Motorsport fans know there’s nothing like the high-octane excitement of a FORMULA 1 (F1) race day, and for UK-based fans there’s simply no better place to experience it than this weekend at the home of British racing – the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

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F1 and AWS have innovated together since 2018, launching 22 data-driven Insights for use on the live broadcast that offer fan education and entertainment in the form of race strategy, car performance, and competitor analysis. The partnership also collaborated to harness the power and scale of AWS’s high performance computing (HPC) to run thousands of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations that contributed to the 2022 rules and regulations for car design which enabled more of the wheel-to-wheel action that fans love.

A new generative AI tool will help the F1 broadcast team produce key statistics for each race weekend. Dubbed “StatBot”, the technology will enhance the operational efficiency of an F1 broadcast by enabling F1 to source stats and insights in moments.

StatBot is designed to improve the viewing experience of what is a highly complex sport. An F1 season includes 24 races each year, two separate Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships, and a long history that stretches back more than 70 years. No wonder new viewers might find it daunting trying to keep up when watching for the first time! That’s why F1 works hard to educate and entertain audiences with context and statistics, using tools such as StatBot and F1 Insights, powered by AWS, explaining what effects a particular overtake or race result may have across drivers and teams.

With over seven decades of results and thousands of race starts between all 20 of the current field of drivers, preparing on-screen graphics with facts and statistics heavily relies on the experience of the broadcast production team, using F1’s historic database to find relevant information for the audience.

Ahead of the 2024 British Grand Prix, we spoke to Neil Ralph, AWS Principal Sports Industry Specialist, about the power of AI in sports broadcasting, the development of the generative AI-powered StatBot, and the exciting journey ahead for AWS and FORMULA 1’s partnership.

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Gen AI-powered insights with F1 StatBot

StatBot uses generative artificial intelligence (gen AI) to query F1’s expansive historic data repository, which includes all of its racing statistics since 1950. This helps F1 analysts generate interesting facts to be included as part of the broadcast to give fans access to a level of detail about the sport that has been hard to surface before. StatBot is yet another example of how AWS and F1 continue to revolutionise the fan experience.

StatBot allows for the F1 broadcast and race analyst teams to more effectively prepare for race weekends, as well as help them process information quickly during live track activity. The next phase of development will see the tool generating statistics in real-time, relating to events occurring live on the track (e.g. position changes, crashes, overtakes etc).

An example of the type of question that StatBot could answer would be: “When was the last time a rookie won a race?”. Prior to StatBot, a human operator would have to analyse historic race results, filter all winners and cross-check the number of years of the drivers’ career at that point. StatBot performs that analysis behind the scenes and provides the answer in seconds: “Lewis Hamilton in 2007 at the Canadian GP”. F1 race analysts can then feed this information to commentators and broadcast controllers, to create on-screen statistics in moments – resulting in more information and an improved experience for fans at home.

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“You want the answer to that question as quickly as possible, so you can get it on the broadcast while it is still editorially relevant,” said Neil Ralph, AWS Principal Sports Industry Specialist. “With StatBot, what we've done is augment F1’s human capability. Using natural language prompts with generative AI allows F1 to get answers back from the historic data repository far quicker than previously possible.”

StatBot is just one of the ways the partnership between AWS and F1 is innovating how fans engage with the sport. As the partnership continues to grow, Neil predicts that fans will be able to access and create their own personalised viewing experience.

F1 fans can look forward to a data-driven viewing experience for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and the rest of the 2024 season, with record-breaking feats and incredible achievements revealed to audiences faster than ever before.

Read more about how AWS and FORMULA 1 are using AI in new and exciting parts of the sport, like the first-ever AI-inspired trophy.