If you’re a motorsports fan, Sunday was an all-out, epic, must-watch weekend. (If you were watching on the West Coast of the U.S., the fun actually started Saturday night). For me, it was a weekend that really drove home the saying “good things happen in threes.”
Mercedes AMG Petronas wins its 3rd consecutive Constructors’ Championship
Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One driver Nico Rosberg won the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix in Sazuka, thereby clinching the team’s third straight FIA Formula One World Constructers’ Championship.
In brief, the 2016 Formula One season has been
ruled DOMINATED by the team’s F1 W07 Hybrid cars. Mercedes AMG Petronas (MAMG) pilots, Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg, have taken the top spot on the podium 15 of 17 races thus far. There are still four more races left in 2016 campaign, and the other teams are desperate to claim a “W.” However, even with the Constructors’ title in hand, it doesn’t look like the Silver Arrows will be slowing down for anybody!
How has MAMG come to dominate the 2016 so convincingly? Obviously, the team has a great pair of drivers, a top-notch crew and an amazing car. But the team has gone to great lengths to improve efficiencies, so not only is the car faster, every aspect of how the team operates is faster. Qualcomm Technologies is proud to be a Partner with Mercedes AMG Petronas and contribute to this process, particularly with the team’s unique wireless technological edge over the competition. Essentially, a Qualcomm wireless solution enables the team’s engineers to access critical tire data faster during pre-qualifying practice sessions, in turn giving the team more time to perfect the suspension and aerodynamic setups for qualifying and race day.
Qualcomm congratulates Mercedes AMG Petronas on an amazing season and its World Constructors’ Championship — #TheTriple!
Formula E kicks off its 3rd season at an all-new venue with new partners on the horizon
Just because the Formula One season is winding down, doesn’t mean that competitive, international open-wheel racing is over until spring. Also this weekend, Formula E kicked off its third season in the all-new location of Hong Kong, where Sebastien Buemi of Renault e.dams won, followed by Lucas di Grassi of ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport and Nick Heidfeld of Mahindra Racing.
Formula E is the world’s first all-electric motor racing series that brings together top-tier drivers from around the world, big-name auto manufacturers, and the promise of sustainable motorsports.
This season, the championship is scheduled to make more new stops at cites in Africa, Europe, and North and South America, and will conclude at the end of July 2017. A noteworthy return to the list of cities is Monaco — perhaps one of the most well-known and beautiful cities in all of motorsport.
The biggest news for this season is the arrival of Jaguar to the roster of major auto manufacturers participating in Formula E. Audi and Renault have been involved since season one and both have consistently finished at or near the top of team standings. The “Big Cat” hopes to give its European rivals a run for their money as well as gain some invaluable EV R&D and brand recognition.
BMW is also working with the Andretti Formula E team (yes, that Andretti) this season as a “cooperation partner.” Insiders say that if all goes well, Bimmer fans will see a factory team running in Formula E, perhaps in the 2018/19 season. If that happens, and Audi sticks around, we could have a clash of Teutonic Titans, because just last week Mercedes Benz secured a Formula E entry also starting in 2018/19.
McLaren Applied Technologies, the company behind some “mildly” drool-worthy road cars, was selected as the exclusive supplier of batteries to Formula E for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons, beating out Porsche, Red Bull Technology, Renault and Williams Advanced Engineering for the honor. What McLaren learns could be applied to its future super hybrid and EV plans.
Why all the interest in Formula E by the big manufacturers? There’s an undeniably growing consumer enthusiasm for hybrid vehicles and EVs — electric car sales are increasing globally — and no manufacturer wants to be last to market, which means serious R&D must start now. And as they’ve done for years, auto manufacturers are using one of the most punishing environments, motorsport, as a testbed for the equipment and technologies that may one day be found on our daily drivers.
Similarly, Qualcomm Technologies—an Official Partner of Formula E—is showcasing its Qualcomm Halo wireless EV charging technology in the series through the Qualcomm Safety Car and the two medical support cars. The cutting-edge system eliminates the hassles and clutter of EV charging cables with a high level of power-efficiency. The technology has been testing and proven efficient and reliable with Formula E since the series’ inaugural 2014 season.
This last weekend was a celebration of threes—three championships in a row for Mercedes Benz AMG and a successful start to the third season of Formula E. What’s next? Well, if Rosberg holds Hamilton off, he’ll be the third German driver to win the title (even if Hamilton wins the remaining four races, all Rosberg has to do is finish second three times and take third, once)… In Formula E, if the Renault e.dams team can replicate the success it's had in the past two seasons, it will win its third team title…
While motorsports fans have a lot to look forward to in the coming seasons, Qualcomm and its employees are thrilled that our wireless technologies are contributing to the successes of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team and the Formula E championship series. And we look forward to the day when our wireless breakthroughs — the ones we’re testing on the track today — show up in the cars we drive tomorrow.