With only four days to go until the start of the 2005 Formula One season in Australia, the logistical effort behind transporting the West McLaren Mercedes team and equipment to Melbourne, and the following two fly-away races, has been underway...
With only four days to go until the start of the 2005 Formula One season in Australia, the logistical effort behind transporting the West McLaren Mercedes team and equipment to Melbourne, and the following two fly-away races, has been underway since the first week of the year.
The below facts outline the organisation that goes into Grand Prix racing outside of Europe for the West McLaren Mercedes team.
*Five tonnes of equipment is sent to each of the first three fly-aways by sea freight. This includes items that can be produced or purchased easily such as screens, wiring, trollies, generators, tables, and there is a full set for each of the first three races. These three sets are then rotated throughout the year.
*The West McLaren Mercedes equipment fills a 40ft sea container.
*The sea freight for Australia left in the first week of January, with packing beginning on the 4th of the month. The Malaysian freight was sent in the first week of February, with the Bahrainian batch leaving the McLaren Technology Centre this week.
*The Australian sea freight arrived last week, and having
completed import and quarantined checks were put in storage until being
delivered to the Albert Park circuit on Sunday 27th January.
*In addition all fuels and hazardous consumables are sent by sea freight, packaged in a different container to the other items.
*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, radio systems and hi-tech equipment such as the Sun Battlestations.
*There is one full set of the equipment that is sent by air freight. It left the McLaren Technology Centre at 06:00 on Friday 25th February, and doesn't return until after Bahrain.
*The air freight is delivered to FOM at Stansted, where it is packed onto one of four FOM jumbo jet charters, which leave during the afternoon. The freight arrived in Australia on the morning of Sunday 27th February and was delivered to the Albert Park circuit along with the sea freight.
*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.
*The packing began when the equipment returned from the week seven test in Barcelona on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th February.
*Three complete MP4-20's are transported by air to the first
three Grands Prix, in addition to a spare chassis.
*To transport the MP4-20's the front and rear wings, steering wheels, wing mirrors and the side deflectors 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.
*The bespoke covers are then put on the cars before being strapped onto double-decker pallets and loaded onto the FOM charter.
*The West McLaren Mercedes team sends around 95 people to each of
the first three fly-aways. This includes drivers, team management,
engineers, race team, marketing and catering, for example.
*Over 80 hotel rooms are booked by the Team and Travel department for the team members and Partners.
*Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya arrived in Australia on Monday 28th February, with Pedro joining them in Melbourne on Tuesday 1st March. Following the Grand Prix, Kimi and Juan Pablo will travel to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore respectively to acclimatise for the Malaysian Grand Prix. Meanwhile, Pedro will return to Europe to continue with the West McLaren Mercedes team's testing programme in Jerez in week 10 alongside Alex Wurz.
*The race team support crew left the UK on Friday 25th and
Saturday 26th February, and arrived in Australia to receive all the
freight at the Albert Park circuit on Sunday 27th.
*The race team will travel straight to Malaysia following the Australian Grand Prix.