As the man in charge of logistics at Viry, Renault's Jean-Pierre Raymond is responsible for getting the engines to the first race on time. The task involves extremely detailed preparation... Q: Steve Nielsen, the team's sporting manager, said ...
As the man in charge of logistics at Viry, Renault's Jean-Pierre Raymond is responsible for getting the engines to the first race on time. The task involves extremely detailed preparation...
Q: Steve Nielsen, the team's sporting manager, said Enstone was buzzing with activity last week. What's it like at Viry?
Jean-Pierre Raymond: Exactly the same! The factory is humming with activity, and that's always part of the atmosphere before the first race. We are checking our inventories, and following up the last minute details, but in a controlled way: there is what you might call a positive stress in the team.
It helps that we are going to familiar surroundings: even though this is Bahrain's first time as the opening race, we have already been there twice. And everybody's raring to go after four months without a race.
Q: What needs to be done between now and the end of the week?
J-PR: Lots! Firstly, we need to ensure our equipment (engines and freight) is ready for Friday. We need to complete the customs procedures. The team's trucks will then leave Viry and head for the UK. On Saturday, they will arrive at Stansted airport, north of London, and from there the equipment will depart for the Middle East.
We must be on time with this major task, and also work through the other minor jobs that need doing. That ranges from distributing all the plane tickets to turning up 200 pairs of trousers!
Q: Do you work in coordination with Enstone?
J-PR: Of course. Steve (Nielsen) and I are in regular contact. Each side distributes a detailed itinerary, which we send each other. That means we know exactly what each side is doing. We try and give each other a hand with the logistics whenever possible.
Q: Who is responsible for transporting the engines?
J-PR: Formula One Management is in charge of our material from Stansted to the track. The rest is left to the teams.
Q: How much freight do you send from Viry?
J-PR: We should take 6 engines to the first race, plus all of our pit equipment. In total, we will be sending 8 tonnes of freight to Bahrain this year.
Q: Presumably, your role doesn't finish once the engines get to the garage on time...
J-PR: Once we have arrived, we provide a continuous logistical back-up. This includes managing day-to-day issues, such as confirming hotel rooms for the following races, urgent transportation of individual components or sending engines back to Europe, but also dealing with other unusual circumstances. In this job, you need to be ready to deal with any unpredictable situation... and to find a solution quickly!
Q: Any examples?
J-PR: If one of the team from Viry fell ill, or was injured, we need to be able to react immediately. That means we always have a list of potential replacements ready, and they already have team kit and visas for the opening race, and they already have team kit and visas for the opening race. We hold seats on flights to Bahrain until next Saturday. Just in case... You can't ever afford to be caught out.
Q: Does the job ever keep you awake at night?
J-PR: Not any more. Experience counts for a lot: we have a list of past problems for every country we visit, and the solutions we have put in place. But we still need to expect the unexpected, and never take things for granted. That's what makes the job fun -- there's never a chance of getting bored!