2011 FORMULA1 ITALIAN GRAND PRIX
• MONZA, 9TH – 11th september 2011 •
• BRUNO: “As with any sport, miles on the clock and experience instil confidence in oneself” • • Vitaly: “Braking, traction and exits of corners – Monza is all about precision” • • Eric Boullier: “I’m confident we’ll have a progressive weekend” • • James Allison: “Hopefully our upgrades will help us build on the gains we made at Spa” •
Q&A: Bruno Senna
Lotus Renault GP • Race Driver • Car 9
“As with any sport, miles on the clock and experience instil confidence in oneself” With his R31 apprenticeship behind him, Bruno hopes his weekend in Spa will act as a launchpad to greater things at the revered Autodromo Nazionale Monza Looking back on the Belgian Grand Prix, how happy were you with your weekend on a scale of one to 10? In fairness I’d give it a eight and a half because apart from the two mistakes I made during the weekend, everything went smoothly. It certainly was not perfect, but at the same time it was very encouraging and gave me great confidence to work hard with the team and to try and develop things further; it gave me a firm base for future development.
So, looking at the bigger picture, it was a successful experience?
Yes, of course. Mistakes happen, and what happened at the first corner potentially cost me points but what was paramount that weekend was to get some laps under my belt. I managed to complete the race, clock up many laps and familiarise myself with the car. The weekend gave me a good all-round experience.
Did your success in qualifying set expectations too high? Naturally, when you do well in qualifying it raises the bar of expectation. Inside and outside of the team, everyone was very happy with the qualifying and there was greater expectation for scoring points in the race. Having said that, I was the first one to point out that racing is very different to qualifying, and I wasn’t getting carried away. It was a step into the unknown, and in terms of performance it went really well but I need to polish up on my race craft, which is a bit rusty.
Having a race under your belt must instil some confidence and help settle the nerves…
Of course, in Spa I didn’t know what to expect in terms of competitiveness, but it was extremely encouraging that I managed to develop my pace quickly, and work with the team well. I have a strong working relationship with the engineers, and I am eager to get into the
“I am eager to get into the cockpit in Monza because I feel more confident heading into this race” 0 2 • ITA LI A N GP PREV IEW • L O T US RE NAU LT GP
cockpit in Monza because I feel more confident heading into this race. As with any sport, miles on the clock and experience instil confidence in oneself.
Monza is another wellrespected circuit – what is your take it ?
I’ve known Monza since 2005, so I have been there every year except 2009. It’s a circuit where I’ve had a mixed bag of results. When I was younger, there were a few occasions when I didn’t have the right car set-up but I now understand the circuit much better. I’m a more mature driver now, and I’m confident I can achieve another top 10 qualifying position for the team and score more points.
With the various driving experiences you’ve had this year, your relationship with the R31 must be getting stronger... Exactly, I know the car much better now. I’m more familiar with the tendencies it has, and I understand the direction we can take it. I’m looking forward to working closely with the engineers to devise solutions where we can strengthen our approach.
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Q&A: Vitaly Petrov
Lotus Renault GP • Race Driver • Car 10
“Braking, traction and exits of corners – Monza is all about precision” After returning to the points in Spa, Vitaly turns his attention to Monza and one of the most passionate F1 fanbases in the world Two more points for you in Spa – were there more positives to take away than negatives? Yes, it was definitely a positive weekend because, if you cast your mind back, we had some very trying races before. We were content with being back in the top 10 and are hopeful that we can push on from there. It was an interesting weekend in Spa; we faced challenging and varied weather conditions which really tested us, but overall we tackled what was thrown at us very well.
You now have a new race driver alongside you – what’s your relationship like with Mr. Senna?
I’ve known Bruno for quite a long time now from my days competing in GP2. Back then we were not close friends, but since he joined us this year he’s been in every briefing and we’ve eaten together, talked a lot and developed a good relationship. He’s a good mate, and he’s also a talented driver, which
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was evident in Belgium. He demonstrated his skills there for all to see.
Did you feel any added pressure when he outqualified you, or do you just view this as healthy competition?
No, I think it’s just healthy competition. I had a few issues with the car in Q3 but I think Bruno deserved it, he really did. He had a strong qualifying and proved his ability.
