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F1 ramps up TV graphics offering with AWS

(Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Formula 1 motor-racing series has detailed plans to add new television graphics for its revised 2020 season as part of its agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The new graphics will first appear on broadcast feeds of the Austrian Grand Prix, which will take place from July 3-5, marking the series’ first race back following the Covid-19 outbreak.

A new ‘Car Performance Scores’ graphic will compare different cars’ performance throughout the lap in real time, based on low-speed cornering, high-speed cornering, straight-line performance and car handling. The data will be gathered from 300 sensors on each F1 car.

Five further graphics will be rolled out during the rest of the season. These include the ‘Ultimate Driver Speed Comparison’, which will compare current drivers to former star drivers to determine the fastest driver of all time and the ‘High-Speed/Low-Speed Corner Performance’, which will show fans how well drivers tackle the fastest and slowest bends on the track.

The ‘Driver Skills Rating’ will break down and score driver skills to help identify the best ‘total driver’ on the track, while the ‘Car/Team Development & Overall Season Performance’ will allow fans to see teams’ pace development during the season. Finally, the ‘Qualifying and Race Pace Predictions’ will gather data from practice and qualifying laps to predict which team is set to perform best during qualifying and the race.

The driver speed comparison graphics will debut from August 7-9 at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix to be held at Silverstone. The High-Speed/Low-Speed Corner Performance graphics will be available for the first time at the Belgian Grand Prix from August 28-30. The three remaining graphics additions will launch during the second half of the season.

F1 first teamed up with AWS, a division of internet company Amazon, in 2018. AWS serves as the official cloud and machine learning provider of the series.

Rob Smedley, F1’s director of data systems, said: “Over the past two years, Formula 1 has embraced AWS’ services to perform intense and dynamic data analysis. The F1 Insights we’re delivering together are bringing fans closer to the track than ever before, and unlocking previously untold stories and insights from behind the pit wall.”

F1 works with AWS to enhance race strategies, data tracking systems, and digital broadcasts. The series utilises Amazon SageMaker, AWS Lambda and AWS analytics services to uncover “never-before-seen” metrics to change the way fans and teams enjoy, experience and participate in racing.

AWS also works with the Bundesliga, the top tier of club football in Germany. The Bundesliga became the world’s first football league to work with AWS when teaming up with the company in January.

The deal affords AWS, which also works with the NFL, the title of the Bundesliga’s official technology provider as it provides its machine learning and analytics to develop a “next generation football viewing experience”.

The initial focus of the deal, which is understood to run for at least five years, includes the supply of advanced real-time statistics for viewers during live coverage and highlights clips, providing personalised content on digital platforms, and using AWS cloud infrastructure, advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies.

The match facts service gives real-time statistics for Bundesliga matches which are generated live from the official match data and supplied to national and international broadcasters. The service is also to be used on the Bundesliga’s platforms and channels, including the Bundesliga app.

The additional match information offered includes “Average Positions” and “Expected Goals”. A SportBusiness interview with DFL chief executive Christian Seifert on the work with AWS can be found here.