Facebook versus Hamilton

This has to be one of the most bizarre things I have seen today. Vodafone is challenging F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, to race against the speed of its improved mobile data network in The Netherlands.

Vodafone is calling for 28,800 Facebook users to join the race in a virtual car on Facebook. The time it takes for Vodafone’s network to download all of their profile pics (around 288MB) is the time Hamilton has to beat.

The actual race is taking place on a secret 2.7km track on 13th September and the race will be aired live on Facebook. Hamilton will be in a Mercedes Benz MP4-23 F1 car.

Users can sign themselves up to form part of the Facebook car on a special Facebook page. You can literally add your profile pic to a virtual outline of a car and can then navigate around the car seeing who else is involved.

While I completely appreciate the idea of pitting the speed of the broadband against something really fast like Lewis Hamilton in a supercar, I find it very hard to comprehend how to draw any sort of meaningful comparison from the race. So I decided to do a bit of calculation:

Vodafone claims to be able to have speeds of up to 28.8Mbps, which by my calculations (actually by Media Road’s converter’s calculations) would mean 3.6MB per second, would mean that it would take 80 seconds to download 288MB of photos.  80 seconds is almost enough for Lewis Hamilton to complete a lap of Silverstone, which is 5.9km long.

I don’t see how Hamilton could possibly lose?


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