Page 1

The Pride Issue

The Pride Issue

Summer 2011

Black to Business

Black to Business Summer 2011 lrgp_b2b_issue01_cover.indd 1

08/07/2011 15:59

Welcome to the first issue of Black to Business

. This magazine is the reflection of our organization’s way of tackling the challenge of Formula 1. It will show you who we are, what makes us special, why investing in us will guarantee both exposure and successful activation.

Each issue will carry a theme based on one of our core values, and I can think of none better with which to start than ‘Pride’. It is this that drives all of us at Lotus Renault GP. We are very proud to compete in the 2011 campaign, in this handsome new black and gold colour scheme, and to have commenced this new chapter in the team’s life with such a long list of loyal partners. This new approach is felt everywhere at Enstone. In the design office as well as in the production department, a philosophy based on confidence and the unlocking of each person’s potential has transformed the way our workforce approaches things. The most visible result of this change is called R31. We gave our engineers a blank sheet with this new single-seater. Only one instruction: be daring, try to innovate, take risks. This has led to a car bursting with innovations, and that’s our first cause for satisfaction when the regulatory framework is as tight as the one governing Formula 1. The R31 has been designed with a simple approach: make a lighter, more rigid car, find more speed and be more inventive. With over 92% more new components in comparison with the 2010 car, our machine is living proof of our desire to push back the limits and fight at the front. The same approach is now applied in communications, marketing and acquisitions. We are tackling the current championship with the intention of continuing to do things our way – but always with humility. I wish you an enjoyable, informative and inspirational read. See you in Singapore, for the second issue of Black to Business. •

Gerard Lopez Lotus Renault GP Chairman


01 • B2 B • T H E PRIDE ISS UE

The Pride Issue

Cover p hoto: D avid Ru iz

Black to Business



Did you know that the Miami Vice and In Bruges star used to race karts? He soaks up the race fever with LRGP in Montreal.

ENSTONE: A QUESTION OF PRIDE Ryan Borroff meets factory personnel old and new to find out why they never stop pushing.

Meet the commercial team at LRGP, and hear of the company’s recent major developments.


Catching up with team-mates and friends for some after-work fizz and fashion.

PARADE Dynamic and glorious LRGP snapshots designed to stop you in your tracks.




CHOCKS AWAY Technical director and part-time flying ace James Allison talks to Matt Youson about his career, the pressures of high-speed decision making, and moving from hands-on engineering to management.




The Renault RS01 revolutionized grand prix racing, and 35 years on diamond-power is still the must-have engine.

Adam Hay-Nicholls talks to the latest Russian to achieve lift-off – Vitaly Petrov.




78 in good nick

Dieter Rencken explores the entrepreneurial scope and ambitions of Genii Capital, and how it drives business through its high profile asset, LRGP.








Eric Boullier is an F1 leader by design, writes Maurice Hamilton.

In his 12th season at the pinnacle of motorsport, Quick Nick tells Adam Hay-Nicholls he’s never raced for a team as open as his present one.

02 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E

Think a grand prix is 90 minutes long? Think again. For the truckies and motorhomers the race never stops.


James Allen on why the FOTA Fan Forum is key to shaping F1’s relationship with the public.




Bruno Senna has it all: a fun-packed career, a sun-drenched Monte Carlo pad, and an eye-catching mid-engined sports car to tool around in. If he wasn’t such a lovely bloke, we’d hate him.


Like Singapore, but with more meteors – this 3D F1 animation is out of this world.


Sir Jackie Stewart invites us into his office.

03 • B2 B • T H E PRIDE ISS UE

to win the championship for Lotus. Emerson Fittipaldi fondly remembers rewarding the team with the ’72 title.

Experience for yourself the power, performance and technology of a Formula 1 car. _ Lotus Renault GP 2009 F1 race car (R29) _ Your dedicated team of mechanics and engineers _ Exclusive track usage for up to five days at different European locations _ Coaching from a Lotus Renault GP reserve driver _ Includes: transfers, five-star accommodation and hospitality at the circuit _ Experience of a lifetime custom tailored for your needs from ÂŁ150,000 /experiences For information email us at:


WHERE CAN YOU FOLLOW US? On our website, to start with:

BUSINESS NEWS AND VIEWS FROM LOTUS RENAULT GP (English, French, German, Russian and Polish versions) On Twitter: On Facebook: Lotus-Renault-GP-The-Official Vitaly on Twitter: Nick on Twitter: Bruno on Twitter: Romain on Twitter:

invests in the

Although the demands of the racing season are relentless, an F1 team with any ambition for the future must make a steady flow of long term investments to ensure a solid technical foundation for the coming seasons

At the end of 2009 we took the first step in upgrading the facility when we fitted the tunnel with a new rolling road. In the first quarter of 2011 we completed the upgrade by modifying the tunnel to accommodate a much more capable 60% scale model. The term ‘model’ does not really do justice to the sophisticated piece of engineering that we use as the backbone of our wind tunnel testing. It requires many man years of design and hundreds of thousands of pounds invested in it. It is stuffed full with new To guarantee that Lotus Renault GP can continue sensors and equipment that will allow us to perform much more its climb back to the top and remain competitive in the accurate experiments than our old 50% model. sport for years to come, we have made three significant investments at our factory in Enstone this year.

Driving Simulator

With in-season testing banned, the teams have sought to create virtual testing environments using sophisticated driver simulators. Achieving this has proved to be a major engineering challenge; there have been several false starts made and blind alleys pursued in trying to create a simulator capable of replicating the behaviour of the car accurately. Here at LRGP, we have judged that the technology is now sufficiently mature and the time is right to make a considerable investment in a state-of-the-art sim. The facility will be brought online towards the end of 2011 and will be a key performance tool over the coming seasons.

Upgraded wind tunnel

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 Jean-Marc Bories Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Curnow Chief Commercial Officer Stephane Samson Head of Communications

The wind tunnel that was built at Enstone in 1998 was the first of a new generation of Formula 1 wind tunnels. At the time, it was a ground-breaking development, but after 12 years of sterling service it was in need of a mid life upgrade. L O T US R ENAU LT GP •

Faster C.F.D. Supercomputer

In Formula 1, Computational Fluid Dynamics is a vital complementary tool to traditional wind tunnel testing. LRGP was one of the first teams to invest heavily in this technology. Our CFD Centre, supported by a strong network of technical partners and suppliers, has been able to push the boundaries of CFD use, capable of simulating on-track conditions to an unprecedented degree of accuracy and enabling an accelerated aerodynamic development programme. With computing, nothing ever stands still, and although the original CFD Centre Supercomputer was only two years old, the time was right to invest in new hardware. In January, we installed a new Supercomputer cluster using the latest chipsets. Our new cluster has been designed to work optimally within the FOTA Aerodynamic Restrictions, delivering us greater computational efficiency and saving us money on our electricity bill. While this saving is welcome, the real prize is the improvement in efficiency. In F1, aero is king, and this investment will pay us back very heavily in improved on-track performance. •

06 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E

NEXT STEP HOLLYWOOD? He hasn't applied for his Equity card yet, but Vitaly has provided voiceovers for the animated Disney-Pixar movie, Cars 2. He plays himself in the film, after Pixar created a Vitaly Petrov character and car. “I liked doing the voiceovers for an animated film such as this”, said Vitaly. “It was unusual but definitely fun!” Cars 2 hit screens on Thursday 23rd June in Disney Digital 3D ™ and IMAX ® 3D formats.

