Feeds

El Reg takes a spin round Team Lotus's F1 factory

How do you create an F1 team from nothing in three months?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Team Lotus started out with four people in late 2009, and has grown to 200 people and two Formula One cars today. It only got a guaranteed place on the starting grid in December 2009 - and then had to create a team, a car and an infrastructure in four months.

Sorting out a normal office network and backup systems in that time would be difficult enough, never mind the kind of data centres and high-performance computers needed by an F1 team.

The Reg, and assorted other publications, got the chance to visit the factory, in deepest, darkest Norfolk, thanks to the Lotus tech provider Dell. The direct giant sorted out all the usual office infrastructure along with a high-performance cluster for design work and a datacentre for the massive number crunching required during actual races.

The factory was previously used by Bentley to build its its Le Mans cars - hence the giant autoclaves.

autoclave

World's largest pizza oven, closed

autoclave open

Pizza oven, open - really an autoclave for baking carbon-fibre parts

Dell also sorted out Team Lotus engineers with a full trackside set-up - some data from the racing cars is dealt with at the race course, some is sent back to the Norfolk factory operations room to be analysed there.

Throughout racing and testing, dozens of sensors on each car send information on everything from tyre pressure and temperature to fuel loads back to the engineers. These figures are crunched and entered into strategy software to help the team decide on what changes to make to the cars' set-up.

Team Lotus is looking at building a wind tunnel at the Norfolk plant, but in the meantime they're using a tunnel in Italy. Half-sized, aluminium models of the cars are used for that testing and one of the four senior aerodynamics staff is in Italy at any one time.

Alongside the wind tunnel Team Lotus are also using CFD - computational fluid dynamics - to test the aerodynamics of potential designs. Lotus uses both types of testing - some other teams, notably Virgin, have chosen to only use CFD as a cost-saving measure.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
729 teraflops, 71,000-core Super cost just US$5,500 to build
Cloud doubters, this isn't going to be your best day
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.