The McLaren Formula 1 Team understands the vital role technology plays in creating a competitive edge. Among the most successful teams in the history of Formula 1, McLaren relies on a range of key applications and powerful systems to enhance vehicle aerodynamics; optimize car components; and make real-time, data-driven racing decisions.

All technologies that McLaren adopts must support a highly mobile organization. McLaren and other Formula 1 teams are constantly on the move, participating in up to 25 races, in more than 20 countries, on five continents over the course of a season. In every location, McLaren needs fast, secure access to essential apps, whether those apps are running in public cloud locations, distant data centers or trackside environments.

To tap into essential technology solutions that will keep propelling the team forward, McLaren Racing has partnered with VMware. As a first step in the partnership, McLaren is implementing the VMware Anywhere Workspace to ensure team members have frictionless, anywhere access to apps, data and other resources. Zero-touch device provisioning will make it simple for IT to support a global team that is always in motion.

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Sustaining a history of innovation at McLaren

Founded in 1963 by New Zealand racing driver Bruce McLaren, McLaren Racing entered its first Formula 1 race in 1966. In the decades since, the McLaren team has won 183 Formula 1 races plus 12 Drivers’ Championships (awarded to the most successful driver in a season) and 8 Constructors’ Championships (awarded to the most successful team).

The team’s achievements are not limited to Formula 1. McLaren Racing also competes in the IndyCar series, esports virtual racing and Extreme E, in which electric cars race in remote corners of the planet to raise awareness about climate change. The team has won the Indianapolis 500 three times and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in its first attempt.

Innovation has always been central to the team’s success. To stay competitive in a tech-driven sport, McLaren continuously optimizes vehicles and fine-tunes racing strategies. For Formula 1 racing, the team collects and analyzes more than 6.5 billion pieces of data from its two cars during each race. Data-driven insights guide a full range of decisions, from when to make the next pit stop to how to modify chasses for future races.

With McLaren, innovation extends beyond the team’s work to make cars go faster. The organization is also dedicated to improving the sustainability of auto racing. McLaren Racing is determined to become carbon net zero by 2030—a goal the team plans to achieve through a series of interconnected changes, from improving the efficiency of its supply chain to using natural fibers for its vehicle seats.  

Addressing the challenges of a mobile team with VMware

The McLaren Racing team depends on cutting-edge technology to innovate—and team members must be able to access that technology anywhere, anytime. For example, trackside engineers need to access the real-time insights generated from vehicle telemetry data collected during races. Between races, engineers and designers need to run millions of race simulations to quickly understand how new, innovative design changes could improve race outcomes.

McLaren Racing can give team members rapid, secure access to apps and data-driven insights with the VMware Anywhere Workspace. Whether engineers are working on a new car design at the organization’s UK headquarters or making crucial race decisions on the other side of the planet, they can tap into the apps and information they need quickly, from any device.

“It’s fantastic to be partnering with VMware, whose technology will play a critical role in connecting the McLaren F1 team,” says Matt Dennington, director of partnerships, McLaren Racing. “We operate at race pace on and off track, and this partnership will help keep us agile across the apps we need, from any device and location, to bring our best on race day.”

Anywhere Workspace solutions—offered as SaaS-based VMware Cross-Cloud services—can also help speed onboarding while controlling IT management complexity. With zero-touch provisioning, McLaren Racing can get new team members and devices up and running fast. Meanwhile, Anywhere Workspace solutions give IT full visibility into device performance and user experience, so the IT group can ensure that hundreds of McLaren Racing employees always have what they need, when they need it.

Driving forward with VMware

As the partnership progresses, McLaren plans to implement additional VMware technologies across racing teams. For example, the organization intends to deploy the VMware SD-WAN solution to gain reliable, high-performance connectivity at the extreme edge, where Extreme E racing takes place. Meanwhile, VMware SD-WAN can also give the McLaren IndyCar team a way to keep working with high throughput even after races end and event organizers switch off the provided networking services.

In addition, VMware solutions will help McLaren maximize the value of multi-cloud. McLaren today uses a hybrid of trackside infrastructure, its own data centers and public cloud environments for running essential apps. By implementing CloudHealth by VMware and CloudHealth Secure State, for example, McLaren can track spending, improve visibility and establish consistent security across its multi-cloud environment.

The McLaren team is poised to explore the road ahead with VMware. The partnership can help McLaren access new technology to gain a competitive edge while also building a more efficient, sustainable future for the sport.  ▪