david young

WHO’S WHO AT LRGP? Stephen Curnow

League, Euro 2012 and the Olympics returning to Europe in 2012 to realise sport remains healthy. Companies will Our chief commercial officer says continue to seek out sport as a way of differentiating their Formula 1 is in strong shape brands and transferring the positive brand values of F1 to but that the onus is on teams their brand. to deliver greater value How would you describe the LRGP approach? In short, it’s different, I believe, from any other team on the grid. We are moving You joined Lotus Renault GP a few months ago after a away from a rate card and a set package of successful career in other sports. What made you choose rights. Our first meeting with a prospective partner involves listening, something the Formula 1 and this team in particular? The incredible potential of Lotus Renault GP excites me, from sport has not been very good at doing! the obvious commitment of the workforce on the factory floor We then jointly build a package of benefits to the vision of the senior management, I had no doubts I was that allow our partners to achieve their joining a team with the potential to be champions once again. commercial goals without having to pay for From the moment I sat down with Eric Boullier I was inspired rights they will never use. Secondly we are by his total focus to put the Enstone team back where it should then able to utilise the unique properties be – winning championships. In Genii, we also have owners we have, including the Genii Business that appreciate what needs to be done in terms of resource, Exchange, our i-Race program as well as our successful city demonstrations to offer focus and investment. F1 is in constant evolution. What have been the biggest activites throughout the year, rather than in peaks around a GP weekend. changes of the last months? Pirelli's tyres have transformed the viewing experience. F1 What's your motto? is first and foremost an entertainment product, competing “Put the partner at the heart of everything for every consumer dollar. The racing this year has been we do”. It’s as simple as that. It’s more than compelling, but most importantly sport must be unpredictable. a motto, actually, it’s a mind-set we are Does it mean sponsors are demanding greater value spreading throughout the whole Lotus Renault GP operation. Sponsorship is not nowadays? Absolutely, and quite rightly. We have an obligation to deliver only about putting a sticker on a car. value and to live up to the high expectations our sponsors set Can LRGP supply the platform and tools us. All our account teams are focussed on creating new and that the brands need? exciting ways to deliver incremental value. I was fortunate to Absolutely, I think we are one of the few have spent many years working in sponsorship for The Coca- teams on the grid capable of doing this. Cola Company, and I’ve brought some of that knowledge of We are very fortunate to have assembled the best set of account managers in the sponsor demands with me. sport, coupled with a strong commitment Has F1 been impacted by the global recession? Sport as a whole has coped well through the past 18 months, the from senior management to make this part whole sector having grown throughout this period. The multi- of the business work. The Genii Business year nature of television deals generally insulates sports rights Exchange allows our partners to access a holders from recessionary dips. You only have to look at the huge network of business contacts through deals announced in F1 in the past 12 months, the significant our team owners. This direct B2B benefit is sponsorship investments being made in both the Champions totally unique to LRGP. LO T US RENAULT GP •



There’s a lot more to it than global exposure then? F1 as a property works on a number of levels. It distils down to the partner objectives. Some are seeking the obvious global media value it delivers, others are benefiting from the direct B2B networking of the sport, others are using F1 to showcase a product. Is F1 an option for established brands only, or can this sport help build a brand ? F1 provides a great platform for an emerging or challenger brand. We are seeing an increasing number of local BRIC market brands seeking to grow beyond their geographical boundaries, and F1 provides the media and business platform to create significant business momentum in one contract. Do you feel that the car’s livery has an impact on people you're talking to ? Visually the car is stunning and draws on heritage. The reaction I’ve had from potential partners has been very positive. Our partners have used the cars’ imagery in some striking consumer advertising as well as utilising the show cars to great effect. Are you focusing on specific countries? The BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China) continue to be a focus for us, as they are for most of our current partners. We continue to see a lot of interest from Russia, due in part to Vitaly’s recent performances. In addition, our driver program also ensures we have a strong marketing program in both China and Brazil. As we approach the Indian GP, we are seeing an increasing number of Indian brands coming forward and showing interest. Is continuity the key for success when it comes to activating an involvement in F1? As long as we continue to deliver business value, then we would hope to continue to work with our partners for many years to come. One thing we can’t afford to become is complacent: we set our own high standards but are well aware there’s always another team on our shoulder. One thing we can’t afford to do is to stop listening… • For sponsorship enquiries

contact: sponsorshipenquiries

As you’ve probably noticed by now, one of the most respected names in motor racing, Sir Jackie Stewart, is on board with Genii Business Exchange, strategic partner of Lotus Renault GP



“F1 has global reach and is tied to the automotive industry which is the third largest manufacturing industry in the world. Unlike many other sports, its high technology has exceeded beyond most people’s dreams. My new association with Genii Business Exchange offers us both exciting new opportunities. “Genii’s success in the field of high technology companies is unsurpassed in the world of sports. The new technologies that we are using today have global reach because of the internet and the new discoveries of finding other ways of doing Sir Jackie, Formula 1 world champion in 1969, 1971 and business. 1973, had a remarkable racing record, with 27 wins from 99 “Historically I have been a strong starts and subsequently became well known in international believer in long-term relationships with business circles. It’s this unique combination of talents which blue chip multinationals, such as my 40 makes Sir Jackie Stewart and the Genii Business Exchange a year relationship with the Ford Motor perfect match. Company that I retired from in 2004. “As Formula 1 visits four continents per annum it offers a I am with the Rolex Watch Company who fantastic platform to engage with some of the most progressive, I have been contracted to since 1968 and I successful and established individuals in the world of am on the board of Moët Hennessy in the commerce,” says the Scotsman. UK, through a relationship that has existed Sir Jackie’s achievements on and off the race track earned since 1969. him a knighthood in 2001. “F1 is constantly breaking new ground in “Motorsport became for me an almost unique platform to a technologically challenging environment. develop from being a sportsman to then enter the world of Success takes leadership and it does not business,” he says. “I was fortunate that it was Formula 1 Grand come easily. I have always believed you Prix racing that I chose as my specialty within the world of seldom go wrong if you under promise and motorsport. over deliver.” •



08 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E

Robert’s h h road to recovery

Sunday 6th February 2011 is a day that will forever be etched By Easter, Robert had already started his rehabilitation process. on the minds of everyone at Enstone. As news filtered through that “I went to my home in Monaco for a short period of complete rest,” he Robert Kubica had been critically injured in a freak rally crash in Italy, said. “Then, I moved to Dr. Ceccarelli’s facilities in Italy where I started a everybody feared the worst. deep rehabilitation and a preliminary soft training programme. The two Anyone who has witnessed Robert go wheel-to-wheel on the race programmes have gradually crossed over based on my recovery”. Doctrack knows that he’s a fighter who never gives up. It was this determined tors and surgeons have been amazed by how quickly he’s been able to spirit that came to the fore when he arrived at Santa Corona Hospital in get better, and by his mental strength too. Although the road to recovery Pietra Ligure to begin the race of his life. is long, it’s no surprise that the Pole is already eyeing a return to racing. It’s what he lives for and there’s no greater motivation than getting back on track.

Lotus Renault GP is determined to help Robert as much as possible in the coming weeks, to ensure that he can take to the wheel again in the best possible conditions, and as soon as possible: “Robert is part of the family and we were all shocked by what happened to him,” said team chairman Gerard Lopez. “When he feels ready, we will dedicate a specific team to his training programme, allowing him to get as much mileage as he needs in an R29, which is allowed by the current regulations. Should he wish to drive during a Friday practice session to help him get the feeling back and gradually find the pace, before he officially returns to the track, we will be more than happy to make it happen this season.” As one of the finest talents on the grid, and one of the most popular characters in Formula 1, there’s no denying that Robert has been missed this season. The outpouring of support from the motorsport community has spoken volumes and has served as a great source of strength for Robert and the team. “This has helped me a lot,” said Robert. “I have tried to read as many letters as possible, but there were simply too many! I really didn’t know that so many fans were out there supporting me. I am flattered and I promise them that, when I come back, I will give them as much satisfaction as I can in return for all their support. My message to the fans? Enjoy the F1 show even though I am not currently attending the races. In my current situation as a normal spectator, this is what I am doing. From my side of things, I will capitalise on this difficult experience to ensure I come back as strong as I possibly can.” We continue to wish Robert a full and speedy recovery. ‘Szybkiego powrotu do zdrowia’ - get well soon our friend. •







TAILGATE Away from the serious on-track business, lotus renault gp is the life and soul of the party. we're here to work hard and play hard. photos








Eddie Jordan provides percussion for TW Steel’s Monaco yacht party, egged on by Nick Heidfeld Party host Jordy Cobelens and Dutch supermodel Kim Feenstra Matthew Williamson dressed the models at this year's Amber Fashion show Hollywood power couple Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger drop in on the Lotus Renault GP garage

Marvin Chemama dances on the sofas aboard TW Steel’s berth, the M/Y Oxygen




Matthew Williamson and Kim Kardashian push up the Monaco celeb quota Caroline Harrington and husband, golfer Padraig Harrington

