Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • LEO PARENTE: That was a Red Bull RB7 2011

  • championship-winning Formula One car challenging the

  • normalcy of midday traffic on the city streets of Weehawken

  • and West New York, New Jersey.

  • So what the hell was that all about?

  • Well, let me tell you a story.

  • In late 2011, word got out that New York City and New

  • Jersey were going to have a GP race.

  • All the way back to 1983, there were pronouncements of

  • open-wheel races coming to New York.

  • So when Leo Hindery, a very politically-wired New York

  • business guy and racing aficionado, announced he had a

  • deal, I still said to myself, yeah, we've

  • heard all this before.

  • Now cut to June, 2012.

  • Infiniti and Red Bull invite us to the official New Jersey

  • Grand Prix press conference in Weehawken, across the river

  • from my New York City, to announce the F1 race and to

  • show us the construction of the pit garages.

  • We came to get interviews and video all the action.

  • David Coulthard and Sebastian Vettel were on hand giving

  • ride-alongs in their Infiniti G37 IPL performance cars.

  • New Jersey state and city officials were on hand.

  • The cops were there acting like everything was under

  • control until we jumped into the Infiniti with Coulthard

  • for our police-escorted hot lap.

  • And that's when it became apparent New Jersey was not up

  • to speed on F1.

  • The streets were not shut down, regular

  • traffic was not diverted.

  • The escorted laps were more like scenes

  • from Ronin, the movie.

  • As we cut through traffic, jumped red lights behind the

  • cop car at 80 to 100 miles an hour.

  • One officer had to swerve to avoid T-Bone

  • crashing into a Camry.

  • We can't show you the video because, mysteriously, all the

  • in-car video footage went missing.

  • The one piece of footage that we did sneak out of New Jersey

  • was Seb doing his unauthorized doughnut.

  • Watch this cop's reaction.

  • POLICE OFFICER: That's beyond dangerous.

  • That's reckless.

  • LEO PARENTE: But all that gets us to today and our latest

  • chapter on the New Jersey F1 story.

  • 12 hours ago, Mike Spinelli gets an email about something

  • Red Bull happening in Weehawken the next day.

  • Show up at a certain New Jersey fire station at 10:00

  • AM to learn more, it says.

  • Spin kind of blows it off.

  • J.F., who lives in New Jersey, remembers hearing about the

  • Lincoln Tunnel being closed for filming.

  • No further details.

  • Holy [BLEEP].

  • We're real journalists figuring out a story.

  • So a 10-minute, New York City to Weehawken ferry ride later,

  • we arrive at said firehouse location to find two RB7 Red

  • Bull GP cars, a race crew of 10 people, Renault engine

  • techies, and 30 Red Bull Media House videographers.

  • And it was obvious.

  • Red Bull the racing team was serious stuff.

  • So doing my thing, I started chatting up the crew guy that

  • looked the most plugged in.

  • Turns out I guessed right.

  • He was Tony Burrows, the head of the team

  • here to run the cars.

  • But this was no simple promo team.

  • Burrows and the labs are the support team

  • to the F1 race team.

  • I'll let him explain exactly what that means.

  • TONY BURROWS: OK, this is a support team.

  • Our primary function is to support the racing.

  • So what we do most of the year round is we either travel to

  • races to support them or we go and do development tests in

  • aero-testing in Spain, is our main function.

  • We do a lot of that.

  • As you know, Adrian likes his aerodynamics.

  • And we're always trying to improve the car and trying to

  • find them few tenths to get the jump on people.

  • So that is our primary function.

  • With the restriction in testing that they have now, we

  • find ourselves with a bit more time on our hands.

  • So what we do is we take one of our championship-winning

  • cars around the world, running it up and down highways and

  • main roads, and just try and bring some awareness of

  • Formula One.

  • These are our RB7 cars we have here.

  • We have the Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber's cars.

  • We always bring two, because you've got to take enough

  • spares, so you might as well build it up into a car.

  • And we can always react quickly

  • if we have any problems.

  • So that's why we bring two cars.

  • We arrived last week, just before the weekend.

  • We've been preparing the car.

  • Our first run we did was on Monday where we went to

  • Liberty Park.

  • And we drove up Freedom Road and along the boardwalk, and

  • got some spectacular shots of the Manhattan skyline in the

  • background and the Statue of Liberty.

  • So that was our first shot on the first day.

  • On the second day, we went back and did some more along

  • Freedom Road, some of the shots that we'd missed.

  • And then we decamped and went down to the Lincoln Tunnel

  • last night.

  • At about two o'clock this morning, we were running

  • backwards and forwards through the tunnel.

  • It looks fantastic in the dark under those lights.

  • The car looked wonderful.

  • So our first couple of runs with me in a camera car,

  • directing what I want David to do--

  • and then the second and third runs were just him flat out.

  • So it was really cool.

  • LEO PARENTE: And Red Bull Media House are equally

  • buttoned up at hot stuff.

  • You know them from The Art of FLIGHT and the Austin F1

  • cow-punching promo videos they did, among other work like

  • taking on WRC promo videography.

  • So all the right players were here and ready--

  • the Red Bull team, David Coulthard to drive the car,

  • the camera crew, New Jersey cops, the city politicians.

  • Surprisingly not here was anyone from the

  • race promoter group.

