Where?Red Bull Racing, Bradbourne Drive, Tilbrook, Milton Keynes, MK7 8BJ
Their trophies tell their own story; four double Formula 1 World Championships, 5,000+ Championship points, 64+ Grand Prix victories and counting – and all in a compressed time frame, quicker than anyone else. As Red Bull Racing continue through an exciting 2021 season, we invite you to join us on a journey through the beating heart of their operation.
Formula 1 is a secretive world and they guard those secrets closely: very few people get to see what goes on behind the mirrored glass walls of the Red Bull Racing factory. You can be one of those few. In limited numbers, we’re offering a truly incredible opportunity to go behind the scenes and tour the factory, witnessing the evolution of a Formula 1 car as it travels from concept to final assembly.
The process operates like clockwork – it has to. The tour is designed to present the inner workings of the machine, taking in the various developmental stages, all the way to the point where thousands of components are brought together in our race bays to create the Red Bull Racing RB16B.
Where do cars go when the season finishes? Until recently the answer to that question was rather depressing: most of their retired models were embalmed in plastic and stacked on shelves. Today, however, Red Bull Racing do something rather more spectacular. MK-7 houses the RB1 through to the RB15, showcasing engineering evolution over the years but also the continuity of design that is threaded through their heritage. Looking at the cars side-by-side is a brilliant way to see how F1 design has evolved over their 17 years in the sport.
The cars on display aren’t mock-ups: they’re the genuine article with real grand prix provenance, presented in an appropriate livery and racing specification, and all with stories to tell. They chart the history of the team and give our guests a really close look at some all-time F1 classics.
The tour begins at the very end, with the finished product in MK-7, as you get up close and personal with their work, you’ll be provided with light refreshments and have the chance to meet your Red Bull Racing host for the day, and chat with the rest of your tour group.
Red Bulls factory is at the cutting edge of engineering, though Formula 1 has room for art as well as science. While computer simulation has an ever-increasing significance in the sport, they still rely on wind tunnel data to fine-tune our aerodynamic designs. The wind tunnel relies on 60 per cent scale models, lovingly produced in our model shop, and our model makers prepare everything from tiny component details up to full car replicas. These are, quite simply, the best model cars you will ever see – though don’t be offended if the staff hastily throw a sheet over anything that’s classified above top secret.
Power Unit aside, nearly everything on the RB16B is manufactured right here in their very own machine shops and composites facilities. These workshops operate around the clock, turning out an endless stream of new components, destined for the race bays or, in a real emergency, directly to an airport and onwards to the far- flung corner of the world where the race team is waiting for it. Everything from the smallest machined screw to a full carbon composite monocoque can be manufactured by our skilled team of machinists and fabricators.
They win races just as surely as precision overtaking or brilliant pitstop work – because the constant design cycle is worthless if the parts can’t be manufactured at the same pace.
In common with military vehicles and very much unlike anything parked outside a supermarket, an F1 car is designed to be repaired at high speed in a labour- intensive operation. In a job where the clock is always ticking, the car is constructed, where possible, from hundreds of sub-assemblies rather than thousands of component parts. Their sub-assembly workshop builds up items such as steering columns, suspension uprights and brake hubs, ready for installation in the factory’s race bays or in the garage by our trackside mechanics.
The final tour stop is the bit everyone looks forward to. Depending on the timing of your visit, the race bays may have Max and Sergio’s RB16B’s on the floor, either being stripped after the previous race or prepped for the next.
If the race team are otherwise engaged, there’s every chance of seeing a spare chassis in build – but even if the RB16B’s are out, the race bays never rest: there will be one or more of their Live Demo cars preparing for its next outing, or the race crew using our mock-up of the pitbox and a mule vehicle for pitstop practice.
At the end of the tour, you’ll receive a special memento of your day at Red Bull Racing – but we like to think you’ll also depart with a deeper understanding of the massive undertaking that is getting a car onto the starting grid of a Grand Prix… and getting it home again with a trophy.
11:00 with estimated finish time of 13:00 (Times may alter slightly if COVID regulations require us to run the tour in smaller groups. You will be notified in advance via email if the time changes)
You must be over the age of 12 to partake in this event.