Amazon Web Services to offer 'Car Performance Scores' as F1 stats ramped up
The partnership will launch in time for the first grand prix of the 2020 season, in Austria on 5 July, with the first statistic, ‘Car Performance Scores’ offered during that race.
The other five statistics will be rolled out by AWS over the course of the rest of the season.
The 2020 campaign was meant to start in Australia in March but has been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, and will begin without spectators because of ongoing health concerns. This has prompted efforts to increase the insight available to TV and digital viewers.
AWS said Car Performance Scores “isolate an individual car’s performance, and allow race fans to compare its performance to that of different vehicles head-to-head."
The following statistics will be rolled out later through the season, from July through December, as on-screen graphics: Ultimate Driver Speed Comparison; High-Speed/Low Speed Corner Performance; Driver Skills Rating; Car/Team Development and Overall Season Performance; and Qualifying and Race Pace Predictions.
These statistics will be fed through to all the series’ international broadcasters, as well as to the digital OTT platform F1 TV.
In order to create these new statistics and data points, Formula 1 will use historical race data stored in Amazon Simple Storage Service, as well as live data streamed from sensors on cars which then travels to the Cloud using a service called Amazon Kinesis.
Rob Smedley, Formula 1’s chief engineer, said: “Over the past two years, Formula 1 has embraced AWS’s services to perform intense and dynamic data analysis… We’re excited to be expanding this successful relationship to bring even more insights to life.”
Formula 1 first teamed up with AWS in July 2018, with the company coming on board to enhance race strategies, data tracking systems and digital broadcasts through various services.
Meanwhile, Formula 1 has announced it will be establishing a task force to “listen and identify the right initiatives required to increase diversity and inclusion."
The task force, to be launched over the next couple of months, will have the specific focus of identifying opportunities to employ and train members from under-represented ethnic groups throughout the sport.
There will be input into the group from both drivers and teams.
Formula 1 has also said it will create a foundation, with start-up funding of $1 million ($1.24 million) provided in full by Chase Carey, the sport’s chief executive and chairman, to finance internships and apprenticeships for those same under-represented groups throughout the sport.
Carey said: “We want to ensure we give people from all backgrounds the best chances to work in Formula 1 regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or physical abilities.”
In other developments Formula 1 team McLaren is on the verge of securing a loan from the National Bank of Bahrain, to help with the team’s cashflow issues, it has been reported.
The loan will be approved by McLaren’s board shortly, according to BBC Sport.
The team has been struggling financially since the onset of the pandemic caused the Formula 1 season to be delayed, and sales revenue from its luxury road car division has also dried up.
McLaren confirmed last month that out of 1,200 jobs it is preparing to axe from its operations in total, in the region of 70 will come from the Formula 1 team. Even though £291 million was pumped in by shareholders in March this year, this has not proved to be enough, and has reportedly already been exhausted.
Mumtalakat, the investment fund from Bahrain which owns the majority of shares in McLaren Group, also owns part of NBB.
Earlier this week, it was reported McLaren was launching legal action in an effort to secure urgent funding, and to keep it from having to sell a stake in the Formula 1 team.
McLaren has said it is facing an “impending liquidity shortfall”, which requires new funds to be injected “no later than 17 July” due to financial hardship brought about by the pandemic.
To solve its financial woes, the car maker has tried to raise additional funding by securing a loan against its heritage collection and factory in the UK, which could raise as much as £275 million ($342.7 million).
However, a group of existing investors have blocked the move, claiming a bonds issue in 2017, which raised more than £650 million worth of funding for the business, is already secured against those assets and therefore cannot be used to secure further funds.
McLaren is reportedly now seeking a High Court order that would allow it to use its assets as collateral.
A partial sale of the team, raised in media reports earlier this month, is understood to be a last resort once other options are exhausted.