As soon as Lewis Hamilton enters the pit lane, his Mercedes F1 car begins transmitting data using high speed Gigabit Wi-Fi, before switching to 60GHz transmission four metres from the garage. The transmission continues while the car is stationary.
GPS sensors on the car are sensitive enough to capture his location in centimetres – rather than the 10-metre accuracy typical of most commercial satnavs.
“Gone are the days of one or two race engineers going through data,” says James Vowles, chief strategist at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.
Optimising data is often what makes the difference between competing teams, he says.
“We want to be able to make predictions for races better than ever before.”