Like any Formula 1 team, McLaren is a fan of data. It is a crucial cornerstone for success, which is why great attention is paid to the quantity and quality of what is collected and how it is used.
Since 2017, McLaren has also participated in Formula 1 esports, with its own professional team of drivers and engineers who receive the same level of commitment and support from the company as their real-world counterparts, right down to an equal focus on race data extends.
Speak with Tech Radar ProLindsey Eckhouse, Director of Licensing, Ecommerce & eSports at McLaren, told us how the partnership with data company Splunk plays a crucial role in the legendary racing team’s real and virtual Formula 1 success.
Tail real F1
McLaren Shadow (opens in new tab) is the esports and gaming division of the automaker. The virtual racing team is managed very much like the physical team, with professional gamers stepping into the cockpits of simulation rigs to compete in digital Grands Prix.
And just like in the real world, it’s crucial for McLaren to develop partnerships with other companies. In addition to Logitech, Shadow has also partnered with PC maker Alienware to provide the rigs, Teso for blockchain technology and NFT releases for its esports audience, and OKX for cryptocurrency exchanges.
“It’s really about: How can we work with partners who offer us an authentic way to bring their technology to life or achieve whatever their goal is… to leverage their technology and expertise,” Eckhouse said.
From a data perspective, the key partner for both Shadow McLaren and the real-world Formula 1 team is Splunk, a software platform that provides all the analytics a team needs.
Of particular note are Splunk Dashboards – a feature that allows data to be customized in terms of how it is graphically presented, e.g. B. Telemetry readings for steering, acceleration, and braking inputs so drivers and engineers can easily understand them at a glance.
“The Splunk dashboards are a good example of similar technology in terms of exploring a variety of different areas – we can also look at this from an F1 esports standpoint to really inform our racing strategy,” says Eckhouse, adding , that the lead engineer for the F1 esports team actually works on the real racing team, “so again there is shared insight about strategy development in F1 in the F1 esports arena.”
“I think Splunk is probably the best example of where we’re seeing their applications translate to esports, and fortunately over the past year we’ve seen that deliver some great results,” she adds, referring to the des McLaren Shadow teams Winning the 2022 Constructors’ Championship (opens in new tab).
Expanding on the partnership with Splunk, Eckhouse explained that the relationship goes both ways:
“If you think about the audience in esports, it’s incredibly engaged; There is also a great inclination to work in IT in the future or possibly work at Splunk or in esports, so there are so many different applications that I think Splunk will benefit from, and certainly benefit from, through the partnership us from using their technology.”