What are your thoughts on the Italian Grand Prix?
Well, Monza is a very interesting track where you need a different level of downforce. You also need a very strong engine
and solid brakes. There aren’t many corners, but every single centimetre of the track is critical for lap time. Braking, traction and exits of corners – Monza is all about precision.
It’s a special race with a lot of motor racing fans attending – do you consider this to be one of the ‘big ones’?
The Italian Grand Prix is a big race, no two ways about it. I think it is quite similar to England; just like Silverstone is full of English fans, Monza is full of Italian Ferrari fans! They just love motorsport, love the circuit and love Formula 1. This is definitely one of the classics.
“There aren’t many corners but every single centimetre of the track is critical for lap time”
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Team Principal and Managing Director
A wORD WITH THE BOSS
With F1 making its final European pit stop of the season, Eric talks about the team’s re-emerging spirit as it looks to push on from Spa
Reflecting on the Belgian Grand Prix, there were more positives to extract than negatives… Sportingly, it could have been a better weekend because we had one car in the low points and the other not scoring any which is not sufficient if we’re going to chase down Mercedes GP in fourth place. However, all in all it was a good weekend; we had a very respectable qualifying session and Bruno stepped into the cockpit successfully. These aspects were quite promising; it was encouraging for the team to be able to see the cars delivering and their work bearing fruit.
Do you think there was a noticeable lift in team spirits in Spa? I think the positive energy really came about after qualifying because everyone knows it is extremely challenging for a new driver to step in. Seeing the team applauding the drivers after Q2 and Q3 was a good sign; I was very happy to see that, and it was pleasing to see smiles back on the team’s faces.
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Some other positive news was third driver Romain winning the GP2 Series – you must have been very pleased for him? Yes, he did it all in the correct manner which is very important. Everyone is talking about him in the paddock now; he became the new GP2 champion three races before the end, which is impressive. He’s done a good job in that discipline and I think he’s now ready to step back into Formula 1.
With a change of race driver, do you find you have to alter your approach in the way you work with them? Yes, because each driver is very different. There are different characters with varying mannerisms, so you have to adapt depending on whom it
is that’s in the race seat. Even if Bruno has been part of the LRGP family for a number of months now, it is a different proposition that he faces as a racing driver.
Do you think Monza will provide a greater indication of ‘the Bruno effect’? Yes, it’s difficult to draw too much from one race alone (Spa), whether that’s in terms of who is in the race seat or the effect of the upgrade package, but Monza should give us a clearer indication as to how things are going. Monza is always a difficult track because it requires a low downforce set-up; it has high speed corners and high speed straights. After the steps we made in Spa, I’m confident we will have a progressive weekend in Italy too.
“Seeing the team applauding the drivers after Q2 and Q3 was a good sign; and it was pleasing to see smiles back on everyone’s faces”
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“ Hopefully our upgrades will help us build on the gains we made at Spa” With suggestions of improvement in Spa, James looks ahead to advancing furTHer at the awesome Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Overall, how would you evaluate the team’s performance at Spa? The team performed extremely well on Saturday in very challenging conditions. Our race engineers gave us every opportunity to maximise our performance by ensuring we were always out on a clear track when the circuit conditions were at their best. Our drivers did a fair job of turning that opportunity into good grid slots. The race was less satisfactory in terms of points garnered, but in terms of competitiveness this was our strongest race for some time.
How did Bruno perform?
I don’t think anyone needs insider information from the team to know that Bruno had a remarkable weekend. The current regulations place a very high hurdle in the path of any driver coming in mid-season, as there is no opportunity to get up-to-speed in the relatively unpressured environment of the test track. On top of that, Bruno had to make his debut for us at Spa, a circuit which definitely separates the men from the boys. Finally, he had to manage qualifying in exceptionally difficult track conditions. To face all these challenges and to place the car P7 on the grid is a fantastic achievement on any scale. I know Bruno was kicking
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himself for the incident at the first corner in the race, but my view is that it was a completely understandable error; it was the first time that he had ever felt the R31 on full fuel and he was surrounded by competitors already 11 races into their season. His subsequent race was run at a very respectable pace and I’m looking forward to seeing him in the car again.
