Oracle Red Bull Racing (RBR) and Zoom today announced a new partnership that would integrate the Zoom platform into every communication line of Oracle RBR. When Formula 1 (F1) racing is in season, I hardly miss a race, and over the years, it has quickly grown in popularity stateside. I have to confess, I am a huge RBR fan. Around this time last year, I was given the opportunity to attend the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in my hometown of Austin, which you can read about here.
If you ever watch F1 live, there are times when we get shots of the driver’s seat, and when problems or challenges arise between the team and the driver, communication becomes key. These moments of communication become critical and, at times, are pivotal to the race. Data is sent from the RBR’s technology center in Milton Keynes, where information is communicated to the team on the ground at a race and then communicated to the driver for critical racing decisions. It becomes exhilarating for fans to hear the communication of a team and its driver.
Oracle RBR and Zoom’s partnership is huge for both parties. Zoom is the most popular communications platform. It had a rough start at the beginning of its popularity but, through its growth, has managed to scale and move quickly. Zoom’s workplace visionand movement toward platformization reveal that it is not reaching its ceiling anytime soon. These company traits are complementary to that of RBR and its innovative and technological leadership in F1 racing.
Janine Pelosi, CMO at Zoom Communications, sat down with Christian Horner, CEO and Team Principle for Oracle Red Bull Racing, and I was able to ask a few questions that are sprinkled throughout my analysis of the partnership.
Zoom Chat, Meetings, and Events
Team members will be using Zoom Chat to communicate between the campus in Milton Keynes and from the pit wall live at the race. The RBR team will be able to switch from chat functionality to an enhanced conversation in Zoom Meetings. I asked in the interview between Pelosi and Horner how Zoom Meetings could enhance the communication between the RBR team and give an advantage with video over audio. Horner alluded to the enhanced interactions that you get when communicating over video. It is a different experience than audio and you can gauge a room better through video.
I also believe there is considerable potential to enhance the interactions between an F1 team, especially with Zoom’s communication platform. Zoom recently created an App SDK that allows developers to create an app within a Zoom meeting. I was told from the interview that Red Bull Racing is open to working closely with Zoom to explore new and unique ways to utilize the Zoom platform to achieve team goals and objectives.
Although RBR could not give any more details beyond the collaboration, I believe an RBR app within Zoom could give the team an advantage. In the Zoom app, data and analytics could be communicated between the team on the ground at the race and team members at the RBR Technology Center. Imagine in the Zoom call team members pulling up a 3D rendering of the car or the track and being able to communicate ideas and make decisions on the fly through a Zoom app.
RBR will also be using Zoom Events for the RBR team to communicate with its fans. Fans and partners will be able to join RBR events through Zoom Events and engage in hybrid experiences. I am interested to see how RBR integrates these events into its existing Red Bull Racing Paddock app. Hearing the communication between the driver and the RBR team can be exhilarating when watching live. I imagine as fans join the RBR events, it would be even more exhilarating watching the RBR Team communicate over a video call.
I also asked the question of when the events will be live and how the video will differ from what’s on F1.com. I was told from the interview that live events will vary for partners and fans. I believe it will depend on location and convenience. The RBR Zoom Events will be specific to RBR content and will not relate to what is on F1.com. I am interested to see the difference in content and availability of RBR F1 content that come through these RBR Zoom Events. It is not about making the same content that comes from F1.com but unique hybrid experiences and events from wherever in the world for partners and fans.
As a part of the partnership, Zoom branding will be displayed on both RB18 cars, drivers, and team race shirts, in the pit, garage, and online. We should be seeing some of these live at this weekend’s Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort, Netherlands. I don’t think this partnership is very surprising to me. Zoom uses Oracle as one of its largest cloud infrastructure providers. Oracle provides data analytics to the RBR Team, and this partnership between Zoom and RBR could be the fruit of that deepening relationship between Oracle and RBR.
I am excited to see this partnership between RBR and Zoom grow. I believe its ability to scale and adapt to the changes quickly is exactly what is needed in a Formula 1 racing environment. I believe it has a unique platform to give fans the exhilarating interactions they desire and the RBR team the technology it needs to win races.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy co-op Jacob Freyman contributed to this article.