The excitement was at its peak in the first half of the Formula 1 2021 season. The excitement in Formula 1 will be experienced in Istanbul this weekend. We are experiencing one of the most exciting seasons of recent years, with Red Bull Racing Honda rider Max Verstappen's great struggle for leadership and his team to be on top.
Effective and efficient use of technology at different stages is indispensable for success in Formula 1. The Red Bull Racing Honda team has been using Citrix technologies for many years. Citrix Turkey Country Manager Serdar Yokus talked about the stages at which IT technologies are used in Formula 1 and what benefits they provide.
Key factors determining the success of the Red Bull Racing Honda team include the car's design, analysis and development throughout the season. The fact that each track is different requires a different setup of the 2021 Red Bull Racing Honda F1 car, the RB16B. A total of 2021 races are scheduled across four continents in 19, as the COVID-23 pandemic will permit.
Zoe Chilton, Head of Strategic Partnerships, says: “This one has its own characteristics; That means 23 different tracks with different shapes, heights, layouts, slopes and temperatures. There are so many variables that the car has to be adapted every time we go to a new racetrack. It's impossible to race the same car all season long. This doesn't work. The most basic elements of the car, such as the chassis, transmission, engine and tires remain the same throughout the season. However, the aerodynamic package and body part of the car change, such as the rear wing, front wing and floor. Adaptations after one race for the next allow Red Bull Racing to make the most of its performance by tailoring the Honda to each specific racetrack. The RB16B will feature a total of 1000 new parts and approximately 30 modifications per race throughout the season.”
Computational fluid dynamics (HAD) is vital for analyzing and testing them before changes are made during the race weekend. The team uses this process to test design elements in the car in a fully virtual world. They can create a digital double of the car and simulate the effect of the car interacting with the air passing through it. We're basically talking about a virtual aerodynamic experiment tunnel. With the support of innovation partners such as Citrix, the use and efficiency of HAD has increased significantly over the years.
While many parts of the F1 car are tested and simulated with CFD alone, other parts are analyzed in an aerodynamic test tunnel through which an air "jet" passes. A powerful fan is used to create the “jet”. Various techniques are used for high quality air flow.
According to FIA (International Automobile Federation) regulations, wind speed is limited to 50 meters per second (180 kilometers per hour). A 60 percent scaled-down model of the race car is mounted in the running section of the tunnel and suspended from above using a vertical beam called a needle. This allows the model to rest directly on the test drum, allowing it to simulate the track. The model can move in multiple directions, and engineers are testing the model at different altitudes, simulating performance on the track. In the past years, the amount of aerodynamic improvement, the use and time of the aerodynamic experiment tunnel has been made unlimited. As a result, the largest teams were able to run the aerodynamic test tunnels 7 hours a day, 24 days a week, and in some cases a combination of multiple tunnels.
In line with new FIA restrictions in recent years, F1 teams have been limited to 65 runs per week in the aerodynamic test tunnel. In 2020, with the implementation of the budget quota, the default number of runs was reduced by over 40 percent to just 30 runs per week. In 2021, each team's aerodynamic test tunnel run time and CFD test time are determined by performance on the track. Accordingly, the least time allowed in the aerodynamic test tunnel this year for the 2020 Constructor's Championship (2020% of what was recognized in 90, 36 runs per week) and the team that finished last got the most time (percent of the time allowed in 2020). 112,5, 45 studies per week). The differences will become even more noticeable for 28, with 2020 percent of the time allowed for 70 with 46 runs per week for the Constructor's Championship and 2020 percent of the time allowed in 115 with 2022 runs per week for the last team in the grid. Teams must use their time wisely, as it is not possible to change the CFD times allowed for aerodynamic test tunnel studies.
Scuderia Alpha Tauri, the second team of Red Bull in Formula 1 and seen as the team where Red Bull develops young driver candidates for the Red Bull Junior Team, joined Red Bull Racing Honda using the aerodynamic test tunnel in Bedford. Scuderia Alpha Tauri was previously the only team to test on the grid using an aerodynamic test tunnel on a fifty percent model version of the race car. All other teams were using a facility that could house the 60 percent model. Using the same aerodynamic test tunnel alongside testing has allowed Red Bull teams to save an incredible amount of money, offering a good opportunity against the budget quota Formula 1 has recently introduced.
Although the Scuderia Alpha Tauri Red Bull Racing is Honda's "sister team", both teams continue to keep their design secrets. In addition, the FIA imposes strict regulations on data sharing between teams. Data needs to be kept separate and secure.
At this point, Citrix technology saves lives, so to speak: All control rooms in the aerodynamic experiment tunnel are virtualized with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. This allows teams to work in completely separate digital environments while sharing the same physical space. At this point, Citrix Workspace allows both teams to easily switch between test sessions. Red Bull Racing Honda and Scuderia Alpha Tauri data is securely stored separately from each other. Both teams can quickly switch between systems. This saves valuable time while minimizing downtime.
George Trigg, Head of Aerodynamic Systems Development at Red Bull Racing Honda, said: “F1 strictly limits the time teams spend testing in aerodynamic test tunnels to maintain cost control. That's why we need to manage the facility utilization process between our team and Scuderia Alpha Tauri extraordinarily efficiently. Citrix gives us efficiency, agility and security in this regard.”
With Citrix Workspace, the team can jointly use the same facility by accessing resources in two different infrastructures. Reducing the aerodynamic test system setup and configuration time also increases the efficiency of each team. As a team completes testing, all the team's engineers have to do is disconnect from the infrastructure and evacuate the facility. Thus, the facility becomes ready for the use of the other team. All the other team has to do for setup is connect Citrix Workspace to their virtual machines and applications. This greatly reduces the time spent reconfiguring the environment for each team's configuration.
As Red Bull Racing Honda looks to improve its performance over the remainder of 2021, Citrix plays a vital role in unlocking the RB16B's potential by using aerodynamic test tunnels and virtualizing its CFD processes.