What impact did the upgrades to the car have?
We looked much more on the pace in Spa than in the previous four Grands Prix. Neither driver had an unimpeded race, but the underlying pace of the car was capable of earning P5-P6 given a freer run to the flag. We will know for sure whether we have turned the corner once we have a couple more GPs under our belt, however I am taking some heart from the fact that our competitiveness looked fair throughout the weekend whether on wet, dry or intermediate rubber. We have been plagued with extremely poor wet performance in recent races, and to have seemingly put this behind us gives me faith that the upgrades brought to Spa will continue to deliver at other circuits.
Monza is a pretty distinct circuit on the calendar – what changes will be on the car?
Like everyone, we will have a low downforce package (little front and rear wings). We will also bring upgraded bodywork, which hopefully will help us build on the gains we made at Spa.
What’s the relationship between downforce and drag? Does less drag directly mean less downforce?
There is not a one line answer to this question. It is impossible to produce downforce without producing drag, but the job of the aerodynamicists is to produce as much downforce, for as little drag, as possible. At a given circuit, all the cars on the grid tend to set their drag levels to very similar values (by altering the rear wing angle). However, at this same drag level, the front of the grid may have more than 30% extra downforce compared to those at the back of the grid.
Monza is the last European race – how much development will be made to the R31 when we enter the final fly-away phase of the season? We have an upgrade package to deliver for Monza and then one more at Singapore. After that it will reduce to a trickle as we focus all of our efforts on next year.
“We will know for sure whether we have turned the corner once we have a couple more GPs under our belt”
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RENAULT SPORT F1The engine
Monza is a real power track, so we’ll be introducing new power units to give Bruno and Vitaly the maximum power available. Over the weekend we will work closely with the drivers to create maps that give effective performance at the top rev limit while providing responsiveness and good acceleration out of the slower chicanes. This is the hardest circuit of the season for the RS27 engine, and one of the trickiest to create the correct maps.
Kerb usage through the chicane; cars approach it at 330 kph, before braking down to 120 kph.
MONZA A set-up guide 1. ENGINE
Monza is a power circuit with its long straights; a significant proportion of a lap is spent at full throttle. It’s not just all-out power required; power delivery exiting the corners onto the straights is also important.
TURN 6 + 7
The Lesmo curves are approached at over 260 kph, with a slowest corner speed of around 180 kph in Lesmo 2. Good car control is required due to the lower than optimum levels of downforce for this corner.
After Montreal, this is one of the heaviest circuits of the year for braking demands, with braking from the fastest part of the track (c 340kph) to the slowest (c 75kph) taking place for the turn 1-2 chicane. Recent brake material developments mean that temperatures and wear have become less of a consideration than in previous years.
Variante Ascari is a fast third and fourth gear chicane, but there is no kerb usage. The cars approach this complex at around 330 kph; the slowest speed is approximately 170 kph in the first left hand turn.
There are two low-speed chicanes (turns 1-2 and 4-5) where the kerbs are used, so a softer suspension with longer travel is preferable for these. However, there is also the higher speed, three-four gear Ascari chicane (turns 8-9-10) where a stiffer setup with sharper change of direction is preferable due to its higher speed and lack of kerb usage.
APPROACHING TURN 11
This is the second fastest part of the track, with speeds of around 335 kph reached before braking to around 215kph at the slowest part of the corner.
TURNS 2 + 3
Good power delivery on the exit from the chicane and through Curva Biassono is beneficial.
6 5 5. TYRES
Pirelli are bringing their soft and medium tyres. Due to the higher speeds seen at Monza, there may be some specific limitations on inflation pressure and camber settings, which is not uncommon for this track.
4. REAR WING
With the long straights a significant aspect of the Monza circuit layout, speeds of around 330 kph are attained during the course of a lap; minimising drag is an important consideration here. For this reason, a Monza-only low drag and low downforce rear wing is produced. As the rear wing produces less drag that normal, the difference between DRS on and DRS off is less than at other circuits.
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6. FRONT WING
Just as for the rear wing, a bespoke low drag and low downforce front wing is produced.
