Exclusive: Behind the scenes with Infiniti Red Bull Racing


Exclusive: Behind the scenes with Red Bull Racing

AOL Cars has been given exclusive behind the scenes access to the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team for the duration of the British Grand Prix.

As I type I've just vacated my perch at the back of the pit garage where I watched Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel suit up and get ready to roll out on to the Silverstone black top. Some 60 minutes later the pair had managed to secure themselves places on the second row of the grid.
the talented twosome were out doing their job, I was fortunate enough to be listening in to their team radio in the purple plastered pit garage. It was strangely calm experience as the 45 mechanics went about their roles swiftly and efficiently.

After the excitement of the qualifying session had subsided, an Infiniti Red Bull Racing spokesman showed me around the garage. Out the back is a structure suspended between two trucks, dubbed the "Tree House". It's in here that the engineers reside, analysing data sent back in real time from the cars.

Exclusive: Behind the scenes with Red Bull Racing

There's also an uplink to Infiniti RBR headquarters just up the road in Milton Keynes where even more engineers monitor more banks of computers, reading codes and graphs spat out of the multi-million pound machines pounding around the circuit.

Sheltered under a canopy between the two Tree House trucks are the team's ration of tyres, being slow cooked by heaters to between 90 and 100 degrees Celsius. Two Pirelli tyre engineers were busy working away here, seconded to Infiniti RBR by the rubber manufacturer.

Just up the pit lane is the Red Bull "Energy Station" - the team's hospitality unit for uber VIPs (not me), the drivers and the team. That super structure is transported around Europe on 15 articulated lorries and takes two days to construct.

As we return to the pit garage the cars are just about to reappear from parc ferme where they've been residing for the last hour or so. Back in the garage the team checks over the cars under the watchful eye of an FIA scrutineer and CCTV cameras.

Behind the scenes with Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Behind the scenes with Infiniti Red Bull Racing

"We're only allowed to take parts off and check things, but all parts have to be put back on as the cars are still in parc ferme," said our Infiniti Red Bull Racing host.

"Once the cars are here in this condition we dare not change anything. The penalties are too severe - no one wants to start at the back of the grid!"

While all this is going on in the pits, directly above hundreds of invited guests are enjoying the team's hospitality. Former JLS boy band member Marvin Humes is busy on the decks pumping out music as the lucky invitees drink Red Bull (what else?) and eat Haribo sweets from shot glasses.

Exclusive: Behind the scenes with Red Bull Racing

As I'm walking around the pits I get the chance to watch the Sky F1 team do their live broadcast whilst standing next to Damon Hill, who is loitering in the background. Minutes later Suzi Perry arrives with Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard. They interview Infiniti RBR team principal Christian Horner right next to me as I try to wedge myself into shot (hello mum!).

Then, while walking back upstairs, Fernando Alonso brushes past me on his way to a public appearance in the Ferrari area and seconds later F1 overlord himself Bernie Ecclestone wanders by. It's a surreal experience, especially for an F1 fan as big as I am.

Tomorrow I'll again be behind the scenes with the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team and have the opportunity to speak to Horner himself. Stay tuned to AOL Cars tomorrow for more.

Exclusive interview with Infiniti Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner