F1 deploys Amazon services to enhance data capabilities
Amazon, the internet giant, has made an entry into Formula 1 by signing a deal that will entail the offering of more real-time and historic data to fans.
Ahead of the weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix it was announced that Amazon Web Services had come on board as the ‘official cloud and machine learning provider’ of Formula 1.
A spokesperson was quoted as saying that the deal was a commercial one with financial benefits for the sport, but gave no further details.
Formula 1 will work with AWS to enhance race strategies, data tracking systems and digital broadcasts through various services, including Amazon SageMaker, which enables developers and scientists to build and deploy machine learning models, AWS Lambda, an event-driven serverless computing service, and AWS analytics services, to unlock previously unlocked metrics.
In addition, AWS Elemental Media Services will power video asset workflows to power video asset workflows aimed at enhancing the viewing experience for more than 500 million Formula 1 fans worldwide.
The tools are intended to give viewers greater insight of Formula 1, including the relative performances of their favourite teams and drivers, based on more than 65 years of historic data.
Speaking at the Austrian Grand Prix, Pete Samara, the director of innovation and digital technology, at Formula 1, told Reuters: “Formula 1's got an archive of data, an archive of video and audio; heaps of information. What AWS is going to allow us to do is unlock the big bucket of content that we’ve got sitting in our archives and leverage it to give the fan a better experience.”
He added: “If you are a casual fan, you don’t want to know how many times a car revved above a certain number. You may be more interested in how many times did this driver crash at this corner every time he’s been to this grand prix? AWS gives us the ability to do that in real time and at high speed.”
Meanwhile, Sean Bratches, Formula 1's commercial chief, has expressed frustration at the lack of a German Grand Prix in 2019.
Last week, Georg Seiler, the head of the Hockenheim circuit, which has been staging the race on a biennial basis in recent years, claimed that it had been unable to reach an acceptable commercial deal with series owner Liberty Media for an event next year.
Bratches said at the weekend: "Unfortunately, we could not agree with any race track in Germany. It's frustrating that we could not reach a solution for a country with such a huge racing tradition, with the reigning constructor world champion [Mercedes] and with a four-time champion [Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel], and that apparently nobody was willing to support the race tracks and take away the financial risk."
The 2018 German Grand Prix takes place at Hockenheim on 22 July.
Bratches insisted that the difficulty in securing regular hosts for the race was not down to a lack of enthusiasm from German fans, saying: "The interest in Germany is great. We know that from our own sources and you can see it in the ratings as well."
He added: 'For the next few years, of course, we will keep working on a solution."