IT plays a crucial role in developing cars for Formula One. But much of what an F1 team does during the racing season is akin to applying a software patch to the F1 car, rather than a major upgrade of the car's mechanical, electronic and aerodynamic systems.
Alex Burns, chief operating officer. has used the global network provided by AT&T to ensure car telemmetry data is transmiited from the track to the trackside workstations and back to the Williams F1 head officer in the UK.
Presenting at the Gartner Symposium in Cannes, he said up to 80 Mbytes of data is collected while the car is being tested on track, and this information is sent back to its Oxfordshire HQ where a team of technicians use the data to analyse how the car can be made to go faster.
The technicians are able to feed this information back to the trackside team in real time. The engineers effectively "patch" the Williams F1 car, to make it go round the track quicker.
Picture: Giuliano Bevilacqua/Rex Features