Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus E21 car at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday, 22 September 2013.
When it comes to the Formula One (F1), all eyes are usually on the drivers and flashy cars.
Just like at the recent Singapore Grand Prix, many were amazed by Kimi Raikkonen's ability to finish third despite starting in 13th position with back pains. While one cannot deny that his driving skills led to this result, credit should also go to the technology in and behind his Lotus E21 car.
Since May 2012, Avanade has been enabling the Lotus F1 Team to harness technology and business innovation on the Microsoft platform to help drive performance improvements on and off the racetrack.
For one, Avanade has helped the Lotus F1 team with scheduling. F1 cars are rebuilt for each circuit to cater to the varying demands of the circuit. As the break between races may be as short as one week, planning logistics is vital to ensure that the specific parts of the car which need to be changed will be manufactured in time for the race. In the past, it was time consuming and a hassle to work on planning documents as they could only be opened by one user at a time and some users would get locked out of them. To counter this, Avanade helped the Lotus F1 Team deploy a SharePoint application that enables multiple users to work simultaneously on the programme. The application has helped "boost productivity and efficiency, and reduce development lead-times," said Lotus F1 team's IT/IS director Graeme Hackland.
Towards race day, the Lotus F1 Team needs to process a huge amount of data — such as minute changes in how the car responds on the track, and test results of new parts — to prepare for the race. To help the Lotus F1 Team gather insights more quickly without adding constraints on resources, Avanade optimised an existing application. By doing so, the time the application takes to process information has been reduced by 75 percent.
There are currently 19 Avanade employees working within the Lotus F1 Team onsite at the Enstone factory, where they deliver a variety of projects in the factory and performance domains.
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