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Podcast: How data drives the pursuit of performance in Formula One

Automotive News’ Daily Drive podcast sat down with Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team CEO and Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer and Cognizant CMO Gaurav Chand to discuss the data-driven processes that power performance within Formula One.


Chand outlines the business rationale that helped Cognizant choose Formula One, while Otmar outlines the technology partnership that will ultimately yield lap-time benefit as Aston Martin builds on its return to the Grand Prix grid for the first time in 61 years.


Two minds, one culture

Discover what drove Cognizant towards Formula One and how Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team can benefit from the Title Partnership.

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Podcast highlights

Gaurav: “One of the biggest things we're trying to solve is global awareness. Even though Cognizant is a Fortune 200 company, we're just not very well known across the globe.

“We were looking for a platform that could offer us two things: how could we materially impact whatever we were getting into; and how could we truly take Cognizant to the next level among clients and the next-generation workforce? Because, fundamentally, we’re a technology services company.”

Otmar: “From a technology standpoint, Formula One is a bit special. It’s probably the most competitive sport on Earth. It’s all about creative engineering, innovation, and change.

“And it's about putting together a team of highly skilled engineers, technicians, aerodynamicists and enabling them to be creative with their solutions in order to out-perform the competition.”

Gaurav: “Our CEO, Brian Humphries, put it best: ‘This is just a marriage made in heaven’. When you think about a sport that's built on technology, there’s nothing more indicative of true engineering and technology than Formula One. And we knew we could genuinely help to improve performance; to make the cars go faster.”

Having the likes of Cognizant at our side means that we will be able to more efficiently analyse and make better decisions based on that data.
Otmar Szafnauer
CEO & Team Principal

Otmar: “And I really look forward to Cognizant helping us with that technology. We generate so much data off the car, off the powertrain, within our tools to try to make the car go quicker, within CFD, within our wind tunnel.

“And having the likes of Cognizant at our side working with us means that we will more efficiently be able to analyse and make better decisions based on that data. And that should help us go quicker around the track.”

Gaurav: “The whole sport is conducive to engineering: technology lies at its core. Right now, we have two data scientists that are working with all the sensor technologies available on the car – think about the amount of data that's generated; that data could be related to speed, to acceleration, to engines, to rpm, to the slipstream, all of it can be analysed.”

Otmar: “That's what we really look forward to working more and more with Cognizant on. They've offered us data scientists, who have started working with the team already. We’re going to show them what we do here so they can learn our business.

“And then they can assist and also recommend ways that we can become more efficient. It was either we learn what they do, or they learn what we do – and we decided it was more efficient for Cognizant to learn exactly what we do, and then recommend how they're going to help us.”

Gaurav: “And that's where technology plays an incredible role. And honestly, with data being the competitive advantage going forward, we believe we can add an incredible amount of value. Then, what we learn from working with Otmar and his team, we can look to how we can apply that to the rest of the automotive industry. That's going to be incredibly exciting for us.”

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