More Than Skin Deep - New BMW WilliamsF1 Team Partnership With HP Yields Early Benefits The BMW WilliamsF1 Team today announced the official re- branding of the team livery following the merger of the team's principal sponsor, Compaq Computer ...
More Than Skin Deep - New BMW WilliamsF1 Team Partnership With HP Yields Early Benefits
The BMW WilliamsF1 Team today announced the official re- branding of the team livery following the merger of the team's principal sponsor, Compaq Computer Corp. with Hewlett Packard Company (HP) on May 3, 2002. The new livery will be unveiled tomorrow at Silverstone, Northants, in the preparation for the forthcoming British Grand Prix.
While the BMW WilliamsF1 Team's logistical preparation to adopt the HP identity as the principal sponsor midway through a season has been little short of gargantuan, the partnership with HP runs deeper than simply cosmetic alterations to the team's outward appearance.
Also launched in preparation for the British Grand Prix is a substantially revised aerodynamic package, intended to propel the BMW WilliamsF1 Team's assault forward in this season's FIA Formula One Championship.
The development of new aerodynamic package is reliant on both traditional experimental techniques such as wind tunnel testing, and increasingly on predictive modelling disciplines such as computional fluid dynamics (CFD).
The process of aerodynamic development is a continuous cycle, focused both on a race-to-race basis in the production of appropriate aero maps for the different characteristics of each circuit, as well as having a medium term outlook in the step changes that can make an underlying difference to the competitiveness of a race car.
The predictive aerodynamic modelling based on CFD is highly dependent on sizeable computational processing resource. Gavin Fisher, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team Chief Designer explains, CFD is a very useful tool, but to generate meaningful results in the extremely time-pressured context we require means that we need considerable processing resource to really add value. It is no coincidence that the HP AlphaServer supercomputer platform that we use at WilliamsF1 was also the hardware that unlocked the human geno code."
HP's assistance permeates every aspect of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team's activities from trackside servers to process real-time telemetry data to notebook and PDA hardware that are universally used by team members spanning technical and commercial activities. It is relevant that at Silverstone however, HP's contribution to the team will be visible both on the surface of the new car livery, and well beneath it in the contribution to the WilliamsF1 BMW FW 24's aerodynamic performance in the forthcoming race.
Frank Williams, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team Prinicipal acknowledges, It a great privilege to have a technology partner of such global status. Perhaps more meaningfully, it is a real benefit to be able to utilise HP's expertise in so many areas of our operation. HP genuinely make a contribution to our competitiveness in so many different ways."
While the aerodynamicists have been focused on drawing on the advantages of HP's supercomputing hardware, elsewhere at WilliamsF1, the logistical efforts to re-brand the BWM WilliamsF1 Team for the British Grand Prix have also been extensive.
The extent of the task to re-brand the team commenced on the completion of the merger on May 7, 2002, and has required extensive planning by a dedicated project team at WilliamsF1 and HP. A vast array of team assets have been catalogued and a programme established to effect a full re-brand to coincide with the British Grand Prix.
In practical terms, the clothing manager has overseen the alteration of 2,400 items of team clothing, requiring the preparation of no less than 3.25km of fabrics with new team shirts alone accounting for 1km of blue cotton. A new television commercial was planned and filmed with over 50 crew members working with team drivers Juan Pablo Montoya & Ralf Schumacher. Over 60 hours of 35mm film were shot in a single day to produce a 30s spot which will air on July 4.
Back team headquarters in Oxfordshire, four race team and three test team trucks and transporters were re-liveried, not to mention three race cars, two motorhomes, drivers racesuits, helmets, stationery, merchandise, internet sites, press materials and video materials, right down to engineer's mousemats for use in the team garage.
Frank Williams reflected, "When I was told by HP two months ago that in 60 days we would have a completely re-branded team I told them they were dreaming. They were as good as their word. We have hardly noticed the transition from a business point of view and I have had a long hard look and can't find a single old logo anywhere. We have been lucky to have such a committed technology partner and principal sponsor since 2000 and believe that our future with HP has great potential."
The final element of the re-branding package was the design and build of a completely new HP motorhome to grace the Formula One paddock for all European races. Besides providing a trackside business and media facility, the HP motorhome is specified with the latest HP technologies, including a WLAN (wireless local area network) infrastructure with Bluetooth capabilities to enable short-range wireless communication. A cable network and several ISDN (integrated services digital network) and analogue lines will also be installed to facilitate communication and data processing between HP and the BMW WilliamsF1 Team during the races.