Max Verstappen and the Red Bull Racing team ended last season on the ultimate high with an F1 title win in Abu Dhabi. Before that race, Oracle had provided Red Bull Racing with billions of race simulations that gave the team insight on the track. Christian Horner, CEO of the new Oracle Red Bull Racing team, said, “Oracle Cloud enabled us to make race-day decisions that helped Max Verstappen win the 2021 Drivers’ Championship.” Oracle has proved that an analytics-based race strategy can be the difference between winning and losing.
This week, Oracle and Red Bull Racing announced that the two companies’ new racing partnership would include a new unified team, car name, and increased co-development. Late last year, I wrote about Oracles’ data analytics capabilities and its impact on Formula 1. You can read the full writeup here. These F1 partnerships go much deeper than just marketing engagements, and I am excited to see the impact of data analytics race outcomes and F1 car performance. Oracle Red Bull Racing is ushering in a new data-driven Formula 1 racing era. Let’s dig deeper into the Oracle Red Bull Racing announcements.
Oracle Red Bull Racing Team
Last year, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the F1 title, which snapped a 7-year win streak from the Mercedes team. The Red Bull Racing team has the buzz right now. So the enhanced partnerships between Red Bull Racing and Oracle came at the right time and brought some significant changes to the team dynamic. The most noticeable way is through a new team name that sports both brands. The unified team will now be called Oracle Red Bull Racing. The Oracle Red Bull Racing team will also unveil a new car for the next season called the RB18. The new nomenclature changes aren’t the only changes that will occur due to this partnership.
Last year, the RBR team used Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to increase the number of simulations by 1000x, increase simulations speed by 10x, and reduce the cost of running billions of simulations. Since F1 teams operate under strict spending regulations, lowering costs matter a lot to the teams. Although the Red Bull Racing team used OCI extensively last season, the new Oracle Red Bull Racing team will lean deeper into OCI capabilities. The OCI capabilities will give the race team the analytical power to set race strategy, develop engines, engage fans, and use AI and machine learning-powered driver training.
Deeper co-development efforts
Since the Oracle and Red Bull teams are now unified, we will see more co-development efforts between the two teams from now on. OCI can give the team data insights in many different areas ranging from engine development, driver training, and eSports.
Oracle will work with Red Bull Powertrains Limited on next-gen F1 engines on the engine development front. These engines have a long development time, so we won’t see them on the track until 2026, but know that they are coming. The Red Bull team is using OCI to model engine combustion chambers to reduce cost and improve performance.
There are also some interesting AI and machine learning applications that Oracle is powering with the Red Bull Powertrains team. The goal here is to use AI and machine learning to help develop the next generation of world-class Oracle Red Bull Racing drivers. The Red Bull Junior Team will use OCI data insights to influence members’ driving styles. I can see the Red Bull Junior Team develop new strategies to reduce lap times due to Oracle data insights. There are some excellent eSports applications for this tech, including driver training on a virtual track in different simulated weather conditions.
Oracle Red Bull Racing will continue developing its Red Bull Racing Paddock application using Oracle CrowdTwist Loyalty and Engagement. The application uses fan data to create a personalized loyalty program that offers unique rewards and helps that fan feel like a team member. Fans can take quizzes, watch race highlights, or earn points in various other ways and redeem for merchandise, autographed items, VIP experiences, and more. This program has been a hit so far with the fans, and the team has seen a 9x increase in member sign-up since introducing it last year. The Oracle Red Bull Racing team understands how vital fan engagement is to the team’s long-term success.
Oracle and Red Bull Racing had much success together before operating under a unified team. I have no reason to believe the team won’t keep improving with more synergy. With the formation of Oracle Red Bull Racing, we should see both short-term impacts as early as this F1 season and plenty of others in the longer term.
With the upcoming Formula 1 season kicking off on March 18th, I am excited to see the unified Red Bull and Oracle teams compete under the Oracle Red Bull Racing flag. I have been an avid F1 racing fan throughout the last year, and this season should be even more exciting to watch. Formula 1 partnerships with tech companies were little more than a marketing engagement for brands looking to elevate its brand image. In 2022, the impact of future races could be determined by the data insights teams get from partners like Oracle.
With the formation of Oracle Red Bull Racing, we could see the impact of data-driven decisions having a real impact on race outcomes. We have already seen a sneak peek of this in last season’s races, but I suspect even more is to come. I look forward to hearing real-world impacts from Oracle Red Bull Racing on how data influences race outcomes throughout the 2022 season. Congrats to Red Bull Racing and Oracle teams on the partnership.