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 26 May 2015

  2. Daly to replace Hinchcliffe for Detroit 14:18

    Daly to replace Hinchcliffe for Detroit

    Conor Daly will remain in IndyCar after Schmidt Peterson Motorsports confirmed that he will replace the injured James…

    Indy
  3. Briatore: Alonso better off at McLaren 13:31

    Briatore: Alonso better off at McLaren

    Flavio Briatore says Fernando Alonso is better placed at McLaren compared to Ferrari, despite the Spaniard having failed to…

    F1
  4. No further action in de Villota accident 11:29

    No further action in de Villota accident

    Manor Grand Prix Racing will face no further action over the testing crash involving Maria de Villota following the conclusion…

    F1
  5. Williams cannot repeat Monaco - Smedley 11:08

    Williams cannot repeat Monaco - Smedley

    Williams Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley says the squad must examine where it went wrong at the Monaco Grand Prix in…

    F1
  6. Arrivabene: Ferrari outsmarted Mercedes 09:49

    Arrivabene: Ferrari outsmarted Mercedes

    Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene says the squad outsmarted Mercedes strategically in order to collect second position…

    F1
  7. Monaco Grand Prix: Winners and Losers 08:56

    Monaco Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

    Nico Rosberg took a third straight Monaco win as dominant Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was skewered by an incorrect pit…

    F1
  8. Video of the Day: Red Bull's Energy Station 05:23

    Video of the Day: Red Bull's Energy Station

    Find out more about Red Bull's floating Energy Station, which it brought to the Monaco Grand Prix.

    F1
  9. Monday 25 May 2015

  10. 17:04

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  11. Montoya: First Indy 500 win was easier 15:45

    Montoya: First Indy 500 win was easier

    Juan Pablo Montoya described his first Indianapolis 500 win as "easy" compared to his victory at the 99th running of the…

    Indy
  12. Video: Max drives Jos around Monaco 14:27

    Video: Max drives Jos around Monaco

    Watch as Max Verstappen takes father Jos for a lap of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit in a Renault Clio.

    F1
  13. Smith, Espargaró set for Suzuka 8 Hours 13:42

    Smith, Espargaró set for Suzuka 8 Hours

    MotoGP team-mates Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaró will form part of the rider line-up for the factory Yamaha team at this…

    MotoGP
  14. Rosberg still thought Hamilton would win 11:52

    Rosberg still thought Hamilton would win

    Nico Rosberg has explained that he still thought Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton would win the Monaco Grand Prix despite his…

    F1
  15. Video: Indianapolis 500 highlights 11:12

    Video: Indianapolis 500 highlights

    Watch highlights from the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500, won by Juan Pablo Montoya.

    Indy
  16. Massa hits out at 'dangerous' Verstappen 10:21

    Massa hits out at 'dangerous' Verstappen

    Williams driver Felipe Massa has criticised Max Verstappen following the Toro Rosso rookie's contact with Romain Grosjean, and…

    F1
  17. Kvyat buoyed by best Formula 1 finish 10:02

    Kvyat buoyed by best Formula 1 finish

    Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat expressed his delight after securing the best result of his short Formula 1 career at the Monaco…

    F1
  18. Video: Ricciardo, Räikkönen make contact 09:42

    Video: Ricciardo, Räikkönen make contact

    Daniel Ricciardo barged past Kimi Räikkönen for fifth with this move late in the Monaco Grand Prix.

    F1
  19. Räikkönen expected Ricciardo penalty 09:36

    Räikkönen expected Ricciardo penalty

    Kimi Räikkönen says he expected Daniel Ricciardo to be penalised by the stewards after their clash in the closing stages of…

    F1
  20. Pérez: Force India maximising opportunities 08:34

    Pérez: Force India maximising opportunities

    Sergio Pérez says his Force India team is maximising its opportunities after he started and finished in seventh position at the…

    F1
  21. Video of the Day: Prost on Renault's F1 plans 05:27

    Video of the Day: Prost on Renault's F1 plans

    Renault ambassador Alain Prost discusses the French brand's future intentions regarding Formula 1.

