Marko: Our software guys now slave around the clock on 18 hour shifts

Red Bull Racing F1 Season 2010

According to Red Bull’s  Motorsport Consultant, Helmut Marko, the world champion team is “slaving around the clock” to solve its problems ahead of next weekend’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Marko revealed to Bild that Red Bull and Renault are working hard together in the remaining days until Melbourne, “We have so much to do, especially the guys responsible for the software who will now slave around the clock on 18 hour shifts. But whoever can win together, can also work hard together.”

Marko said that the team’s normal development processes are also working well ahead of the new season.

“Our measurements have shown that the new parts we were bringing work as desired, making the car better,” he is quoted by Auto Bild.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Practice

“The fact that it did not look good on the track was due to the engine software,” he revealed.

Mercedes is the clear early-season title favourite, but the German squad’s Toto Wolff is not writing off Red Bull.

“I am sure they will come back,” he is quoted by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “The only question is when.

“In our view, hopefully as late as possible,” Wolff is also quoted by APA news agency.

It is emerging that, amid the reigning world champions’ obvious problems with engine partner Renault and the new turbo V6 ‘power unit’, the actual basic design of the Adrian Newey-penned RB10 is solid.

Lewis Hamilton has called the RB10 “stunning”, and McLaren’s Jenson Button also thinks it is fast.


“I was with (Daniel) Ricciardo for several laps and he couldn’t pass me on the straights,” said the Briton at the end of pre-season testing in Bahrain.

“He passed me on the outside of turn 11, which is high speed – I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Button is quoted by Spain’s Marca sports newspaper.

Nevertheless there are those on the outside who are less convinced that Red Bull can recover quickly.

“I think a Mercedes will win the title,” ex Formula 1 driver Timo Glock told T-online.

Formula 1 Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone is not unhappy that his friend Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull are struggling, telling Bild newspaper that “the fans need a new winner to make the sport exciting again.”

He added: “Red Bull are not going to run away just because they don’t win everything again.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

Content on by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Getty Images, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.

  • RBC

    As others have said, maybe when the car doesn’t overheat the batteries etc then the car won’t be so fast aerodynamically. Maybe Merc teams will be able to refine their aero as they discover that the engine needs less cooling than they thought, making it faster.

  • JennyFerrary

    Marko I hope you work more than 30 minutes per day. And by work I don’t mean speaking to journalists and watching Colombo.

  • Hugo Lafreniere

    So he has HIS guys work 18 hours a day when the root of the problem is with Renault? makes sense.

  • karlich

    Actually, if you choose to believe any or all news reports, then you’d be interested to know that in one he is reported to have a 12 hour work day, often more, beginning at 7AM. Even if that were half true, not bad at all for a 70 year old.

  • karlich

    From what I’ve gathered so far, there is no single root problem. They are troubled by overall engine drive-ability, in particular issues related to turbo lag, ERS boost and the drive by wire system and from what they’ve said publicly so far, most problems seem to be in the software as all those systems are electronically controlled. Of course, some of these may have been the “greater” responsibility of Renault’s service agreement with their teams, but since Jerez, Red Bull Racing have extended their help to Viry to sort out issues. Why this hasn’t been done any sooner or in much closer collaboration than seems to have been the case, I don’t understand.

    Besides, 18 hour work days aren’t that uncommon for code monkeys. I am one myself and when deadlines approach or going gets tough ie. miscalculated schedules, delivery slips without adjustments to overall schedule, feature creep, patchwork code and other dirty practices to get stuff done and make managers smile… well 18 hours, all nighters or 36 hours in one go are the name of the game 😛

  • karlich

    I still believe the RB10 is a beautiful car and in many ways different to the rest of the field. The coke bottle neck is extremely narrow on the RB10 and there’s no huge engine bulb. There is, however, a more profound undercut in the bodywork towards the exhaust. They are the only team (I may be wrong here) running the monkey seat under the exhaust and one of the few to have a single “Y” stay for the wing (which by the way has interestingly shaped/sculpted inner side panels). Also noted by many, is the rather aggressive front rake angle (as usual) of the RB10 which suggests they’ve still got a really solid sealing effect toward the rear diffuser. If in doubt, just look at the pattern of the aero-paint streaks on some images – amazing down-wash and it’s clearly visible where Newey starts sealing the diffuser. Another interesting observation is around the RB10 T-tray – once again theories of “mass dampers” and “flexing” arise. One thing’s sure: it’s different. They’re also running the “Lotus style double bulge” in the nose and speaking of the nose, the wedge shape is elegant (dunno of that qualifies equally to “hence good”).

    Whatever issues they may still have to solve, as a continuation of the RB9 and previous highly successful RB’s, the RB10 is a handsome car with several refined, different or extreme solutions that have Newey’s signature all over it – doubtful the chassis itself is a dud, the complete package however may well be and if that’s the case for 2014, I think it is a great big shame for the RB10 design.

  • KevinW

    I believe the delay in getting to this point has to do with getting the data necessary to begin work. It appears Renault were very late getting their dyno information collected, and never actually completed an integrated test, due to being late in completing all the related parts development. This meant the first shot at programming was a rough guess on Renault’s part, and a bad one at that. Renault may also have found the software side was beyond their capability. Meanwhile, Red Bull have built one of the most comprehensive processing infrastructure in F1 – and is the only team live streaming active telemetry back to the factory in real time to date. At this juncture, Red Bull Technologies may have taken on the role of consultant/programmer developer for Renault Sport to pull together the test data available, new dyno work being done for correlation, and car level simulator runs in concert with the other Renault teams. Perhaps Red Bull Technologies has a greater capacity to accomplish this than Renault or any of the other Renault teams, so it has been put on them to solve the software issue, Red Bull the race team to fix their heating and packaging issues, Renault to work out the mechanical and PU component issues and packaging problems discovered, possibly Toro Rosso the rear brake by wire integration, while the other teams work through their own issues, all in unison. Is this late happening? Absolutely. Can Renault, Red Bull, Lotus, et al recover? Most certainly – since the consequences of Renault failing are huge. Red Bull and the others can move on to other PU sources, Renault has no option but to recover or die.

  • karlich

    Agreed! Though Red Bull Racing certainly aren’t the only team with live telemetry streaming back to the factory. Tata Communications provide the same infrastructure for Mercedes. I am assuming it’s not much different for other top teams if not all teams.

  • KevinW

    I had heard that while other teams are sending the data back, it is not actually real time, and not processed simultaneously, which is where Red Bull has excelled. But, I don’t know this as fact. Seems plausible that Mercedes could do it for sure.

  • Hugo Lafreniere

    Interesting input everyone.

  • RBC

    I know of one mid level team that has a “race room” at their factory where all the race data arrives life real time. I also know that Ferrari have been doing this for many many years.

  • Resultant Asteroid

    Yeah, sad to say that in SW Development, sleepless nights for developers to cover for bad management (by Project/Programme Managers) is the name of the game :-S
    On the plus side, would be interesting to do it for an F1 Team (especially if it’s a team you like), instead of typical business customers.