Red Bull Racing's car. Credit: Red Bull Racing and AT&T
With just a couple of races to go before the end of the 2016 Formula One (F1) season, the 11 competing teams are going all out for the final spurt. What else does it take to keep finishing on the podium besides having a skillful driver and a reliable team? CIO Asia finds out from Alan Peasland, Head of Technical Partnerships, Red Bull Racing. The team is currently second in the constructor standings, 50 points ahead of its rival, Ferrari
What would you say is the biggest tech challenge to an F1 team during a race weekend?
In Formula One, a hundredth of a second can be the difference between winning and losing. But it's not just about our speed on the track anymore; the outcome of our race depends on how fast we make decisions behind the scenes as well. On race day, we're continuously making crucial, data-driven decisions on how to optimise car performance. So the challenge is to make sure we can reliably share vital data in near-real time between the weekend's track, wherever it is in the world, and the AT&T Operations Room at our team headquarters in the UK.
With 21 races across five continents this season, we need a highly reliable and global communications network in place, and this is where AT&T comes in. The AT&T Global VPN helps Red Bull Racing make the best use of our team resources worldwide to make better, faster decisions throughout the race weekend.
Can you bring me through the journey data goes through during a race?
The Red Bull car carries about 100 different sensors on race day, monitoring the performance of thousands of unique components - from tyre pressure to suspension loads, acceleration and G-force. As our Innovation Partner, AT&T makes it possible for us to distribute this data across the business in order to run the sophisticated computer simulations that help our engineers predict how the car will perform.
The highly secure, global AT&T network keeps Red Bull Racing's 700-member workforce connected worldwide. We transfer up to 400 GB of data across the AT&T network every race weekend, in near real-time. The low latency of the AT&T network is crucial: without it the trackside team would be cut off from decision support from the Ops Room. Even at the Australian Grand Prix, which is the furthest race from our headquarters, we get a data transfer rate of 300 milliseconds .
How is AT&T enabling Red Bull Racing team to perform optimally on race day?
Collaboration is the name of the game in Formula One. AT&T helps us work together more effectively with a unified communications solution that features instant messaging, IP-based phone services, telepresence, and video conferencing.
Mobile devices are an increasingly important part of our race day toolkit. We manage all of our devices with an AT&T Enterprise Mobility Management solution that lets our engineers exchange highly secure crucial race information directly with the factory using just their smartphones or tablets, for example. And if a phone is lost or stolen, we can remotely wipe it to stop our important data from getting into the wrong hands.
Data security is obviously one of the most important requirements for any Formula One team. AT&T is providing Red Bull Racing with enhanced security services this year. These will help us effectively mitigate threats and increase our reaction and response time to security issues. We are now proactive rather than reactive as we work to protect our network against malicious intruders and unauthorised activities.
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