Thursday, 17 March 2016 19:01

Racing legend Toto Wolff on Epson, F1 tech and racing games

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Former racing driver, and Executive Director of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team, is in Australia and spoke with iTWire.

Torger "Toto" Wolff is an Austrian investor and former racing car driver. He is currently a 30% owner and Executive Director of the award-winning Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team.

Wolff is in Australia for the F1 events in Melbourne this week and weekend, and took a few minutes from his busy schedule to speak with iTWire.

Providing advice to managers and leaders in general, Wolff made the insightful comments he entered all his races with the intention to win, and further "to finish first you first have to finish." This drive (if you will pardon the pun) motivates he and his team to use innovative technology to eke out continuous improvements in his vehicles.

At this time racing simulators are useful and give a lot of data - in fact, Mercedes AMG Petronas uses 1,000 sensors in its racing simulators to provide valuable information - but a simulator can only do so much. It can't simulate wind conditions or other factors that affect a driver on the day.

Even so, "you can't stop technology," Wolff said. "The more technology develops, the closer the correlation [between simulators and the track]."

On the track Wolff stated his vehicles use 200 sensors - just one fifth of those in the simulators, but with the greater emphasis on reducing the weight of the vehicle while still gathering vital data.

Wolff spoke about the valuable contribution of Epson's sponsorship of the Mercedes AMG Petronas team, with Epson's smart glasses being used for training and educational purposes, along with a range of other Epson devices. Wolff himself sees his own office Epson printer as a vital tool for keeping up-to-date on F1 regulations.

Wolff also spoke about racing games, stating while fun they aren't really reflective of the sport. "Computer race games are a completely different ball game to a real race car," he said, adding "with the emphasis on 'ball' - the risks are completely different in a game."

David M Williams attended the Australian Grand Prix as a guest of Epson Australia.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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