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Mercedes against ban on factory control centres

NEWS STORY
02/05/2018

In addition to the army of engineers staring at their various monitors on the pit-wall, garages and numerous paddock facilities, the teams have an equally impressive army of technicians working away back at their factory headquarters. Indeed, many significant decisions are made in real time many thousands of miles away from the race track.

However, as the sport seeks to impose a budget cap, while also placing more emphasis on the driver rather than the boffins, the future of the factory-based control centre is under threat.

"I think it's a very bad idea because we've invested in the virtual garages," Toto Wolff told reporters in Baku.

Other than allowing the teams access to countless boffins who would never be granted track access due to the limitations of staff numbers, the excitement generated by the 'virtual garage' had led to new revenue streams for the teams.

"Actually, there's not only engineers in our virtual garage back at Brackley," admits Wolff. "We have sponsors there, we are trying to have co-operations with high-tech companies and this is the part they are most interested in.

"As far as I know, many teams have managed to commercialise the race support structures back in the factories and of course it gives you an advantage if you've got more brains working on solutions and problems. For us it has become a point of sale."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 03/05/2018 9:49

"I think the time has come to banish car-to-pit telemetry, allow the cars to data log and let the bowfins analyse at the end of the race.

What we need is the driver in charge of the car, let him 'feel' the car and make his own decisions about how hard he pushes or what settings he uses; it would simplify the controls on the steering wheel (driver management interface) and when he gets it wrong it adds the variability and hence uncertainty which is devoid from the current GP."

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2. Posted by ryanhellyer, 03/05/2018 6:05

"Erm, who cares about their point of sale? The bigger problem is how you would enforce this. It'd be rather trivial to have a secret virtual team feeding information to the teams."

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3. Posted by jcr, 02/05/2018 12:35

"Just shows how far removed from the racing the big teams have become !!"

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