Whoa. F1 Racing, technology, tourism and general coolness.

Ok, normally I would never write about racing.  I don’t know the first thing about it.  But Jim loved car racing – the engineering, the technology and the driving.  Today I learned a bit more about it all at a fun event at Dell (by the way #iwork4dell).  Got to listen to the F1 Caterham team talk about the technology to race and how Dell helped. 

Caterham F1 Car at Dell

Caterham is a team that the owner started from scratch.  There was 22 weeks to get the car ready.  Dell helped by offering a design in 2 weeks (a competitor wanted 3 months).  It was key to have a small footprint for the equipment (servers, notebooks) and the Dell cloud solution and rack design provided the answer.  I know I’m way over simplifying it but the discussion was fascinating.  Dell just won  the HPCwire’s Editor’s Choice Award—Best use of High Performance Computing (HPC) in Automotive.

There was talk about why solid state drives are needed because can’t have spinning disks near the car.  Caterham runs the HPC array at near 100% (way higher threshold than business users).   They simulate the wind tunnel in as many permutations as possible. 

the dashboard

It was fun to listen to the driver, Vitaly Petrov, who is from Russia.  He said he got a late start in racing when he began at age 15!  Petrov said “aerodynamics is key – keeping the car as close to the ground as possible.”  He also said the Circuit of the Americas track in Austin is “really impressive with so many high speed corners.”   “An F1 driver needs to always be calm in your head,” according to Petrov, “because you have 1/10 of a second  to make decisions.  The engineer is your best friend.”  Petrov said the team will walk the track tomorrow.  This reminded me of how Jacqueline walked the jumper courses before time to perform, making a plan for every turn and jump.

Over 300,000 visitors are expected in Austin this week.  There are tons of race events.   Cool.  Just cool.

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