In elite F1 racing, where nothing is left to chance, there is no margin for unreliable information.
When the competition is as fierce off the track as it is on it, nothing is left to chance. And lives could be at stake with the high-speed action on the racetracks.
In one of the world’s most highly technical and data-driven sports, the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s engineers – at trackside and in the Race Support Room (RSR) at the factory in Brackley – play an essential role during pre-season test sessions and during qualifying and practice runs on Grand Prix weekends.
Communication between the engineers and the driver is crucial. The ability to provide the driver with instantaneous access to data, videos and telemetry via the drop-down screens in the garage informs critical strategy and pitstop decisions.
With tight turnaround times between runs, when the driver pulls into the garage during qualifying, practice and test sessions, time is of the essence. It’s even more important since the 2021 season, as both Friday practice sessions have been shortened by half an hour each to just 60 minutes.
“During a practice session, it’s important to give the driver the right information at the right time,” said Riccardo Musconi, Head of Trackside Performance, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team. “Decisions have to be made within a very tight turnaround, so the engineers need to be able to share stats and data in a fast, efficient manner.”
To avoid wasting valuable seconds, two drop-down screens displaying multiple applications allow the driver to scroll through visuals to access crucial information without having to get out of the car.
In a sport where every millisecond counts, the data feeds to the drop-down screens need to be one hundred percent accurate and reliable. The team had trialed other software solutions, but reliability issues meant they did not deliver the performance required.
The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 Team has already been successfully using TeamViewer Tensor as the remote connectivity platform across its racing operations. In July 2022, the engineering team turned to TeamViewer as its software solution for the dropdown-screen data feed.
The Tensor platform enables enterprise grade remote connectivity for always-on scenarios. It boasts the best-in-class security, scalability and manageability making it the performance driving solution that the team needed during practice and qualifying runs in the garage.
Using the platform, the team’s engineers at trackside and in the Race Support Room (RSR) at the factory can provide the drivers with fast and 100% reliable access to all the live data they have on the runs while the driver stays in the car.
This includes intelligence relating to weather, run plans, strategy, and competitor analysis, as well as live feed TV of the session, playbacks of their run and footage of the competitors on the track – without stepping out of the car and wasting essential seconds.
Within the Team garage, two engineers control exactly what information is distributed to the driver on each of the drop-down screens. With a mountain of data available at their fingertips, the engineers are able to disseminate the key information that will aid in the ultimate goal of delivering better performance.
TeamViewer’s software allows the engineers to share this insight with their driver with zero delay, permitting them to talk the driver through the information as it is presented. This ability to discuss run plans and much more information is of high value to the team when preparing for their next track run.
“TeamViewer has never let us down and has really improved the way we work at the track and communicate with the driver,” said Musconi.
TeamViewer’s secure remote connectivity solution enables the team’s race engineers to provide the driver with instant and consistently reliable access to all the data, stats and live feeds they need when they enter the garage, to inform their strategy for the next and future runs.
Having delivered a 100% reliable performance during the trial, the Brackley team counts on TeamViewer as its technical solution for the drop-down screens.
“TeamViewer is faster, more reliable and has more features than anything on the market,” commented Steve Riley, Head of IT and Service Operations, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team. “So for us, where milliseconds mean the difference in results, and communication between the driver and race engineers is critical, that’s how we deliver performance.”
And when it comes to performance, it’s not just TeamViewer’s technical prowess that’s been put to the test. The team values TeamViewer’s close collaboration and partnership and is actively working together to identify more use cases around the garage.
“We have a great relationship with the team at TeamViewer and speak to them most weeks about development opportunities and features we’d like to see in the toolset. We can see lots more use cases for our team and we are excited to see what the future brings,” said Riley.
Here’s the video version of this case study.