2006 CHINESE GRAND PRIX PREPARATIONS FROM TEAM McLAREN MERCEDES
Following the end of the 2006 European Season Team McLaren Mercedes heads to Shanghai for the first of the final three flyaway races of the year. To enable Team McLaren Mercedes to race in Shanghai, 33 tonnes of equipment has been transported by the team to Asia, as outlined below:
*Five tonnes of equipment is sent by sea freight. This includes items that can be produced or purchased easily such as screens, wiring, trolleys, generators, and tables. This is in addition to all fuels and hazardous consumables which are sent by sea freight, packaged in a different container to the other items.
*The Team McLaren Mercedes equipment fills a 40ft sea container.
*27 tonnes of freight and three complete cars are sent by air. This includes items such as spare components, pit equipment, tool cabinets, fuel trolleys, timing stands and Kenwood radio systems.
*Mercedes-Benz will send seven engines to China. Three are sent as part of the complete cars and four spare engines are sent out on a different airfreight, which leaves Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines on the morning of Tuesday 26th September arriving in China on Wednesday 27th September.
*Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines use a 3500kg shipping container to transport all spares, tools & equipment for fly-away races. The weight of the spare engines is additional to this.
*The sea freight for the Chinese Grand Prix left the UK the week beginning 7th August, from Tilbury in Essex, arriving in China the week beginning 11th September.
*The air freight is managed by FOM (Formula One Management), and it departs London Stansted on Thursday 21st September arriving in Shanghai on Friday 22nd September.
*All freight is delivered to the Shanghai International Circuit by midday on Sunday 24th September.
*The air freight does not return to the McLaren Technology Centre until Tuesday 24th October, as it travels directly on to Japan and Brazil.
*Certain parts, such as gearboxes, uprights, steering racks, dampers and front and rear wings do return to Woking following the Japanese Grand Prix on 8th October in order for them to be serviced.
*For the sea freight there are three different sets that are sent separately to each race.
*There is one collection of air freight that is flown to all three fly-away races.
*The air freight is packed into six igloos, metal packing containers that measure 3m x 3m x 2m, in addition to two pallets of stacked boxes that are the same size as the igloos and a spare chassis box.
*Three complete MP4-21s and a spare chassis are transported by air to the race.
*To transport the MP4-21s the front and rear wings, steering wheels, wing mirrors and the side deflector panels are removed. A protective wooden floor and sides are put in place around the cars with a bumper on the back to protect the gearbox.
*There is a travel nosebox to protect the steering rack and front of the chassis.
*Bespoke covers are then put on the cars before being strapped onto double-decker pallets and loaded onto the FOM charter.
*Team McLaren Mercedes will send around 95 people to the Chinese Grand Prix. This includes drivers, team management, engineers, race team, marketing and catering etc.