New Motorsport technology means vehicles are becoming faster, stronger and more efficient. Races are more accessible thanks to multiple viewing platforms and on-demand services.
But tastes are changing, with younger people less interested in the sport than previous generations. How can Motorsport stay relevant and exciting?
Virtual Reality in Motorsport allows for vehicle designs and upgrades in an entirely virtual space. This means no resources are taken up, so there’s no harm in trying something new. Different vehicle models, weather conditions, tyres and situations can be simulated against the new design, stress testing hundreds of different ways before a prototype is even made.
Virtual Reality in Motorsport encourages bold design and radical innovation at every level of the machine. Virtual systems cut down on design time and save money by reducing resource spend.
In 2014 Formula One implemented a shift from their old v8 engine model to hybrid power units to lower emissions. Hybrid power units can recover heat and kinetic energy from braking to boost the cars. More efficient engines allowed for fewer pit stops, keeping the race exciting.
New engine designs are already in the works for 2021 however with higher fuel limits and increased horsepower. New F1 engines will almost certainly keep the hybrid power unit design, as the forces created make the car much harder to drive, making for more action-packed races. Starting from 2021 Formula One is all about entertainment and fan engagement.
Whilst F1 is strict about what can and can’t hit the track, the World Endurance Championship (WEC)encourages diversity among race cars. One of the world’s leading race teams, Audi pulled out of the World Endurance Championship to focus on formula E instead, leaving many to wonder if electric Motorsport can continue to grow.
New regulations being finalised in November are attempting to revitalise the WEC. A new top class is being introduced, focusing on hypercars, supercars, luxury GTs and concept cars. All will continue to be hybrid powered, but with no restriction on engine selection.
Drone racing is an actual sport with a league where you can buy drone racing merchandise, and it’s growing in popularity. It’s not hard to see why. With ludicrously fast speeds and a high level of intuitive skill, drone races are visually striking in a way that traditional Motorsport races will find it hard to compete with.
In the drone racing league, all drones are the same make, meaning it all comes down to the technical skill of the pilot.
The debut Roborace Championships kick off 2019, with fully autonomous cars racing against each other. This is achieved through complex algorithms similar to those in self-driving cars on the road today. However, these race cars will possess ‘reflexes’ faster than any human driver, able to make predictions, learn and react to the racing environment.
Driverless vehicles need an entirely different skillset to traditional F1 engineers. Data analytics are already commonplace but feeding that data into a machine is different to anything pit teams have done before. A prototype autonomous vehicle generates 100TB of data a day.
As the world of Formula One and Motorsport changes, it will need talented new technicians and engineers to harness the cutting-edge Motorsport technology of tomorrow.