VIII Vitaly Petrov works the catwalk

wearing a Shipton White tailored suit with a racy black and gold lining




‘The Flexican’ provides the soundtrack for TW Steel’s ‘Big Time’ party





photographer Andy Hone / Freelance kit Canon EOS 1D MKIII 500mm, 1/500 at F13 where Sainte Devote, Monaco when Thursday 26 th May STREET FIGHTING MAN “Nick Heidfeld is seen here at Sainte Devote as he prepares to thread his R31 through the uphill blast that is Monaco's Sector 1, up Beau Rivage and past Casino Square, all in an impressive 19 seconds. Surely one of the most exciting sights during the 2011 season.”







photographer Paul Gilham / Getty Images kit Canon-EOS-IDS MKIV 600mm, 1/600 at F4 where Albert Park, Melbourne when Sunday 27 th March THE TASTE OF SUCCESS “The light can be fantastic come the end of the race in Australia, thanks to the late start. I saw Vitaly step forward and the evening sunlight caught his face and the champagne beautifully. It was his first podium and you can see from his expression that he really enjoyed it.”







photographer Emily Davenport / XPB kit Canon EOS-1D MKIII 24mm, 1/1000 at F3.5 where Monaco when Thursday 26 th May LOEWS LOWDOWN “Monaco gives us a great opportunity to try new things. This was my first chance to use a 24mm tilt-shift lens and I love the effects it can give. At a track littered with photogenic places to shoot, this is probably my favourite.”







photographer Steven Tee / LAT kit Canon EOS-1DS MKIII 200mm, 1/500 at F5.6 where Sepang, Malaysia when Sunday 10 th April SUPPORTING CAST “I took this shot from the roof of the pits. I like it because it shows the other side of the podium. While most photographers were focusing on Nick Heidfeld collecting his trophy for third place, I concentrated on the team who had gathered below the podium to celebrate with Nick. It’s nice to convey the sense of teamwork which comes across in this image.”


20 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E





Colin Farrell Sunday 12th June 2011 13.40pm @ Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, Montreal Screenplay Lotus Renault GP Photographs Darren Heath + LAT Act 1, Scene 1

LRGP: What were your first memories of motorsport and F1 when you were growing up? CF: I don’t have any very early memories of Formula 1, but I do remember a particular race meet near to where I lived. I grew up in a part of Dublin that was right beside the biggest public park in Europe, a place called Phoenix Park. Every year they had this amazing motorsport gathering, the roads weren’t good but they had the paddock n’ all, and thousands of cars arrived there from all over the country of Ireland. That was my first ever recollection of the sheer emotion and energy that surrounded the world of motorsport. It really was exciting, incredibly exciting. LRGP: Did that emotion and energy draw you in? CF: Well, before, I didn’t understand a great amount about the concept of pole position, teams, drivers and that side of things. It was just the energy about it all that was so exciting – the volume, the freneticism, the colour, the sheer noise. (pauses for breath) Wow, it was all just immense. LRGP: So, you were yet another boy out there who wanted to be a racing driver then… CF: Ha ha! Well, I tried my hand at go karting for a season; it must have been when I was 18 or 19! I bought a kart off this dodgy dealer in Dublin and had a go for about seven races before I learnt it wasn’t for me, it wasn’t a roaring success put it that way (laughs)! But, through my years working in film, I’ve been able to drive some really remarkable performance cars such as on the film Miami Vice. My god, in doing that, I got an insight into what it must be like to be a professional driver. There were things I learnt, such as the weight distribution, and the electronics – they were electronically changing the gears for me from a computer – it was just so amazing, it really was. I just could not believe all the work that went into it. It was like the first time I got to be in a locker room with an American football team, I got to see how strategic things were. It is the mechanics, the sheer physics of it all and the technicalities that go into racing cars that is so staggering. In today’s era, that side of motor racing has been taken to a new level, a whole new level.


LRGP: Looking back to an era when you grew up, the late 1970s and ‘80s, F1 had a certain cache to it… CF: Man, it did, it really did. There were the James Hunts, Alain Prosts, Nigel Mansells and Ayrton Sennas. There are certain things in life which are emblazoned into your memory. It could be the Maradona ‘hand of God’ for instance – there are certain things which stand out. One of those images I have is of Mansell taking the racing balaclava off his head and the sweat just dripping off him after a shining performance. You never forget these things. LRGP: So, F1 seemed appealing to you back then? CF: I think it did, yes. I have a one-year-old, he’ll be two in October and he’s obsessed, absolutely obsessed with cars already. His first word wasn’t ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’, it was ‘auto’; he is half Polish and auto means car. With Formula 1, there is something which just transcends even a grown adult’s understanding of it all. That something is the raw power, the bare excitement and the risk-taking factor that’s inherent in motorsport. It really is such an exciting sport to be around, no doubt about it. LRGP: How would you react if one day he said “Daddy, I want to be a racing driver”? CF: I guess I’d just say “well, that’s what you’ve got to do then”. I think I’d go to bed with a Bible every single night of the week (laughs) but I would let him do it, absolutely! As I said, Henry absolutely loves cars but I was only thinking the other day that I could see him getting in a go kart one day. If he hated it the first time, then that’s it but, you know what, he could give it a go and see what he thought. My Dad took me karting once every few months when I was about fourteen and it was really good fun.

Act 1, Scene 2

LRGP: You’ve had a look in the team garage, what do you think stands out the most? CF: I mean it’s absolutely breath taking. The focus, the absolute focus that goes into everything. The amount of work that

22 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E





When a driver sits in his car he’s working closely with his team but there’s a singularity about him: a singularity of purpose and an ability to shut things out, yet at the same time have a heightened awareness of the external world - it’s a fascinating balance

goes into two cars, the eight engines a season, the work for all the drivers. The work in there is just so specific. There was one guy in there testing engine oil because there were different chemical compounds in there. It was like the periodic table – quite foreign to me, really! It was quite astonishing how they can detect when the engine’s at its peak performance, for example. The other amazing thing that stood out is how busy it is in there, how many different jobs there are going on. Human beings are excited when other human beings are working at their highest level of performance, and that’s what this is – the drivers, mechanics, engineers and all the technical personnel operating at the very top of their game. It’s not dissimilar to being at the Olympics and watching a top athlete behind the scenes – the diet that goes with their job and that sort of thing really is fascinating. LRGP: Talking about the technical side of F1, do you enjoy this part of the sport? CF: Don’t get me wrong boss, I’m not saying the bubble has burst with the emergence of all the technicalities in the sport. If anything, I’m even more excited nowadays with the way the sport is. By coming to join the team in Montreal I’m more of an avid fan by proxy, I definitely am. I had a period about eight or nine years ago for two seasons when I used to regularly organise a brunch every Sunday, and the lads would come over to the house for some rashers of bacon, eggs and sausages at my cottage in Dublin. We loved it.

Anytime you get to test yourself in a discipline in a world that is so clearly defined, such as the world of Formula 1, it would be a terrific experience. And then within that world, you could get to be a character, like a James Hunt or someone with his behaviour. But, as an actor, there’s a very specific structure and there are boxes to be ticked before you can decide how your own personality would fit into such a role. LRGP: No motor racing role at the moment then? CF: No… I’m working on a project called Total Recall in Toronto, I’ve been there three weeks and I’ve got another three months to go. I’ve only been in Montreal 24 hours, but it really has been great to join the team. LRGP: Are there attributes you see in the garage which are also relevant to acting, or any profession for that matter? CF: Yes, a need to be absolutely singular and not lean on others too much. When a driver sits in his car seat of course he is working closely with his team, but there is also a singularity about him: a singularity of purpose, singularity of intent, an ability to shut out the things in the external world, yet at the same time have a heightened awareness of the external world – that is a fascinating balance. The drivers have an ability to shut down the negative aspects going on around them: the noise, the chaos, the pandemonium. Not only this, but to also be able to avoid these aspects or engage with them in a particular way is quite a skill. It is a complete paradox in a way, but quite impressive.


Act 1, Scene 3

LRGP: Looking to your career, would you like to play a racing driver in a film? CF: There are times when the profession of acting really spoils you in terms of the opportunity it gives you to research a world you would never go near… LRGP: So, playing a racing driver role would be intriguing… CF: Yes, oh my god, yes. Big time! The closest I’ve had to such a thing is working on the film Miami Vice, where the part I was playing was as a cop, and I got to drive some pretty impressive performance cars. But, to spend three months or so going somewhere like Indianapolis, or even Europe, would be brilliant. Either playing a racing driver or a boxer; I think a lot of guys would answer the same thing. It would be a rite-of-passage for some male actors.






