How AWS uses AI to bring F1 fans closer to the race

Since partnering with the sport in 2018, AWS has been revolutionising the F1 fan experience by providing more accurate predictions than ever before

Another Formula 1 season might be approaching its finale, but one of its most high profile partnerships is doing anything but.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) introduced its latest feature to help improve the fan and broadcasting experience at the 2023 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas: Alternative Strategy, which provides viewers with a perspective on how races may have panned out, had drivers and their teams made different strategic decisions

Named as one of Technology Magazine’s Top 10 Sports and Technology partnerships, F1 initiated a long-term partnership with AWS in 2018 to drive cloud transformation and innovation within the sport, leveraging AWS machine learning (ML) technology with Amazon SageMaker.

F1 and AWS getting fans closer to the action

With more than 300 sensors on each F1 race car generating more than 1.1 million data points per second, data is built into the DNA of the sport. F1 Insights, powered by AWS, is one of the biggest transformations of F1 fan experience seen for years.

One of the most exciting insights is Battle Forecast. Using track history and projected driver pace, Battle Forecast predicts and displays in real time how many laps before a chasing car is within ‘striking distance’ of the car it’s trying to overtake and pass..

By training Amazon SageMaker’s ML algorithms with historical data, strategic insight is also available to fans. Predicted Pit Stop Strategy uses historical data to calculate race strategy during the first lap, comparing predicted tire and race strategies. This insight allows viewers to see when a driver should strategically make his next pit stop, which creates anticipation for fans regardless of their familiarity with race strategy in F1.

Its newly-launched Alternative Strategy solutions meanwhile gives viewers perspective on how races may have panned out, had drivers and their teams made different strategic decisions. Broadcasters and fans are able to see the result of a simulation that takes data points including timing, race pace, tire degradation, weather conditions and track conditions.

AWS and F1: A partnership just getting started

Since F1 first partnered with AWS, the organisation says it has more than doubled its number of employees and significantly expanded its digital footprint. “F1 can now deliver more data-driven insights that help to educate and entertain fans—from timing and telemetry data captured by hundreds of sensors on each F1 car, relayed real time to AWS compared to historical data stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3),” said Neil Ralph, AWS principal sports partnership manager. “This includes comprehensive performance analysis and predictions used to drive the F1 Insights broadcast graphics.”

“The speed at which our AWS deployments went from experimental to race critical was surprising. AWS has quickly become ingrained in our race DNA, and we installed AWS Direct Connect for dedicated, faster throughput and redundancy to our data centres,” said Chris Roberts, F1 director of IT. “We can go live with new features that are adding value for fans quickly. It’s a fantastic capability and a testament to the speed at which we can build ideas into products and have them integrated into the F1 ecosystem.”

Learn more about AWS and Formula 1.

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