Sunday March 27
th sees the 2011 Formula One season kick off in Australia. A grid full of cars, predominantly British built, will line up to compete to be crowned World Champions in a sport that welds together the sheer skill and bravery of driving a car at close to 200mph with the intellectual might of mechanical and technological engineers. Team Lotus IT head Bill Peters explains his strategic relationship with Dell.
All photography with thanks to Team Lotus.
March 21, 2011
1. Team Lotus aims high for 2011 with new IT platform
Sunday March 27th sees the 2011 Formula One season kick off in Australia.
2. Bill Peters heads up IT at Team Lotus his team enters this season in a more competitive starting position
Technology partners Dell, have built an IT infrastructure and strategy that has brought the critical design and build phase of the car back in house
3. IT is about support and especially for the key phases of car development
Peters joined Team Lotus in October 2009 and to set about building an IT operation to suit an F1 team that planned to be on the grid in March.
4. For this year's car, with the Dell infrastructure that Peters has implemented, the team has largely developed and built the car in-house
"I was looking for an enterprise solution and a one-stop shop," Peters says of his decision to select Dell as the primary technology supplier to Team Lotus.
5. Dell fitted our requirements for the infrastructure. They were very responsive.
Peter's enters this season with an in-house IT team of nine that focus on infrastructure, trackside IT operations, a high performance computing (HPC) expert, CAD and ERP experts.
6. Team Lotus has a staff total of 250, which is small for a modern F1 operation
For 2011 Team Lotus has designed a car to accommodate a new engine, the Renault that powered Sebastian Vettel to championship victory in 2010.
7. Dell provide Team Lotus with a factory infrastructure as well as the mobile infrastructure it needs to travel to the 20 grand prix the season contests.
"What we have is a track-side and factory infrastructure that is identical. The primary difference is the track-side has to be packed away, so needs to be as small a physical footprint in weight as possible."
8. Team Lotus use the Dell EqualLogic iSCSI storage area network arrays
The car's have 150 individual sensors delivering data on tyre and exhaust temperatures, airflow through the wings and sidepods as well as a wide range of engineering data.
9. Factory has a Dell HPC system based on the vendor's blade enclosures, blade servers and rack servers to run its CAD systems
"Fifty per cent of the workforce is mobile, so cloud is essential," says Peters.
10. Team Lotus has high ambitions for 2011
"We are quietly optimistic for this year and want to compete with the midfield teams. We are aiming for eighth place in the championships, if not further up."