Manama, 3rd February 2006; The magnificent facility of the Bahrain International Circuit is becoming increasingly busy as the Formula One circus continues to arrive and heavy duty flight containers disgorge the machinery and equipment that will...
Manama, 3rd February 2006; The magnificent facility of the Bahrain International Circuit is becoming increasingly busy as the Formula One circus continues to arrive and heavy duty flight containers disgorge the machinery and equipment that will set the world's pulse racing for the 2006 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. In less than one week the event will be underway, and the preparations are now a round-the-clock operation to ensure that the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship gets underway in fine style.
The Formula One paddock itself is a hive of activity, with the team hospitality areas being branded and kitted out and the Paddock Club suites above the pit lane being fettled in sumptuous style. The elegance of the VIP areas is in sharp contrast to the armada of freight containers bringing in the team hardware ready for the race.
Each of the 11 teams travelling to the Kingdom of Bahrain for the Grand Prix brings 50-80 shipping cases, up to 40 tons of equipment. Of that over 30 tons is made up by the mechanical needs of cars themselves - three chassis, the engines, spare parts, tools, wheels and pit equipment. The remainder is made up of pit garage branding and extraneous equipment - even the utensils for the team chefs! Then finally comes the telemetry and computer equipment.
Formula One has an information superhighway all of its own: there will be approximately 180 large computers and 300 laptops in use between the 11 teams, supplied by over 3.5km of power cable and sending information through 5.5km of data cable. The team members themselves - approximately 1,200 - will be equipped with 1,100 walkie-talkie radios and headsets.
For a hot country such as Bahrain, the teams also need to keep their staff members cool and hydrated. Almost 37,000 litres of mineral water and soft drinks will therefore be consumed up and down the pit lane.
Approximately 15,000 litres of fuel will be delivered to the Bahrain International Circuit by the various fuel suppliers in order to meet their teams' needs. A Formula One car running for the full course of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix weekend will consume in the region of 500 litres from the first laps of practice to receiving the chequered flag. Nonetheless a Formula One engine is over 20 per cent more efficient at turning fuel into power than even the most economical small car.
A further 17,500 litres of fuel will be available for the Support Races: the Porsche Michelin SuperCup and Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix Pro Celebrity Race.
The Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix will mark the debut of all eleven of the 2006 season challengers. From the moment that design began on these cars to their arrival in Bahrain, almost four million man-hours will have been spent by the teams and engine builders to deliver their new 2.4-litre V8 charges. Such mind-bending dedication to extracting the last shred of performance, the seismic change in moving from 3.0-litre V10 engines to 2.4-litre V8s, the evolution of the designs through the season, the scale of technology required to develop the cars and the salaries of the team staff place the total cost of each lap at each Grand Prix event at well over $3,000 per car.