Feeds

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

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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.