Here at Red Bull Racing Australia, we are a multi-cultural bunch. We’ve got a French Technical Director, a Kiwi driver, a Pommy honcho… We could go on!
With the F1 circus making its way Down Under ahead of the Australian Grand Prix this weekend, we thought what better time to embrace our international colleagues by singling one out and interrogating them.
You’ve probably seen her in and around the garage already, but Data and Performance Engineer Romy Mayer has fitted in seamlessly, becoming an integral part of the Red Bull Racing Australia family.
All the way from Stuttgart, Germany, Romy made the call to move to Australia last September for a serious sea change. Luckily for us, the surf-a-holic fell right into our trap arms and we put her to the test immediately, throwing her into the deep end assisting at the Bathurst 1000. Her first race meet turned into one she wouldn’t soon forget, experiencing a Bathurst win and a Bathurst after party.
Coming into 2016, Romy is now responsible for all those squiggly lines and numbers, known as the data for car #88. Making a big transition in six months, Romy has already proved that she’s got the goods, helping Jamie Whincup to victory at the first race of the 2016 season.
We sat down with Romy for a chat to find out more about her past, present and future.
What did you do before Triple Eight?
I started working in the motorsport industry back in Germany about five years ago. I was working as a Data and Performance Engineer with the DTM Team for Mercedes. Before I came to Australia, I was responsible for the performance development for the new GT3 car for Mercedes, the Mercedes GT. This project was different, as there aren’t many restrictions on design and parts, so you have more freedom in developing the car.
You have been at Triple Eight for nearly six months now, how is it all going?
Triple Eight is really different to a big DTM team. Everybody is much more involved in everything. I really like that everybody is really motivated and works together to achieve the same goal, which is winning races. Each race weekend seems to have a different layout each and every time, so I really look forward to every round.
What is an average race weekend for you? What are you busy doing?
Starting from when we arrive at the track, I set up all the data network and electronic systems around the race cars with the other data engineers. During the race sessions, I make sure all the electronics on car #88 are working properly and vital values are operating in the right range. On the telemetry, we can see the car’s performance on track and once the car comes into the garage for a setup change, I have a chance to grab a more detailed review of the data. From a data analysis point of view, I support David Cauchi to find the best set up for qualifying as well as the races. This includes data reviews with Jamie and working with the engineers from the other cars. At the race, I’m again viewing the vital data from the car through the telemetry, as well as working out the best fuel strategy, considering a safety car phase, fuel consumption amongst other things.
What has your favourite race been?
Like I said, they are all very different. Winning Bathurst was very special, but I do like the feel of the GC600 with the track in between the streets and skyscrapers next to the ocean.
What has been one of your biggest challenges so far?
The first race weekend this year! For the last two races of the 2015 season, I had Data and Performance Engineer Irish (John McGregor) next to me. If I had any doubts I would fire questions at him, but now he is in the TeamVortex garage so I am completely self-reliant. I have to make sure I’m 100% aware of everything; it’s about getting a routine and focusing on the important points.
What are you looking forward to most in 2016?
I can’t pick anything I’m looking forward to the most. I want to have a successful season with Triple Eight Race Engineering, from the very start to the very end.
Needless to say, the V8s have well and truly stolen her heart, so we think we are going to keep her, soz Germany.