Formula 1 Works with AWS to Develop Next Generation Race Car
Project represents the sport’s first in-depth investigation into how the aerodynamics of cars interact when racing
Increasing excitement for fans, by enabling closer, wheel-to-wheel, racing, was at the core of the project. For Formula 1 cars, the downforce generated by their aerodynamics is the single largest performance differentiator, helping a car travel faster through corners. The current generation of cars suffer a loss of downforce when they are running close to one another, reducing a drivers’ ability to sustain close racing and increasing the difficulty of overtaking. Currently, a car running one car length behind another loses up to 50 percent of its downforce. To reduce this downforce loss, F1 used AWS to look closely at how the aerodynamics of cars interact when racing in close proximity. These simulations looked at cars in common racing situations and the results have driven the changes to the proposed 2021 car design. With the insights gained from these simulations, Formula 1 has been able to design a car with only 15 percent downforce loss at the same, one car length distance. The resulting car will feature a brand new bodywork design with a new front wing shape, simplified suspension, new rear end layout, underfloor tunnels, wheel wake control devices, and will run on 18-inch wheels with low profile tyres for the first time.
CFD simulates the impact of a liquid or gas on an object and requires extensive compute capacity to perform this kind of simulation, requiring high performance computing (HPC) clusters to do the job. However, running HPC clusters on-premises requires considerable upfront capital expenditure, lengthy procurement cycles, and regular hardware refreshes to avoid obsolescence. AWS provides the most elastic and scalable cloud infrastructure to run HPC applications. With virtually unlimited capacity, engineers and researchers can innovate beyond the limitations of on-premises HPC infrastructure. To complete the CFD work, Formula 1 used AWS ParallelCluster on Amazon EC2 to run the OpenFOAM CFD framework, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for data storage. Leveraging the scalability of the cloud, Formula 1 was able to run CFD simulations on core counts much larger than they were previously able to execute. The increased speed with which the aerodynamics team could run detailed, two car turbulence simulations on AWS meant they could increase the number of car designs they could investigate from one to five per week. Moving forward, there are plans to expand the application further, up to 2,300 cores, and to introduce AWS Machine Learning (ML) tools, such as Amazon SageMaker, to allow ML technologies to help with the design and further optimize the performance of the car.
“This project with AWS was one of the most revolutionary in the history of Formula 1 aerodynamics,” 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,” said
For more detail on how Formula 1 is using AWS as their cloud and ML provider, visit: https://aws.amazon.com/f1insights/
About Amazon Web Services
For 13 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 165 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI),
About Formula 1®
Formula 1® racing began in 1950 and is the world’s most prestigious motor racing competition, as well as the world’s most popular annual sporting series. The 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship™ runs from March to December and spans 21 races in 21 countries across five continents.
Source: Amazon Web Services