Nov 10, 2010

Software from ANSYS Revs up Performance at Red Bull Racing

With Physical Testing Limited, Engineering Simulation Helps Give an Edge to Formula One Leader.

PITTSBURGH - Red Bull Racing Formula One in Europe has won this year's 2010 Formula One Constructors' Championship — assisted by race car improvements engineered using simulation software from ANSYS (NASDAQ: ANSS).

One of two Formula One Championships decided each year, the Constructors' Championship rewards the racing team that has achieved the best overall results during the season. With large amounts of prize money at stake, Red Bull Racing uses ANSYS® technology to optimize design enhancements to its vehicles and give the team a competitive edge.

Engineering simulation has become more important to Red Bull since testing restrictions were introduced ahead of the 2009 season. "The time we can devote to physical testing is extremely limited," noted Steve Nevey, business development manager at Red Bull Racing. "Under these restrictions, we have turned to software from ANSYS to virtually optimize the aerodynamics of our cars, which has emerged as a key factor in winning championships. We can quickly put new designs on the track because the predictions that ANSYS gives us are so accurate."

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software from ANSYS enables Red Bull to simulate air flows around, in and through its car designs under a range of conditions, including transient simulations where changing conditions are modeled over time. The team has applied the technology to optimize other components, including braking, cooling and exhaust systems.

Red Bull has been using engineering simulation software since its inception to overcome the continuous design challenges of Formula One racing. "In the past, we introduced a design in March and maybe made two or three updates throughout the season," said Nevey. "Today, the F1 circuit is so competitive that we're iterating new ideas all the time to suit different track configurations and driving conditions. If we stopped updating the car, we'd very quickly find our competitors passing us."

"Red Bull Racing is a great example of a long-time customer that has worked with ANSYS in a truly collaborative way," said Wim Slagter, corporate product manager for fluid dynamics at ANSYS. "Over the years, the team has relied on our simulation software to respond to increasingly more complex design challenges — and their continuing need to push the design envelope has inspired new capabilities that ensure accurate results, reduce time to market and benefit the bottom line for every ANSYS customer. Red Bull Racing is really at the forefront of engineering simulation — and continues to prove the significant value that simulation can contribute to fast, reliable, cost-effective product innovation."