Formula E has provided the concrete barriers used for its race in Berlin earlier this year to aid safety efforts in the German capital following the terrorist attack earlier this week.
Twelve people were killed and almost 50 others were injured when a truck was driven into a Christmas market on Monday in Berlin. The suspect, Anis Amri, was killed in a shootout in Milan, Italy, on Friday.
In a bid to bolster safety measures in Berlin, Formula E announced that it had supplied local officials with the barriers that helped to form its track in the east of the city in May.
“We are directly in touch with the police department to assist with the organization and handling of the barriers to various areas around Berlin,” Berlin ePrix organizer Ulrich Weingartner said.
“Formula E is working with us to provide the concrete barriers from storage free of charge to help protect the Christmas markets.
“We are not sure whether these barriers will also be used for the New Year’s Eve celebrations at Brandenburg Gate, but we are ready to provide materials if necessary.”
The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.
With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.
Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.
With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.
“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!
“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.”
Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.
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