In the 22 years since Graeme Hackland began his career in Formula One,\u00a0developments in technology\u00a0have consistently transformed the sport.\nRegulatory body the FIA has introduced innovations including a DRS (drag reduction system) that promotes overtaking, a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) that converts stockpiled energy into an acceleration boost and\u00a0a Halo cockpit protection device. But for Hackland, the biggest developments\u00a0revolve around data.\nWhen Hackland took the job of\u00a0network support analyst in\u00a0Lotus' Benetton Formula Ltd brand in 1997, all of the data from the team's two cars could fit onto a single floppy disk.\u00a0Nowadays, a team can generate more than 200 gigabytes of data over a race weekend.\nRokit Williams\u00a0has 300 sensors on each of its cars and collects over 1,000 channels of data\u00a0throughout the race to understand the effects of the weather, track conditions, car parts and competitor performance.\n"Friday first practices are the most important in terms of the development of the car,"\u00a0Hackland explained after the practice session for the British Grand Prix.\n"We will put parts on the car and we want the drivers to drive every lap almost the same so we know that if the lap time is different it's because of the part that we put on the car, not because they were driving differently.\n"We use the data we get on the Friday to help us to drive the development of the car for the future but also to improve the car over the course of the day."\nRead next: Red Bull Racing head of IT infrastructure reveals how tech wins races\nThis data helps guide the strategy for the race on Sunday. Williams runs 10,000 race simulations to try to predict how it will unfold, but with 20 cars on the track, anything can happen. A crash on the first corner or the arrival of a safety car to guide the cars around the circuit until the damage is cleared can\u00a0scupper even the best-laid plans and create an unforeseen needs for a pit spot or a change of tires.\n"We come up with three or four scenarios we can discuss with the driver based on the real-time data analytics and then make our decisions," says Hackland.\nProtecting the data\nAll the insights\u00a0are fed back to the Williams factory in Grove, Oxfordshire, where further data is generated in massive simulators that helps the team prepare for the next race and for the regulatory changes that will come in the next season.\nThis collection of data contains highly valuable information that has made Williams the victim of two attempted ransomware attacks in 2014, shortly after Hackland had joined the team from Lotus.\u00a0Williams\u00a0escaped the first thanks to its backup recovery, but lost some of its data as a result of the second.\nHackland responded by developing an ecosystem of partners around cyber security and deployed the Acronis hybrid cloud data protection solution to protect the team's data backup and help it detect, terminate, and recover from ransomware attacks.\nRead next: Arsenal FC IT director Hywel Sloman and Williams F1 CIO Graeme Hackland discuss sporting success, innovation, emerging tech, cyber security and the fan experience\nHackland's vendor strategy mixes the stability of established suppliers\u00a0on race weekends with the more experimental technology of smaller companies away from the race, a number of which were tested with the Williams F1 eSports team.\n"Here at the track, we absolutely stick to tier one. I need it to be 100% available for five days and then pack it up and either drive it in a truck to another track or stick it in an airplane. So we are very much tier-one vendors at the track," he said.\n"Everything else we willing to push the envelope wherever we can get the best performance."\nThinking ahead\nWilliams has had a fabled history in F1 but a difficult start to the 2019 season.\nHackland is confident that the team's fortunes can change fast if it maximises its resources, as his rivals at McClaren are currently proving by outperforming the Renault team that\u00a0supplies its engines, despite losing former world champion Fernando Alonso to retirement.\nOne of the ways Hackland believes Williams can get an edge is by using AI to make faster decisions during races.\n"It seems like the rulebook is very complicated," he said. "We got a penalty this year, because we sent a car out of the garage a few seconds before we should have done. I think with AI and some of the automation, we might be able to stop that."\nRead next: Ryder Cup CTO Michael Cole interview - Driving transformation of global golf\nHackland is also investigating\u00a0whether Williams could bring a 3D printer to the track that would allow the team to print out new parts based on what they discovered during practice and then add them to the car before the race began.\n"When we're in Australia, we know that if we're going to put anything on the car on Saturday, it has to leave the UK Tuesday night. That's the only way it's going to make it to the car on time.\n"But if we could discover something on the Friday in Australia, print it overnight, by either using a local supplier or printing it ourselves, and then put it on the car, that's going to be huge."\nElectric future\nFormula One has been criticised for its reliance on fossil fuels and lack of female drivers, but technological developments offer hope of change.\nThis year's launch of the all-female\u00a0W Series is providing exposure for female drivers, and\u00a0a growing number of them are being employed as development drivers, such as\u00a0Jamie Chadwick, who joined the Williams Driver Academy this year.\nThe physical demands of driving an F1 car have often been cited as a key reason for the dearth of female drivers, but Hackland believes the biggest factor is\u00a0their lack of\u00a0financial support.\n"I think the cars through the 80s required a lot of physical manhandling, but even then there were women racing drivers who handled those cars without a problem. The problem actually is not about the ability to drive a car, it's the opportunities that they get," he said.\n"Jenson Button said, there were three female drivers when he was starting who were quicker than him, but they never made it to Formula One. They never got the sponsorship that they needed to make it their way through."\nRead next: Arsenal IT Director Christelle Heikkila explains the role of data in football\nThe transition from fossil fuels to alternative energies may also be approaching.\u00a0The\u00a0Formula E series\u00a0has proven that\u00a0electric-powered cars can make for exciting racing, and F1's cars have maintained their speeds through the sport's shift to\u00a0hybrid power.\n"Will we go full electric? I don't know," Hackland admits.\u00a0"I don't think in the short term, but the way society is going, there'll probably come a point at which using petrol is not tenable."