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Red Bull Ford Powertrains, the future supplier of hybrid power units for Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri for the 2026 race season and beyond, is building its next-gen, 100-percent sustainable fuel engine with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). By running its most complex simulations on OCI, the Red Bull Ford Powertrains (RBFPT) engineering team is taking advantage of the latest cloud technologies to help overcome the challenge of building a sophisticated new business from the ground up.
OCI supplies massive processing power that allows RBFPT engineers to use digital simulations to evaluate concepts and refine designs before building a physical prototype. Using OCI, including bare metal compute and cluster networking, eliminated the expense and time required to implement a large scale on-premises high performance computing (HPC) solution. This approach allowed the engineering team to get started on designing and delivering the high-performance and sustainable engine quickly and to scale-up resources as needed.
“Our powertrains team is operating at an incredibly high speed to debut competitive power units that use 100-percent sustainable fuels by 2026. Oracle gives us the best infrastructure and the expertise to integrate it with our processes, so we can accelerate our powertrain development and meet the substantial challenge ahead,” said Christian Horner, Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal and CEO.
Levelling the Track for Red Bull Ford Powertrains
In 2021, Red Bull announced its intent to become a new independent Power Unit (PU) manufacturer for Formula One, and Red Bull Powertrains was born. Now evolved into two distinct businesses; Red Bull Powertrains which focuses on running the Honda-built PU spec for 2023-2025, and RBFPT, which has set an ambitious goal of developing 2026-specification PUs from the ground-up for the Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Alpha Tauri teams. The RBFPT team will be one of only six manufacturers supplying engines for the F1 series in 2026. To ensure it had the highest levels of performance, advanced data security, and could adjust the amount of processing power used almost instantly, RBFPT selected OCI to run the complicated calculations required to simulate the inner workings of a competitive race engine.
One of the biggest challenges facing the RBFPT team in creating its 2026 PU was that its design work started from scratch. Like most startups, RBFPT’s design began with a blank sheet of paper that lacked the benefit of historical product data. Because the team is competing against established PU manufacturers, RBFPT needed to maximize every technical advantage possible as it began the design process. The newly formed team at RBFPT have been solely reliant on digital simulations to find the optimal shapes and configurations for their initial PU designs. Powerful and highly flexible infrastructure from OCI not only gave them the platform to achieve this, but also expanded to meet the needs of the growing team as it on-boarded a large number of engineers in just a few months.
Running Faster Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations with OCI
Standard high performance OCI shapes are perfectly suited for demanding tasks like simulations needed to optimize the power unit for maximum output while meeting F1’s exacting requirements. OCI’s high performance shapes are capable of networking multiple servers together for demanding HPC workloads like Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), which the team uses to model new engine combustion chambers rapidly and efficiently.
To support the engineering of its internal combustion engine, RBFPT runs a range of highly specialized, mission-critical simulation tools including Convergent Science’s CONVERGE CFD software and Siemens Digital Industry Software Star CCM (CFD) platform on OCI. With its array of highly specialized tools, RBFPT can quickly predict the performance of various engine designs and set up new simulations to help its engineering team more rapidly evaluate and refine options.
“Cloud technology has had a monumental impact on the Red Bull team’s journey, from the fan experience to the engine design and beyond. OCI has given Red Bull Ford Powertrains massive compute capacity to run and increase the scale of its workloads to deliver its next-generation hybrid engine by 2026,” said Karan Batta, vice president, Product, OCI. “Oracle Red Bull Racing’s continued success on and off the track is a testament to the versatility and performance of our cloud solutions.”
On the racetrack, Oracle continues to power the team’s billions of race simulations that help improve race strategy and sharpen driver decision making. In addition, Oracle Red Bull Racing uses OCI to benefit its Sim Racing team and is using Oracle Fusion Cloud CX to power new fan engagement opportunities through 2023.