How Formula 1 turns 3D printing, big data and crappy bandwidth into sport

What draws people to engineering and technology is generally the effort to create the best possible product within a series of technical or physical constraints. That same effort to solve a problem underlies the technology behind a Formula 1 race team, although like a race car, engineering decisions have to happen quickly and there is enough tolerance for risk to make a wild experiment every now and again.
After talking to the Lotus Formula One team last Thursday before the team took second at the Formula 1 US Grand Prix, it honestly seems like the best job in the world. Every two weeks during the season (or sometimes every week), the race team is out testing their hunches on the track after hours of testing in computer simulations. Then on weekends those hunches are tested on a racetrack. The whole effort brings together technologies as diverse as computational fluid dynamics and 3D printing. Even big data gets a day in the sun, although the one lament heard repeatedly was about poor bandwidth.

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