FLIR thermal cameras infrared technology giving Red Bull Infiniti team the edge
When it comes to Formula 1, most people think that winning comes down to having the fastest car and the best driver.
Whilst these are obviously a big part in any victory, there is much more that goes into winning races and championships.
Behind the amazing Red Bull RB10 exterior and the millionaire drivers are all the tiny things that make their winning performances possible – every nut and bolt, every piece of the RB10, undergoes test after test to make sure it is safe and performing at the maximum.
Now FLIR Systems are joining with Red Bull to provide a new insight.
Finding the Edge
Because every F1 team employs the best drivers, designers and mechanics in the world, the margins for victory grow slimmer every year.
This means that teams are always looking for that new edge. That something that will give them the insight and advantage over their rivals – something that will get them to that chequered flag first.
FLIR, using their FLIR x6580sc thermal cameras, are helping the Red Bull Infiniti team gain that edge.
The FLIR x6580sc is a miniature thermal camera, making it the perfect model to look beyond the surface of the RB10 and see what is really happening – both outside and in.
“The team which is most efficient in gathering the relevant data, learning effectively and adapting accordingly will be the one which triumphs…The insights which FLIR technology can give us will be critical to our understanding of the new car and could give us a key edge over our rivals.”
Christian Horner – Team Principal of Infiniti Red Bull Racing
Feeling the Heat
With F1 races conducted at such breakneck speeds, it would be reasonable to assume that the biggest threat to cars and drivers is spinning out in corners or collisions. Whilst these are always big concerns, one of the major enemies of winning an F1 race is heat.
An average, every day car can build up a good deal of heat just from a strenuous Sunday drive. An F1 car, performing lap after lap at tremendous speeds builds up an enormous amount of heat.
This means hot tires that wear down, interior components which can overheat and a host of other implications.
For F1 pit crews, there is an ever-ongoing war to marshal this heat and make sure it does not derail their race. This is where the FLIR x6580sc comes in.
At a test day in August, the FLIR x6580sc captured some amazing thermographic video, clearly showing the benefits and information there waiting for discovery.
In real time, the x6580sc picked up great images of the heat emanating from the back tyres and vents of the test RB8 model in use. The camera clearly showed the immense heat building up in the rear tyres, both during and after the race. It also clearly revealed the escape of heat from the engine, with both showing up as bright orange areas.
The x6580sc, alongside the FLIR T6580sc and FLIR B660 – which were also in use on the day, also showed lesser, more subtle areas of heat, showing the light pink of moderate heat building up in the front tires and the latent heat left on the track from the RB8.
The FLIR x6580sc, with its immense sensitivity and amazing technology offer the Infiniti Red Bull team a view of their car that they have never had before. The FLIR x6580sc reveals the world behind the engine and the driver, beyond what lies on the surface.
Ultimately, FLIR and Red Bull can use the thermal technology of the x6580sc to monitor heat levels and rises over the course of an entire race.
This will enable the Red Bull team to see what they need to improve and when they need to act. Going beyond simple eye-tests of worn tyres, engineers could consult their thermal readings to determine if tyres need changing out or not.
The FLIR x6580sc will also help the team monitor their engine heat level, helping their existing diagnostic and monitoring tools to make their cars safer for drivers.
When victory depends on the tiniest sliver of an advantage, FLIR technology gives Red Bull an ace in the hole.