Red Bull may have set a new record for the fastest pit stop in Formula 1 history during the Brazilian Grand Prix, but the team has broken yet more ground with a pit stop at zero gravity.

“Drawing on the help of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, the Team took the 2005 RB1 car to the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City and set about proving that the sky really is the only limit,” a release from Red Bull reads.

“Over the course of a week, pit crew members took a crash course in cosmonaut training in preparation for multiple Zero-G flights in the plane’s fuselage along with the F1 car and a 10-strong film crew. Each flight consisted of a series of parabolas, with the aircraft climbing at a 45° angle, then falling in a ballistic arc, to produce a period of weightlessness of around 22 seconds before the next climb.

“Even with optimum conditions, filming the pit stop was a difficult proposition. Car and equipment had to be carefully secured before and after each weightless period (because no one wants gravity returning when the car, the tyres or the pit crew is a metre off the deck), reducing each filming session to a take around 15 seconds.”

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Support Team Chief Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realise how much you rely on gravity, when you don’t have any! Something as straightforward as tightening a wheelnut becomes very difficult when the car is floating, and the only control you have is through the stiffness of your ankles, tucked into floor straps.

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo Team has ever done with a show car.”



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