Burning rubber and churning data on the little red dot

Having lived in Singapore for nearly a decade, I can attest to the many attractions in this tiny island nation which the citizens self-deprecatingly refer to as the little red dot. Recently, I had the pleasure of experiencing close up one of the highlights of the Singapore event calendar, the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix. The Singapore GP is not only a highlight for Singapore, its a marquee event on the Formula 1 circuit. It was the first night race and features a twisty, narrow street track and some of the harshest conditions – with cockpit temperatures reaching a high of between 50 to 65 degrees Celsius (149 degrees Fahrenheit). By most drivers’ accounts, the Singapore GP is one of the most challenging races on the F1 calendar.David Wirt F1

With the dust and the humidity and the high chance of monsoon rains, you have an extremely unfriendly environment for electronic equipment. The conditions are testing not just for the drivers and the race crews but also for the technology, and there’s a lot of technology in F1. Which is what brought me to the Singapore GP. Pure Storage has been a technology partner of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team for the past four years, coinciding with the dominance of the team in F1. While for sure there were clearly other factors for the team’s dominance, in a sport where a few milliseconds make the difference between claiming the driver’s title or finishing also-rans for another year, the smallest edge is a huge advantage.

For sure the partnership between Mercedes and Pure is more than just a marketing one and their head of IT, Matt Harris is a huge believer of the advantages Pure’s all-flash solutions has given the team. From saving space and transportation costs, by reducing his on-site footprint from 44 U on legacy equipment to 2×2 U on Pure, to being robust enough to handle conditions as harsh as Singapore, Pure’s platform enables his team to crunch the data from the 300 sensors on each of the cars in a matter of seconds.

The partnership with Mercedes enabled Pure to host a number of our customers, partners and the media across the Singapore GP weekend, enabling them to see our technology in action close-up. Throw in the exhilaration of the race and the energy from the crowds, the roar of the engines and the smell of burning rubber – this was truly a recipe for an unforgettable weekend. All this capped by Lewis Hamilton’s masterful drive from pole to first place!

If you ever get the chance to visit an F1 race anywhere in the world, pay extra attention to the different technologies that the teams use. The data-driven competitive edge provided by a leading technology can make a world of difference!