As a member of the Lenovo Blogger Advisory Council (LBAC) – I was extended the invitation to join the Garage Tour at our Sepang F1 Circuit, to explore how Lenovo computing solutions are used by the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes (VMM) Formula 1 team.
A Brief Introduction
Lenovo announced its sponsorship to (VMM) F1 team back in 2009 and supplied over 2,100 pieces of equipment in the effort to revamp the team’s IT infrastructure. This resulted in a massive boost in computing power, leading to faster R&D on work such as design, parametric updating and computational fluid dynamics.
The solutions are used on race day with engineers using Lenovo notebooks for telemetry and analytics purposes.
To sum in all up – the innovation from Lenovo provided the edge for the VMM team behind the scenes.
More details at Lenovo as well.
Summary of Products Used
ThinkPads – T400, X200, X200 Tablet, X301, W500.
– All with integrated Vodafone 3G.
– X301 – All drivers, executive staff members and marketing teams.
– T400 – Race team, data stewards and pit wall engineers use them for processor performance, connectivity and analytics.
– W500 – Design engineers, technicians and development staff members who require mobility. The W500 helps in car design and specifics that require high performance graphics rendering in a mobile workstation.
– X200 – Directors, managers and senior staff members that opt for a thin and light solution.
– X200 Tablet – Used in the pit lane / garage area for data input efficiency with the finger / touch control.
Our Day Out
It was a day out of the ordinary for me, to know that I’m blessed with the opportunity to visit VMM’s garage. Oh joy!
The day started with a visit to Lenovo’s office at Damansara Uptown. Lucky no jam, or else I start my day with bad mood already. Haha.
That’s Mr Khoo Hung Chuan, Country General Manager of Lenovo Malaysia, giving us a brief note on how Lenovo is empowering the technology used by VMM F1.
After that, Mr Khoo was handing to Satkuru Nadaesan – Winner of Lenovo F1 Blogger Search.
With that settled – we boarded our coach (a Toyota Alphard) to Sepang F1 Circuit. 😀 Besides the organizers – there were only 5 of us heading there. 3 from the media, our F1 Blogger Search winner and of course, yours truly. 😀
Entry pass! w00t! Here I come!
Sepang being Sepang, just like the surrounding areas of Cyberjaya and Putrajaya – were practically without wind. Trees remain motionless, as if they were made of plastic.
Rants on weather aside, I must admit that it is better having a hot and sunny day than being cloudy (horrible for photos) or raining. So anyway, paddock here we come!
And it’s no surprise, the horde of photographers that increases by the minute, waiting for their chance to take photos of the track stars.
Now back to the tour – here’s our host from VMM, Chris Leat. He’s the Partner Manager with McLaren.
The highlight of the tour was of course, the garage! Here’s Ted Bowyer, systems engineer.
And here’s Will Farrell, Lenovo Team Comedian………… nahh, I just thought he looked like Will Farrell. He’s Tom Graham, IT analyst for the team.
Both of them were showing us the computer systems used in the garage by the engineers. It’s interesting to see that the technology to shrink the size of computers hold such great impact in improving a team’s performance and efficiency.
Ted did highlight to us the usage of flash-based notebooks, which I think is a really great idea. Less mechanical components, less heat, less moving parts, lesser chances of breakdown ………….. LESS STRESS!
Besides the computers in the garage, there were also the computers at the “Pit Wall” too.
Let’s have a closer look, the monitors weren’t even visible under the shade of harsh noon sunlight. Lovely sight, isn’t it?
Anyway, here’s a glimpse at what went on in and around the garage. I hope you guys liked it, we could only take photos from outside the garage.
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton weren’t around but what you saw were the chassis of the speed chariots they use. 😀
To those of you who have already planned to get yourself a tan during this coming F1 event – have fun shooting!
My report ends here. 😀 Thanks a lot to Lenovo and VMM F1 for the Garage Tour.