Formula One: A Technology Race

“It’s now obvious that Formula One is as much a technology race as it is a car race."

According to Peasland, today’s Formula One car is considered an evolving prototype – a design that is constantly being refined in search of the next tenth or hundredth of a second performance improvement per lap.

“Over the course of a Formula One season, we process many thousands of design changes to create new components that have to be sent to the track to be assembled onto the cars in time for the race event,” he explains.

And when the race event arrives, Peasland says that unsurprisingly, it is an incredibly fast-paced affair.

“But a lot of what happens on race-day is very well structured and planned by the team,” he explains.

On a race day, the team can have up to 100 different sensors on its cars, each measuring many different functions from tyre temperature and pressure to suspension loads, acceleration and G-forces experienced by the car and driver.

This data is then analysed with the help of factory-based engineers and simulation tools in the UK and France, using videoconferencing sessions for face-to-face meetings.

“This collaborative multi-disciplinary approach helps us make strategic decisions that ultimately affect our race position and competitiveness – and ensure driver safety,” Peasland adds.

“But it would not be possible without a capable communications network. This is where AT&T plays a crucial role.

“We have a secure Virtual Private Network connection between the Operations Room at HQ and our other facilities and trackside teams at race or test events.

“Team members also use smartphones as part of a unified communications solution that is protected via AT&T mobile device management tools.”

2015 and beyond…

With the 2015 season now underway, Peasland says AT&T’s support will continue to touch almost every aspect of Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s operations, with plans to consolidate all of the team’s WAN links onto the AT&T backbone.

“Sophisticated computer simulations are becoming increasingly important as a tool to help our engineers predict how the car will perform,” he adds.

“We’ll be using them more often on race days, requiring extensive computing and communications power.”

As a result, in the near future, Peasland says plans are in place to expand AT&T unified communications solution to include IP-based phone services, presence and video conferencing while security, of course, is constantly being updated.

“We are also enhancing the connectivity to our wind tunnel,” he adds. “The wind tunnel is a vital tool for the team as they hone the design of the car to make it is as aerodynamically efficient as possible.

“Testing generates huge volumes of data that need to be analysed by engineers at HQ.

“A ten-fold increase in bandwidth and added resilience of the network to this facility, which is located in Bedford in the UK, will enable faster data transfer to our HQ for analysis and will greatly benefit the team on the track.”

As the world of Formula One today becomes ever more tech-focused and connected, Peasland says AT&T’s “blazing fast network and innovative solutions” directly affect how the team develops the car and how they gather data, learn from it and adapt.

“Our network infrastructure is now mission critical and gives us an edge on the track that is helping us take Infiniti Red Bull Racing to the next level,” he adds.

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