After a fulfilling shutter-happy walkabout of the paddocks, we were invited to a roundtable discussion with Dieter Gundel, Head of Racetrack Electronics, Ferrari Racing Team to gain a deeper insight into the technology aspect and the vital role IT systems play in car design, development and the all-important track performance.
HWZ: Is Ferrari limited by bandwidth? Can you say how much bandwidth you actually have available now?
Dieter Gundel: We are not limited by bandwidth. Technology has progressed so far that it's no longer a real limitation for us at the moment. On the question of bandwidth, the figure is a few hundred kilosamples per second, not bytes, but samples in our context.
HWZ: How many people do you need to analyze that amount of data?
Dieter Gundel: In parallel, probably 20 to 25 analysts. We have analysts with us both with the team and at Ferrari base. We are connected to them via network and we have specialists there with customized software doing specialized analysis of the data we left at home. Over here, we have different groups of analysts traveling with us who concentrate on different areas such as vehicle data and engine data. Essentially, the electronics department owns all the data because we are responsible for the integrity of the data and the functioning of the sensors.
HWZ: Are all your specialized software developed in-house and do you run it on Linux or Windows?
Dieter Gundel: Yes, they are all developed in-house and are running on Windows platform.
HWZ: Are you linked to Ferrari factory during the race?
Dieter Gundel: Yes, we are completely transparent to our factory. We built a virtual garage so that people there can communicate directly with us. They are part of all our communication links. The communication channel that exists between the factory and us is such that whatever feeds we have, be it video or data, the factory has access to them as well.