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. Wednesday 27 July 2016

  2. 16:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Haas looks to overhaul McLaren in Germany 15:04

    Haas looks to overhaul McLaren in Germany

    Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says the squad wants to enter Formula 1's summer break having gained a position in the…

    F1
  4. Bradl to exit MotoGP at the end of 2016 13:42

    Bradl to exit MotoGP at the end of 2016

    Stefan Bradl has confirmed that he will leave MotoGP at the end of the season, with a switch to the World Superbike Championship…

    MotoGP
  5. Pirelli: Hockenheim 'an unknown quantity' 12:50

    Pirelli: Hockenheim 'an unknown quantity'

    Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery says this weekend's German Grand Prix will be "a bit of an unknown quantity" tyre-wise…

    F1
  6. Mercedes: 'Pressure on' at home event 12:02

    Mercedes: 'Pressure on' at home event

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is wary that the pressure will be on the team as it bids to deliver a strong result at its home event…

    F1
  7. Abiteboul: Renault must convert potential 11:12

    Abiteboul: Renault must convert potential

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says the manufacturer must convert its opportunities into points after making a…

    F1
  8. Alonso not expecting repeat of Hungary pace 10:28

    Alonso not expecting repeat of Hungary pace

    Fernando Alonso says he is not expecting McLaren to repeat its Hungary form at this weekend's German Grand Prix, having been…

    F1
  9. Ocon set for another FP1 run in Germany 09:15

    Ocon set for another FP1 run in Germany

    Renault test driver Esteban Ocon will receive another outing in free practice for this weekend's German Grand Prix, his fourth…

    F1
  10. Ferrari parts company with James Allison 09:04

    Ferrari parts company with James Allison

    Ferrari has confirmed that James Allison has departed the team, with Mattia Binotto installed as Chief Technical…

    F1
  11. Enerson gets IndyCar debut with Dale Coyne 08:05

    Enerson gets IndyCar debut with Dale Coyne

    RC Enerson will make his IndyCar debut at Mid-Ohio this weekend after penning a deal to race for Dale Coyne. Enerson, 19…

    Indy
  12. Preview: German Grand Prix - Round 12 07:36

    Preview: German Grand Prix - Round 12

    Formula 1 heads to the German Grand Prix with a new championship leader, after Lewis Hamilton beat Nico Rosberg to victory in…

    F1
  13. Video of the Day: Decoding race strategies 05:22

    Video of the Day: Decoding race strategies

    Mercedes' Chief Strategist, James Vowles, explains the 'Pure Pit Wall' which helps decode race strategies.

    F1
  14. Tuesday 26 July 2016

  15. Smedley: Williams must be 'introspective' 15:34

    Smedley: Williams must be 'introspective'

    Williams performance chief Rob Smedley has urged the team to "knuckle down" and be "introspective" in an attempt to recover from…

    F1
  16. Pirelli confirms Brazil, Abu Dhabi compounds 14:07

    Pirelli confirms Brazil, Abu Dhabi compounds

    Pirelli has outlined its compound nominations for the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix. For the Interlagos round, the…

    F1
  17. Wehrlein: Mercedes to decide 2017 plans 13:13

    Wehrlein: Mercedes to decide 2017 plans

    Mercedes-backed Pascal Wehrlein says it will be up to the German manufacturer where he races next year, as he focuses on the…

    F1
  18. Video: Mercedes' Hungarian GP podium 12:02

    Video: Mercedes' Hungarian GP podium

    Mercedes Sporting Director Ron Meadows shares his podium story from the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    F1
  19. Ecclestone's mother-in-law 'kidnapped' 10:24

    Ecclestone's mother-in-law 'kidnapped'

    Bernie Ecclestone's mother-in-law has been kidnapped in Brazil, with a ransom of 120 million Brazilian Reals (£28m) demanded by…

    F1
  20. Alex Lynn's GPUpdate column: Fighting hard 10:02

    Alex Lynn's GPUpdate column: Fighting hard

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

    F1
  21. Snetterton honours Wilson with corner name 09:28

    Snetterton honours Wilson with corner name

    UK racing circuit Snetterton has honoured the late Justin Wilson by renaming a corner after him, active from this weekend's…

    Misc
  22. In photos: Hamilton's Hungaroring record 08:22

    In photos: Hamilton's Hungaroring record

    Lewis Hamilton set a new outright record by winning his fifth Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend, moving clear of Michael…

    F1
  23. Video of the Day: MotoGP's Red Bull Ring test 05:37

    Video of the Day: MotoGP's Red Bull Ring test

    Suzuki duo Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró reflect on last week's MotoGP test at the Red Bull Ring.

