Friday, 21 September 2012

How the Formula One GP circus moves around

A little off-topic story here, but nevertheless quite interesting indeed. Many people who love watching Formula 1 (GP) are actually not aware of the enormous efforts involved in moving around the complete GP circus from city to city.

As traditionally every F1 team is based in Europe (either the UK, The Netherlands, Germany, France or Italy. Continental European races are relatively simple, transport is done by trailers (cars and equipment) and busses (the teams. This is all organized by the teams individually, FOM (Formula One Management) is not involved.

Intercontinental races on the opposite, are a completely different story. Basically, FOM has a contract with an air logistics company, most commonly DHL which provides for transport-planes, pilots and specialist services for the transport of equipment and cars. Teams travel by air as well, but in a seperate passenger plane.

In recent racing seasons, FOB / DHL deployed in regular cases three cargo planes and one passenger plane. The vargo planes transporting roughly 300 tonnes (100 tonnes per plane) in fifthy 40-feet containers. In cases where race destinations are far from home and the dates too close following to go back to base inbetween, a forth plane is usually deployed to bring extra equipment and cars.

Throughout the season, DHL works for most of the F1 teams to help manage the freight generated. This includes all racing cars as well as their replacement; parts such as engines, tires, and spare parts; complete gas/petrol requirements and additional freight such as TV equipment, VIP tents for the Paddock Club, computer equipment, laptops, up to 100 radio sets and headphones, right down to paper serviettes for hospitality and 3000 bottles of water. Not forgetting all the useful things that make life in the paddock more convenient and cater to VIP guests – from champagne to the espresso machines and vacuum cleaners.