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RFID in Formula One and motorsport


In the highly competitive world of elite motorsport, a fraction of a second can make all the difference between winning and losing. As teams constantly seek new ways to gain the edge, F1, MotoGP and World Superbike have all become renowned for pushing the boundaries of technology.

RFID is one technology that is widely used throughout the motorsport industry, and teams are finding new applications all the time. CoreRFID provides technology and support to motor racing teams and organisations.

Due to the confidential nature of this work, we are not able to mention specific details of some of our projects or clients. However here are some of the key applications for RFID in the industry.

1. Testing

In preparing a race machine, it is often necessary to test many different components in different configurations in order to maximise performance. However with so many variables, it can be difficult to record and analyse the results and determine what combination of changes works best.

By placing RFID tags on each component or sub-assembly, it enables the items in a test session to be automatically identified by an electronic reader linked to a mobile phone or tablet. Software can then be provided to analyse the results and produce customised reports highlighting meaningful data.

Where teams already have analytical software, interfaces can be provided to upload data into the system automatically. This not only removes errors associated with manual data entry, but also means that data can be collected and transmitted in real time or downloaded at key points in a session. In addition, RFID may be used to identify and trace parts which have failed under different conditions to enable modifications to be made.

2. Authentication of parts

Vehicle specifications are strictly controlled by the industry bodies including those in stock car racing, where the rules specify that each vehicle panel must be identifiable and registered.

Spedeworth, a leading name in stock car racing, is one of the few businesses authorised to create race car panels. It incorporates RFID tags during the manufacturing process to prove the authenticity. Race officials at the track carry out regular spot checks, using hand-held scanners to read the tags. If a vehicle is found to have unauthorised parts, it is not allowed to compete.

The system not only ensures buyers are getting an authentic product, but also helps ensure safety on the track and has prevented the emergence of a counterfeit trade that is a problem in so many industries.

3. Tyres

RFID is widely used in tyre identification. It not only helps to track their usage and monitor mileage and wear, but also ensure compliance with rules that the number that can be used.

4. Inventory management

RFID is also useful for logistics and inventory management in the pit area. RFID readers can track the movement of components and equipment and ensure that the right parts are available at the right time.

RFID, combined with the use of specialist software, has become a crucial technology in many areas of motorsport and new developments will ensure even wider uptake in the future.

To discuss how RFID could help your team, contact Richard Harrison on 0845 071 0985 or email r.harrison@corerfid.com. CoreRFID recognises the confidential nature of the motorsport industry and is always happy to sign a non-disclosure agreement to provide an additional level of protection.