2022 AM Wings_Mono Negative

Simulator insight: The search for performance

With the help of Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team’s Global Partner NetApp, we’re taking you behind closed doors into the secret world of data and simulation – a critical tool in the hunt for on-track performance.


Data and simulation are integrated throughout a Formula One car’s racing life, helping to define its initial performance characteristics before a single component is designed; all the way through to helping build set-up models to find that critical thousandth of a second at the racetrack. Nothing demonstrates this process more than the simulator.

To the uninitiated, the driver-in-the-loop simulator looks like the world’s greatest gaming rig – but the hardware and software used by a modern Grand Prix team is far more advanced.

While it’s designed to closely replicate the real-world driving of a Formula One car, and can help a pilot grow accustomed to a new circuit, the simulator is not a traditional driver development tool. Instead, it’s a key part of the data and simulation process.

Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team can harness huge amounts of data swiftly and accurately to conduct over 10,000 automated simulations pre-event. With the benefit of modern data computation, these can be run simultaneously to ensure a rapid turnaround.

Next, it’s critical to review and understand that data – interrogating and filtering it so that the team can improve its understanding of the AMR21 and the various real-world scenarios it will encounter.

Behind the scenes

Inside a Formula One simulator with Nico Hülkenberg

Join Nico Hülkenberg as he shows us inside one of the most high-tech pieces of equipment in any Formula One team factory, the simulator. Discover the intricacies of virtual simulation, how data translates into real-world performance and how our partners NetApp make it possible.

Inside the simulator
Inside the simulator

The Formula One technical race never slows, even in a year of some restrictions and regulation stability, so data can also play a key role in the development direction.

By running test programmes in the search for greater performance, the team can implement various set-ups, playing them against each other in pursuit of the optimum result to narrow development into upgrade paths. This is the point at which the driver is inserted into the loop – hence the name.

The level of data managed and created means the team can not only look at future developments but also prepare fully for upcoming races.

This weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix is a perfect example of how the power of data can translate into on-track benefits, as the circuit is an outlier on the calendar, particularly with regard to kerbs.

Attacking the kerbs while maintaining aerodynamic balance is key to a fast lap, and the team can simulate both the circuit and set-up to make sure the trade-off is accounted for. The level of detail is so powerful that the simulator can help a driver feel how aggressive a kerb is before even setting foot in Monaco.

NetApp plays a crucial role in this process throughout the season, helping the team collect data from cloud-compute and send it back to the factory, before quickly and efficiently drawing conclusions from the results.

It’s a race on and off the track for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team, and data is at the heart of the competition.

Next up

Monaco Grand Prix

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