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Blog: Inside Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Time 12:02 pm, June 30, 2013

HONZ4198CAR Dealer was lucky enough to go behind the scenes of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team this weekend – and the job of reporting on it fell to me.

The experience started with a tour of the Milton Keynes-based factory, where I watched components for the cars being prepared.

The Buckinghamshire-based team remain in the original Jackie Stewart Racing building (before Red Bull, the team was Jaguar Racing and before that Stewart Grand Prix), and it’s behind those factory walls where the design and manufacturing process of the Infiniti Red Bull cars is pulled together.

Upon entering the main factory building, I was instantly greeted by the largest trophy cabinet I’ve ever seen, which stretched from the floor directly up to the ceiling.

More than 500 employees work at the Infiniti Red Bull headquarters in different departments. Interestingly, on a grand prix race weekend, only 45 members of the team will actually attend the race. However, what I found very intriguing is, to expand the team further, another 20 people work from a small intimate control room based at the factory.

This room, which looks very similar to a mission control centre, has a live link which feeds data streamed from the car directly back to the team. This allows them to monitor the car from any race anywhere in the world.

Throughout the entire weekend, all team members including Adrian Newey and Christian Horner have a live video conference with the data analysis gurus back at the factory. Due to the information being streamed to them directly from the car while it’s on the track, they are able to analyse and monitor exactly what that car is doing in race conditions, and feedback their knowledge to the race engineers.


As well as analysing the performance and progress of their own cars, the analysts can also monitor what their competitors are doing, and if a car has contact with one of their drivers, they can look into the situation themselves and decide whether or not that driver should be given a penalty. It’s no surprise that a team would rather their competitors were given a penalty there and then, rather than wait until the next race.

The dedication and vast amount of work which goes into the development of these cars, is beyond imagination. From scale models, to the fully fledged build, the manufacturing process of each individual component on an F1 car is a delicate procedure.

Infiniti produce 60 per cent scale models at the factory and resemble each and every aspect of an F1 car, including the current RB9 or the future RB10. These models are then shipped to Bedford where they undertake intensive examination in the wind-tunnel.

Parts, such as the front wing, along with vehicle setup are continuously altered throughout the season, in order to suit each circuit and the driver’s needs. One thing in particular that stands out is the contrast between the original manual methods of manufacturing coupled with new machinery. It’s a satisfying feeling to know that there are still a number of engineers working on the development of these cars, with their bare hands.

The paddock and Infiniti Red Bull garage

British Grand Prix - Friday

When I arrived Silverstone, I headed straight into the paddock Wing. Within five minutes, I had already casually walked past the likes of Sir Jackie Stewart, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. It was quite surreal to glance over and exchange a quick head-nod with a world champion – especially since I’ve admired these drivers throughout my childhood years.

The Infiniti Red Bull lounge was just as impressive. Endless dishes of fine food were being served as the DJs from each team lounge competed for the best bass rhythm. The glasses of Haribo sweets went down a treat too, I don’t think one person in room turned those down.

I spent the majority of my time out on the balcony overlooking the pit-straight where I not only had a superb view of practice but could enjoy as the unique squeal of the engines right on the rev-limiter pierced my ears when they flew across the start/finish line.

Pit StraightThe highlight of the entire experience had to be the garage tour and quick peek into the ‘Tree House’ behind the garages. It’s in this building, which makes its way around the world with the team that engineers gather to analyse data, interviews are carried out and the team its guests celebrate success.

I was fortunate enough to stand in the very middle of the Infiniti Red Bull garage and pop on a pair of headphones. These headsets allowed me to exclusively listen to as Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel discussed the car setup and track and weather conditions with the race engineers and Christian Horner.

All of a sudden the two cars returned from their practice session and were immediately pushed back into the garage. Vettel and Webber remained in their cars as quick changes were made to the car and were then prepared for another round of practice.

That small insight I had into the team procedures, the opportunity to listen in on the information they discussed and to watch the work race engineers carried out within a matter of minutes, was simply astonishing – but come on, they are champions!

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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