SUN TECHNOLOGY INSTRUMENTAL IN DESIGN, TESTING AND RACING OF
NEW WEST MCLAREN MERCEDES CAR
F1 team launches 2001 season car, pays tribute to Sun
technology and plans to use new Sun Blade 1000 Workstation
VALENCIA, SPAIN -- February 7, 2001 Sun Microsystems, Inc.
(Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced how its cutting-edge technology
plays a crucial role with West McLaren Mercedes (WMM) in its
efforts to be the fastest Formula One team in the world. The
2001 season car, the MP4-16, was launched today in front of the
worlds press. Sun technology from Sun Ultra workstations to
the Java programming language to (for the first time this
season) the new Sun Blade 1000 is used because it offers the
unmatchable levels of reliability, scalability and flexibility
crucial in a sport where even a single error can mean failure.
"We are thrilled to be a West McLaren Mercedes technology
partner," said John Loiacono, chief marketing officer, Sun
Microsystems. "West McLaren Mercedes consistently embrace
Sun's advanced technology and, most importantly, understands
the benefits of exploiting it. It makes for a mutually
beneficial relationship, especially when we see our technology
helping the team win races and championships."
As the cars roar away from the grid at the first race of the
season in Melbourne, Australia on March 4th, Sun will be
entering its 14th year as a technology partner of the WMM team.
Their relationship is one of the most enduring in modern sport.
Ron Dennis, TAG McLaren Group Chairman and CEO summarises the
reasons for the longevity of the Sun/WMM relationship: F1 is
the ultimate technology-driven sport. We seek out partners who
are consistently leaders their field. We have to, because we
perform on the edge of the technically possible, re-defining it
every day. Sun plays an integral part in helping us to do
In addition to the industry-leading Sun technology used by WMM,
this season sees the introduction of the Sun Blade 1000
workstation, using the award-winning1 UltraSPARC III 64-bit
processor. The Sun Blade 1000 will be used in the design
process. The workstation's capabilities, such as processor,
memory and graphical capability will allow the team for the
first time to run simulations in real time, using an entire
model of the car.
Neil Oatley, WMM Chief Designer explains the significance of
this new piece of technology: "With the introduction of the
Sun Blade 1000, Sun has once again pushed back the barriers of
technology to keep the West McLaren Mercedes team ahead of the
most fiercely competitive pack in sport."
Indeed, its not just in the design, testing and racing of its
cars that Sun is crucial to the WMM teams success. Sun is also
responsible for .com-ing the team off the track. The WMM
website (www.mclaren.com) is powered by Sun. Specifically, Sun
technology is used in the following areas:
Design Sun Ultra workstations are used in Computational Fluid
Dynamics (CFD) - the strand of the design process which allows
the WMM design team to test the effect of windflow over the
surface of the virtual car before anything physical is built.
Theyre also used in the design process, allowing a virtual car
accurate down to the smallest washer to be digitally built
before any physical ever makes it to the track. The speed and
reliability of the Sun Ultra Workstations enable the WMM team
to design and build new components faster than ever before.
This is not just important in the close season. The MP4-16
will evolve throughout 2001, as the design team strives to
enable the car to go faster by the kind of tiny margins that
make the difference between winners and losers in F1.
Testing/racing - launched in the 1999 season, McLaren
implemented Suns Java technology into its crucial Pitwall
system. As the MP4-16 hurtles around the track at up to
220mph, over 120 sensors relay data back to the pits. Suns
Java technology is used to translate these
individually-meaningless pieces of data (stored and distributed
on ruggedised Sun servers, known as Battlestations), into the
intelligence that WMM race strategists need to make the split
second tactical decisions that can determine the outcomes of
races. Suns Java technology provides two key benefits:
firstly, the Java code does not fail - clearly this is
something that would be intolerable in Formula One or any other
mission-critical environment and secondly Java technology
integrates across all platforms from desktops to mainframes, as
the operating system is the same. Write once, run anywhere, as
Sun puts it. It is this quality that enables the WMM team to
use different platforms actually PCs on the pitwall.
Merchandising - Sun .commed the WMM team website
(www.mclaren.com) with Sun Enterprise servers and the Solaris
Operating System, including Sun-powered eCommerce and a fast
and furious Java technology race game. The site is the only
official outlet for the teams merchandise. It allows the WMM
team to both protect its revenue (as its the only official
outlet for WMM team merchandise, the team knows that any
merchandise being sold at races is counterfeit) and protects
its global brand. McLaren.com is powered by Sun Microsystems.
The margin for error in F1 is nil, and the need to have the
most cutting-edge technology is as great as in any business
environment, says Neil Oatley. Thats why we continue to work
with Sun. The reliability, scalability and flexibility of its
technology are second to none. If we could use Sun everywhere,
we would. # # # About McLaren The current company, McLaren
International, was formed in September 1980 as a result of a
merger between Team McLaren and Project Four, a British company
owned by the Chairman and CEO of the TAG McLaren Group, Ron
Dennis. McLaren has won eleven DriversChampionships and eight
Constructors Championships including the 1998 and 1999 Drivers
World Championship with Mika Hakkinen.
McLaren has competed in Formula One since 1966 and has proven
to be one of the most successful Formula One teams of all time
with 130 Grands Prix wins. To date, McLaren has raced in 509
Grands Prix. McLaren is the only team to have won four
consecutive Drivers and Constructors Championships (1988-1991).
In 1995, McLaren entered into a long-term partnership with
Mercedes-Benz, a company whose pedigree is well established
over the past 102 years of competition, both in Grand Prix
motor racing and World Championship Sportscars.
McLaren International is located in Woking, England, with
expertise supplied by an approximately 350 strong team of
designers, engineers and skilled staff, complemented by
advanced Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing
For further information please see http://www.mclaren.com
About Sun Microsystems, Inc. Since its inception in 1982, a
singular vision -- The Network Is The ComputerTM -- has
propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW), to its
position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware,
software and services that power the Internet and allow
companies worldwide to dot-com their businesses. With $17.6
billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 170
countries and on the World Wide Web at http://sun.com. Sun,
Sun Microsystems and the Sun logo are trademarks or registered
trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and