Aston Martin Red Bull Racing perform a Zero-G pit stop
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing needed a new challenge after three record-breaking pit stops this season – and they found it at an altitude of nearly 33,000 feet on board an Ilyushin Il-76 MDK cosmonaut training plane.
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.
Over the course of a week, 16 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 near weightlessness of around 22 seconds before the next climb. The F1 car and equipment had to be carefully secured before and after each weightless period – because no one wants gravity returning when a 400-kg car, the tyres or the pit crew are a metre or so off the deck.
Each filming take was around 15 seconds and provided the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team has ever undertaken.
The Zero-G Pitstop film and the full breakdown of how the video was made, including exclusive behind-the-scenes footage is available here.