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Formula 1: How sensor technology is changing the race

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f1-red-bull-racing.jpg (Image: Corinne Reichert/ZDNet)

Formula 1 teams are becoming increasingly reliant on technology, with sensors, servers, connectivity, unified communications, and cybersecurity solutions crucial for enabling the analysis of data to improve cars and raceday strategies.

We look into how tech companies and connectivity providers like AT&T are helping F1 teams like Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, Mercedes-AMG Petronas, and Scuderia Ferrari get a head start in the championship kicking off this weekend in Melbourne, Australia.

Data and comms: The new lifeblood of Formula 1

Succeeding in Formula 1 is now all about the cycle of racing, measuring, analysing, developing, and then continually repeating this process, head of Technical Partnerships at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Zoe Chilton said, with the team producing somewhere in the range of 1,000 new designs between every race in the calendar, or 30,000 for the season.

"Everything we do is data driven," Chilton told ZDNet. "It's always about data, and it's always about planning ahead."

Data is gathered from hundreds of sensors spread out over its cars during testing and racing, compiling information on performance and conditions to inform changes that should be made to the cars or driving strategies.

"Our car in racing trim has about 120 sensors across it, and they're looking at all sorts of different features," Chilton told ZDNet. "In the engine alone, you've probably got 40 or 50 which are looking at temperatures, pressures, timings, and just making sure the engine is healthy, and that data goes to Renault as our engine manufacturer.

"And then across the rest of the car, we've got various sensors looking at airflow and air pressure to help us understand our aerodynamic position. And also things looking at temperature, making sure our brakes

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