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Harnessing data: Driving performance with technology

9-time F1 Grand Prix Champion, Mark Webber, in conversation with Navin Rammohan, VP – Marketing, Infosys

Highlights

  • F1 is a prime instance where technology, and data, not only help improve the performance of the vehicle, but also that of the athlete, says 9-time F1 Grand Prix Champion, Mark Webber
  • Data logging, from the performance side, as well as the engineering side, would help feed the data back to the factory to help make improvements in the future, he says
  • “You have to keep improving, every two weeks our car is different… So, it’s a never-ending journey, I suppose, of finding and seeking performance to get the most out of that car,” says Webber

Success came to 9-time F1 Grand Prix Champion, Mark Webber, several years after his debut, when he won his first title at the 2009 German Grand Prix. This win, Webber considers, is akin to “the overnight success story that takes 10 years.”

When Navin Rammohan, VP and Segment Head, Marketing - Business Verticals, Sports Marketing and Flagship Events, Infosys, spoke to the FIA World Endurance Champion, the conversation whirled across topics ranging from his outlook towards work, to the need to constantly innovate in a business environment.

Driving home the point with terms like performance and consistency, Webber says that F1 is a prime instance where technology, and data, not only help improve the performance of the vehicle, but also that of the athlete.

“So, the more the engineers could understand the machine’s side, for us to then operate it on the limit was very beneficial for us,” says Webber, adding that data logging, from the performance side, as well as the engineering side, would help feed the data back to the factory to help make improvements in the future.

There is no alternative to responsiveness, and consistent improvement – be it Grand prix, or the business environment. According to him, Grand Prix is an environment where the measure of performance would be different in different situations, and it is essential to react to, and understand an environment. Conditions in a wet Grand Prix, for instance, would be different than during a hot Grand Prix event.

“All of these things sound quite trivial but they’re huge boundaries, and challenges for a department to find opportunities to keep improving,” he says, adding, “You have to keep improving, every two weeks our car is different… So, it’s a never-ending journey, I suppose, of finding and seeking performance to get the most out of that car.”

The same, he says, applies to a business environment.

Even his association with Porsche was driven by the company’s authentic passion for motor racing, and the drive to encourage talent, and create efficiencies.

“It was not like they were lean on the financial side, but then it’s an interesting situation where you have a company, or any business, where you have good funding, but then it’s of course about getting people in the right places to start doing the work, and getting the job done,” says Webber.

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