GPUpdate goes behind the scenes at Red Bull

GPUpdate goes behind the scenes at Red Bull

24 June 2013 – Going behind the scenes is a rare occurrence in the secretive world of Formula 1. Yet, last Friday, GPUpdate.net was one of a select few outlets given the opportunity to journey through the heart of the Red Bull operation in Milton Keynes.

As part of the team's Openhouse event, also attended by two lucky GPUpdate.net competition winners, leading staff members were on-hand to discuss their roles during what has been an unrivalled era of success. From an eye-opening pit-stop experience to the processes behind sending a large crew to 19 Grand Prix circuits around the world, all angles were covered by the reigning triple World Champions.

First on the list was an overview of fitness. Bernie Shrosbree, who has worked with World Champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, demonstrated a variety of exercises and visual techniques drivers use to stay in peak condition throughout the season. Balancing on a gym ball sounds simple enough, but when sizeable weights and a g-force simulating band are thrown into the mix, the situation quickly changes.

It was also reiterated that top-level fitness stretches beyond the cockpit in modern-day Formula 1. "Trips to the pub are a thing of the past for the pit-crew," explained Shrosbree, referring to the ever-increasing demands imposed upon them. Two-second stops not only require incredible levels of concentration, but also great strength. Holding a Pirelli tyre at arm’s length is no mean feat, while a wheel gun that is constantly trying to escape the hands of its owner compounds the challenge.

With a mock-up pit-box on show, GPUpdate donned gloves and got to work. A best effort of 7.5 seconds was someway short of entering the record books, but respect for those undertaking the job certainly rose. It is not even worth pondering the potential outcome amid baking temperatures and under the pressure of an active pit lane…

A visit to the hidden-away Operations Centre followed, where a mere three million race simulations are carried out before each Grand Prix. Will Courteney, Head of Race Strategy, explained: "My job is to get the most out of the car I am given by the design and engineering team." It sounds relatively simple when stated in such a calm manner, but instant calls amid ever-changing conditions are far from straightforward.

Two scenarios, during the closing stages of a Grand Prix at Silverstone, were soon played out by Courteney, with a crucial tyre choice sitting ahead for the gathered group of media and prize winners. Let’s just say a certain young German would have been extremely unhappy with the decision made by the majority of the room.

As the factory marathon continued, a rather pleasant surprise arose in the form of a mould for the RB10 chassis. Hot off the production line and lying bare, we may just have seen the beginnings of another Adrian Newey masterpiece. There was also plenty of work going on in the race bays ahead of next weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone. After highlighting the stresses of the current Formula 1 calendar, Team Manager Jonathan Wheatley ran through what has been "quite a lazy" post-Canada turnaround, with both race chassis being gradually assembled by a handful of mechanics. Also present was a dedicated pit area, occupied by an RB8, where crew members put in hours of practice - from both the left and right - to hone their skills.

A conversation with Al Peasland, Head of Technical Partnerships, then covered the challenge of ensuring that all cars, related parts and team members arrive at each race venue without issue. Described as similar to organising a holiday for a large family and group of friends, a true sense of the background efforts are realised.

Peasland was also eager to point out the make-up of a modern-day Formula 1 car, alluding to more than 7,000 pieces. With this fresh in his mind, he grimaced when talking through governing body the FIA's stringent crash tests to validate parts, stating that "thousands of Red Bull pounds" are lost in the space of a few seconds.

Mark Webber and Christian Horner then arrived to address the crowd, the latter having flown in from Paris after the launch of Renault's 2014 engine. While assessing the sport's current standing, Horner stressed his desire for the regulations to be relaxed, jesting that Mercedes has aided his mission with its private tyre test in Barcelona.

As the day drew to a close, an opinion already held became even stronger. Unlike a selection of its rivals in the Formula 1 pit lane, Red Bull’s intense desire to succeed is not overshadowed by a cloud of seriousness, but a true sense of fun, energy and compassion, something that makes its recent success all the more impressive.

