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Spotlight: Formula One Team Seeks Competitive Edge

By | June 7, 2004

      A recent partnership between Intelsat and a top Formula One racing team are using satellite technology to transmit and analyze mission-critical data during part of this year’s Formula One season in Europe. The BMW WilliamsF1 racing team could transfer nearly 80 gigabits of data from its racecars involved in seven Grand Prix events and 15 test sessions. Intelsat’s 905 satellite, located at 335 degrees East, will carry an array of telemetry information about the condition of the Formula One team’s cars that include heat output, revolutions, engine performance, fuel-consumption rates, tire performance and other data.

      Great expectations surround the future potential of the partnership between a global communications provider and one of the world’s top international racing e teams. Frank Williams, principal of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, said in a written statement that use of the Intelsat satellite capability will make a “real contribution” to his team’s on-track performances during the European portion of the Formula One season.

      Ramu Potarazu, COO of Intelsat Ltd., said Intelsat aids the racing team by providing constant access to the information needed to win races. Neither divulged how much the Intelsat services were costing the team.

      The BMW WilliamsF1 Team relies heavily upon the quick and complete transfer of complex data generated by its racecars. Information about chassis and engine performance is sent from the racetrack to the satellite; it then is relayed to the team’s technical bases in Oxfordshire, U.K., and Munich. At these sites, analysts are able to perform more detailed assessments aimed at uncovering a competitive advantage that will lead to improved performance.

      In addition to satellite technology, Intelsat provides a virtual private network and onsite database to support the BMW WilliamsF1 Team. During race weekends and test days, Williams F1 and BMW alternately supply trucks on site to process telemetry information received directly from the racecars that ultimately reaches team members.

      –Tonya Oben

      (Jodi Katz, Intelsat, 202/944-7500)

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