Northern Ireland

First Derivatives in Red Bull Formula One partnership

Red Bull Racing F1 car Image copyright ALLSPORT/Getty Images
Image caption First Derivatives will initially work with Red Bull Racing to analyse F1 wind tunnel data

A Northern Ireland software firm has announced a partnership with Red Bull Racing to help the Formula One team analyse its racing data.

First Derivatives, based in Newry, has its roots in managing and analysing data from financial services firms.

It is now using its expertise in "big data" applications to expand into other industries, including engineering and utilities.

It will initially work with Red Bull Racing to analyse F1 wind tunnel data.

'Fast data challenge'

"I think nothing better encapsulates our technology - that ability for innovative power and speed - than a Formula One endorsement," said the firm's chief operating officer, Adrian Toner.

He added that it demonstrated its software could be "widely used across a number of industries that have a big 'fast data' challenge".

"For the Red Bull Racing team, they will use our technology to analyse their sensor data for their Formula One cars, during wind tunnel testing.

"Our joint hope is that we can extend in time to during the race, to allow the team and the driver to analyse the data and to make better decisions in real time during the race."

The Newry firm, which employs more than 2,000 people, is one of the few publicly listed companies in Northern Ireland.

Image caption First Derivatives has 14 offices around the world but its headquarters are on Canal Quay, Newry

As well as the F1 contract, it has reported a 13% increase in adjusted profit before tax, to £11.4m, for six months to end of August.

'High value contracts'

The company said its revenues were 21% higher than the same time last year, at £87.8 million.

Chairman Seamus Keating said: "We have signed a number of high value contracts in the first half and there is momentum behind our commercial discussions across the group."

"We therefore anticipate a strong full year financial performance, slightly ahead of the board's expectations," he added.

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