LRGP: Drivers often have to improvise and show initiative in making their decisions – is that the case in Hollywood? CF: Ah, yes it is. Obviously in acting you have more time on your hands, and the consequences of making a split second decision in front of a camera are not quite as important and aggressive as the consequences of being a racing driver. As an actor, as an athlete, as a racer, as a father, if you are living in the complete present – if all the other tenses disappear – there’s only one tense to focus on and that’s the immediate now. If you do that, you’re in a good place. It’s true of acting as well; you should be able to respond based on what you are faced with, not based on a pre-conceived notion on how things are going to go, otherwise it would be a death warrant in this sport. •


enstone A



pride At Enstone, the home and the heart of Lotus Renault GP, the workforce strives hard to fulfil the team’s goals on the track. team work, passion and the desire to win begins in the factory. words: ryan borroff /// photographs: malcolm griffithS








ver since its beginnings back in the 1950s, F1, the pinnacle of international motor racing, has been bathed in glamour. You’d be forgiven for thinking that F1 thrives on corporate hospitality, motorhomes serving gourmet food, supermodels, champagne, and a cavalcade of glitter and fizz wafting around the paddock, a place as full now of Hollywood

A-listers, TV cameras and pit girls as mechanics, team principals and technicians. Yet despite becoming the multi-million dollar business it is, F1 demands the same grit, grease and determination motor racing has always done. Only in spades. Behind the velvet rope, Lotus Renault GP team’s base in Enstone appears, at first, to be sleepy by comparison. Tucked away in

the Oxfordshire countryside far away from the roustabout that is the world’s finest racing series, work continues unabated. The atmosphere at Enstone is determined, even studious. The near silent

efficiency in which the workforce is going about its business feels uncanny. Yet things here are moving incredibly quickly. The days when a race car would be designed then ‘tweaked’ over the course of a season are long gone. At Enstone major components of the cars can be redesigned, rebuilt and retested between each race, with the performance of the car tailored to each of the 19 different race tracks on the F1 calendar. You’d better be sure people are working fast. As with any F1 organization, this team has seen its share of ups and downs over the years. But despite having changed ownership so recently, its DNA remains largely untouched. According to the staff working here, the atmosphere is exceptionally friendly for an F1 team, with people from different departments sharing ideas and experiences freely. Enstone employees understand better than most the transient nature of F1 success. The workforce is the backbone of LRGP, and it has learnt to weather change by controlling their attitude to it. Performance at Enstone has got better by change, not by chance.

1 /2 years 1


arketing account manager Luca Mazzocco has worked at Enstone for 15 years and is the longest serving member of the marketing team. “As soon as I came here in 1996... I felt very comfortable. It’s very friendly, very open here. Obviously at work you need to have a system - people give orders and people execute them. But people know they are free to express themselves and present new and different ways of doing things.”




merican junior mechanical designer Cary Kravets came to Enstone a year and a half ago fresh from Oxford Brookes, where he completed a Masters in Motorsport Engineering. He is now part of the mechanical design group. “F1 was like this untouchable thing,” explains Cary excitedly, “...a couple of hundred engineers in the whole world get to go race these cars. We’re all part of something very special.” Cary certainly has a fresh take on things and despite being one of Enstone’s newest faces he has worked on designing the oil tank, fuel cell and steering wheel. While other members of his team are assigned to specific areas, his training means he doesn’t yet have a specialization. so far he says he’s enjoyed working on the steering wheel the most. “It’s kind of the glory part, I got to work with the

change in this friendliness and openness.” As LUCA’s job is to look after clients - he travels not just to many of the F1 races, but also to testing, car launches and other sponsorship commitments where he entertains VIP guests - this accessibility is invaluable: “Even if the mechanics are super busy working on the car they still make time to make clients feel at home and feel part of the team. It’s the same in the factory. It’s clearly


drivers to ensure that each steering wheel was how they wanted it.” Cary is honing his skills by talking to more experienced members of the team, not just with people in the design office but in the build shop too, with the mechanics and the machinists. “They’re very open to my going down there and discussing things and answering questions like ‘how did you make this part?’.” It’s an incredible opportunity. I love how fast everything goes, and it’s a never-ending development. We’ve got a new wing almost every race, something new on the car all the time; you’ll design a part and a week later it’ll be ready to go on the track. In any other industry you wouldn’t find a turnaround time anything like as fast as what we’re capable of here. It’s rewarding to create something that you can hold in your hands so quickly.”


“We are constantly pushing the boundaries of the materials and working in such a way makes you very competitive”




Chris Martin

Fabricator/weldeR LUCA says that, ultimately, this openness is responsible for the success of the team: “The enstone-based team is not just the same core of people, otherwise - inevitably - it would grow old and die. It’s a mix of new blood too and fresh new approaches are equally important. Despite management changes, I haven’t seen any



because people here love what they do and are proud of their work. Nobody is pointing a machine gun at them, people work late because they love their jobs and because they understand what it means to be part of a team. You couldn’t exist in a place like this if you didn’t love what you do.”


hris Martin joined in 1981 and is the longest serving employee at Enstone. The Fabrication department makes the metal components of the car - parts including radiators, exhausts, oil and water pipes - out of aluminium and titanium. The work is exacting and highly-skilled and demands meticulous precision: “Everything [on the car] is so compact now,” explains Martin. There is no space for error. Everything is exact. Everything we make has to be right. Everyone knows that. It’s a given



to work to such a high standard and it’s a level that everyone is at and a level that we all work to. Personally, I like having to be so precise in my work and I take pride in what I do.” employees in fabrication have been working together for a long time and know one another well, which is important for when the job is at its toughest during the winter time: “When we are making a new car the mid January deadline is immoveable, so you have to put the hours in to get it done. But everyone just pulls


together and gets on with it.” Despite being so far from the track, even in the fabrication department the desire to excel is fierce: “We are constantly pushing the boundaries of the materials and working in such a way makes you very competitive. I think this unites everyone at Enstone regardless of their personality type. The best moments are watching the car go over the line in first position. We have had several world championships here and winning is a fantastic feeling.”





avid Hamer has been with the Renault team since 1988. Originally responsible for the team’s R&D facilities, HE now runs the seven-post shaker rig performing technical analysis on the cars by simulating the forces they’ll be subjected to on the racetrack. He has also worked at Lola and Arrows. “I do track replay work,” says DAVID. “On this rig you actually profile the surface of every circuit that we race on, not just all of the bumps ON THE TRACK but also the way the downforce is applied. It’s quite a tricky thing to get right because the downforce can disturb the natural response of the car. A lot of people didn’t make much progress with track replay but we stuck with it and our system incorporates elements we’ve added, even made ourselves, to tailor it to our exact needs.”

David says that developing the system has taken many, many years and comes from his experience in testing; experience that has also been applied to the rig’s software and data analysis. Where the team used to measure different elements using graphs to evaluate performance. Now they measure the force between the tYre and the road - the contact patch - and have an algorithm that allows them to convert it into a lap time. “This means whenever we make a change on the rig we generate an estimate of a lap time improvement or degradation. It’s given us a means of saying that a car’s set-up is faster by this amount and we can actually give a number that estimates the compromise between aerodynamics and mechanical grip. It’s the biggest contribution I’ve made to this team and I suppose you could say I’m very proud of it.”

