AWS join F1 for new 2021 car designs

03 Dec 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Formula 1 have completed a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) project which will help to develop the race cars used for the 2021 season and beyond - after new rules were approved by the FIA earlier this year.

The CFD project used over 1,150 computer cores and ran detailed simulations comprising of over 550 million data points in order to model the impact of one car’s aerodynamic impact on another driving behind it. Using AWS technologies, Formula 1 was able to reduce the average time to run simulations by 70 percent – from 60 hours down to 18.

Running for six months using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), the project delivered performance equivalent to that of a supercomputer without incurring the same costs.

Pat Symonds, Chief Technical Officer of Formula 1, said: “This project with AWS was one of the most revolutionary in the history of Formula 1 aerodynamics.

“Nobody designs a car to come in second, but for this CFD project we were looking at how cars perform in the wake of another, as opposed to running in clean air. We have been able to use AWS technologies to understand the incredible aerodynamic complexities associated with multi-car simulations, and are pleased that the results indicate we have made excellent progress towards our aims of closer racing.”

Matt Garman, Vice President of Compute Services, AWS, said: “Customers are using AWS for CFD projects to design everything from aircraft to medical devices, so it is exciting to now be part of the design of the next generation of racing cars.

“The work Formula 1 is doing with CFD is at the leading edge of cloud usage and we are always amazed at the fascinating way that they are utilising our technologies to increase the performance of their sport and the experience they give fans. As CFD work with Formula 1 continues, we look forward to seeing the resulting car and are excited to see it on the track in 2021.”

The 2021 regulations will see a cost cap as well as a change to the make-up of race cars, while the motorsport series hopes the end result will be to ensure tighter racing and more overtaking on the track.