RACE BEHIND THE RACE: THE LOGISTICS OF FORMULA 1

Formula 1 is not only what we see on TV during tests, qualifications and races. Much remains behind the scenes, and even the most faithful fan sometimes have to think about how the teams manage to put together all what we observe during each grand prix.

Logistics is one of the most expensive processes in Formula-1. This is a complex system, with the help of which teams deliver to the Grand Prix venue all equipment, cars, food and even trivial details of the interior, without which in the motorhome will never be cozy.

Work on logistics begins immediately after the appearance of the official calendar for the coming season. Each year the schedule changes, and therefore the places and dates of grand prix competitions are planned by the organizers of the championship together with representatives of the teams.

For transport all equipment logistic specialists use tricks and planes. And every huge metal boxes in which everything is packed with the team uniform, souvenirs to the fans, and technical equipment, have a clearly assigned place in the track.

When equipment from the base of each team arrives at the logistics center of DHL (which is only a few in Europe) specialists take all responsibility for the integrity and safety of the cargo. To transport all 30 tons of equipment for each individual team (multiply by 10 and get 300 tons of valuable cargo), DHL uses five cargo planes.

But there are times when there is not a two-week break between the stages, and the teams have to work hard to get things done by the deadline. If there are European races, then there is actually no rush, but if after the arrival in Shanghai the teams have to perform in Bahrain in a week (more than 6,000 kilometres) there is a big rush because before delivering all the equipment to a new track, specialists have to dismantle and pack all equipment after the previous race. Sometimes the team, in order to speed up the process, begins to dismantle and collect still before the signal of the flag in the current race, which periodically we can wee on the TV.

Only part of the cargo from the same Shanghai (the most valuable) will fly by air, the other part in 12-meter containers will go to Bahrain by sea, because air transportation is very expensive, and even the richest teams have to save on them!

In total, the staff of every team need from six to eight hours to pack everything. Of course, the speed of the dismantling is affected by the size of each individual circuit. The huge paddock of the Chinese track allows the teams to assemble all the equipment in the shortest time, which can not be said of the paddock in Monaco, where, due to limited space, the stable trucks are lining up in a long queue.

This continues from year to year, from race to race. With each season, the logistics in Formula 1 is being modernized, the cargoes are becoming compact and lighter. However, the importance of this process is still at the highest level, because of  it depends excellent work of each team wishing to fight for victories and titles.

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Here you can watch a short video about logistic processes in Formula 1:

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