2015 F1 Malaysia Grand Prix: The Red Has Trumped The Silver!

By Tara Bal, Head of Communications, NetApp APAC


At the recent Malaysia Grand Prix, Vettel and Ferrari produced a tactical masterclass that demonstrated how a well thought-out game plan, and some luck, can win the race. With a perfectly timed corner turn, Vettel overtook defending champion, Hamilton, in the 25th lap, and went on to clinch Ferrari’s first victory since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix! Follow me as we go behind the scenes to find out how F1 teams are using the latest technologies to gain that split-second advantage.



[Image courtesy of autoronaldo.com]


No doubt hundreds of millions of viewers globally catch F1 for the thrill, speed and drama. However, F1 is more than just a motorsport; it is a “data sport” where teams compete down to hundredths of a second using the latest technologies. I caught up with K.C. Low, General Manager, NetApp Malaysia, after all the action at this season’s second race.  


“Data analytics played a critical role in Ferrari’s race strategy in which they decided to go into the first two stints on medium tyres and managed to pull off two very successful long runs,” K.C. said, looking back at the remarkable show Ferrari had put up that brought them back in the game. “Real-time analytics capabilities help race engineers make informed decisions on-the-spot that can shave off milliseconds, and in F1, that could give the edge to reach the podium.”


NetApp has been working with several F1 teams such as Sauber to provide the IT infrastructure needed to help teams make real-time decisions. Hundreds of sensors fitted on the F1 cars transmit terabytes of data via mobile data centers to the race engineers so they may react on the spot when conditions of the track and car change and advise the driver accordingly.


Did you know that while a commercial car might take 5-7 years to move from the drawing board to production, an F1 car might take just 5 months? The ability to evolve at such a pace is what defines the F1 industry. Engineers thus require the accessibility to data at all times to refine their car designs in preparation for the next race and NetApp has been trusted to provide a seamless access to data information.


Technology plays a big role in sports and changes the way games are played and increasingly, the way games are experienced by viewers. Without a reliable and agile data infrastructure, data sports such as F1 racing would not happen. We can only expect great things from the sports industry as new and innovative technologies continue to drive better performances.


For more information on our partnership with the Sauber team check it out here.