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Mobile World Congress always plays host to a few big names every year, such as Will.i.am, Mark Zuckerberg and Lewis Hamilton.
MWC 2018 saw double F1 champion Fernando Alonso make an appearance, as part of a panel discussion on technology and data usage in motorsport. We attended the session as part of our MWC coverage, and these are the key takeaways.
McLaren runs 20 000 race simulations before a race
McLaren’s team runs numerous simulations before a race in order to figure out the best strategy. But just how many does “numerous” mean?
“I think we do about 20 000 simulations of the race, the night before the race, Saturday night…” Alonso said, working out the optimum race strategy, such as when to stop for new tyres.
Alonso says that the engineers were very precise, joking that the engineers would say lap 19.6 is the best time to stop.
Data and F1
F1 and its relationship with data analytics has been a well-told story, but the double world champion elaborated anyway.
“I think Formula One has always been a laboratory for many things… and it’s no different in data. Every single movement we do in the car… the throttle input, the brake pressure input, is transmitted in real-time… They provide us with the information we may need to improve our efficiency,” the Spaniard said.
McLaren’s Zak Brown adds that because the sport is so “data rich”, they’ll be opening that up to fans.
Talent isn’t enough for F1 anymore
The increasing complexity of the cars means that being fast isn’t the only requirement anymore, McLaren’s Zak Brown said.
“So now what we have with drivers is not only do they need to be unbelievably talented, which of course, Fernando is, but the side that maybe a lot of people haven’t seen in the sport, is the drivers need to be extremely intelligent, and almost engineers themselves…” Brown noted.
5G? We’ve been having it
Of course, 5G is at peak hype right now, so what does the team think of the tech?
“Fernando’s been doing 5G for 17 years,” Brown quipped.
Alonso on being always-connected
The F1 2018 season will see drivers wear biometric gloves to measure heart rates and other information. But what does Alonso think of wearables and social media in general enabling fans to monitor drivers 24/7?
“Sometimes it happens already,” the Spaniard noted of social media, adding that it was a “nice thing to have” the right content being delivered to fans.
Disclosure: Hadlee Simons was a guest of Huawei at MWC in Barcelona. Want more MWC goodness? Check out our dedicated section on Gearburn!