The European Formula One season heralds the return of the F1 paddock in its full glory, with transporters, treehouses and motorhomes. After 14 seasons of sterling work, our home from home has been replaced and the new Red Bull F1 Energy Station looks rather different. We’re nicknaming it the F1 Holzhaus (or Wood House).
The original Red Bull Holzhaus is a MotoGP motorhome that debuted last year. It made a one-off F1 appearance at the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix in the middle of our first-ever triple header, bookended by the Energy Station at Paul Ricard and Silverstone. This year, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso get a Holzhaus to call their own. It will be bigger than the original – but still made of sustainably sourced Austrian timber.
Like every home, the Energy Station underwent many changes during its 14 years: enlarged to accommodate a bigger family, then the introduction of a balcony as well as several interior refits. Given the success of the Holzhaus last year, the decision was taken to forego another refit and build a new home suitable for the Teams’ needs.
The new Energy Station will be unveiled at this week’s Spanish Grand Prix, and it can be erected in less than two days and taken down in one. It’s built from sustainably sourced Austrian timber (mostly larch and spruce), and uses a natural convection design intended to do away with the need for air conditioning.
It will be something of a behemoth and, at 1221m2, it offers 27 percent more floor space than the old Energy Station. Despite this, it can be assembled by a crew of 25, with a 32-hour build, and an even faster pack down.
Before moving into his new office, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Christian Horner, commented “At the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix, Red Bull changed the game with the introduction of its Energy Station. Over the last 14 seasons, the Energy Station has undergone several transformations, moving with the times, first to accommodate two F1 teams after the arrival of Toro Rosso, and then with a series of upgrades to better meet our changing requirements.
“This week, we’re changing the game again with the unveiling of the new Energy Station, better known in Austria as the Holzhaus. It’s a sustainable structure that brings a touch of the Styrian Alps to the F1 paddock, having been designed to meet the current and future needs of ourselves and Toro Rosso. If it sees half as much drama as the old Energy Station, it will be doing well!”
While simplicity lies at the heart of our new Energy Station’s function, it’s certainly a very complex structure. So, just to keep things interesting, after the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the crew will be taking it down in a hurry, transporting it to Imperia on the Italian Riviera, and rebuilding it there on a barge, to be towed to Monte Carlo.