The fastest part of the track, with speeds of around 340 kph, before braking hard for the slowest part of the circuit, the Rettifilo chicane, where the slowest speed is around 75 kph. The kerbs are used extensively here.
It’s crucial to stay close to the car ahead through Parabolica, in order to be well positioned for a pass on the following straight.
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ITALIAN GRAND PRIX THE REST OF THE NEWS
OGX AND LOTUS RENAULT GP - A SLICK OPERATION
Embratel and Lotus Renault GP
a good call
LOTUS RENAULT GP announced earlier this week that it had joined forces WITH Brazilian telecommunications giant Embratel
he Rio de Janeiro-based company is already a personal sponsor of the team’s new race driver Bruno Senna and, following on from the 27-year-old’s successful debut for Lotus Renault GP in Spa-Francorchamps recently, the company decided to partner with LRGP for the remainder of the season. Embratel, which is owned by American
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Mobile, a Mexican telecommunications company, is a major player in voice, data and video communication, internet and pay-TV in Brazil. The company owns fully digitised microwave communications and fibre optic networks in addition to five domestic communication satellites. It is a member of the Intelsat and Inmarsat organisations and currently owns four fibre optic submarine
cable systems - Unisur, Americas II, Atlantis-2 and Columbus III. Embratel is also the telecom sponsor for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Starting at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, Embratel’s logo will be clearly visible on the rear sidepods of both R31 cars. It will also be on display on the side of Bruno’s striking green, yellow and blue helmet, on the chest of his driver overalls and also on his cap. Both parties are looking forward to a successful collaboration as F1 continues its march towards the season-ender in Brazil! Embratel President, José Formoso: “We at Embratel are proud to be with Lotus Renault GP and Bruno Senna in the Formula 1 world. In addition to Embratel’s brand, the Brazilians are taking the Senna name back to a Formula 1 race and, clearly, it is a special emotion for all the Brazilians that are passionate for F1.” www.embratel.com
GX and Lotus Renault GP have announced a partnership until the end of the Formula 1 2011 season. OGX is the largest privately-owned Brazilian oil and natural gas company, and the second largest Brazilian company in its sector. A natural ally for Lotus Renault GP, OGX has secured a leading position in Brazilian exploration and the production of oil and natural gas through the acquisition of a diversified portfolio of blocks and high exploration potential. This is a portfolio comprised of 34 exploratory blocks – 22 offshore and 12 onshore - with prospective resources estimated at 108 billion barrels. Through its involvement with the team, the OGX brand name will feature prominently on the chassis in front of the cockpit on
both the R31 cars, in addition to Bruno’s helmet and racing overalls. Both team and sponsor are looking forward to a healthy, strong partnership as the Formula 1 season continues to excite and amaze its global audience. OGX CEO, Eike Batista: “Following on from our historical sponsorship of Bruno Senna, we’re proud to be partnering with Lotus Renault GP, a team that will be heavilysupported in our home market of Brazil. Passion, the spirit of leadership and discipline are all part of the values of the EBX Group. It is these values, along with Lotus Renault GP’s knowledge of and drive for success that leads us to believe this partnership will be a prosperous one.” www.ogx.com
THE AUDEN MCKENZIE GROUP AND LOTUS RENAULT GP - IN GOOD HEALTH
he Auden McKenzie Group, a pharmaceutical group which owns and operates three different companies, has signed a partnership with Lotus Renault GP until the end of the 2011 Formula 1 season. The group has come a long way since it was founded by Amit Patel in 2001. Launched with a small pharmaceutical manufacturing unit employing three people and marketing only one injectable product, Auden McKenzie now employs over 70 people through whom the Pharmaceutical Division holds over 60 Product Licences in the UK and eight licenses in European countries. The company has also recently been granted its first authorisation in the United States. Its products are marketed in over 30 countries internationally and are present in all hospitals, pharmacies and wholesalers in the UK.
