Formula 1 | Ferrari: Vasseur discusses his importance and approach to strategy
Frédéric Vasseur, who has just taken over at Scuderia Ferrari, has worked with his new team up front to help them erase many of the mistakes made in the 2022 Formula 1 season, especially from a strategic point of view. It also highlights the importance and approach of this field in the discipline.
“Strategy is an important part of Formula 1” the French told Racecar Engineering. “However, this is complicated by special allocations such as tyres, planning sessions throughout the race weekend and developing and bringing new parts to the circuits where they will perform best.”
“The closer you are to the peak of performance, the greater the impact of even the smallest error in trading or strategy. You need to make sure you are doing the right thing at the right time in order to gather information and take advantage of the opportunities available to you to make progress.”
“During the race, the strategy is completely different. It’s all about what happens next and making the most of it. Teams are constantly watching the next lap and at the same time checking what their opponents are doing to see what they ‘need to manipulate’. They will do next.”
“In some races there are times when your opponents can make mistakes. Usually this happens when tire degradation is high or when some drivers are fighting for position. Change your whole race, for example if there is a safety car, you can make huge jumps in the field or others are the best make good progress with the new set of tires if you don’t do the lap times.”
Strategies soon to be determined by artificial intelligence in F1?
With ever-improving technologies for Formula 1 teams, artificial intelligence can help determine the best race strategy to adopt. We’re not there yet, according to Vasseur, but it could be in the coming years.
“The database for using artificial intelligence to implement a complete race strategy is not yet here, but teams will soon be able to do something like that.”
“You can imagine that the software could have the information needed to take into account the track, the conditions, the number of pit stops, the relative position between the drivers, and give you a probability if an incident is likely. safety car on the next lap or something like that. But it will take a long time to collect the kind of data that teams need to make the right decisions.”
“In the past, I was working on a project that studied traffic accidents for trucks. The database for this was huge and there were millions of trucks around the world. These databases took into account the morning or morning driving hours of the truck during the shift. Afternoon, summer and or winter, and among many other factors, they also took into account the number of hard braking incidents in the previous two hours and the possibility of speeding on certain stretches of road.”
“Ultimately, the software could take all these elements into account and determine the risk of a crash. It required several million data points in a highly connected framework.”
“In Formula 1, teams already collect billions of data points a year, but the teams want to keep it secret because it’s a competitive advantage. Also, it’s not possible to directly maneuver using the data because the margins are small. The teams have to be careful. The margin of error is less than one percent. “There are few and the variables are still significant. Due to the specificity of our work, I think Formula 1 will address this later.”