F1 stunt atop Burj Al Arab
Dubai, October 31, 2013
A Red Bull F1 Grand Prix car, driven by former F1 driver David Coulthard, performed a series of spectacular “doughnuts” on the helipad at Dubai’s Burj Al Arab hotel yesterday.
A “doughnut” is a skilful manoeuvre which involves driving in a tight circle while continuing to accelerate so the rear wheels spin, creating doughnut-like skid marks on the road surface.
Atkins, the architect and multidisciplinary engineering designer behind Burj Al Arab, helped bring the spectacular stunt at the iconic Jumeirah-operated hotel.
Atkins engineers Steve Harrison, design director – structures, and Raad Hajjar, head of structural engineering for site operations, were part of the enabling team which ensured the stunt could be performed safely on the 200 m-high platform.
Atkins’ role was to verify the structural integrity of the helipad and to support the testing programme, with health and safety issues the top priority.
“I’m both an engineer and an F1 fan, so the opportunity to work closely with the Red Bull Racing’s team was very special,” said Harrison.
“What really struck both Raad and myself was that as fellow engineers we all speak the same language and have the same exacting approach to design, testing and health and safety – so much so that David Coulthard was able to put complete faith our work before performing the stunt.”
Simon Crispe, Atkins’ client director for the Jumeirah Group and the original design team director for Burj al Arab, added: “There’s a lot of symmetry between the Burj Al Arab and Formula One because they’re both at the very top of their respective fields.
“The Burj Al Arab signalled the birth of Dubai as we know it today, and we’re at the start of another swathe of activity in the emirate right now which our multidisciplinary engineers and architects are proud to be supporting once again.” - TradeArabia News Service