GILLETTE AND LOTUS RENAULT GP - SHAVING SECONDS OFF
eading safety razor and personal care product brand Gillette has concluded a partnership with Lotus Renault GP. The agreement, which was announced earlier this week, currently lasts until the end of the 2011 Formula 1 season and will offer Procter and Gamble-owned Gillette a global platform through which to promote its brand. From the starting grid at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the Gillette logo will be visible on the front wing flaps of the team’s two R31s. The famous brand name will also appear on the side chin area of both drivers’ helmets and on the throat position of the drivers’ overalls. Gillette MD, José Cirilo: “We decided to establish a partnership with Lotus-Renault GP because it is a traditional, respectable and efficient team, just like Gillette. We seek to give men the best they can get with products that offer precision, so we build our reputation through association with high performance sports and teams, such as Lotus Renault GP.” www.gillette.com
The Auden McKenzie brand name will feature prominently on the eye-catching R31 livery from this weekend in Monza, in addition to a position on both physios’ shirts. Auden McKenzie CEO, Amit Patel: “At Auden McKenzie, we are fully aware of the power of promoting a brand by sports. For the first time we are partnering with a Formula 1 team, and we are very pleased to be offering our support to Lotus Renault GP’s ambition to return to the very top of the sport. For the brand, being associated with a high level team in such a global sport is of great importance to us, and we are confident that the collaboration will be a prosperous one. We are very pleased to be onboard, and look forward to successful times both on and off the track in the coming months”.
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ITALIAN GRAND PRIX THE REST OF THE NEWS
FANATICAL! As the new boy in the R31 cockpit, we thought it only fair to dig out a Bruno lookalike.
As you can tell, there’s more than a passing resemblance between our very own Mr. Senna and Saved by the Bell’s Screech (Dustin Diamond).
did you know?
Through their Formula 1 careers, Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna have competed in a total of 50 Grands Prix.
WATCHES Big Time Design – Ton Cobelens, TW Steel Chief Design Officer IntroducES the new TW Steel Lotus Renault GP Collection
uilding on the success of the previous range in support of its partnership with the team, the new collection celebrates the rebranding to Lotus Renault GP, highlighted by the use of black and gold in reflection of the team’s sporting livery this season. Once again the collection offers two very different, but equally appealing platforms for the consumer and F1 fan. The TW677 (45mm) and TW678 (48mm) Pilot editions, presented exclusively with a chronograph movement, stand out with bold black dials and white numbering – making them visually more distinctive while mirroring the popular appeal of last year’s RF1 Pilot watches. The TW684 (44mm) and TW685 (48mm) CEO Tech editions provide a more luxurious offering, also featuring a chronograph movement able to measure and display time to 1/20th of a second with a real Sapphire crystal. The black
and gold colouring again incorporates the team’s branding while providing a sleek, contemporary lifestyle timepiece. The Lotus Renault GP logo features prominently on the case back of each watch in the new collection showcasing the partnership between the team and TW Steel.
What was the design platform for the new TW Steel Lotus Renault GP Collection?
As is often the case with Formula 1 cars, our design platform for the new collection was more about evolution than revolution. Last year’s Pilot and CEO Tech editions were extremely successful so we evolved the concept to offer what I believe is a truly distinguished collection.
Was it easy for you to accommodate the new brand livery into this year’s design concepts? Absolutely. I felt the new team colours worked well with our designs therefore
it was quite simple to incorporate them. Black and gold is such a luxurious combination and although our two models are both very different, I believe the effect of those colours works extremely well on both designs.
What are the standout features of both models?
