Riedel recalls ‘massive’ network project at Russia’s first F1 circuit

With just over a week to go until the start of the new Formula 1 (F1) season, Riedel Communications has been looking back at the installation of a "massive" communications network at the new Sochi Autodrom.

Over 15,000 meters of Riedel fibre-optic cables were laid at the Autodrom, which hosted Russia’s inaugural F1 Grand Prix race on 12 October 2014.

The company was heavily involved in creating the specifications for the television production requirements and provided the infrastructure for the transmission of video, audio, and intercom signals for the circuit.

During the project, Riedel worked independently and in concert with Nürburgring, Germany-based general contractor _wige SOLUTIONS, the firm was responsible for track surveillance and monitoring, time keeping, race control, marshalling, and overall technical design.

In order to establish a secure communications infrastructure, _wige SOLUTIONS opted for Riedel’s Artist digital matrix intercom system to provide race control and marshall communications. For the dispatcher system, a Motorola TETRA solution was directly integrated into the Artist.

"The circuit in Sochi is currently one of the most modern in the world, equipped with state-of-the-art broadcast and racing technology," said _wige SOLUTIONS VP Thomas Hellemann. "For this prestigious project we partnered with Riedel for their specific know-how and more than two decades of experience in motorsports."

Riedel also supplied a number of communications and signal transmission solutions, including special headsets for radio and intercom systems, as well as the IT infrastructure and access management. This consisted of more than 500 Artist keypanels and 1,500 TETRA radios used by Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile and the race teams.

"Following a successful Winter Games, our return to Sochi to work on the F1 course was like a homecoming, and it gave us a distinctive home field advantage in completing the Sochi Autodrom project," said Kai Olaf Houben, director of international projects at Riedel. "The smooth interaction and absolute reliability of our communications systems, and a qualified team with experience, are essential in Formula 1, especially with regard to safety.

"We always have one thing in mind: an absolute zero tolerance for errors in the communications. At the first GP of Russia, we have again successfully demonstrated the quality and reliability of our solutions and showed that we are the right partner for permanent racing and broadcast infrastructures."