“You really see the team at its best when people have to pull together to get things done under great pressure”




n Canada it was very cold and wet so let’s just say we relied on our humour,” laughs Jenny Moore, “... It already feels like a long time ago.” It isn’t, it’s the following Wednesday and Jenny Moore, Travelling Spares Coordinator - and the only woman to work in the pit lane garage for LRGP - looks tired. Jenny has been coordinating spares at Enstone for almost five years but 2011 is her first full racing season working at the track. Based in the garage with the mechanics on race days she is also responsible for some tyre blankets (she takes one blanket off in the garage and on the grid for the race) and is ‘nose off’ on the pit stop, when required. “Thankfully I haven’t had to do that yet. It’s all quite a thrill though and very hard work, challenging but also good fun. I was a PA for many years and I learnt to be very organiZed and pre-empt scenarios that may throw up different problems. I try to think ahead about which parts will be needed.” Jenny spends a lot of her time checking the stock so she knows exactly what is there, and in what quantity so she can access it quickly. “I like to travel out early to get everything ready so that when the mechanics arrive everything is there. They are very focused on what they want to build and how long they’ve got to do it. You often have all of the mechanics asking for things at the same time so you have to know which jobs will take the most build time and then get those parts out first, and in order. You have to have a knowledge of the parts and where they go and how long jobs take. Then THE MECHANICS stand the best chance to get the cars back out on track as quickly as possible.”


think people work better when they are working in a harmonious way,” says marketing account manager, Luca Mazzocco, of the team’s friendly attitude. “Hierarchical control is important here but if you work with a team spirit, it reflects well on who we are and what we do.” Which explains,


arrod Murphy’s tall frame leads US through a set of large doors, down a long corridor and into the heart of the LRGP’s Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) department housed in what is essentially a series of large rooms in a bunker-like building built into a hill behind the main Enstone factory. Like everywhere else at Enstone, the place is spotless, but here especially so. The facility is so new the floors shine. JARROD has been with the team since 1996, his first job in F1. Recruited straight out of university he spent three years in the stress department before moving into CFD: “We have one of the strongest CFD facilities in F1,” states Murphy proudly, punching in a security access code and showing the ‘cluster’ - huge banks of computers running millions of computational simulations simultaneously, and noisily, it has to be said. “That’s the noise of the fans because the cluster is running 24/7 evaluating many different ideas, and concepts. Usually new ideas start off in CFD before putting them into the wind tunnel to get some tunnel data. We’re getting data constantly. It’s the rate at which we find them that’s crucial. All of the teams are improving their cars all the time, no team is standing still, so our job is to find them at a quicker rate than the other teams.” Murphy admits his team is motivated to do better, and be better, than other teams. To see the car move up the grid by developing it more quickly and, he stresses, faster than the other teams are developing their cars. This success lies in managing the working process efficiently: “The more efficient we are, the more ideas we can get through the cluster. This increases our hit-rate which translates directly to better performance on the track. Engineers like solving problems and the problem is trying to generate more downforce within the rules that you’re given. The ultimate gauge of our department’s performance is the amount of downforce we put on the car, so it’s a clear indicator of how good a job we’re doing.”



says Luca, the team’s world championship success in 1995 and then again, back-to-back, ten years later. “You can see a pattern – if you look at ’94 and ’95 – Benetton had a team that inspired better results than the bigger players, then won in 1995. But then this team did it again ten years later and achieved two consecutive championships in 2005 and 2006.” Luca is keen to point out that it’s coming up to ten years since

the team last peaked. “You know there could be a genuine cycle there. It’s what I believe, that we are ascending again.” But even between the highlights, LRGP takes huge pride in how the team works together, even in the face of adversity. “You really see the team at its

best when people have to pull together to gets things done under great pressure,” says Jenny Moore, travelling spares coordinator. “Moments when something has been developed late and has to be pushed through quickly. People work really well as a team to get it out of the door. These are the times when you are reminded of just how good everyone is, and how good people are at working as a team to get the cars out on the track and running well. It’s a great feeling.” At LRGP, management has to balance experience with innovation, craftsmanship with efficiency and organization with communication. It’s a constant battle to get right and success lies with its employees. As head of CFD, Jarrod Murphy says, “Winning is definitely about the people and how they work together. It’s as simple as that. It defines what this team is.” •

Check on job opportunities at 30 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E





he interviews conducted with Genii Capital’s shareholders Gerard Lopez and Eric Lux in Valencia, Spain on the occasion of the launch of the first GeniiRenault car early in 2010 rapidly revealed their love and passion for Formula 1. To their credit, their understanding of the Formula 1 business shone through with equal intensity.


Between them they own six historic F1 single-seaters, dozens of sportscars, and have competed in international GT racing. But, during its 61-year history, this most capitalist of sports has seen a raft of well-heeled superfans come and go, mostly with depleted pockets. There is an old adage that goes ‘To make a small fortune out of Formula 1, start with a large one’ but, over the past 18 months, most people in the paddock have noted that the enthusiasm of these two long-time friends for F1 has been more than matched by incisive decisions. The best known profile of Genii Capital’s two founders is chairman Gerard Lopez, a child of the early seventies whose Spanish parents located to the Grand Duchy on assignment (Gerard’s father held a job with DuPont) and later returned there. The cultural diversity of Luxembourg instilled a love of many things in the lanky child, including languages, and he is today fluent in eight tongues – Spanish, French, German, English, Italian, Portuguese, Luxembourgish and Galician – and has a working knowledge of Japanese, having studied the language courtesy of an American Embassy bursary which took him to Miami University.

When it was announced that genii capital, the luxembourgbased investment firm, had acquired a majority of shares in renault's formula 1 operation in december 2009, eyebrows shot up, particularly as THE COMPANY had no visible links to the world's most glamorous sport. eighteen months later, however, gerard lopez and eric lux have proved the strength of their original masterplan.

words dieter rencken





33 21 • B2 B • T H E PRIDE ISS UE


t was there that he found his true niche through reading Statistics and mathematics, Management Information Systems – aka IT – and, wait for it, Asian Arts. A broader curriculum is difficult to imagine, yet befits this extremely thoughtful individual, who maintains links to the university through being on the board of its business school.

As a student a concept for an internet-based business bubbled about his restless brain. The web was then in its embryonic stage, but, crucially, the university had introduced an entrepreneurship programme, and, relates, Gerard, “I thought, well, that might give me the tools to find out how to do something with this thing that was not the Internet at the time, but connecting computers. “So I went and met the chairman of that programme, actually a very successful entrepreneur himself called John Altman. I went to his course, and John said ‘You’re kind of ready, you think differently, you should just go and do it’ essentially. So I had a business plan presented to him, presented to other people, very senior people. We got the funding for what became Icon Solutions, essentially one of the first web agencies, which went on to attract Lexus and Reebok as clients, and went public in 1995 after I sold it.” Gerard moved back to Europe, and quickly realised technology in Europe was way behind. “We were minimum four or five years behind, which is unbelievable today”. So, using the fruits of Icon Solutions he started a company in the automotive leasing sector called Pro Lease while nurturing the concept of providing capital for IT start-ups. It, too, went public – so by age 26 two of Gerard’s start-ups had been listed. However, he recognised for broader experience, so joined Arthur Andersen in the Business Consulting practice. “Essentially I was able to apply my skills, became a director very young, based in Luxembourg but also working out of Chicago, Paris and Madrid. I had a big group across the world – it was amazing, because there were 60 000 people or so, and I had access to pretty much everybody and everybody knew this kid. This was ’97, and I really learned a lot, and while being there I met the people that are now my partners at Mangrove, and Eric Lux.” Education rounded, he put his start-up finance to his new-found friends, and they formed Mangrove Capital Partners, although Eric Lux first needed to concentrate on his family’s real estate holdings in Luxembourg. The plan was for Mangrove – named after the swamp trees which have an incredibly strong, submerged root network – to “initially invest personal money, small amounts, and just build up companies. It grew quite fast; Mangrove is now in its 11th year.” Having made a hit-and-miss investment in a Swiss company called QuickCom, which had developed a

peer-to-peer communications system which failed to fly due to prevailing broadband speeds not being fast enough, Mangrove was ready and waiting when the inventors of Skype, a similar telecoms system, came knocking. The investment paid off handsomely: “A return of 1000 times on the first investment and 250 on the second money,” reveals Gerard, not without a wry smile. “We had two things: we believed in the guys and we had an understanding of the technology when nobody else did. While talking to us they were turned down by ten, twelve investors. So we invested in them, and that was it; Mangrove took off.” Then as now Gerard applies a home grown acid test when evaluating technologies: “The grandmother test. If she can use (the technology) then anyone can, and then it will probably be big.” This simple criterion has led Mangrove to invest in what became a company called Lumension, today the largest privatelyowned IT security company in the world and Brokat, the first company to develop internet transaction sites for banks, the latter also providing a 1000-fold return. Then there’s Nimbuzz (“by far the largest mobile communications application with 25 million users and the fastest growing company in India after Facebook”), and Wix (“just voted the hottest company in Israel…”). However, these represent just some of the 1800 technological-related investment opportunities received by Mangrove every year, which is not only the seventhranked such fund in the world among 1500 peers, but the leading early stage investor in Europe through its direct shareholdings in over 50 operations globally. Meanwhile Eric Lux’s family real estate group mutated into one of the largest land-owning entities in Luxembourg, developing shopping malls, office parks and large housing projects. He and Gerard now control what is known as Ikodomos, which has over 200 bigname tenants, including the likes of Amazon, Sodexho, CitiGroup and Arcelor in mostly unleveraged developments in the Grand Duchy. In addition, Ikodomos has joint ventures worldwide including in Eastern Europe (a few thousand apartments) and South Korea. However, Gerard’s and Eric’s current focus is very much on Genii Capital, simply due to it being their newest ‘baby’. Much as parents shower attention on the latest offspring, so Genii Capital – and its varied portfolios, including the F1 operation – commands much of their time.

