As with any Formula 1 team, McLaren is as crazy about numbers. It is an important cornerstone of success, which is why careful attention must be paid to the quantity and quality of what you collect and how you use it.
McLaren has also been involved in Formula 1 esports since 2017, with its own team of professional drivers and engineers, receiving the same level of dedication and support from the company as its real-life counterparts, extending to the same focus on race data .
Speaking of Technology Radar ProLindsey Eckhouse, director of e-commerce and esports licensing at McLaren, tells us how its partnership with data company Splunk has played a key role in the success of the legendary racing team in real and virtual Formula 1 competitions.
Shadow Real F1
mclaren shadow (opens in a new tab) is the esports and gaming division of the automaker. The virtual racing team will operate much like a physical one, with professional gamers stepping into the cockpit of a simulator to compete in digital grand prix races.
Like the real thing, partnerships with other businesses are vital to McLaren. In addition to Logitech, Shadow is partnering with PC maker Alienware to offer the platform, Tesos for blockchain technology and NFT versions for esports viewers, and OKX for cryptocurrency trading.
“It’s really about: How do we work with partners that allow us to bring their technology to life or achieve whatever their goals are in a real way…to leverage their technology and expertise,” Eckhouse said.
From a data standpoint, Shadow McLaren and the real-life Formula 1 team’s key partner is Splunk, a software platform that provides all the analytics the team needs.
Of particular importance is the Splunk Dashboard – a feature that allows data to be customized based on graphical representations, such as telemetry readouts of steering, acceleration and braking inputs, for drivers and engineers alike to understand at a glance.
“The Splunk dashboard is a great example of similar technology in terms of exploring a variety of different areas – we can also dig into it from an F1 esports perspective to really inform our race strategy,” Eckhouse said , adding that the chief engineer of the F1 esports team is actually working on a real-life racing team, “so the strategic development of F1 is once again a shared learning in the F1 esports space.”
“I think Splunk is probably the best example of how we’ve seen their app move into esports, luckily we’ve seen some great results last year,” she added, referring to the McLaren shadow team’s 2022 Constructors Championship (opens in a new tab).
In extending its partnership with Splunk, Eckhouse explained that the relationship works both ways:
“When you think about the audience in esports, they’re very engaged; there’s also a high likelihood of going into IT or maybe working in Splunk or esports in the future, so I think the applications that Splunk could benefit from partnerships are very Much, and of course we could benefit from using their technology.”