Alonso applauds technology that will ‘boost chances’ of F1 victory
Renault F1 massively expanded its UK headquarters at Enstone, Oxfordshire and boosted capability for its aerodynamics experts to improve the team’s performance in next year’s Championship. The development includes an auditorium which, in addition to corporate events, is used by the aerodynamicists to view virtual models of cars in 3D, a capability that allows them to study the streamlined properties of different shaped vehicles.
The exhibition space, dominated by a Barco NX-4 wall is accessed via an underground walkway that incorporates flushmount Bose FreeSpace 3 speakers set in the walls and ceiling. Bose, an official partner of the Renault F1 team, has also equipped the exhibition area and auditorium with audio, creating full 5.1 surround sound in the auditorium.
To the left of the exhibition space, up to 25 engineers work on improving the aerodynamic properties of the team’s cars. However, this is not a conventional study of aerodynamics using, as most teams do, a wind tunnel. The engineers at Enstone are using a super computer to create virtual 3D models and carry out complex calculations.
Engineers will often utilise the adjacent 60-seat auditorium to study the 3D models on a large screen using 3D projection created by Barco NH-12 projectors. Ashley Raines, of Barco Presentations, also a Renault partner, says the projected model allows the engineers greater room for discussion and the ability to “almost get inside” the image.
The auditorium boasts three NH-12 projectors and a Bose speaker system. John Mardle, operations director of Renault F1, wanted dramatic sound that created the “chest-pulsing feeling” a growling starting grid evokes. Bose responded with a system that incorporated Acoustic Wave Cannons, Panaray 502A speakers, Bose 203 speakers, DS100F surround sound speakers and MB4 bass speakers. A Bose audio management system integrates with an overarching Crestron management system.
A custom built lectern incorporates Crestron touch panel and Sennheiser microphones. Scaling and switching is handled by Kramer.
Full installation and programming services for the solution were carried out by TMC, lead by project manager Martin Tarpy. The build quality in the auditorium was of an excellent standard - a testament to the firm's quality of work.
“Now we have the new centre hopefully we can do even better next year,” Fernando Alonso, driver for Renault, concluded.