The intricacies of designing and building an F1 car are normally kept firmly under wraps, but as we approach the 13th grand prix of the 2013 season Infiniti Red Bull Racing have decided to share a four-part mini-series on how they approach the task.
Now we’re not expecting any classified Adrian Newey secrets, but there should be some fascinating insights for the F1 enthusiast to ponder.
Episode One focuses on “Design and R&D,” which reveals that the team carries out 30,000 design changes to the car during a season, with an average of around 1,000 design changes per week. This year’s RB9 was designed and built at the team’s Milton Keynes HQ with the input of 300 aerodynamicists, designers and machinists.
Their goal is to win the F1 world championship, which they’ve succeeded in doing three years in a row (2010, 2011 & 2012) and currently sit at the top of the 2013 constructor standings with 352 points (104 points ahead of second place Ferrari).
54-year old Newey is the most successful designer ‘ever’ in F1, having won the constructors’ championship nine times and with three different teams. He’s also one of the last designers who still draws an F1 car entirely by hand, although the rest of the design and development team use state-of-the-art 3D CAD systems for individual components and when testing changes using CFD (Computational fluid dynamics) tools.
The design process normally begins in August/September – 5 months before the beginning of a season, but given the extensive rule changes for 2014 the team started next year’s car earlier this Summer.
Over the next month, the remaining three episodes will be released one each week, so if you’d like to follow the story, tune into the Infiniti Red Bull Racing channel on YouTube.