Engineering and driving expertise may be the main factors in achieving success in Formula One racing, but many back-end processes are also key to enabling teams to win trophies and become leaders in the sport. Collaboration is one, particularly when teams are spread out all over the world during the racing season.
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team has felt this challenge. Based in Brackley, UK, at a 60,000-square-metre technology centre, the team designs, develops, manufactures and races the cars driven by seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and new driver George Russell. The cutting-edge facility requires the right technology to connect employees and create immersive experiences for guests.
The IT team was looking for a technology partner that would meet its standards of excellence and deliver the best collaboration experience possible. Steve Riley, head of IT operations and service management, and David Cadywould, head of core technology at Mercedes-AMG Petronas – who are responsible for driving the group’s technology experience – turned to the Crestron Flex Digital Workplace Platform and Crestron DM NVX AV-over-IP technology to ensure smooth daily operations at the technology centre.
“As an F1 team, people think that we would just be looking for performance, but we chase reliability in equal measure,” said Riley. “Crestron was a natural choice for us because we already know it and it has always proved very reliable and robust for us. Its technology is central to each of our meeting spaces and our collaboration spaces.”
With individuals dispersed around the world during race season, collaboration has become more complex. This has also been exacerbated by increasingly remote and hybrid working scenarios. As such, Riley and Cadywould began using Crestron’s solutions to facilitate seamless collaboration, wherever team members may be.
“Over the last couple of years, we've learned to work in a more agile and hybrid way,” said Riley. “Now we have people joining calls and meetings from many locations: the meeting room itself, somewhere else in the factory, or from anywhere in the world, like a paddock or a hotel. Crestron Flex has enabled us to do that seamlessly.”
When staff enter a meeting space at Brackley, they now know exactly what to expect. The Crestron Flex for Microsoft Teams experience is consistent and familiar and meets the requirements of speed and performance that are integral to the team’s business.
“Our whole team is all about collaboration and bringing people together to work together in unison, providing best possible results,” said Cadywould. “Crestron allows us to have a natural connection no matter where people are.”
Beyond collaboration, Crestron’s solutions have been instrumental in transmitting real-time data and race-day coverage across the technology centre to create better experiences for guests watching from the facility.
“We use Crestron DM NVX here to effectively connect our audiovisual systems to our network, turning the data that's coming from the car into something that can be easily consumed,” said Riley. “This improves the experience and provides an extra level of context around what's happening.”
For an organisation like Mercedes-AMG Petronas that requires exceptional levels of performance and reliability, Riley believes Crestron has been a perfect match.
This article was originally published in the Summer 2022 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.