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. Thursday 17 April 2014

  2. Rosberg set to 'clear the air' with Hamilton 13:43

    Rosberg set to 'clear the air' with Hamilton

    Nico Rosberg has revealed that he is planning to clear the air with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the run up to this...

    F1
  3. Button expects Mercedes to stay dominant 12:57

    Button expects Mercedes to stay dominant

    Jenson Button expects Mercedes to continue its dominance of the 2014 season for the foreseeable future, admitting that it...

    F1
  4. Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 4 (M to Q) 12:00

    Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 4 (M to Q)

    Red Bull presents 'The A to Z of Formula 1' and in Part 4 looks at M to Q.

    F1
  5. Räikkönen surprised by Domenicali exit 11:53

    Räikkönen surprised by Domenicali exit

    Kimi Räikkönen says Stefano Domenicali's resignation as Ferrari team boss came as a surprise to him. Domenicali, who had b...

    F1
  6. Ricciardo over appeal: I had moved on 11:09

    Ricciardo over appeal: I had moved on

    Despite admitting to disappointment after Red Bull's failed appeal over his exclusion from the season-opening Australian...

    F1
  7. Alonso: New boss Mattiacci needs time 10:09

    Alonso: New boss Mattiacci needs time

    Fernando Alonso is hoping that Marco Mattiacci will be given sufficient time to adapt to his new role as Team Principal of...

    F1
  8. Marko expecting Red Bull improvement 09:54

    Marko expecting Red Bull improvement

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is expecting the team to edge towards the front of the field in coming races. Despite...

    F1
  9. Plans for championship with ex-F1 drivers 09:38

    Plans for championship with ex-F1 drivers

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is planning to set up a championship for former Grand Prix drivers. Earlier this...

    F1
  10. Chilton eyes similarly strong race in Shanghai 07:00

    Chilton eyes similarly strong race in Shanghai

    Max Chilton has said he will be aiming for a 'similarly strong race' in China this weekend after leaving the Bahrain GP on a...

    F1
  11. 06:20

    Latest F1 photos: Preparations at Shanghai

    F1
  12. Rosberg: It's going to get more difficult 06:00

    Rosberg: It's going to get more difficult

    Nico Rosberg is expecting Mercedes' rivals to close the gap more and more as the season progresses, although he is still...

    F1
  13. Shanghai memories: Gutiérrez runs into Sutil 05:00

    Shanghai memories: Gutiérrez runs into Sutil

    Esteban Gutiérrez ran dramatically over the back of Adrian Sutil's car during the opening stages of the 2013 Chinese Grand...

    F1
  14. Wednesday 16 April 2014

  15. Hülkenberg 'surprised' to be third 17:44

    Hülkenberg 'surprised' to be third

    Force India's Nico Hülkenberg has admitted he is a bit stunned by just how strongly he has started the 2014 Formula 1...

    F1
  16. Force India: Aim now to repeat podium 17:07

    Force India: Aim now to repeat podium

    Force India F1 won't sit back and will keep trying to improve, Team Principal Vijay Mallya has promised ahead of this...

    F1
  17. Video: Pirelli's guide to the Chinese GP 16:25

    Video: Pirelli's guide to the Chinese GP

    Pirelli previews this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit.

    F1
  18. Button: We need to get everything right 15:51

    Button: We need to get everything right

    McLaren's Jenson Button has said they will need to get 'everything right' this weekend in the Chinese Grand Prix if they are...

    F1
  19. Hamilton and Alonso best paid F1 drivers – report 15:24

    Hamilton and Alonso best paid F1 drivers – report

    Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are the top paid F1 drivers, according to data compiled by ESPN Magazine and Sporting...

    F1
  20. Di Montezemolo to increase F1 involvement 14:46

    Di Montezemolo to increase F1 involvement

    Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo has revealed that he is going to be more hands-on with the F1 programme from now on as...

    F1
  21. Mercedes 'must raise bar everywhere' to stay top 13:15

    Mercedes 'must raise bar everywhere' to stay top

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes the team will need to keep raising the bar in every single area if it is to sustain its...

    F1
  22. Bianchi keen to put bad luck behind him 12:17

    Bianchi keen to put bad luck behind him

    Marussia's Jules Bianchi is hoping the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit this weekend will mark a...

