SAP, Suunto to Empower Mercedes-Benz EQ Drivers

Mercedes-Benz EQ

The 2019-20 FIA Formula E Championship is a racing championship held for electric vehicles. A race between two new teams marks the start of the racing event for this year and their official debut in the Formula 1 championship on the streets of Diriyah in Saudi Arabia.

On the 22nd of November, the sixth edition of the 2019-20 FIA Formula E Championship was welcomed with a race between Mercedes-Benz EQ and TAG Heuer Porche. The former’s drivers, Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries, who was also one of the drivers during its pre-season testing, will be empowered by biometric data to help maximise their performance for this season.

Monitoring the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E team performance

Sports Techie reported that wearable devices built by Suunto will be used to monitor the performance of core Mercedes-Benz EQ team members, which comprise of drivers and race day staff. The data obtained from the wearable devices with be uploaded onto the dedicated SAP Sports One platform. The data analysis will be used to help the team’s physical therapists in monitoring, understanding, and acting on human performance based on data insights.

In the process, Mercedes’ physical therapists will analyse factors that may impact performance, such as hydration levels, jet lag, and sleep deprivation to continuously ensure that drivers are at their peak health during the races. Although all participating teams use the same Spark Gen2 cars and tires, a more significant percentage of the performance of the teams depends on the design of the electric engines and the human element being one of the major aspects the team has control of.

This is emphasised further by Thomas Esser, the director of sponsorships technology of SAP. In his statement, he said:

“You can imagine that traveling around the globe racing at 280 kilometers per hour is a rough job for everyone on the team, especially the drivers who must focus on the race.”

Additionally, SAP will also assist Mercedes in coordinating its administrative and medical processes, talent development, and team training and management. Its medical staff will receive access to information on athletes worldwide that will help address injuries and other medical concerns as quickly as possible.

SAP Analytics and Motorsports

In 2017, Mercedes-AMG signed up with SAP SuccessFactors for its HR processes. Mercedes and SAP began the partnership for the Formula E last year, which was officially announced in May 2018; however, it is not the first time SAP has ventured into the vehicles and motorsports. SAP has a long history in motorsports tracing back to the year 2003 when it worked with Toyota Formula 1 team in helping them with streamlining its racing operations.

By 2013, Red Bull’s F1 team became the first to sign up to leverage SAP HANA’s business suite. A few years later, the company is now an official supplier of technology to the McLaren F1 team.

This year marks SAP’s first venture into an all-electric racing circuit Formula E. Eva Piorkowski, the director of strategic partnerships for motorsports and events, shared the reason why they were particularly attracted to the league. She pointed out popularity among younger fans and sustainability focus as the main reasons. Moreover, the Formula E car race happens in the center of major cities, which gives better visibility.

Piorkowski noted the importance of focusing on human performance in the Formula E world because of its stimulating environment and potential amount of pressure on humans. She also noted the difference between Formula 1 and Formula E. She said:

“It’s a completely different audience. It’s still motor racing, but it targets an audience that’s on average, much more tech-savvy and digitally minded.”

As of today, Mercedes Benz EQ Formula E Team takes the lead in the overall standing with 38 points, followed by Envision Virgin Racing with 36 points and BMW I Andretti Motorsport with 35 points.

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