Instinctive Racing
May 13, 2019

Living the dream

Meet the team behind our work with Formula E team Envision Virgin Racing

Simon Cropper, data scientist and assistant vice president, data analytics and research, Genpact, lets his inner Buddha shine as he talks about his fascination with car racing and the work he's doing with Envision Virgin Racing.

Motorsport enthusiast at Formula E

"My role in the partnership needs me to wear the hats of a co-project lead and a data scientist," says Simon, a big motorsport fan. He's not just excited about the work he does – "It's a dream come true!" he tells me.

Simon and the rest of the team of data scientists are working to enhance how the Envision Virgin Racing team determines the number of laps in a race with our Lap Estimate Optimizer (LEO). LEO houses a variety of algorithms that help Envision Virgin Racing assess all the elements that influence a race, sharpen its predictions, and make the right energy-management choices. Unlike many other forms of racing, the cars in Formula E use battery. This is what makes energy consumption critical during a race.

"Attack Mode" on

Attack Mode in Formula E racing temporarily boosts power levels, giving drivers an edge over their opponents. To engage Attack Mode, drivers must pass through a defined activation zone placed off the racing line. Simon describes this by comparing it to the speed boost strip in Super Mario Kart.

The decision about whether or not to go through the activation zone is influenced by multiple factors, including the track condition and number of laps remaining. Genpact's algorithms consider all these factors and present the team with recommendations on when and how to take it.

A data scientist on the track

What is the most exciting part of Simon's job? "The fact that I am a part of a car-racing team. The adrenaline rush of watching your team win is unmatchable. Knowing that your work helps the team get on the podium makes you feel as if you're on the track yourself. It's quite mind-blowing," he says.

About the author

Simon Fellowes

Simon Fellowes

Genpact trackside reporter

Follow Simon Fellowes on LinkedIn