And, after the first seven races of 2013, the quadruple double is a tantalising prospect.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Tuesday 27 September 2016

  2. 17:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Eriksson calls time on rookie GP2 season 16:03

    Eriksson calls time on rookie GP2 season

    Arden driver Jimmy Eriksson has elected to call time on his rookie GP2 season, with two rounds remaining, admitting that his…

    GP2
  4. Verstappen: Positive to be 'talking point' 15:36

    Verstappen: Positive to be 'talking point'

    Max Verstappen says it is positive to be a "talking point" in Formula 1, whether comments are good or bad, and insists he has…

    F1
  5. Video: Ricciardo previews Malaysian GP 13:02

    Video: Ricciardo previews Malaysian GP

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo looks ahead to this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

    F1
  6. Soft tyre favoured for Japanese Grand Prix 11:13

    Soft tyre favoured for Japanese Grand Prix

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has revealed the driver-by-driver selections for the Japanese Grand Prix, with the yellow-marked…

    F1
  7. BMW announces Andretti Formula E tie-in 10:49

    BMW announces Andretti Formula E tie-in

    German car manufacturer BMW has announced a tie-in with Andretti ahead of the 2016/17 Formula E season, in a move that could…

    FE
  8. Video: Formula E reflects on second season 10:32

    Video: Formula E reflects on second season

    Formula E looks back at its second season, ahead of the 2016/17 campaign beginning in Hong Kong.

    FE
  9. Mallya wary of 'twists and turns' over P4 09:38

    Mallya wary of 'twists and turns' over P4

    Vijay Mallya has hailed a strong atmosphere at Force India, as the team looks to strengthen its grip on fourth in the standings…

    F1
  10. Pirelli: New Sepang surface 'big unknown' 08:12

    Pirelli: New Sepang surface 'big unknown'

    Pirelli's Motorsport Director, Paul Hembery, is viewing the new track surface at the Sepang International Circuit as a "big…

    F1
  11. Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #3 05:26

    Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #3

    Next up in Williams' 'Life in the pit lane' series is Ed Smith, in charge of putting a wheel on the car.

    F1
  12. Monday 26 September 2016

  13. Hamilton out to end Rosberg's winning run 15:12

    Hamilton out to end Rosberg's winning run

    Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he needs to get back to winning ways if he is to clinch the 2016 title, after Mercedes…

    F1
  14. Honda still unsure over Malaysia upgrade 13:18

    Honda still unsure over Malaysia upgrade

    Honda is still unsure about introducing a power unit upgrade at the Malaysian Grand Prix, and will make a final call later in…

    F1
  15. Video: Hülkenberg's Malaysian GP preview 12:16

    Video: Hülkenberg's Malaysian GP preview

    Force India driver Nico Hülkenberg looks ahead to this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

    F1
  16. Rosberg: Upcoming races 'anyone's game' 11:16

    Rosberg: Upcoming races 'anyone's game'

    Nico Rosberg is refusing to get carried away by his recent run of victories, which have moved him back into the title lead…

    F1
  17. Haas to re-test new front wing in Malaysia 10:41

    Haas to re-test new front wing in Malaysia

    Haas will re-test its upgraded front wing at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, after a troubled weekend in Singapore last…

    F1
  18. Lorenzo: Crash helped me finish second 10:08

    Lorenzo: Crash helped me finish second

    Jorge Lorenzo reckons his warm-up crash was a crucial factor in him beating Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi to second position…

    MotoGP
  19. In photos: Button's 17 seasons in F1 07:44

    In photos: Button's 17 seasons in F1

    Jenson Button will start his 300th Grand Prix in Malaysia this weekend before stepping down from racing duties at the end of the…

    F1
  20. Interview: Button on reaching 300 races 07:36

    Interview: Button on reaching 300 races

    Jenson Button will contest his 300th Formula 1 race at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, cementing his position behind Rubens…

    F1
  21. Video of the Day: Jenson Button's 300 club 05:42

    Video of the Day: Jenson Button's 300 club

    Hear from Jenson Button, who will mark his 300th appearance in Formula 1 at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

    F1
  22. Sunday 25 September 2016

  23. 16:28

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  24. Márquez pleased to halt Rossi's momentum 16:03

    Márquez pleased to halt Rossi's momentum

    Marc Márquez admitted he was pleased to halt Valentino Rossi's momentum in the championship as he chalked up his fourth MotoGP…

