File Transfer Enables Formula 1 Teams To Go Even Faster
The world of Formula 1 (F1) racing is one of high speeds, high stakes and leading edge technology. Drivers like Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel, are just the public face of a much larger team working together to build a car to go faster than their competitors. With stakes so high, racing teams are looking for ways in which they can gain a competitive edge.
And so data plays a key part in F1. Each car has hundreds of sensors monitoring every aspect of the car, generating data on fuel load, tyre temperature, brake performance and much, much more. During a race this data is typically streamed back to race HQ enabling in-race, real-time decisions to be made about race strategy.
However, the sensors also create a large amount of data during pre-season testing, in simulation environments, during free practice before each race and during qualification, all of which needs analysing to gain the split second advantages that make the difference between first and second place.
The data produced is valuable, very valuable. The performance of the team has a clear, measurable impact on the prize money received but what’s not quite so easy to quantify is the effect on the brand. The prize money available to the racing teams on its own is astronomical. Last season nearly $965m of prize money was split between the top 10 teams. Ferrari won the prize money race, with $192m, even though they finished second in the constructors championship due to a special agreement with F1.
Typically, racing teams spend much of the year in countries around the world where Internet connectivity isn’t always brilliant. Coupled with the distance back to their HQ and factories, any data transfers suffer with long round trip times (RTT), high packet loss and latency on the connection. This combination of factors results in poor data throughput, which is where Managed File Transfer comes in.
Pro2col was approached by a Formula 1 team to help them solve the problems they were having with file transfers. They needed a system that was easy for the teams travelling the globe to send large data sets from their laptops back to their HQ in the UK. It needed to be able to cope with the challenging network environments that they would encounter before and during the race season, and of course, security was of paramount importance.
Conducting A Thorough Needs Analysis
Pro2col conducted a thorough needs analysis with the Formula 1 team to understand their exact requirements, which allowed us to then review the available technologies in the marketplace, scoring them against the defined requirements.
Whilst a variety of products would have ‘done the job’, the devil was in the detail of not whether the software would do it but how. Eventually, two technologies were recommended for evaluation. Pro2col’s technical team provided assistance in setting up the software and establishing the success criteria for the proof of concept, which resulted in both technologies performing as expected.
Working with the Formula 1 team, we established that one of the technologies had a much more competitively per-user, pricing structure with a clear growth path as they looked to expand it into other areas of the business, for example when sharing data with customers and suppliers.
Now seven years since the original implementation of the software, the F1 team continues to perform well on the track and grow the footprint of its Managed File Transfer solution, adding further licences when the need arises.