    MotoGP
  24. Monday 25 July 2016

  25. Winners and Losers: Hungarian Grand Prix 16:28

    Winners and Losers: Hungarian Grand Prix

    Lewis Hamilton moved ahead of Nico Rosberg with his fifth win of the campaign, as the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers battled.…

    F1
  26. Video of the Day: Rosberg's Hungary blog 14:12

    Video of the Day: Rosberg's Hungary blog

    Nico Rosberg reflects on dropping behind Lewis Hamilton in the title race after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    F1
  27. Massa lapped twice during 'terrible' race 13:36

    Massa lapped twice during 'terrible' race

    Felipe Massa described his Hungarian Grand Prix as "terrible" as he battled persistent steering wheel issues en route to an…

    F1
  28. Räikkönen wins first 'Driver of the Day' award 13:16

    Räikkönen wins first 'Driver of the Day' award

    Kimi Räikkönen has been voted 'Driver of the Day' for the first time after the Hungarian Grand Prix. Räikkönen started…

    F1
  29. Palmer: Best drive of career before spin 12:32

    Palmer: Best drive of career before spin

    Renault driver Jolyon Palmer described the performance he delivered during the Hungarian Grand Prix as the best of his career to…

    F1
  30. Pérez regrets 'simple miscommunication' 11:03

    Pérez regrets 'simple miscommunication'

    Force India driver Sergio Pérez has expressed frustration at the "simple miscommunication" that he reckons cost him a points…

    F1
  31. Toro Rosso wary of McLaren-Honda threat 10:21

    Toro Rosso wary of McLaren-Honda threat

    Franz Tost has admitted that McLaren-Honda's upward trend is a growing concern for Toro Rosso, as the team looks to defend sixth…

    F1
  32. Alonso: McLaren in 'mini-championship' 09:46

    Alonso: McLaren in 'mini-championship'

    Fernando Alonso feels that McLaren is racing in another "mini-championship" behind frontrunners Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari…

    F1
  33. Wolff: Hungary result 'really satisfying' 08:52

    Wolff: Hungary result 'really satisfying'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has described the team's 1-2 result at the Hungarian Grand Prix as "really satisfying", given the…

    F1
  34. Video of the Day: How to extricate a driver 05:23

    Video of the Day: How to extricate a driver

    MDD Motorsport demonstrates the process of removing a potentially injured driver from a Formula E car.

    FE
  35. 03:37

    Championship standings after Hungary

    F1
  36. Sunday 24 July 2016

  37. Nissany dominates for Silverstone double 17:55

    Nissany dominates for Silverstone double

    Lotus driver Roy Nissany dominated proceedings during the second Formula V8 3.5 race of the weekend to lead a 1-2 for the team…

    FV8 3.5
  38. 17:36

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    F1
  39. Button questions radio-related penalty 17:32

    Button questions radio-related penalty

    Jenson Button has questioned why he received a penalty for radio messages that related to a brake issue in the Hungarian Grand…

    F1
  40. Vettel: Ferrari had raw pace for podium 16:39

    Vettel: Ferrari had raw pace for podium

    Sebastian Vettel rued what might have been after narrowly missing out on a podium to Daniel Ricciardo at the Hungarian Grand…

    F1
  41. Verstappen feels he was 'fair' to Räikkönen 16:03

    Verstappen feels he was 'fair' to Räikkönen

    Max Verstappen believes he was "fair" to Kimi Räikkönen during their Hungarian Grand Prix battle, despite the latter's radio…

    F1
  42. Ricciardo: I can enjoy Hungary podium 15:44

    Ricciardo: I can enjoy Hungary podium

    Daniel Ricciardo has vowed to "enjoy" his second podium of the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix, after the disappointment of…

    F1
  43. Hamilton says race start was 'everything' 15:31

    Hamilton says race start was 'everything'

    Lewis Hamilton says the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix was "everything" as he usurped Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg for…

    F1
  44. 14:49

    In full: Hungarian Grand Prix race results

    F1
more news