Two Grand Prix in the current Formula 1 racing season have thrown up surprises and encouragement to teams outside the current big two, and as it aims to take advantage of such opportunities, McLaren Racing has announced a multi-year global partnership expanding Cisco’s role with the team.
McLaren Racing was founded by New Zealand racing driver Bruce McLaren in 1963. The team entered its first Formula 1 race in 1966 and has since won 20 Formula 1 world championships, more than 180 Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Le Mans 24 Hours at its first attempt and the Indianapolis 500 three times.
The team is currently contesting the FIA Formula 1 World Championship with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. McLaren was the first F1 team to be certified carbon neutral 10 years ago and has successfully retained the Carbon Trust Standard Award, most recently in February 2021.
The latest announcement builds on an existing relationship between McLaren Racing and Webex by Cisco, the official collaboration partner of the F1 team. Over the past year, Webex’s suite of cloud-based collaboration tools and technology solutions, such as Webex Hologram, have enabled McLaren to create virtual experiences that bring fans and partners closer to the action and enable immersive co-creation between design engineers, drivers and crews from tracks around the world.
The expanded partnership will see the two organisations deploy Cisco’s solutions, innovation and expertise to enhance McLaren’s technological infrastructure on race day and at the team’s headquarters, as well as to connect with fans around the world. Specifically, McLaren Racing will continue to use Webex to implement flexible and secure hybrid working environments, while attempting to create more opportunities for fans around the world to connect with the team throughout the 2022 Formula 1 season.
Moreover, McLaren will have Cisco’s full portfolio of solutions at its disposal – across enterprise networking, Wi-Fi, digital signage, collaboration and more. Cisco will collaborate with McLaren to explore and pilot new and emerging technologies, such as working towards upgrading its race day wireless deployment to Wi-Fi 6E to ensure fast and reliable communications between all team members. Wi-Fi 6E offers more than twice the bandwidth of Wi-Fi 6, the current standard solution, and is purpose-built to deliver reliable, secure and fast connectivity in flexible, remote locations.
The two firms will also continue to work together to develop the networking technology infrastructure at the team’s headquarters in Surrey – the McLaren Technology Centre. Cisco’s hybrid network solutions and cloud-based service DNA Spaces will allow the organisation to optimise productivity.
“Cisco has been an incredible partner to McLaren Racing, and we are delighted to extend and grow this relationship long term,” said McLaren Racing’s chief marketing officer, Claire Cronin. “Webex technology is embedded throughout our team’s operations, helping us be connected and agile with our people who operate at race pace around the globe. As we enter a new chapter of our partnership, we will continue to drive innovation with an expansion of Cisco’s capabilities available to us.”
Cisco believes its decade-long leadership in developing purpose-built, innovative solutions in the sports and entertainment field will aid McLaren in its pursuit of the competitive edge needed to drive performance in Formula 1. The company’s solutions and expertise have seen use by sports venues and teams such as the SoFi Stadium, the Olympic and Paralympic Games, City Football Group, Riot Games and the National Football League. Most recently, Cisco inked a deal with Real Madrid to deploy what is said to be the largest Wi-Fi 6 stadium network in Europe to date.
“As a marquee team in one of the fastest-growing sports in popularity globally, we are proud to expand our relationship with McLaren Racing and bring to bear our full portfolio of technology and talent to help the team achieve even greater success,” said Carrie Palin, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer at Cisco. “McLaren Racing shares our unceasing commitment to innovation, and we believe that together we can push the boundaries of what’s possible to develop the most connected F1 team in history.”