AT&T Williams driver talks F1 technology

Formula One drivers are not only responsible for steering their cars; they also have to manage gigabytes of data communicated wirelessly between the vehicle and the pit crew. In this 5:21 minute video, F1 driver Nico Rosberg talks about the technology in race cars, why he doesn't drive in Australia, and how he is absolutely, definitely not a nerd.

Formula One drivers are not only responsible for steering their cars; they also have to manage gigabytes of data communicated wirelessly between the vehicle and the pit crew.

In this 5:21 minute video, F1 driver Nico Rosberg talks about the technology in race cars, why he doesn't drive in Australia, and how he is absolutely, definitely not a nerd.

Rosberg, the youngest F1 driver -- who claimed seventh place in last week's Australian Grand Prix -- met the media prior to the Melbourne race, where he explained how the IT systems used in Formula One teams have become an essential part of the modern racing car.

PCs were introduced to F1 in the early 90s and they quickly became a mission critical tool. At the recent Grand Prix, each car generated around a gigabyte of telemetry data every hour. This was sent back to the pit crew using secure wireless communications and then analysed by the team's massive IT system.

The information received from the car's 120-odd sensors provided engineers with vital information that might help the driver gain an extra fraction of a second, which in F1 can be the difference between success and failure.

The driver is not only responsible for getting round the track in one piece but he must also manage the car's electronic systems by making continuous tweaks using a control panel built into the steering wheel.

On whether he considered himself a nerd: "No, I do not consider myself to be a nerd ... I never surf the Internet," he said, which was followed by a moment of disbelieving silence from the dozen or so technology journalists in the room.

"So how do you live?" he was asked.

"I have Web sites that I go to -- Facebook, MSN, Skype, all the racing Web sites and e-mail ... but I never go and 'surf'," he said.

He is constantly amazed by the amount of technology that is packed into his car: "There are two miles of cables in the car. Is that true? That is impossible ... There are two miles of cables in the car ... I don't know where they are though," he joked.

He revealed that as a consequence of high security in the pit area, he often finds his Internet connection blocked.

To view photos of Rosberg in Sydney, click here.

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