How F1 team Williams partnered with BT to boost trackside performance


This is an excerpt from our e-guide, CONNECT BETTER – Open doors to amazing opportunities, produced in partnership with BT

With 16 FIA World Championships titles under its belt, Williams is one of the most successful Formula One teams in the world. They’re recognised as one of sport’s most enduring and successful organisations too, and have been synonymous with top-level motorsport since the 1970s.

But after a difficult year in 2013, Williams set out an ambitious turnaround strategy to reinvigorate the Formula One team. A plan was put in place to make a significant investment in people, facilities, and technology – and BT was brought in as the perfect choice for a new technology partner.

“If you want to win in Formula One, you have to partner with the best,” explains Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal & Commercial Director at Williams Martini Racing.

“To have a partnership with a brand like BT – the leader in its field – has enabled us to work harder, and smarter.”

The 2014 Singapore Grand Prix was the perfect opportunity to test the new partnership in action. BT’s technology provided Williams Martini Racing with a faster network connection from the track back to Grove – the team’s headquarters.

This made a real difference by enabling real time video analysis of pit stop practice, and improved strategic capability to make quicker decisions leading to improved car performance. Graeme Hackland is IT director at Williams.

He’s tasked with developing partnerships to advance the company’s IT and technology capabilities. “Before we started working with BT, video analysis used to be scheduled, often overnight – now it can be undertaken in real time,” says Graeme. “Combined with a new hardware infrastructure, the computation of some performance data has improved 200 times.”

Following the success of the pilot, BT technology is connecting the trackside team at races all around the world with the race operations centre at Grove. Since the Spanish Grand Prix in May 2015, BT’s highperformance network service has been carrying up to 80 GB of data per race at speeds of 100Mbps. This provides the engineers back at Grove with instant access to real-time data analysis on every aspect of car performance.

The network enables higher-speed remote access to information sources and improves the performance and reliability of demanding computing processes, including applications relying on video, telemetry and voice. Williams Martini Racing can now interrogate remote systems and export the required information at the racetrack, all in a matter of minutes. Williams Martini Racing is now in the top three in the FIA Constructors’ Championship with ambitions to keep progressing. Their world-class technical and engineering staff – and the drivers themselves – have the very best technology BT can offer, allowing them to communicate seamlessly from anywhere in the world.

This is an excerpt from our e-guide, CONNECT BETTER – Open doors to amazing opportunities, produced in partnership with BT

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