Revving up Data Resilience for the Future With Formula 1’s Pat Symonds

At the top of this month, I had the pleasure of chatting with Formula 1 CTO, Pat Symonds, where we discussed how data drives innovation at F1, including what the organization’s data looks like and how F1 makes sure their tremendous data sprawl stays secure.  

If you missed our fireside chat, don’t worry! This blog post will cover the key takeaways from our conversation.

Data Drives Innovation at F1

From talking to Pat, I really got a deep look into just how much data drives all aspects of F1’s continuous growth and evolution. For example, we discussed how sensors on the cars provide data that helps F1 develop new engines, circuit designs and sustainable fuels. This includes F1’s hybrid turbo engine that came out back in 2014, which is now the most efficient internal combustion engine on the planet!

Communication Is the Key To Protecting a Huge Sprawl of Data

F1 has to collect, process, analyze and protect a tremendous amount of data coming from a number of different channels. This not only includes the 8GB of data that comes off every car, but data from all of F1’s teams, events, offices and 1.5 billion viewers. We chatted about how exactly F1 manages all this data across on-premises and cloud environments, and how, as a CTO, Pat fosters a culture of open communication and collaboration between the teams that interact with this data.

Facing Challenges and Strict Regulations

Just like the rest of us who work with and within Europe, F1 also has to stay compliant with GDPR’s strict regulations. This means that it’s critical that Pat and his team can demonstrate purpose for the data they collect and ensure the protection and integrity of confidential data from viewers and customers. For Pat and his IT team, this means monitoring who can access F1 data, monthly security trainings and employing best-in-class infrastructure with the help of AWS and Veeam.

Using Data To Work Toward a Sustainable Future

Just like most CTO’s, Pat’s job is to look into the future, so for F1, working toward maximum sustainability is the ultimate goal. With their data, F1 keeps things sustainable by moving to the cloud whenever possible. But most importantly, F1 uses the data they collect to work toward their goal of having net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. Keeping F1’s data safe and always available will help them develop a sustainable fuel that works not only for F1 cars, but for everyday vehicles and planes as well.


Want to hear more? You can listen to the full recording of our conversation as we cover more details about how F1 uses their data, plus a Q&A session where we respond to questions from professionals like you! 


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