“F1 is an automotive NASA” exclaimed Stephane Meunier, editor-in-chiefAutomobile magazine. Criticized for its spectacle, Formula One has been a veritable laboratory since its inception, which, like the American space agency, allows the discovery and testing of technologies that will make up our daily lives 10 years from now.
An example is the turbo engine technology introduced by Renault in the 1980s and heavily criticized at the time. Since the “yellow kettles” (yellow cars often broke engines that smoked heavily) imposed their system not only on Formula 1, but also on motorsport, and on the entire market.
Today, according to automatic minutes, 70% of the cars on our roads are eligible for a turbo engine. Therefore, it makes sense to take a closer look at Formula 1 if we want to develop the car of tomorrow. This is what prompted Mercedes to join the competition in 2010, and Audi and Porsche have followed the same path, taking part in the queen of motorsport in 2026.
Technology and Formula 1: a winning combination
So when the most expensive cars in the world (about 20 million euros per model) show up in a glamorous place like Miami, everyone’s eyes are on them at the first Grand Prix in the history of the city of Florida. If the race allowed Max Verstappen to win, it was partly due to his car. Red Bull with a Honda engine that has thousands of sensors and just as much cool technology for the cars of tomorrow.
Through a recent partnership with data analytics firm Oracle, Red Bull engineers have gained unprecedented insight into racing. Oracle Cloud machine learning software helps analyze 100,000 pieces of information entering the pits every second.
Red Bull first resized its RB18 in Miami, a metal bar that increases the car’s rigidity and reduces the unwanted effect of the car’s new aerodynamic design. An idea that has already come to Mercedes, as the German team has been hit hard by this phenomenon since the start of the season.
McLaren and Google: a promising partnership
While Red Bull managed to win in Miami, things were more difficult for McLaren. However, the English team has signed a very interesting sponsorship deal with tech giant Google. The latter should allow Woking’s team to take an important step in understanding the data.
In addition, by working with Dell, another major technology company, McLaren can change its racing strategy based on real-time data. Something is being done “every 20 minutes,” says Edward Green, who is in charge of digital architecture at McLaren.
Today, the performance gap between the first and tenth car (the last one to score) is 0.15%. This tiny gap is built on details, such as understanding data, which are playing an increasingly important role in sports.
As in F1, which receives 100,000 data every second, so in other disciplines. The Toulouse Football Club uses the data, among other things, to recruit or better understand its work. A method that seems to work, the club have just become Ligue 2 champions this year.