• Mar 11, 2009
Lewis Hamilton controls F1 car via Blackberry Storm - Click above to watch video

Vodaphone is a huge mobile communications company, and it's also the primary sponsor of the McLaren Mercedes F1 team. The video after the jump shows just what their millions of dollars in sponsorship money can buy: a viral video staring Lewis Hamilton. Vodaphone makes the Blackberry Storm mobile smart phone, and the video kicks off with some office nerds who have hacked the Storm to control an R/C F1 car. They use the phone's built-in accelerometer so that turning the phone like a steering wheel controls the car's direction. The accelerator and the brake, meanwhile, are controlled via buttons on the phone's touch screen.

After publishing a video of their office grand prix on the web, the team of programmers is invited to the garage of McLaren Mercedes where team engineers have adapted the system to control Lewis Hamilton's actual F1 car. Hilarity ensues when Hamilton himself takes the car out on the track, sans driver, and does a lap behind the wheel of the Blackberry Storm. It's an amusing viral video and halfway convincing if we weren't willing to swear on our mothers that McLaren Mercedes would never allow its multi-million dollar F1 car to be controlled via a phone, let alone outfit the car with enough servos to actually perform the functions of steering, braking and changing gears. Follow the jump to watch for yourself. Hat tip to everyone and their mothers.

[Source: YouTube]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I call fake. Not only because McLaren would not allow that, nor would even Hamilton be stupid enough to do that (imagine that phone call to McLaren explaining that they stuffed the F1 car using a phone as a remote control), but the purposely poor camerawork can hide a lot; like someone else moving the wheels when the car is in the air and you cannot see the front wheels, and there is a delay from the movement of the phone to the movement of the steering wheel (and the steering wheel does not even move to the maximum turn input on the second demonstration), and if this were real, don't you think they would show some in depth stuff on how the car was made to be operated remotely? And would McLaren really contact this dork via comments on his YouTube video posting?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Friggin wow... *shakes head*
        • 5 Years Ago
        shut up kill yoy
        • 5 Years Ago
        I figured the same thing when I saw it earlier on geekologie.com! I'm guessing Vodafone carries the Blackberry Storm and this is just another example of the all too trendy viral marketing campaigns. Seriously, viral was a cool concept last year, now it's just getting stupid.
        • 5 Years Ago
        In addition to all of the problems you pointed out, Bluetooth isn't supposed to have that sort of range. While you can build special antennas to extend the range quite far, they are highly directional and fairly large. There are some sort of shenanigans afoot to pull this off.

        • 5 Years Ago
        ^^ let me try that again....

        shut up kill joy
      • 5 Years Ago
      Eric - my bad. Thanks. Looked again and it's easier to see them move when Hamilton's got the controller in the garage. Didn't pick it up with the first guy though. Time to stop putting off getting the new glasses.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They will regret this later when they find themselves in the middle of the grid at every race this year.

      Go Tifosi...........
        • 5 Years Ago
        You do realize that Tifosi are the Ferrari fans, not the Ferrari team. You`re cheering for the fans of Ferrari.

        That said, I don`t cheer for teams, I cheer for drivers. Go Hamilton!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can see hackers round tracks taking control of the cars they don't like :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I doubt he was able to totally drive it perfectly, I had a storm and the tilt sensor is a bit slow. I had to get another phone because it wasn't worth the data plan and if they ever make the data plan on the storm dirty cheap I'll consider trying the storm again.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Vodaphone doesn't MAKE the Blackberry Storm, RIM does, they just sell it....
      • 5 Years Ago
      I saw this at WDW. Their race cars had little cages hanging off of one side to fake the remote control. Drivers were in the cages. It was all for laughs, really, but neat.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That is a seriously funny and seriously cool bit of marketing. I like it when people can be creative and funny while getting their job done.
      • 5 Years Ago
      what a way to spend the day at the office!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh look! He'll steer better that way than in real life and won't crash into parked vehicles. How about that!?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe they'll end up selling a few.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I can't wait until they make an update so you can control Lewis Hamilton with a Blackberry Storm.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is crazy cool...Looks like Lewis got the hang of it pretty quickly!
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