Simon Rennie is currently working as Group Leader of Simulation Engineering at Red Bull Racing, but in the past, he has also earned his stripes as a race engineer for the Austrian racing team. Speaking to his employer's website, Rennie explains how tough the job as a principal engineer is.
Rennie has been with Red Bull for a long time. The 41-year-old Briton has worked with Mark Webber, Daniel Ricciardo and also Alexander Albon. What is it like working with multiple drivers who all have their own way of communicating?
""Two drivers might be feeling the same thing in the car - but they’ll talk about it in a different way, or use completely different language. It takes time to understand what they’re saying, translate that into engineering terminology we can all understand and work with – because it’s very possible initially they’ll be describing the driving experience using descriptive words only they understand" he explains.
Importance of good collaboration in F1
Everything comes down to the smallest of details, and when you look at Max Verstappen and Gianpiero Lambiase or Lewis Hamilton and Peter Bonnington, it's clear once again that the bond between drivers and race engineers is hugely important in Formula 1 if good results are to be achieved. Rennie: "comprehending what they’re really saying is half the battle. The other half is understanding what they need from the balance of the car to make them go as fast as possible."
What is striking in 2021 is that drivers who are new to a team know quite a bit of trouble getting up to speed right away. Fernando Alonso (Alpine), Daniel Ricciardo(McLaren), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) and Sergio Perez (Red Bull) are examples who still have to get very used to the new car and working with their new race engineer to achieve the right set-up.