What is Genii Business Exchange?


enii Business Exchange is, like Lotus Renault GP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Genii Capital, with the resources being entirely dedicated to managing the business side of the F1 team. Lopez describes it as “the team’s business analyst department, which travels with the team, and creates opportunities in every country the team races in.” Genii Business Exchange offers a totally unified global platform, both within and without F1, with the common thread being a race team operating at the highest level in the world’s largest annual sporting block staged in 20

countries per annum. A remarkable coup was the luring of Sir Jackie Stewart as Genii Business Exchange Ambassador. The triple world champion, knighted in 2001 for his service to the full F1 spectrum rather than ‘merely’ for his considerable on-track achievements, has consulted to blue-chips such as Goodyear, Rolex, Ford Motor Company and Royal Bank of Scotland, and sits on the board of Moët Hennessy in the UK. Through being a full division of Genii Capital, Genii Business Exchange directly benefits from Genii Capital’s network of

companies, portfolios and key commercial and political figures – plus, of course, F1 team personnel – and access to these assets are equally offered to partners, sponsors and associates on a structured basis. These portfolios include Real estate & Hospitality; Technology, Media & Telecommunications; Clean Tech and Green Energy; Energy, Utilities and Natural Resources; Automotive & Racing, and Genii Business Exchange exists to structure specific benefits programmes which draw on a wide range of options. Formula 1 is without

We had two things: we believed in the guys and we had an understanding of the technology when nobody else did.


34 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E




doubt the most progressive technical environment in the world – its rate and pace of change exceeds even that of the aerospace industry – with many of its solutions ultimately flowing into daily activities far removed from the sport of driving fast cars for the entertainment of a global audience annually measured in billions. The sciences, military, healthcare, IT and financial sectors have, in addition to obvious industries such as automotive and electronics, benefitted from F1 partnerships, and Genii Business Exchange’s team of consultants is best placed to advise in this regard. •


enii Capital has five pedestals, namely Technology, Real estate, Automotive, Energy, and Alternative Energy, and was started as a private investment vehicle in 2008, essentially to invest in non-early stage technology deals and non-commercial real estate. In other words, anything that does not ‘fit’ either Mangrove or Ikodomos.

The highest profile brands within Automotive is Movit, a hi-tech carbon-based braking system for (mainly) high performance sports cars, and MCE-5, an emerging variable compression ratio engine technology. Genii Global Energy enjoys privileged access to various emerging governments and concentrates on oil and gas exploration, while the Energy and CleanTech divisions are constantly seeking alternate energy sources and disruptive technologies. Here the Lotus Renault GP partnership with Trina Solar is an example of the activation tools used, with the premium solar panel manufacturer being the first environmental technologies and global renewable energy company in the sport. The partnership has three directions: using F1 to promote advanced technologies; add value to the team's operations while enabling it to reduce its environmental impact; and to explore synergies through HeliosMax, a Genii Capital company specialising in project design and engineering for solar technology. It thus provides a perfect case study for Genii Capital’s F1 involvement. The most prestigious asset of the Real Estate Division is Charlie Chaplin's former residence in Switzerland, Le Manoir de Ban, but Genii Capital is constantly seeking further non-commercial property investments, while the activities of Financial Advisory are selfexplanatory. At the end of 2010 Genii Capital completed its purchase of the Renault F1 Team – including bricks and mortar - with the operation now being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Genii Capital, which is active in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries and Africa, Europe and the United States in particular. So, how does Lopez intend turning the operation into more than a profitable hobby, which is what it is (incorrectly) perceived by many within and without the F1 paddock to be? In short, how will the F1 team, which owns its own facilities in Oxfordshire, England and in which Genii has made recent substantial capital investments, become a fully-fledged contributor to Genii’s bottom line through exploiting the benefits of sporting success? While the nuts and bolts of said partnership benefits are detailed in the sidebar, it is over to Gerard to explain the team’s philosophy. “First, the idea is to

bring partners that are not here – we have some that were not exposed to F1, exposure to F1 is of interest to them, particularly for companies exporting, or planning to. “The second thing, which is something that we’re doing quite aggressively, is working on a number of deals where F1 is not the end point, but can become an interesting portion of the strategy. We’ve got a couple of deals in the pipeline right now, where we’re actually helping companies internationalise.” He proffers an example of an Initial Public Offering (IPO), with part of the IPO exercise being to promote the brand to create awareness to increase stock value. – a sort of here ‘this is us, and we’re big enough for Formula 1’ approach. Then there are B2B deals, with the team offering a full menu of options/benefits to partners, from on-car branding through hospitality to technical partnerships. “We’re doing one in aviation now for instance, so that’s the deal. Then there’s something else we’re looking at, on the software side, building prediction models, simulations, that kind of thing. “With (partner) Group Lotus we’re looking at essentially more than that, the collaboration might be wider on the Group Lotus and (owner) Proton side, be it brakes, carbon ceramic brakes, be it onboard systems… when I say ‘we’, it’s not the royal ‘we’, it’s very much the people that work in the companies we have stakes in. “As far as Lotus Renault GP is concerned, I stress that we (Gerard and Eric) have given Eric Boullier (team principal and managing director) and a couple of other guys full power and full control to adapt. We try to help where we can, we try not to be in the way, obviously have strong opinions on certain things; most of it is processes and so on. But the point is (also) if you do it at the level that we’re trying to do it, your objective has to be to win, and win the championship.” Will Gerard and Eric succeed in this demanding environment in which so many have failed? Success in F1 depends upon many factors – technological, financial, sporting, etc. – but it equally demands business acumen, passion and vision. Genii Capital track records include all the above – in abundance. •

The idea is to bring partners that are not here – we have some that were not exposed to F1 – exposure to F1 is of interest to them


36 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E

chocks away taking lrgp to new heights

Technical director of a competitive Formula 1 team isn’t a job for anyone with their head in the clouds, but in the case of James Allison, Lotus Renault GP are prepared to make an exception words matt youson illustrations thomas andrea


38 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E


39 • B2 B • T H E PRIDE ISS UE

The pilot in the carbon-composite skinned chassis is prepared to accelerate to over 200mph down the long ribbon of Silverstone asphalt. His harness straps him in absurdly tightly against the violent manoeuvring and high g-forces he’s about to experience. He concentrates on his own performance, memorizing the twists and turns ahead, ignoring what his competitors may do. This is Lotus Renault technical director James Allison, and he isn’t driving a car.