    MotoGP
  25. Smith to make MotoGP return at Motegi 15:04

    Smith to make MotoGP return at Motegi

    Tech 3 has confirmed that Bradley Smith will return to MotoGP action at Motegi, after sitting out three rounds of the…

    MotoGP
  26. Márquez extends lead with Aragón victory 13:54

    Márquez extends lead with Aragón victory

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez extended his MotoGP championship lead with his fourth victory of the season, ahead of Yamaha pair…

    MotoGP
  27. Heineken eyes Formula 1 race in Vietnam 10:28

    Heineken eyes Formula 1 race in Vietnam

    Formula 1 Global Partner Heineken says it would like to see the sport branch out further into the Asia Pacific territory, and…

    F1
  28. Injured Lowes to miss Aragón Grand Prix 08:08

    Injured Lowes to miss Aragón Grand Prix

    Tech 3 rider Alex Lowes will not participate in the Aragón Grand Prix after being deemed unfit by medical staff on Sunday…

    MotoGP
  29. Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #2 05:42

    Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #2

    Williams continues its 'Life in the pit lane' series with #2 mechanic and front jack man Michael Payne.

    F1
  30. Saturday 24 September 2016

  31. 16:52

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Aragon

    MotoGP
  32. Vandoorne: 2017 was 'last chance' for seat 15:52

    Vandoorne: 2017 was 'last chance' for seat

    McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne says he knew he had to secure a full-time Formula 1 seat in 2017 if he was to ever graduate to the…

    F1
  33. Márquez dominates for pole at Aragón 13:57

    Márquez dominates for pole at Aragón

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez trounced his rivals as he flew to pole position at the Aragón Grand Prix, his sixth of the…

    MotoGP
  34. Lowes to skip qualifying after FP3 crash 11:42

    Lowes to skip qualifying after FP3 crash

    Tech 3 rider Alex Lowes will not take part in qualifying for the Aragón Grand Prix after crashing during the third practice…

    MotoGP
  35. Márquez heads crash-filled third session 09:56

    Márquez heads crash-filled third session

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez surged to the quickest time during a crash-filled third practice session at MotorLand…

    MotoGP
  36. Alex Lynn's GPUpdate column: Last rounds 09:05

    Alex Lynn's GPUpdate column: Last rounds

    Williams development driver and GP2 Series racer Alex Lynn will write a regular column for GPUpdate.net this year, charting his…

    GP2
  37. Video of the Day: Meet Felix Rosenqvist 05:32

    Video of the Day: Meet Felix Rosenqvist

    Find out more about reigning F3 Champion Felix Rosenqvist, who will race for Mahindra in Formula E this season.

    FE
  38. Friday 23 September 2016

  39. Corner named after Fernández in Mexico 15:26

    Corner named after Fernández in Mexico

    Mexican racing star Adrián Fernández has been appointed as an ambassador for his home country's Grand Prix and had Turn 12…

    F1
  40. Leclerc will not run in Malaysian GP practice 14:17

    Leclerc will not run in Malaysian GP practice

    Ferrari youngster Charles Leclerc will not carry out his planned Formula 1 practice run with Haas at the upcoming Malaysian…

    F1
  41. 14:05

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday in Aragon

    MotoGP
  42. Pedrosa moves ahead in second practice 14:03

    Pedrosa moves ahead in second practice

    Dani Pedrosa moved to the top of the times during second practice for the Aragón Grand Prix, ahead of Honda team-mate Marc…

    MotoGP
  43. Iannone replaced by Pirro after first practice 12:28

    Iannone replaced by Pirro after first practice

    Andrea Iannone will take no further part in the Aragón Grand Prix weekend, after riding through the pain of his back injury in…

    MotoGP
  44. Ricciardo backs Rosberg for maiden title 10:22

    Ricciardo backs Rosberg for maiden title

    Daniel Ricciardo says that he is now backing Nico Rosberg for the 2016 crown after the German reclaimed the championship lead…

    F1
  45. Márquez tops opening practice in Aragón 10:00

    Márquez tops opening practice in Aragón

    MotoGP title leader Marc Márquez topped the timesheets during Friday morning's first free practice session for the Aragón…

    MotoGP
more news