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Williams F1 team uses biometrics for split-second advantage

Nurdianah Md Nur | Sept. 29, 2017
Graeme Hackland, CIO of Williams Martini Racing, shares why and how his team is using biometrics to achieve perfect pit stops at every Grand Prix.

How does capturing and analysing those biometric data ensure that your pit crew performs optimally in every race?

The biometric data collected can be leveraged for various purposes. For instance, the analysis of data from the biometric sensors provides insights into the physiology behind the "perfect pit stop". Other evaluations help to focus the fitness training of individual team members specifically on the task at the stop.

Moreover, individualised performance reports can provide specific recommendations to the team members in the box, as detailed as for one to work in a certain heart rate range in order to shorten the cardiovascular recovery phase.

Apart from race weekends, do you use the biometric data or insights from it for any other purpose?

In addition to biometric data, Avanade has developed a number of high-performance analytics solution across the whole life cycle of the car and the factory.

One of these is a strategy application is WISDOM, which was launched in the 2017 race season. This application suite and data warehouse guides pit-wall engineers and support decisions that directly affect race results. It integrates and analyses sensors, weather, telemetry, GPS, fuel consumption and other data in real time during a race.

WISDOM is a forward-looking platform that provides incremental information for WMR. In addition to helping to improve performance on the track, conclusions can also be drawn about enhancing the design of the vehicle for the coming season.

What's next for this initiative?

There are certainly ways we are looking at to further improve our existing offerings. The WISDOM solution, for instance, represents the first step toward using data to support the split-second decision making that confronts engineers. Decisions can be required in a split second of a situation change of whether to pit or stay out. These data-driven decisions will result in better race outcomes.

We're currently analysing data from the 2016/2017 season to get a better understanding of the physiology behind 'the perfect pit stop'. We ultimately want to use this data to reduce pit stop times and ensure consistency in our team. This season was our first venture into using biometric data and following the success of the project, Williams will be looking at options to expand the use of biometrics for wider team performance.


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