ilverstone’s occasional employment as a venue for top level aerobatic competition tends to get lost in the background of its day-to-day life as Britain’s premier racing circuit, but James Allison is as accustomed to competing in the air above the Northamptonshire track as he is from the garages below. “I didn’t want to be an engineer as a boy, I wanted to be a pilot,” he confesses . “My Dad was a fighter pilot in the RAF and I always idolized him, and still do to some extent. I couldn’t imagine a more fun way to spend my life than flying military jets – but I’m colour-blind so I couldn’t. Even so, I’ve always tried to fly aeroplanes as high-performance as I could afford, so my hobby has been flying aerobatics.” ‘Hobby’ is something of a disservice to James’ pastime. He’ll routinely throw his Extra 300L into Hammerheads, Cubans and Tailslides and in his time has flown in the serious business of the British National Championships. Though currently too busy to indulge in competition flying, his plane is still, he acknowledges, “pretty hardcore.” “It’s classified at +10G/-10G and I’m routinely flying it to +8G and -5G, it’s sufficiently aggressive that if I take passengers up I have to fly it quite gently or they end up being sick.” James isn’t the only gentleman flyer in the F1 paddock, but he is perhaps the only technical director who routinely pulls more negative G than one of his racing drivers hurtling through Eau Rouge. For anyone else it would be daunting, but for James it’s a release from the real high-pressure demands of his day job. To the outside world, success in F1 is a matter of champagne and trophies: inside it’s all about the maths and physics. The burden of getting that right falls squarely on the shoulders of the technical director, a fact which an increasingly knowledgeable audience has become aware of in the last few years. Some technical directors are feted as superstars in their own right, others prefer to avoid the spotlight. James falls into the latter group but his 20 years in Formula 1 have bought him an enviable record of achievement, most of which – though not all – have come with the team that is now Lotus Renault GP. James joined Benetton straight out of university. He was hired to design pit equipment, but was instead posted to the aero department. Twenty years later, with a reputation as one of F1’s foremost aerodynamicists, history would suggest that move was serendipitous. James moved to Larrousse in 1992. “I went from being the lowliest of the low in the aero department at Benetton to being the head of aero at Larrousse,” he recollects with a broad grin. “Though to be strictly accurate I was also their entire aero department, but because it was a tiny team I learned quite a lot;






I had to turn my hand to everything. I stayed with them until they went bankrupt in 1994 – fortunately I hadn’t upset too many people at Benetton and they took me back.” The Benetton team James returned to was in its championship-winning pomp. Ross Brawn was the technical director and Michael Schumacher was driving the car designed by Rory Byrne. By 1995 James was jointly running the aero department with Nikolas Tombazis and on his own from 1997 when Tombazis followed Brawn and Byrne to Ferrari. “I carried on until 1999 when I in turn piled off to Ferrari to enjoy five very happy years in Italy.” After countless successes with the Scuderia he chose to return home in 2004. He was deputy technical director of Renault, née Benetton, when the team won the drivers’ and constructors’ championship double in 2005 and 2006 and was promoted into his current role last year. Even with frugality breaking out all over F1, his engineering team still numbers in the hundreds. “We’re no longer a cottage industry, we are a sport of medium-sized manufacturing enterprises,” reflects James. “There was a generation of guys who did a whole car in junior formulae, and were perfectly capable of doing a whole car at Formula 1 level but that era has – sadly – passed. By the time I can came into the sport things were becoming much more specialized.” In the modern era James cites his Benetton and Ferrari boss Ross Brawn as being a good example of what the role requires: “Teams needed to get much better at organizing their processes and their structures to cope with devolved leadership, trying to allow all the talents to express themselves – but in a coordinated way. When I was at Ferrari, Ross made that look extremely easy. He never needed to be authoritarian: natural leadership leaked out of him; people wanted to follow his lead. His style of management suits this era of F1, where you need to get significant numbers of people all pulling in the right direction. I think that lots of people have watched Ross operate and seen it as the way to build a successful team.” Lotus Renault’s organizational structure differentiates between the upstream processes, necessary for laying down a new car design every year, and the downstream manufacturing and assembling operations. “At the upstream end of it we have aerodynamics, the largest department in the company by some way. Most things tend to start there because most of the performance in the car is laid down by the aerodynamic decisions we make. We try to place as many of our eggs in that basket as we dare. You structure a lot of your operation based on how long things take to make and how much goodness you can add at the beginning. In aero, there’s a lot of goodness you can add at the beginning, so you start it early and put as much into it as you can.”


Under his aegis, JAMES also has a transmission department, R&D, vehicle dynamics, electronics, control specialist, designers to turn the upstream research into useable parts, manufacturing operations, quality control and stress testing. Finally, the race team puts it all together and takes it out onto the track.


he job of a successful team is to make sure each of those departments is putting the appropriate amount of effort into next year’s car, compared to this year’s. And that they have a programme of work they all understand and are capable of delivering.” Choosing that split between work for the current season and preparation for the season to come is a big decision but not a difficult one, “because those aren’t minute-by-minute decisions,” James explains. “We’ve got ourselves into a reasonable position for the last couple of years where we don’t have to ignore the fact next year’s car is bearing down on us in preference to focusing on the here and now. We’ve had the discipline that, regardless of what the current pressure is, we are going to invest the necessary amount of resource into next year. We decide upfront, more than a year ahead of the new car, how much of the factory’s resource we are going to devote to it month-by-month. There is some ebb and flow but the broad commitment is made a long time in advance. It’s my role to decide that, but it’s not very stressful. The stress comes when you’re deciding how brave you can be with the resources you’ve got deployed.” As an example, James cites the current issue of blown diffusers, and the intentions of the FIA to specify the positioning of exhaust pipes for next year. Lotus Renault’s early work on exhaust design had not envisaged running the (very hot) exhausts alongside a gearbox. “My job is to decide how much we can afford to delay next year’s gearbox by, in order to have a good look at the implications of routing these pipes differently. How much you delay will translate into what sort of world of pain you’re going to be in come January and February 2012 in terms of being ready to run the car. You can’t run the car until you pass the crash tests, and you can’t pass the crash tests until you have a gearbox casting on which to do the rear impact test. That’s the sort of area where it gets stressful.” It is a familiar gripe espoused by senior technical management that success is its own punishment: the higher up the chain of command you go, the less opportunity there is to do any proper

engineering. James doesn’t quite see it in those terms. “It depends a little bit on what you mean by proper engineering. If you ask me if I sit in front of a CAD screen designing things or writing analysis software, I don’t do that. However, if you think of engineering as attempting to apply the rules of maths and physics and the knowledge of how systems behave to make intelligent decisions about how to optimize a design, or as a decision-making process about where to put resources, which horses to back and which to drop – that’s as much the job of an engineer as sitting in front of a CAD screen. It’s all part of the process by which a new car is designed, so I still feel every day I spend at this place is proper engineering – it’s just a different form of engineering from what I was doing when I was a little bit younger.” It is certainly no less intense. The lifestyle of an F1 engineer affords few opportunities for leisure and even fewer for the technical director, so for the moment James has bowed out of competitive aerobatic flying. “If you can’t find time to practice, you quickly become rubbish! So since I was given the job of technical director, I haven’t been able to do any competitions – but I’ve had the pleasure of teaching my son to fly, which has been much more enjoyable.” “Aerobatic competition is all about precision, and the satisfaction comes not from doing it, but from knowing when you’ve flown a really clean sequence and not made any errors. Fly well in competition and it makes you feel like a king.” It would be nice to end with James saying that winning grands prix evoked the same feeling, but he sidesteps cliché. “No, the work is massively, massively more important. It’s absorbing to a level that’s hard to explain. As I’ve been lucky enough to be given more responsibility, there is both the satisfaction of seeing your efforts rewarded by gradual improvement on the track, but much more than that is this very strong sense of feeling like there’s a team of several hundred people here whose future happiness and welfare is at least partially linked to the success of this company. You’re desperate for it to be good so that it’s good for all of them as well.” •

“There’s a sense of camaraderie you have with the people who share the highs and lows with you and commit to what you’re trying to achieve. When you have a setback it’s like being hit, but correspondingly when you get it right, and get it right for all of them, that is fantastically rewarding.”







Company HQ: Boulogne-Billancourt, France Core activity: Road cars Employees worldwide: 121,422 Active markets: 118

The Renault Sport F1 factory, located close to the often congested A6 autoroute to the south of Paris, is a modern glass and steel structure. In 2011, it celebrates its 35th year of F1 activity. Today, Viry-Chatillon is a surburban and industrial sprawl, but this wasn't always so. When Renault and Gordini started building high-performance engines here in 1969, it was all countryside. And when, in 1975, the factory was tasked with creating a new generation of Formula 1 engines, the quiet rural setting was rudely awoken by the feral sound of roaring pistons. Renault president Bernard Hanon and Elf competition director François Guitter had assigned the program to Alpine initially, whose A500 test car was a rolling laboratory. Then, in 1976, the project was taken over by the parent company: Renault Sport was born, and continues to thrive 35 years and nine world titles later. Only with a subtle change: since the beginning of the season, the organization is known as Renault Sport F1. It remains one of the strongest partners of Lotus Renault GP,






45 • B2 B • T H E PRIDE ISS UE

having powered the team to two podiums in the first half of the 2011 season. Back to 1976. The company was soon juggling the varied responsibilities and tremendous challenges of both Formula 1 and Le Mans for the French auto giant.

