To the millions who tune in, Formula One might look effortless. Far from it. (Just ask the fan who got behind the wheel of an F1 car and couldn’t work the brakes.) In reality, it’s one of the most operationally complex sports in the world. 

From the packed schedule and precision engineering to the millions of data points that determine, well, everything, there’s little margin for error.

That kind of complexity demands sophistication and simplicity. The best materials, talent, intelligence, and tech. And while Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are in the spotlight, in the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s garage there’s another hero that’s cutting-edge, fast, durable, powerful, and reliable. 

It makes everything they do possible. But it’s not the car. 

It’s Pure Storage® FlashArray™ systems. 

Far-flung Race Destinations Demand New Thinking—and Less Freight


Every race weekend during the season, complete paddocks come to life in a new location. Where there was empty tarmac days before, 12 teams set up shop: staff offices, workshops, IT equipment, race support rooms, and even showers. 

Days later, it will all be gone. But for those three, electrifying days, that track is home.

Pulling this off requires serious orchestration. With more “flyaways” than ever before, truck setups designed to hit the European circuit can’t make the trip overseas. Instead, more gets shipped—including mobile data centers. When the FIA charges by the kilogram, shipping disk-based storage racks weighing a metric ton added up to €500 or more. When the Team switched to FlashArray, the freight savings paid for the arrays themselves. 

The simplicity and durability also gave them an edge. Most data storage doesn’t hit the road every weekend—nor would it be up for the trip. But FlashArray is. It’s simple to set up on-site, starts working right away, and is quick to pack up again. That’s F1-style elegance and sophistication.

Well-oiled F1 Teams Demand the Best

Formula One

Before each race, pit crews run through warm-up stretches—but don’t be fooled. These are extreme athletes. Regular physio routines between races make sub-2-second tire changes look easy. They have to be agile if a pulled hamstring means not pulling off a successful pit. 

A different sort of agility defines the rest of the paddock. Amidst towers of tires, mere feet from the car chassis, the FlashArray units hum away. These are the heartbeat of the team’s IT, comms, and computing. They’re among the first things to get plugged in and the last to get packed up. FlashArray’s architecture itself makes this fast, simple, and foolproof. No teams of storage specialists required; just plug in FlashArray and it’s ready to go, unlike legacy disk storage that takes multiple people to manage.

The data itself is more agile on FlashArray, helping engineers and strategists win a different race: the race for insights. Conducting processing on-site shortens the distance between the data sources and the processing units, allowing detailed telemetry data to be accessible in real time. These analysts demand simple, sophisticated technology they can trust to just run. Because while the car may not always perform its best, the data storage has to

Legacy would leave them spinning their wheels. 

Disk could never keep up. 

Pure Storage gives them the speed they need.

“At the track, we experienced a dramatic improvement, about 66%, in just opening the raw data files, and a 5x improvement on structured data in database queries. This might seem like a niche improvement, but when you can open and look at data quickly, you make critical decisions much faster, and they could influence our own race outcome.” –Michael Taylor, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1, IT Director

Squeeze the Most Out of Storage, Space, and Speed

Formula One

Every year, teams face cost caps, wind tunnel restrictions, weight limits, and other regulations to level the playing field. Winners know this game well and have gotten very good at making the most of every minute, millimeter, and megabyte. 

That goes for space in the paddock, too. Every inch of available space is accounted for: transporters, motorhomes, multi-story office and hospitality venues, workshops, and parts storage in garages. FlashArray helped the Team reduce data rack space in the garage by nearly 70% while gaining 10x-15x the data capacity trackside of their old, disk-based storage. That’s more space for spare parts and more power to fuel IT, race engineers, mechanics, and Toto’s monitor.

The gains are similar to those sought in the average data center. Reducing footprint reduces cost, energy, and effort. If it’s good enough for an F1 team’s demands, it’s good enough for businesses not traveling the globe to compete.

FlashArray: Built to Take a Beating

Heat, dust, wind, and rain all play an enormous role in F1. Hot climates, in particular, can threaten engine temperatures, shorten tires’ lifespans, and cause drivers to lose up to 8 lbs during a race. Car exhaust can reach 1,000 degrees, and on tracks like Bahrain where temperatures have maxed out at 108F, meltdowns are a major risk. 

Cars can back off the gas to cool their engines. But if data storage goes down, the race is over. That’s because 500+ car sensors act as the engineers’ eyes and ears, generating 400GB of real-time telemetry data throughout a race. These sensors are critical to safety, performance, pit strategies, and more. 

Legacy disk storage is fragile and temperature-sensitive. The slightest fluctuations cause major disruptions. But FlashArray, like Lewis and George, thrives under pressure. The conditions don’t have to be perfect—it just runs.

Storage That Evolves like an F1 Car

F1 cars are never finished. They’re high-tech prototypes constantly evolving over the course of a season: 25,000 design changes a year, 7,000 parts, and 14 days between races to pull it all off. 

Every day, components are swapped or tweaked to improve performance. Modularity means this can happen swiftly, without starting from scratch. Pure arrays were designed the same way, to get better over time and easily upgrade between races. Pure Storage Evergreen™ architecture embodies the spirit of F1—always optimizing, always modern, and always getting better over time. It’s a synergy the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS and Pure partnership was built on. 

There’s another built-in feature of Pure Storage that’s become increasingly valuable: efficiency. On the Team’s journey to net zero, Pure has helped reduce data center footprint, power, and cooling to support major sustainability gains. With Pure, the Team had a 50% reduction in air travel footprint for race team personnel and an 89% reduction in land freight emissions. This is part of the Team’s wider strategy to introduce more sustainable fuels in 2023.

Status Quo Storage Is Out of Gas

You don’t have to be an F1 team to need speed, simplicity, and performance from your data. These days, agile data and simple technology are table stakes. Legacy simply can’t keep up. 

Discover the world of data behind Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 and learn how FlashArray//X™, Evergreen//One™, and Pure Storage can help you blow past the competition.