Following the launch of myTeam by Perrinn Limited, revealed exclusively by Endurance-Info/Sportscar365, there has been a large response, the majority being positive.
The open-source concept, which engages fan input into the design and operation of the British constructor’s LMP1 car, aims to be original and daring, in a sport where manufacturers are typically closed off.
Perrinn Limited’s Nicolas Perrin insists the project is not crowd-funding but rather a new approach to attract sponsors and partners to a completely visible program, that could even see a company’s brand take over the naming rights of the car.
Could there be a Google or Facebook LMP1 car? The idea may seem far-fetched, but not in the eyes of the former Williams F1 engineer, who provides further details into his innovative concept. (En Français)
Is there concern that your information, which will be public on the internet, will be stolen by other parties?
“Of course, there was some fear in launching this concept, but it quickly went away. I want to link Perrinn Limited to the public. Copying the data will be quite possible because we have an open-source system in place. Everyone can save and analyze.
“In return, the public can submit suggestions. People can review the choice of the design of the car and the choice of drivers.
“Of course, we have a basic idea about different areas and Perrinn Limited will make the final decisions. But this can be compared to certain TV shows where there is a public vote, before the judges make the verdict.”
If a billionaire wants to take the data and build his own LMP1 car, would it be possible?
“On paper, the answer is yes but the quality of the project remains in our hands. We are the brains of the system. There will still be some things you cannot share, such as details on the engine or tires.
“We can distribute all of Perrinn Limited’s intellectual property. If a person downloads all of the files, nothing will stop him from building it. It will be a true open-source system… The real picture we have in our mind is to be visible to everyone in real time.”
Is this a crowd-funding initiative?
“We are not participating in that because everything will be free. Nobody will be paying [money] to access the information. It’s true that the money must come from somewhere but that’s what sponsors are for. There will be brands that will pay.”
How can schools/universities help?
“For us, schools and colleges are a very important part of this project. In engineering school, we’re on the lookout for this kind of initiative. There’s motivation to put this concept into practice and not just have it be a theory… It’s fascinating to see and I hope it will open up more opportunities.”
When will the website be launched?
“Once funding is in place, we will open the site to begin the real interaction. We’re hoping that it will be operational before [this year’s] 24 Hours of LeMans. We are ready to connect all of the cables together.
“This initiative will not just be available at Le Mans but also in the FIA WEC and during testing. In private testing, everyone can follow the progress by listening to driver/engineer . Users will know in advance the manufacturing and testing schedule. There will be a camera in the workshop that will show the construction of myLMP1.
“In the future, we may see this same kind of thing in other disciplines, such as F1. But the current philosophy doesn’t really work because teams want to be open without really being open.”
Winning Le Mans remains the ultimate goal?
“The goal is to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the next five years.”
How will you be able to fight constructors and manufacturers who have substantial resources?
“We have the same means and I know that we will get there. We will not be the underdog of the LMP1 category. The idea is to find the necessary budget. We are open to a partnership with a manufacturer but [it isn’t necessary]. Perrinn Limited wants to stay ahead of the development.”
Could the car name be branded by a company?
“Without a doubt. We can no longer expect partners who have been [in the industry] for 20 or 30 years. We must find new ones, on the consumer side. Red Bull has been successful in Formula One, for example. Apple would be the perfect example for our initiative.”