Weather Data Gives Red Bull Racing a Competitive Edge

By Tutiya Teevan

August 3, 2018

When accelerating to 100mph in less than three seconds and reaching speeds of up to 200mph, accurately anticipating the impact of the weather, and preparing for it ahead of time, can be the competitive edge a Formula One team needs to win.

This is because temperature, precipitation, air pressure and wind during a race weekend can have a dramatic impact on race performance. Formula One cars are designed to run within an optimum performance window which is influenced by expected air and track temperatures, and even a two-degree rise in ambient temperature can affect tire degradation and impact pit stop strategies and car set up.

From vehicle design and precision manufacturing, aerodynamic calibration, to tire selection and race-day strategy, Formula One is a data-driven sport. For racing teams, the speed of innovation, technology and data is the driving force behind performance and victory.

To make more informed, data-driven pre-race planning and real-time race decisions, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing has partnered with The Weather Company, an IBM Business, to use comprehensive weather data, analytics and insights to enable them to move ahead of the competition.

For instance, teams like Aston Martin Red Bull Racing make critical race-specific decisions months in advance.  With tire compounds being selected up to 14 weeks before a race, accurately predicting future weather conditions can have an impact on those design specifications.  Using historical weather data to predict race-day conditions, analysis of past performances and vehicle setups during similar weather conditions can determine the right tire compound selection for that specific race.

Additionally, car set-up and the tire choice for the start of the race is locked-in after qualifying the day before a race, so understanding the short-term weather forecast for the race is crucial throughout the weekend.  This is where the Weather Operations Dashboard comes in, providing real-time weather information during a race weekend so that Aston Martin Red Bull Racing can better understand changing conditions and to optimize race performance.

Weather is one of the most challenging types of data sets. To win, a team’s ability to utilize data and optimize infrastructure and technology to make critical, real-time decisions in a safe and reliable manner are key. By tapping into The Weather Company’s sophisticated and powerful analytics engine, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing can approach each race with stronger strategy and more confidence.

Building upon a decade long technical partnership and collaboration with IBM, and as an extension of the existing multi-year Innovation Partnership, The Weather Company, an IBM Business is providing comprehensive weather data and insights to enable Aston Martin Red Bull Racing to move ahead of the competition.

The Weather Company’s work with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing is the company’s third program in the field of motorsports – and the first in Europe – showcasing IBM’s understanding of the value and essence of weather. Learn how the team put weather to work.

Beyond motorsports, today more than 3,500 global businesses rely on IBM, through The Weather Company. Every day, the IBM-owned forecaster responds to 50 billion requests for weather information, on average, and forecasts for 2.2 billion locations on the planet, helping businesses around the world make decisions as accurately and precisely with weather driven solutions.

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