    F1
  22. 01:12

    Championship standings after Monaco

    F1
  23. Sunday 24 May 2015

  24. 21:54

    Latest IndyCar photos: 99th Indy 500

    Indy
  25. Montoya wins thrilling Indy 500 21:41

    Montoya wins thrilling Indy 500

    Juan Pablo Montoya has won the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 in a back-and-forth battle with several cars, beating…

    Indy
  26. 18:02

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday in Monaco

    F1
  27. Button says points a 'hugely positive step' 17:40

    Button says points a 'hugely positive step'

    Jenson Button says scoring points in the Monaco Grand Prix marks a "hugely positive step" for the renewed McLaren-Honda…

    F1
  28. Renault 'going in the right direction' 17:30

    Renault 'going in the right direction'

    Renault believes that it is heading "in the right direction" after the brand recorded its best result of the season at the…

    F1
  29. Verstappen given five-place grid penalty 16:47

    Verstappen given five-place grid penalty

    Max Verstappen has been given a five-place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix following his clash with Romain Grosjean in…

    F1
  30. 16:35

    Follow the 99th Indianapolis 500 live!

    Indy
  31. Vettel pleased to capitalise on Mercedes error 16:15

    Vettel pleased to capitalise on Mercedes error

    Sebastian Vettel expressed his satisfaction after capitalising on Mercedes' strategic error in the closing stages of the Monaco…

    F1
  32. Wolff apologises for Hamilton pit blunder 16:01

    Wolff apologises for Hamilton pit blunder

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has apologised to Lewis Hamilton for the pit blunder that cost him a near certain Monaco Grand Prix…

    F1
  33. Rosberg admits Monaco victory 'lucky' 15:38

    Rosberg admits Monaco victory 'lucky'

    Nico Rosberg has admitted that he was lucky to win the Monaco Grand Prix after the late drama involving team-mate Lewis…

    F1
  34. Video: Verstappen crashes out in Monaco 15:27

    Video: Verstappen crashes out in Monaco

    Max Verstappen dramatically crashed out of the Monaco Grand Prix after a collision with Romain Grosjean.

    F1
  35. 15:15

    In full: Monaco Grand Prix race result

    F1
  36. Rosberg wins in Monaco amid late drama 15:01

    Rosberg wins in Monaco amid late drama

    Nico Rosberg claimed a third successive Monaco Grand Prix victory after Mercedes controversially opted to pit team-mate and…

    F1
  37. 12:42

    Follow the Monaco Grand Prix live!

    F1
  38. 11:31

    Revised starting grid for the Monaco GP

    F1
  39. Video: Van Buuren, Bonifacio in huge crash 11:20

    Video: Van Buuren, Bonifacio in huge crash

    Meindert van Buuren and Bruno Bonifacio clash spectacularly during the FR3.5 race in Monaco.

    FR 3.5
  40. Jaafar takes maiden win in messy race 11:02

    Jaafar takes maiden win in messy race

    Jazeman Jaafar followed up his first pole in Formula Renault 3.5 with victory around the streets of Monaco on Sunday…

    FR 3.5
  41. Brundle positive over Pirelli's 18-inch tyre 08:47

    Brundle positive over Pirelli's 18-inch tyre

    Ex-Formula 1 driver turned television commentator Martin Brundle praised Pirelli's efforts after trialling the company's 18-inch…

    F1
  42. Video of the Day: Rosberg's Monaco tour 05:12

    Video of the Day: Rosberg's Monaco tour

    Nico Rosberg and David Coulthard go on a trip around Monaco ahead of the Grand Prix.

    F1
  43. Saturday 23 May 2015

  44. Di Grassi disqualified, d'Ambrosio gets win 20:34

    Di Grassi disqualified, d'Ambrosio gets win

    Lucas di Grassi has been stripped of his Berlin ePrix victory over technical breaches, promoting Jérôme d'Ambrosio to a maiden…

    FE
more news