Renault F1 CFD Facility, Oxfordshire

Project Renault F1 Team Computational Aerodynamics Research (CAR) Centre, Enstone, Oxfordshire
Client Renault F1 Team
Stage Complete
Description The Renault F1 Team’s new Computational Aerodynamics Research (CAR) Centre Facility is an environmentally-friendly, computerised wind tunnel – a world-class subterranean computing facility that will be used to perfect the aerodynamics of the 2009 season cars.

Fact File

Structure Matiére CM4 25/225 sectional precast buried concrete arch
Span 16.32m (internal)
Height 6.49m (internal)
Length 62.5m (25 no. Units @ 2.5m wide)


  • Construction on a restricted site, in sympathy with the SSSI status of the parts of the existing Renault site.
  • House the new CFD facility with one of Europe’s largest super computers
  • Provide an entrance area and exhibition space
  • Incorporate a 60 seat auditorium
  • Office space for 30 engineers


  • Unique Fast-track Solution: Formula One is a competitive business where success depends as much on engineering excellence and innovation as it does on the skill of the drivers on the track. Technical development is relentless and success often hinges on the speed with which innovations are introduced. New facilities demand fast-track construction to a deadline determined by the racing season.
  • The requirement for this critical facility to be fully operational by mid-2008 compressed the total construction time available, needing a fast-track solution.
  • The complex nature of the building required significant time at the end of the programme for the installation and commissioning of the computer and other advanced technology systems installed. This meant that the time window for construction was compressed still further.
  • Ridge and consulting engineers Scott Wilson determined that ABM’s Matière system CM4 arch solution met the requirements and the high speed construction programme. The ‘tunnel’, closed at one end, and fitted with panoramic glass curtain walling at the other, would not only meet the area and volumetric requirement but also provide a dramatic working environment in which to showcase the world-class research technology it contained .

The Matiére system was originally developed in France for hydraulic structures in the 1980's, since then the system has been developed into a modular range of arch, box and portal frames for a wide range of transport and infrastucture applications. Indeed, some 10,000 structures already exsist worldwide exploiting soil structure interaction to minimise section sizes and allow rapid, cost effective on-site installation with precast units.

Click here to view a YouTube video of the construction of the Renault F1 facility


Key Personnel

Main Board Directors
Pat O'Neill
Sean Minihane
Brendan O'Neill


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