Red Bull have released the first in a series of four videos which gives an insight into how the reigning world champions go about making a Formula 1 car.
The first episode focuses on the design and R&D stage – which takes approximately five months – and features interviews from team principal Christian Horner and technical partnership manager Alan Peasland as well as giving a glimpse inside the key areas of the team’s factory in Milton Keynes.
Red Bull, who have won both the drivers’ and constructors’ titles for the last three years, say that over 300 designers, aerodynamicists and machinists worked on creating the current challenger – the RB9 – with the team doing around 30,000 design changes on the car during the course of the season.
Horner said: “The development process of a Formula 1 car starts at the conceptual stage, sometimes on [chief technical officer] Adrian Newey’s design board, sometimes by other designers within the aero group as aerodynamics is predominant performance factor on car.
“Concepts will be created and will either run within CFD or within the wind tunnel. From there, the results will be analysed and decided on whether they are to make it through to the full scale production of the car.”
Newey is one of the few designers who still draws by hand, but most of the car is designed on CAD in 3D by members of the design, research and development team.
Peasland said: “We usually start the development for next year’s car around August or September time, so it’s pretty much a five-month window. For 2014, that’s a bit different as there are quite big rules changes so we started work a little bit earlier.
The team say 1000 parts are put through the wind tunnel each week while over 400 lines of telemetry are measured during a wind tunnel test. The car which is used in wind tunnel is a 60% scale version of the real F1 car.
Peasland said: “From the first race to last in a season, we did getting onto 30,000 design changes on the car, so on average that’s about a 1000 design changes per week going through the design office. The development race never stops.
Horner added: “We have an awful lot of rigs that we will simulate race situations and sometimes triple or quadruple the mileage a component would see through a test cycle – so the sign-off of a safety critical component is very vigilant. And from a reliability point of view, it’s extremely important to test as many components as we can before signing them off to go on a race car.