Editor's Choice

Next-generation hybrid power unit for Formula 1

January 2024 Editor's Choice IT in Manufacturing

Red Bull Ford Powertrains has leveraged the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio of industry software from Siemens Digital Industries Software to develop the next-generation hybrid ICE/electric driven power unit for the 2026 Formula 1 racing season.

For the 2026 season, Red Bull Ford Powertrains will build power units for both the Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Alpha Tauri F1 Teams, and will be one of only six manufacturers supplying power units for the F1 series. From the announcement of its intent in 2021, Red Bull Ford Powertrains has set an ambitious goal of developing 2026-specification sustainable high-speed power units from the ground up, while meeting new specifications from F1. Like any startup, Red Bull Ford Powertrains is breaking new ground with every component design, especially given the lack of historical data in the extremely secretive world of powertrain development.

Ben Hodgkinson, technical director at Red Bull Powertrains said: “Siemens Xcelerator is the digital backbone of our design and manufacturing journey, enabling us to engineer hundreds of rapid design evolutions concurrently across a large newly-formed team. This ensures that all designers have visibility and knowledge of what their colleagues are working on.

“It is especially challenging as we don’t have the luxury of historical data. Every component, down to the nuts and bolts of the engine, has to be modelled from scratch. This means the design quality and ease of use from Siemens NX, combined with the collaboration and lifecycle management usingTeamcenter, is a critical factor for success.”

In addition to Siemens NX software for product engineering and Teamcenter software for product lifecycle management, the Red Bull Ford Powertrains team leverages the simulation and test capabilities of Siemens Simcenter STAR-CCM+ software to assist with design and validation across the project.

“The motorsport industry is aggressively pursuing a cleaner, more sustainable future that requires radical reinvention of how teams and suppliers approach all aspects of their development activities. By leveraging the benefits of digital transformation, delivered through the use of Siemens Xcelerator, we are able to help motorsport partners in the field with their discovery, invention and delivery of new cleaner solutions on the track, where rubber meets the road, in timescales previously thought unattainable,” said Robert Jones, executive vice president of Global Sales And Customer Success for Siemens Digital Industries Software. “We are delighted to play a part in the success of the Red Bull Ford Powertrains team in achieving its goal to bring greater sustainability to motorsport, and to meet the requirements for carbon-free performance, greater use of electric power and energy recovery for the 2026 racing season.”

For more information contact Siemens South Africa, jennifer.naidoo@siemens.com, www.siemens.co.za


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