Data also flies in F1, with transmission speeds of up to 8.5 GB per second

Data also flies in F1, with transmission speeds of up to 8.5 GB per second
Data also flies in F1, with transmission speeds of up to 8.5 GB per second

Formula 1 is synonymous with speed and technology. Few competitions in the world have such a powerful technological infrastructure, both to measure every detail of the race – with hundreds of sensors located in all the cars – and to broadcast the competition to the millions of spectators who gather in front of it. to their televisions. And here we also achieve milestones worth mentioning: “We have reached peak transmission speeds of up to 8.5 GB per second,” explains Lee Wright, Head of IT Operations for Formula 1.

The Spanish Grand Prix, which is being held this weekend in Barcelona, ​​will once again test the competition’s IT team, which has the support of Lenovo as a technological partner for yet another year. “Each circuit has its challenges when it comes to collecting and transmitting all the data that is generated, but in the case of Spain the operation is very well established, since we have a constant connection and an infrastructure already known to all of us. It is a very comfortable Grand Prix in terms of IT,” adds Wright in a meeting with the specialized press.

Lenovo technology helps Formula 1 with its on-site data collection solutions, improving data storage at events. In a sport where a hundredth of a second can make the difference between one team and another, Lenovo makes available to the competition a wide range of portable and desktop devices, as well as monitors, tablets and ThinkSmart intelligent collaboration solutions, supporting F1 operations both on the track and in the headquarters offices.

It is the competition technicians who are in charge of collecting all the data and transmitting it securely to the different teams. Wright assures that the relationship is “very close” with all the teams, “from the mechanics or engineers to their managers.” They receive the largest volume of data, but, at the same time, some key parameters and the images captured by the circuit cameras are sent to those in charge of the broadcast and here low latency is key for the final result to shine.

REDUCE TONS OF TECHNOLOGICAL EQUIPMENT

To do this, a team of professionals travels to each Grand Prix along with the physical ‘hardware’. Although before there were more than 250 people who traveled around the world to carry out these activities, now there are about 130 thanks to the development – four years ago – of a control center located in an industrial estate in southeast London ( Biggin Hill). This has also allowed us to reduce the weight of the technology that moves from country to country by up to one hundred tons, making operations more sustainable.

Packaging and distributing images for television networks in 180 territories around the world requires world-class, fail-safe technology, even more so considering that “Formula 1 is the most data-rich sport.” from the entire planet”, as they remember from the competition itself. More than 400 monitors and the most cutting-edge cloud connection systems make this mission possible.

On race days this Biggin Hill building is abuzz. In the racing systems area, a team of technicians controls all the data coming from the track: speed, revolutions, gears, steering angle, pressure on the accelerator, even the G forces of a driver taking a corner at full speed. . They are all processed and sent to the graphics team. Other technicians are in charge of monitoring the 20 audio signals from the different cars to transmit the drivers’ conversations, with a delay of five seconds to be able to lower the volume if one of them gets carried away by the intensity of the moment.

“And it’s not just the cars that exceed the speed limits. The 500 terabytes of data from the entire race weekend are transmitted from the Technical Event Center on track to the offices in the United Kingdom with a delay of only 180-250 milliseconds, regardless of the place in the race,” the organization details, highlighting Lenovo’s role as a partner to achieve these technological milestones. “Lenovo is a one-stop shop for us, which is fantastic,” adds Wright.

TOWARDS A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

In collaboration with Lenovo, F1 is rethinking the way the organization uses technology to move towards a more sustainable future in racing. Initiatives such as recycling old computers, using more sustainable hardware and working from headquarters to avoid having to ship 40 truckloads of servers from circuit to circuit are helping to reduce the organisation’s environmental impact.

“Lenovo provides us with great support in both services and hardware. From boosting our operations with the right devices to covering our processing needs with servers and high-performance computing solutions,” explains Formula 1, which gives as an example of these efforts for doing things in a more sustainable way “recycling more than 95% of old hardware”, which is “a fairly significant percentage.”

Likewise, the change to better performing hardware has not only led to a reduction in energy consumption, but also less demand for air conditioning and refrigeration, helping F1 to achieve its emissions reduction targets. All of this, together with the reduction of the IT team and the hardware that travels to each Grand Prix, demonstrates the competition’s efforts in this direction.

“F1 is an iconic institution, which has captured the attention of millions of people around the world. Therefore, as it seeks to further reduce its carbon footprint, we will collaborate to improve performance and reduce the material that needs to be transported. These are just the first steps and we will continue working to contribute to their sustainability efforts while millions of fans continue to enjoy the sport,” concludes Claudia Contreras, Executive Director of Sustainability Services at Lenovo.

 
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