is becoming vital in all aspects of life including business and as strange as it may sound, business could learn a lot from F1.

The sport is very much about urgency where seconds can take months of work to gain and having the power to shift through data more efficiently can turn those months into weeks.

Imagine what a business with that mindset could achieve.

We know that everything is moving to the cloud but hyperconverged solutions are still very much in play from a business perspective and for those that can’t afford to put everything in the cloud such as Aston Martin Red Bull, it’s nice to know that firms like HPE have solutions that cater for very specific use cases.

[Image – CC BY SA 2.0 Artes Max]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.