Lewis Hamilton, the defending winner of the Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix,will be the first to admit that his success isn’t just due to his skills on the track. The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 driver is backed by a team of engineers and mechanics fully equipped with the latest technology. They process data on-the-fly to give him the most accurate readings for his machine, so that he can make the necessary decisions during the course of the race. With time being such a crucial factor, the team needs to be backed up by technology that’s powerful enough, and accurate enough, to compute all the necessary data quickly for the drivers.
2010 marks the second year that Lenovo is powering the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team, both on the racetracks as well as at the team’s headquarters in Woking, United Kingdom. The team utilises the Lenovo ThinkStation D20 to calculate strategy permutations. The ThinkStation D20 is a line of Intel Xeon-powered desktops catering to CAD designers, digital animators and those working with scientific applications as well as other areas that deal with large amounts of raw data.
In a sport where preparation time between practice, qualifiers and finals are short, the powerful capabilities of the ThinkStation D20 makes a big difference to improve the team’s race preparation. Jonathan Neale, managing director, McLaren Racing, said, "Last year, we replaced six PCs with three new Lenovo Thinkstation D20 machines. We’ve gone from running around 600 race simulations per second up to around 3000. That’s a five-time improvement, and it means we finish all our post-qualifying simulations two hours after the session’s finished, rather than having to wait until Sunday morning. That makes a massive difference."
Hamilton explains how improving technology affects his work on the tracks as well as viewers off it:
Men’s Health: As a driver, how big a role does technology come into play during both training and race days?