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Clare Lansley on AI's massive potential and what it could mean for Aston Martin Aramco and F1

Artificial Intelligence has arrived. Together with our Global Technology Services Partner, Cognizant, we're navigating this new territory.

Aston Martin F1

AI is set to revolutionise the world. Aston Martin Aramco Chief Information Officer Clare Lansley discusses its potential impact on our team and how our partners Cognizant are aiding our preparations for it.

"Formula One is at the cutting edge of science and technology. In an ultra-competitive environment where exploiting even the finest margins can lead to the biggest gains, logic dictates that, when a technological revolution dawns, F1 teams clamour to seize it.

"That's what's in prospect with AI. It will change the world and, in its infancy stages, a huge opportunity is presented to those on the grid who understand and harness it most effectively.

"The sport is on the verge of massive change with AI. In the never-ending fight to be fastest, AI is the transformative technology that will redraw the battle lines for F1 over the next five years. For the teams who are actively embracing and already using AI, they can expect to see significant competitive gains on the track.

"There's still a lot to learn but that's why there's so much opportunity, because it will overhaul operations across the sport. Therefore, in our quest to climb the grid, we're evaluating how best to deploy it across our team, with the support of our partners Cognizant.

"Where Cognizant have really helped is in providing us with a data strategy to optimise the business for the incoming arrival of AI. With their help, we've been able to more effectively and efficiently manage the data – that’s what any business needs before it starts to wade deeper into the AI waters. And they have been a fantastic asset working alongside us to enable this capability.

"As an industry and, specifically, as a team we want to be data-driven, to be race-ready.

"Everything that we do on the car generates data – and we see AI as becoming a key performance differentiator in the sport; an element which will deliver significant efficiencies to the team on all sorts of fronts.

"AI can support decision-making by analysing vast volumes of historical data, which in turn can be used to predict the optimum set-up of the car for a particular track. You can compare simulation results to actual data from the car and AI would be able to proactively suggest improvements.

Aston Martin F1
AI presents an incredibly interesting and appealing proposition – both in terms of managing workload and maximising performance.
Clare Lansley, Chief Information Officer

"But what's also worth underlining is the speed at which this can be undertaken: it is really impressive. By adopting this tech, we are going to be able to free-up multiple engineers so they can focus more acutely on car performance.

"Getting data into a 'data lake' – a single, massive, un-siloed data storage centre – is where the AI journey starts. Once it's there, we can apply the right analysis tools on top, and that's where the machine-learning kicks in.

"Machine learning is the ability to learn from vast volumes of data in order to predict patterns: it has fantastic applications in race strategy – it can blend tyre data, weather information, track conditions and use predictive and real-time analytics to map out the optimal decision-making scenarios. So, if the wind direction has changed, how would that affect aero performance? What can we change on the car to mitigate against that? Or how does a track configuration change affect fuel consumption?

"So it's not just studying historical information – which all teams archive – it can analyse massive amounts of live data on the fly to proactively highlight what we should be doing.

"And that's performant but also efficient – it cuts down on the chaff of the decision-making process and can tighten workload, reduce excess and minimise waste.

"At the moment, AI technology is something we're actively evaluating to see where it can best add value. We are actively building-out our capability and the foundations are in place.

"Having a data lake enables the team to consolidate all data in a single location so all the relevant performance departments can both pull from it and feed into it.

Data-driven, race-ready

When Data Means Business

With the help of our partner Cognizant, we're gearing up for the arrival of AI.


"I think everybody wants to jump on the AI bandwagon; everybody wants to prove out their tech. At the end of the day, it's about massive algorithms and how you use them, but they're complex and operate at the speed of light, so it’s about using them responsibly and making sure the dataset is accurate and reliable. That requires a huge amount of effort, brainpower and configuration. It's a long-term mission.

"At the moment, it's really about understanding and maximising the sheer breadth of the opportunity: soon, we'll be able to go to our senior performance engineers and ask them what is the big-ticket item in their workload that they'd like to see automated. And that's an incredibly interesting and appealing proposition – both in terms of managing workload and maximising performance.

"And, crucially, this isn't to say that the machine is going to replace people. On the contrary, it will allow the heavy lifting to be done by machine, allowing the experienced engineer to make an informed decision that could make the difference between coming first or second.

"You'll still need people who can act on the AI's recommendation, and it will also add new attributes to already highly skilled members of our team. For instance, in the aero department, people are being cross-trained in AI so they can use the tools to turbocharge their work.

"We're in the early stages, but an exciting new technological era is upon us."

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