  • For now, here's the car [INAUDIBLE] we caught as Red

  • Bull Media House shot their promotional video, which will

  • be online in a week or so and David Coulthard did

  • his race car thing.

  • [SOUND OF ENGINE]

  • LEO PARENTE: By the way, Tony explained for an event like

  • this, the ride height goes up 1/2 to 3/4 inch, softer

  • springs go in the car, not to put as much strain on the

  • parts, and fans were installed in the

  • radiators to help air flow.

  • And David--

  • he said he just leaves himself a bit more margin driving, so

  • as to not auger the thing into a tree, a house, or the

  • Starbucks here in New Jersey.

  • And we couldn't shoot the car up close, because it really is

  • the real spec 2011 championship car.

  • And pieces like the exhaust are very much like the current

  • configuration.

  • Ferrari, McLaren, and Lotus--

  • they don't need any extra design help, thank you.

  • And then we had a few words with David Coulthard.

  • So, David Coulthard, we're here in New Jersey.

  • You're the only guy that's driven both US Grand Prix

  • tracks that are coming up in '13 and '14.

  • Tell me about this track as it compares to the

  • personality of Austin.

  • DAVID COULTHARD: Well, two completely different venues

  • and two great tracks, in my opinion.

  • The one in Austin-- it's a purpose built track out near

  • the airport, easy access to the city.

  • It's going to be really challenging for the drivers.

  • But it is a bespoke racecourse that we use 12

  • months of the year.

  • Here in New Jersey, you have a track which is going to be a

  • combination of Monte Carlo, Singapore, Valencia, the

  • street circuits we go to.

  • But what will make this unique is not just the great backdrop

  • of Manhattan, it's the fact that it will be 200 miles an

  • hour across the front street, which will make it the fastest

  • street circuit that we race in Formula One.

  • LEO PARENTE: Now, you just drove parts of this track.

  • Jack And even though it was a promotional run, you were

  • carrying a little pace.

  • Which parts of the track already caught your attention

  • from a racing driver?

  • DAVID COULTHARD: OK, well across the top section-- and

  • excuse me, I don't know the name of that street-- but the

  • natural curvature of the road actually adds an interesting

  • challenge for the driver.

  • They were talking initially about completely flattening

  • that area out.

  • But I think it adds personality to the track to

  • have this sort of big, wide open crest.

  • And I don't think it's an issue at all for the cars.

  • But when you drop down past the sewage works, or the water

  • treatment plant, that's incredibly fast over a brow

  • into a really long, sweeping right handle and then brings

  • you onto this front section.

  • And that's where it's all going to be flat

  • out and wide open.

  • And I think the tracking shots for when we come here for the

  • race will just look incredible.

  • The fans are going to have a great view.

  • Those who have got apartments and houses along the race

  • course, they get a free view.

  • LEO PARENTE: 19 turns, hairpins, high speed--

  • passing zones already figured out in your mind?

  • DAVID COULTHARD: Yeah, absolutely.

  • And the top section, before you do the 90 right down the

  • hill, great overtaking zone, likewise before you come onto

  • this front section, and then down into the pits complex

  • here which they're still working on.

  • I think it will give three really good overtaking spots.

  • For Formula One, that's already more than a lot of the

  • tracks have got.

  • LEO PARENTE: What do fans in the US-- what do people in the

  • US need to know to want to come to this race?

  • DAVID COULTHARD: Well, Red Bull wouldn't be doing this if

  • they didn't think that it was going to be something that was

  • going to be popular with the public.

  • You don't need to know anything about Formula One.

  • If you like cars, if you like speed, if you're intrigued to

  • know what makes Formula One the fastest form of

  • closed-circuit racing in the world--

  • that's a fact.

  • We're not just sort of doing that as PR.

  • These are the fastest cars around the racetrack and of

  • this type of nature.

  • And the technology is the technology of tomorrow that

  • you'll have in your road cars.

  • Carbon fiber was first developed for Formula One.

  • Traction control, turbocharged engines-- all of those things

  • came because of Formula One racing.

  • LEO PARENTE: You're an announcer with the BBC.

  • So without trading your trade secrets, what's the current

  • vibe in news in the F1 pits and paddock?

  • Is it all about drivers?

  • Is it all about Mercedes?

  • Is it all about new venues like this?

  • What's carrying their attention right now?

  • DAVID COULTHARD: I think, actually, we're getting an

  • overdose right now in Formula One of excitement.

  • Because we're having an absolute golden era in terms

  • of the drivers battling for the championship.

  • Red Bull have dominated the last couple of years.

  • But it's a real battle this year for them with Ferrari,

  • with McLaren--

  • Lotus are right there looking like they can get a win as

  • well, Mercedes, of course, have won a Grand Prix.

  • So we've got some great drivers and a very competitive

  • series of Formula One.

  • The future is about new technologies, as I mentioned.

  • They're going to go to turbocharged, turbocharged

  • engines-- sorry, my Scottish speech impediment--

  • in 2014.

  • And again, that's all about trying to eke the maximum

  • horsepower out of the smallest engines possible, doing the

  • bit for the environment by making

  • them more fuel efficient.

  • LEO PARENTE: Now, I'll go on record and pick.

  • I want to watch Alonso for the rest of the

  • race, battle Vettel.

  • Do you