NetApp Powers Real-Time Decision Making During Races, Enables 99%+ Availability in a Sport in Which Every Millisecond Counts


SUNNYVALE, Calif. Formula One (F1) racing is a multibillion-dollar, global sport. Cars fly around the track at speeds of more than 200 mph, and races are often decided by mere milliseconds. So the smallest adjustment to the aerodynamic efficiency of a car can mean the difference between winning or finishing tenth. The Sauber F1 Team understands the importance of information technology (IT) to not only compete but thrive in the ultracompetitive F1. That’s why the Sauber F1 Team turned to NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) as its storage foundation.


F1 is a data-driven sport, since teams rely on real-time information to make enhancements to cars and in-race strategies. Data is one of the Sauber F1 Team’s greatest competitive advantages. The team gathers and analyzes data nearly around the clock, either from the cars as they race around the track or from wind tunnel testing and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations at the team’s headquarters in Hinwil, Switzerland. The Sauber F1 Team leverages a FlexPod® data center solution, jointly developed by Cisco and NetApp, and a NetApp® MetroCluster™ solution for the reliability, simplicity, efficiency, and high availability required to help fuel the Sauber F1 Team’s success.


Watch how the Sauber F1 Team innovates at 200 mph with NetApp.


“Every single team in F1 pushes their cars to the absolute limit, which means the margin for success is razor thin,” said Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO and team principal, Sauber Motorsport AG. “Given the level of resources that other teams have to work with, we know we have to think and act differently if we want to challenge for the F1 world championship. A lot of people think speed and agility only apply to the cars on the track, but in our case it’s imperative for our IT infrastructure as well. NetApp gives us an IT foundation that can keep pace with the intense nature of our sport and help us accelerate innovation within our cars to make the Sauber F1 Team the best it can be.”


Sauber F1 Team Drives Innovation with NetApp
Here’s a behind-the-numbers look at how the Sauber F1 Team leverages NetApp.

  • For every lap the car makes, 100 individual sensors on the car produce 20-30MB of data, of which 3-4MB are sent to the FlexPod platform in real time, including information about the tires, engine, temperature, and fuel usage that is then used by the pit team to make immediate decisions about in-race strategies.
  • The FlexPod platform’s small form factor allows it to travel around the world to every F1 race, giving the Sauber F1 Team a mobile data center that can reliably operate in extreme weather conditions. See pictures of the FlexPod platform in action at the track.
  • Wind tunnel testing produces 5200MB of data every day while CFD simulations yield more than 10TB of data per year. MetroCluster allows engineers to quickly access this data to make decisions about the car that shave off tenths of a second for the next race.
  • The FlexPod solution has allowed the Sauber F1 Team to reduce their physical footprint and power consumption at the track by 50%.
  • MetroCluster’s 99%+ high availability provides the Sauber F1 Team with seamless access to data anytime and anywhere around the world, which is critical to the design, testing, and production processes.
  • The Sauber F1 Team’s corporate systems all run on a MetroCluster solution that supports 40 major business and technical applications that annually generate 20TB of new data and growing.


See how the Sauber F1 Team leverages IT to gain a competitive advantage.

Get an in-depth look at how the Sauber F1 Team is revolutionizing F1 with IT and a storage foundation built on NetApp.



Supporting Quotes

  • Magnus Frey,head of IT, Sauber Motorsport AG

“NetApp delivers a level of reliability across the board to the Sauber F1 Team that is critical to our team’s success. We have never once experienced a failure with our FlexPod solution or an outage with our MetroCluster solution. If either of these solutions went down for any period of time it would be a catastrophe for us, severely limiting our ability to safely operate the car let alone optimize it for speed. NetApp provides such a key component to our team’s success that we look at them not only as a technology partner but as an integral member of our team.”

  • Jay Kidd, chief technology officer, NetApp

“The Sauber F1 Team’s ability to harness and analyze incredible amounts of data and quickly turn it into a competitive advantage speaks volumes to the impact the right storage foundation can have. Building on NetApp has helped drive the Sauber F1 Team’s success on the track and will continue to enable a level of car design innovation that will make them a strong contender for more podium finishes in the future.”


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