Infiniti Red Bull Racing will rely more heavily than ever on AT&T’s global network this weekend as the trackside engineers in Australia aim to gain performance insights from Infiniti Red Bull's UK-based operations team.
The opening race of the season, taking place on Sunday in Melbourne, Australia, will be the first time Infiniti Red Bull has used its new 1.6 litre V6 Turbo engine in a race, which has been introduced following engine regulation changes made by the governing body of motorsport worldwide, the Federation Internationale de l' Automobile (FIA).
"Learning as much about the new car as we can in the short amount of time we have is crucial," said Al Peasland, head of technical partnerships at Infiniti Infiniti Red Bull Racing, in Central London today.
“We need to remain completely connected whilst the team is there [at the circuit] because we’re still evaluating, developing and optimising the car. That can only really happen with the support of the people in the UK so we have to make sure they’re completely connected throughout the course of the weekend.”
The performance of the new engine, along with thousands more vehicle parameters, will be monitored by over 100 onboard sensors so that the car can be optimised for the circuit.
The data collected by these sensors, which can amount to over 100GB during a race weekend, will be sent over AT&T’s network to Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s HQ in Milton Keynes, England, so that it can be analysed by the operations team and used to suggest changes that can be made by the trackside engineers.
For the first time in Infiniti Red Bull's partership with AT&T, which was established in 2011, data will also be sent to engine-manufacturer Renault, in France, and to Infiniti Red Bull's wind tunnel in Bedford.
The operations team and Renault engineers will analyse the data in near real time over AT&T’s high bandwidth link and communicate with the trackside team so that they can make changes to the car before and during the race.
Infiniti Red Bull Racing refused to disclose the speed at which data is sent at over AT&T’s network due to fears that it would be revealing its competitive advantage to its rivals.
“This year, with the new partnership enhancements, we’ve got a network that’s two and a half times bigger than last year and substantially bigger than it was many years ago," said Peasland.
"That’s given us the opportunity to share richer data," he added, explaining that it can be used to provide insights into aspects such as fuel efficiency and break temperatures, as well as optimal versus actual racing lines around the tracks.
In only nine years Infiniti Red Bull Racing has managed to go from being the ‘fun underdog’ of Formula 1, to a team that is taking on companies that have been making cars for decades – and is frequently beating them to the top of the podium.