Our Pilot models are visually striking with a matt sand-blasted PVD black-coated case for an exceptional matt finish. Our CEO Tech offerings sport AA-grade black PVD coated cases, off-set by AA-grade gold plated accents for a really luxurious look. The use of a real Sapphire crystal on the CEO Tech editions is also a rarity for a watch with these case dimensions! Crucially to TW Steel, both the LRGP Pilot and CEO Tech models uphold our tradition of offering high-end style and quality at an affordable price point! www.twsteel.com
Lotus Renault GP Pilot Model Numbers • TW677 Pilot (45mm) – Chronograph, matt sandblasted PVD black-coated steel case, black dial, black leather strap • TW678 Pilot (48mm) – Chronograph, matt sandblasted PVD black-coated steel case, black dial, black leather strap Lotus Renault CEO Tech Model Numbers • TW684 CEO Tech (44mm) – Chronograph, AA-grade black PVD coated case, AA-grade gold plated accents, black silicon strap • TW685 CEO Tech (48mm) – Chronograph, AA-grade black PVD coated case, AA-grade gold plated accents, black silicon strap TW Steel Lotus Renault GP Highlights Made from 316L steel • Pilot models feature bold white numbers on black dial for increased visual impact • CEO Tech models use real Sapphire crystal • CEO Tech models are 10 ATM water resistant • CEO Tech models featue a Miyota 0S25 chronograph accurate to 1/20th of a second • All models sport the Lotus Renault GP logo on the case back 14 • ITALI A N GP PREV IEW • L O T US RE NAU LT GP
MONZA IN NUMBERS 3 43 74 330
This is the highest g-force the drivers experience in the lap at T11 for 4 seconds This is the number of gear changes per lap
The percentage of the lap spent at full throttle In km/h, this is the top speed at the end of the start/finish straight
12 70 290 1200
The percentage of the lap spent braking
WHERE CAN YOU FOLLOW US? On our website, to start with:
www.lotusrenaultgp.com (English, French, Portuguese, German, Polish and Russian versions) On Twitter: twitter.com/OfficialLRGP On Facebook: facebook.com/LotusRenaultGP Vitaly on Twitter: twitter.com/vitalypetrov10 Bruno on Twitter: twitter.com/BSenna Romain on Twitter: twitter.com/Rgrosjean
In km/h, this is lowest apex speed at T2 In km/h, this is the highest apex speed at T3 The longest distance, in metres, on full throttle along the start/finish straight
Who’s who at LRGP ? • Gerard Lopez Chairman • Eric Boullier Team Principal and Managing Director • Patrick Louis Chief Operating Officer • James Allison Technical Director • Naoki Tokunaga Deputy Technical Director • Martin Tolliday Chief Designer • Dirk de Beer Head of Aerodynamics • Steve Nielsen Sporting Director • Alan Permane Chief Race Engineer • Gavin Hudson Chief Mechanic • Stephen Curnow Chief Commercial Officer • Stephane Samson Head of Team Marketing and Communications TRACKSIDE Hospitality • The girls in our hospitality who will look after our guests are Simona, Adriana and Daniela • Catering: Massimilian, Riccardo and Simoneto
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OFFICIAL TIMING PARTNER
RACE AGAINST TIME words
Matt Youson photographs LAT
Who has the most hectic job in F1? Ask ten people running around the garage a n d y o u ’ l l g e t a t l e a s t t e n d i ff e r e n t a n s w e r s , b u t s p a r e a t h o u g h t f o r t h e p e o p l e who are first in, and last out of every grand prix: we refer to the riggers.
‘Motorhome’ is a rather cosy word that harks back to the golden age of F1 when paddock hospitality and catering usually took the form of a large pot of pasta boiled on a portable stove in the
team caravan, frequently stirred by the wife of the team owner. Today things are a little different: aside from the everyday practicality of feeding a hungry crew with breakfast, lunch and
SECONDS to go
dinner, an F1 team has guests to host: everyone from royalty to rock stars to the business meetings that are the lifeblood of a thriving F1 operation. It requires a hospitality operation that can cope with anything.
The team’s seven riggers start dismantling the motorhome before the race has even finished. It’s about 16 hours graft to knock down the LRGP motorhome. They’ll call it a night around midnight, and return the next day.
By the early afternoon, any evidence of the team having been at the track has gone. At back-to-back races LRGP flies out five additional men to drive the trucks, while the riggers get some rest. EU rules allow each truckie to drive 10 hours in one stint.
Tuesday 172,800 96
Barcelona to Monaco is 680km, Nurburgring to Budapest is 1,100km. At border crossings, things are sometimes expedited with the proffering of F1 caps. As soon as the trucks arrive at their destination Tuesday morning, the unpacking begins. There are 5000 parts to the motorhome.
The catering team go shopping. One hundred kilos of meat, and 15kg of fish should last the weekend. The riggers race to get the motorhome finished so they can get a proper sit-down lunch.
