Amazon’s interest in sports has taken the tech giant from NFL stadiums to NHL hockey arenas and now onto the racetracks of Formula 1 as Amazon Web Services has played a key role in the design of new F1 race cars.
The racing league revealed the next-generation car in a YouTube presentation on Thursday, and Amazon said in a blog post that the intent is to create more intense racing and excitement on the track through more aerodynamic vehicle design.
AWS figured in the process by using Computational Fluid Dynamics and thousands of compute cores to run simulations of over 550 million data points. These data points modeled the impact of one car’s aerodynamic wake on another, and by using AWS, F1 cut the average time to run simulations by 80% — from 60 hours to 12 hours.
All of that data crunching and design was focused on the desire to get cars to race closer to one another. Distance between cars had been restricted because of a loss of downforce created by turbulent air flowing off a lead car. The new design reduces that airflow, increases downforce in the following car and closes the gap between racers.
F1 moved from an on-premises environment, using CFD and wind-tunnel testing, over to AWS’ Elastic Compute Cloud to run complex simulations that visualized wake turbulence on cars.
The cars will be used by teams for the 2022 season.