    F1
  23. Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 3 (I to L) 12:00

    Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 3 (I to L)

    Red Bull presents 'The A to Z of Formula 1' and in Part 3 looks at I to L.

    F1
  24. Alonso: Two titles not enough 11:50

    Alonso: Two titles not enough

    Ferrari ace Fernando Alonso has said two F1 titles is not enough and that he will not be happy if he retires as 'only' a...

    F1
  25. Ferrari: First priority to be second best 11:17

    Ferrari: First priority to be second best

    Ferrari is looking at every area and is trying to make as big a step as it can for each and every race, engineering...

    F1
  26. Video: Ferrari gets set for China 10:58

    Video: Ferrari gets set for China

    Ferrari engineering director Pat Fry looks ahead to this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, round four in the 2014 Formula 1 W...

    F1
  27. Mosley backs Todt stance on noise 10:48

    Mosley backs Todt stance on noise

    Former FIA President Max Mosley has backed the way his successor Jean Todt is handling the noise 'issue' with the new V6...

    F1
  28. Fernández to act as driver steward at Chinese GP  10:15

    Fernández to act as driver steward at Chinese GP

    Adrián Fernández will be the FIA's driver steward at the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend, it has been c...

    F1
  29. Hamilton out to make it three wins in a row 09:46

    Hamilton out to make it three wins in a row

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has said it would be 'incredible' if he could make it three wins in a succession this weekend...

    F1
  30. Shanghai memories: Hamilton slides out 05:00

    Shanghai memories: Hamilton slides out

    Lewis Hamilton suffered this agonising retirement from the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix. Driving for McLaren in his debut season,...

    F1
  31. Tuesday 15 April 2014

  32. Video: Force India duo on Chinese Grand Prix 15:48

    Video: Force India duo on Chinese Grand Prix

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez preview the Chinese Grand Prix.

    F1
  33. Renault edging closer to limit of new engine 13:53

    Renault edging closer to limit of new engine

    Renault has explained that it will be running its new turbocharged power unit "closer to the limits" at this weekend's...

    F1
  34. 'Russian drivers at risk over US, EU sanctions' 11:50

    'Russian drivers at risk over US, EU sanctions'

    Racing programmes of various Russian drivers are under threat following the sanctions that have been placed on their country...

    F1
  35. Gillette, McLaren enhance partnership 11:30

    Gillette, McLaren enhance partnership

    Gillette, the world's leading male grooming brand, has enhanced its collaboration with McLaren. The two brands, which...

    F1
  36. Video: Formula 1 pit-stops then and now 11:00

    Video: Formula 1 pit-stops then and now

    Enjoy a pit-stop comparison between the 1950 Indianapolis 500 and the 2013 Australian Grand Prix.

    F1
  37. Red Bull 'accepts' outcome of appeal 10:38

    Red Bull 'accepts' outcome of appeal

    Red Bull says it "accepts" the decision of the International Court of Appeal to uphold Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion from the...

    F1
  38. Tweaks to Indy 500 practice, qualifying 10:17

    Tweaks to Indy 500 practice, qualifying

    IndyCar has added a practice session and tweaked qualifying for this year's Indianapolis 500. The fresh qualifying...

    Indy
  39. Court upholds decision to exclude Ricciardo 09:50

    Court upholds decision to exclude Ricciardo

    The FIA's International Court of Appeal has upheld the decision to exclude Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull from the results of...

    F1
  40. Haas wants blend of youth, experience 09:29

    Haas wants blend of youth, experience

    Haas Formula is hoping to blend youth and experience when it picks its first Formula 1 driver line-up. Team founder Gene...

    F1
  41. Singapore Airlines to sponsor Grand Prix 09:03

    Singapore Airlines to sponsor Grand Prix

    Singapore Airlines has signed a deal to become the title sponsor of the Singapore Grand Prix. The company replaces...

    F1
  42. Shanghai memories: Buemi loses front tyres 05:00

    Shanghai memories: Buemi loses front tyres

    Sébastien Buemi suffered this spectacular crash during practice for the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix.

    F1
  43. Monday 14 April 2014

  44. Haas unsure about joining grid in 2015 16:41

    Haas unsure about joining grid in 2015

    Gene Haas, whose American Formula 1 entry was accepted following the FIA's latest tender, says he ideally hopes to join the...

    F1