The rest of the team arrives. There are 70 personnel, plus 50 guests each day. On Thursday the team will serve 200 meals. Over the weekend they’ll serve 2000 bottles of water and 30 bottles of wine and champagne. More if they get on the podium.
SECONDS to go
hours to go to go SECONDS
SECONDS to go
SECONDS to go
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GET THE BUILDERS IN The hospitality unit still has its ‘motorhome’ soubriquet but the reality is long since divorced. Lotus Renault’s construction is built up from five HGV trucks, three of which form the central atrium with its dining halls and kitchen, the other two expand to create the double-decker trailers which sit either side, housing the offices, driver rooms, showers, massage tables and everything else that allows a modern F1 team to function on the road. It takes a seven-person crew about 25 hours to build the unit. “Typically our plan will be to arrive on site the Saturday afternoon before the race weekend,” says Lotus Renault’s logistics man Thomas Fussenegger, “We’ll start building the unit on Sunday morning, work pretty much straight through and have it completed as the race team begins its staggered arrival at the beginning of the race week.” The nature of the job means that, unlike the rest of
the team who travel back to Enstone between races, the builders are almost permanently on the road. “When the European season is underway, typically the motorhome trucks will travel directly from race to race. Occasionally we might go to one of our bases in Germany or Luxembourg for maintenance, but mostly we’re driving,” adds Thomas. Of course things get a little complicated when the F1 calendar schedules back-to-back races. This season’s double-header in Barcelona and Monaco was particularly tight, as is the challenging 1100km sprint between the Nürburgring and Budapest races. “It is hectic but we manage it the best we can. One of the obvious things we do is bring in extra drivers; it would be impossible to have the crew deconstruct the unit on a Sunday evening and then immediately begin a long drive. This way they can rest while the trucks are on the road,” explains Thomas.
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OFFICIAL TIMING PARTNER
Thursday - Sunday 350 - 400 MEALS Breakfast + lunch + dinner + 50 GUESTS PEOPLE 60 - 80
Almost as soon as the chequered flag fell in Valencia, Thomas and his crew began the pack down process that would go on long into the Mediterranean evening. On Monday they set off for the long haul up to Silverstone and their first sight of the British Grand Prix’s all-new new paddock complex. “We arrived on Wednesday and the first order of business was to thoroughly clean everything. We built everything up again and then got to fly home for a day or two before returning for the event. It was a new paddock but that wasn't something that bothered us unduly. We were informed very precisely
where to set up, and as long as there’s power and water in these places, we’re very flexible on everything else!” Flexibility is a theme that runs through the other end of the operation also, as Simona Legatti, Lotus-Renault’s catering manager explains. “Thursday through Sunday we will typically serve around 350-400 meals a day, split between breakfast, lunch and dinner. We feed a team of between 60 and 80 people and host upwards of 50 guests.” Lotus Renault GP is an international outfit, which means catering for many different tastes. Simona laughs: “I guess people
wouldn’t be too happy if we only offered fish & chips – though there are a few in the garage who would be delighted! We make sure there is a menu that offers something for everybody. So of course we offer different meals for our French crew to our English crew, and we offer something else again to our guests.” Simona places a premium on sourcing her food locally, rather than shipping it with the rest of the team’s equipment from Enstone. “We transport less than most teams, I think. It’s better for our carbon footprint, but also I like having very fresh ingredients – and I really don’t see the point
of buying fresh fruit and vegetables and then freezing it for transport. Obviously there are some items we have to transport – our English crew have a fondness for bacon and sausages from home – but for the most part we use local vendors. It helps ensure the meals we provide are the best possible quality, but also full of flavour.” An army marches on its stomach, and few armies have a tougher, more sleepless mission than the riggers. So, when it gets to Thursday and the sausages are in the pan, these hard working mercenaries are always at the head of the queue. •
Company HQ: The Netherlands Core activity: Watch brand Employees worldwide: 56 Active markets: 85
TW Steel’s account manager at Enstone: Luca Mazzocco, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Lotus Renault GP Press Office Address Lotus Renault GP Whiteways Technical Centre Enstone Oxfordshire OX7 4EE UK Telephone
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+44 (0) 1608 678 609
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