Red Bull Racing RB6 F1 car Haynes Manual reviewed

F1 books

Haynes manuals are the standard reference material for anyone looking to repair their cars. I have dog-eared examples for the various cars I’ve owned over the years.

Of late Haynes has applied its distinctive branding beyond car repair, covering subjects as diverse as child rearing and playing the electric guitar.

Now, in collaboration with Red Bull, it’s produced its first manual for an F1 car, with “Owners’ Workshop Manual” emblazoned on the front in large, red letters.

This creates a level of expectation that the book is never realistically going to be able to match. No F1 team, least of all the reigning world champions, would publish the inner workings of its car in a ?é?ú20 hardback.

Author Steve Rendle acknowledges this problem in the introduction, saying it has been “occasionally” necessary to use pictures of earlier cars.

As you’d expect, this particularly applies to the rear of the car. Where pictures of the gearbox and suspension were required the RB4 and in some cases the five-year-old RB2 have been used.

Nonetheless there is some interesting material in here. The major developments and controversies of 2010 are covered – double diffusers, front wing and floor flexing, F-ducts and so on.

But a lot of the information is general and could apply to any F1 car, and won’t be of great insight to anyone familiar with the F1 rule book. The shortage of quotes from Red Bull’s technical team is particularly disappointing and could have added a lot to the narrative.

If you expect this to be a true Haynes manual guide to owning and servicing an RB6 then you’ll be disappointed.

Think of it instead as a guide to modern F1 car design with some close-up photographs of last year’s world championship-winning car. And a particularly comical picture of Christian Horner pointing at the fan in his wind tunnel.

The idea of producing Haynes manuals on F1 cars is a great concept. But it would probably work better if it was applied to older cars where the need to maintain secrecy no longer applies.

Who wouldn’t want to see such greats as the Williams FW15C, McLaren MP4-4 or Ferrari F2004 given the Haynes manual treatment?

F1 Fanatic rating

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18 comments on Red Bull Racing RB6 F1 car Haynes Manual reviewed

  1. joseph said on 20th August 2011, 9:48

    first thing I thought was either a McLaren MP4-4, or Honda F1 RA272 from the 60’s

  2. Katy said on 20th August 2011, 9:56

    I got this for my birthday the other day. Like you said it doesn’t go into much detail, but I’m enjoying reading it, because it’s great for people like me who don’t really know or understand any of the technical stuff. I’m learning quite a lot, so hopefully I can understand more of the stuff Scarbs writes about hehe. I also know the Horner picture you mentioned, it’s so funny!

  3. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 20th August 2011, 10:30

    I’d love it if they made one for something like an Arrows A6, and it was done in the same style of regular Haynes manuals of that era (smattered with small black and white, slightly grainy photos and the ‘oily hand of Haynes’) that went in to full technical detail and actually told you how to service one. When I was little I used to read Haynes manuals (I was fully versed in Escort Mk.II’s, Austin Maestro’s and later on, Austin Metro’s and Vauxhall Frontera’s) and I’d love to actually read about an older F1 car in that context.

  4. BasCB said on 20th August 2011, 11:34

    I think Scarbs was a bit more positive on it than you Keith, but it really is a shame they did not put up the whole RB2 or RB4 or one of the greats from the past as you suggest.

    Just imagine having one on those cars in full detail, with notes from the drivers and technicians about its strong points and the things they constantly had to repair, make up for or rethink.

    If Haynes could get Williams/Head to work on that FW15C to further bring the message of their great past, that would be just amazing. And cars like the first McLaren with full scale carbon fibre or other cars that were really innovative in their time.

  5. ‘Haynes Book Of Lies’ in my blooded-knuckle experience; “refitting is the reversal” of removal my bottom! Does anyone remember the ‘Technical Appraisal’ series of books (also by Haynes) a few years back? I have four of them in my bookcase, well worth seeking-out on Amazon by petrolhead fans. Ian Bamsey and Andy Hall are two of the series authors.

  6. maxthecat said on 20th August 2011, 12:09

    Better grab one quick, McLaren will probably be buying a job lot!

    If F1 had a sense of humour you’d see a few top team drivers reading this in their cockpits prior to FP1 on Friday :D

  7. F2004, make no attempt to scribe this machine.

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 20th August 2011, 16:23

    Nice idea.

    RBR themselves should get looking up K, for KERS.

  9. skipgamer (@skipgamer) said on 20th August 2011, 20:25

    I imagine if they did a limited edition run of FW16 manuals, they would end up selling for a mint.

  10. daykind said on 20th August 2011, 21:33

    I’ll get it pirely on the basis that it’s a rarity; a book about modern f1.

  11. Ratboy (@ratboy) said on 21st August 2011, 11:24

    I looked through it and was half expecting all the pictures to be blocked out by RBR mechanics

  12. Personally I think this book is superb – the title is misleading only for a second and after a quick skim through it’s clear that it’s a book about modern F1, which is great (and yes, as others have said – rare!)

    Of course, those folk that already know their technical F1 stuff may not be particularly excited by this, but to everyone else and the regular casual fan of the sport, this book would be great. I’ve bought a couple of copies already for friends who enjoy watching F1 but haven’t taken the time to learn about what a double diffuser really is – and they’ve loved it.

    It’s a great coffee table book if nothing else for any F1 fan in my opinion – and at around a tenner on Amazon at the moment, you can’t go wrong. Great book and I’d give it a 4/5

    • DanielH said on 14th September 2011, 11:47

      I am currently working my way through this book. It’s good but I don’t think I’d give it 4/5.

      It’s basically a technically-focused narrative of an F1 car, and as such it is mostly text (with, admittedly, some great diagrams and photos). But the prose is poorly written and quite hard to understand at times. There are a few typos too (e.g. getting prime and option tyres the wrong way round).

      I think it also makes too many assumptions about the level of knowledge of the reader. I love F1 and especially the technical aspect, but I don’t know much about how my car works (e.g. I know there is oil in the gearbox but I don’t know what a dry-sump is). So although I’ve picked up some nuggets of info (e.g. there is no direct link between clutch paddles and the clutch itself, hence the drivers can’t feel the biting point — it has to be calculated by making practice starts) at other times I’m left scratching my head not following what’s going on!

      I would say it is worth a read but don’t expect too much.

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