Previous page, top three photos: It’s 1982, and the Renault boys are hard at work. That year the Renault RE30B won the first race of the season, at Kyalami with Alain Prost.

Previous page, main photo: The RS10 of 1979 became the first turbocharged car to win a grand prix, memorably at home at Dijon. The RS10’s 1.5-litre V6 turbo led Formula 1 into a new era.

“Management gave us the imperative to use a common engine as our basis,” says Bernard Dudot who, back then, was engine project manager. “We took the direction of a supercharged 2 litre engine that was run at Le Mans and became a 1.5 litre for the F1 programme”. Gerard Larrousse, director of Renault Sport, was then leading the operations. Regarding the chassis, the first design of a Renault F1 car was undertaken by technical director Francois Castaing. Andre de Cortanze and Marcel Hubert, who worked on the Elf Formula 2 programme of 1973, and JeanClaude Guenard, assisted him. At that time computers were non-existent in design offices! Engineers used common sense and experience. “We were a bit young and self-confident,” smiles Dudot. “We had absolutely no idea of the extent of the task that lay in front of us”. About 70 people worked on the project at that time. The engine department then occupied only a small area of Viry. The place is today the measuring workshop. The chassis was assembled in what is the electronics department today. The factory had another floor then that wasn’t used much but which had a paint shop. An extension was built soon after and personnel would start using it in 1979. The atmosphere was pretty relaxed back then. “It is during that time that the values of Viry were born. They still remain today,” says Bernard Dudot. “The core of the engineers and mechanics stayed with Renault Sport for many years. The processes and methods put into place in 1976 would make their mark and guided us through the V10 era and then through the entire V8 project, I’m sure.”

Top left: Here is that revolutionary turbo engine, fitted to what would become the RS01 - Renault’s first F1 car. It was unreliable, earning it the nickname ‘The Yellow Teapot’. But soon, its potential became clear.

Middle left: The Viry workforce gather around their baby, the RS01, in 1977. Bottom left: Jean-Pierre Jabouille upon the RS01’s Silverstone debut. The car retired with a split induction manifold.

Far left: A 1980 Christmas card featuring Rene Arnoux, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, and Renault 5 rally driver Jean Ragnotti. Below: Jabouille takes Renault’s first win, at Dijon in ‘79. Arnoux came third.

In 1979, Renault took their first pole position at Kyalami, and their first win at Dijon. The first F1 engine to leave Viry for the track was a proud piece of state-of-theart craftsmanship. A 90 degree V6 of 1492 cubic centimetres, 86mm bore and 42.8mm stroke, with four valves per cylinder and a single turbo. Estimated power: over 500 horses… when in the perfect range. The new car, the RS01, was officially presented on the Champs Elysees on May 10th 1977. It included an aluminium tub and body parts in Kevlar, made in plaster moulds. Between these innovations and the road, the RS01 wore radial tyres, the first of their kind. The car’s first runs were troublesome but the engineers continued to believe in the choices they’d made. They solved issues one-by-one and knew that the technical set up would take time. On the 16th July 1977, Renault took part in its first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix, at Silverstone. The team would have to wait until the 7th May 1978 to finish its first race. That same year, the RS01 scored its first points at Watkins Glen and Renault won the 24 Heures du Mans. In 1979, Renault took their first pole position at Kyalami, and their first win at Dijon. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, Renault Sport F1 is working on another challenge: make the best 1.6 litre V6 turbo in 2014, in order to comply with the new FIA regulations. Looking at the manufacturer’s pedigree in the sport, one needn’t be concerned. •


46 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E

Renault’s account manager at Enstone: Fleur Foster,




RRG O B Y V C K E v o r t e s P a y l d a Vit emerge in has jor star a . g m n a aki fter m a e s h r t yea y t f i F agarinirst f G i e r h U me t e, becain spac e manly becamsian Vitairst Rusak the fer to breodium drivthe F1 p o t n o holls c i N ay-

H d Ru i z m a d A \ Davi \ s d wor graphs o phot





ollowing his momentous and muchmerited third place in Australia, at the opening race of the 2011 season, 26-yearold Vitaly Petrov received a Montegrappa pen made to celebrate the anniversary of

Uri Gagarin’s moon landing. Fittingly, it was the third of 50 made. But while most people would keep this valuable commemorative on their mantelpiece or suchlike, Vitaly popped up at the next race using it to sign autographs for fans. This said a lot about his carefree character: Vitaly focuses only on what is essential. It was at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2010, his rookie year, that he most impressed. Having struggled that summer to get used to his new car, and not having had the benefit of much testing, he defended brilliantly at the final race of the year, keeping a frustrated Fernando Alonso at bay. In true Russian style, when accused of dashing Ferrari’s title aspirations, Petrov shrugged. He was just doing his job. The Tifosi were furious, but F1 was impressed. “Abu Dhabi left me in high spirits, and for the whole winter I was

in e m ho d k c a b g vote e l i f ro bein p g t, in to him n s e i r 's s led Year. ilderm as y l a t Vi sia ha of the r bew nated Rusrtsman r's uttely nomi Russia Spohe drive recentYear in To t as alson of the he wiest Ma Sex

looking forward to the start of the new season,” he says. And this year he’s been given a car that could conceivably challenge for wins. “We didn't know exactly how good our car was until we got to Australia. Then, my podium in Melbourne was good and it was a fantastic performance by the whole team. It showed we were on the right track”. The car has proved to be particularly quick on circuits with fast flowing corners.

front cover: shirt - COS / p48: polo shirt - Surface To Air / p50: shirt + shorts - Japan Rags / p53: pullover - A.P.C. (Pacoruedashop) / p54: shirt + pants - FOLK (Pacoruedashop), shoes - Toms (Pacoruedashop)

Company HQ: Marseille, France Core activity: Men’s denim brand Employees worldwide: 200 Active markets: 13





italy's nickname is ‘The Vyborg Rocket’, after the town from which he hails. Vyborg is near St Petersberg, close to the western border, and there he grew up in a small house

with his parents and brother. All his trophies are still kept there. During the season, he rents an apartment in Oxford to be close to Enstone. He visits the factory whenever he’s not out of the country at a race or servicing the team’s sponsors. Most of the time he can be found in the marketing office, quietly checking his emails, or down on the factory floor seeing what new goodies are being developed for his car. He likes to eat lunch in the factory canteen with his engineers and mechanics. Unlike almost every other young racer, Petrov didn’t start in karts. Instead, he raced Ladas and didn’t watch a grand prix until 2005. His hero then was Michael Schumacher, who, as of Valencia, he was beating in the championship standings. “We don't have any real motorsport culture in Russia,” says Vitaly, to explain why it’s taken 60 years for a Ruskie to arrive in F1. Money, high-technology, endless glamour, you’d think the sport had been custom made for 21st century Russia, and, in three years, we’ll be racing there in Sochi. The popularity of racing in Russia is growing quickly as his star rises. “F1 started to become really popular last year and I know the TV figures have increased dramatically. When I'm visiting my city, everybody is saying hello, and even when I'm in Moscow people ask for autographs.”




uno r B re river, a k oc ird d d d a 1 p ult’s th ut he F e th Rena shi. B e n i s ate Lotus- obaya Jeromacing m t es ho is mui K z and up r b s i H na, w ’s Ka Pere rown e Sen Sauber Sergio aving g ormula and knows well, h lower f also brosiom in the he t d’Am t s n agai

rds a c g n i y a pl its. t c e ll e vis rward o c to es h g fo ction s e k i l e plac lookin colle or y l a Vit all th larly i to his India f fromparticuew Delh1 visits He’sdding Nwhen F to a ctober, e in Ofirst tim the


italy's performances have not gone unnoticed in Russia's boardrooms either. Lotus Renault now boasts a number of Russian sponsors:

Flagman, one of Russia’s largest vodka brands which, through its sponsorship, aims to symbolize the positive achievements and changing image

Had he not been an F1 driver, Vitaly says he’d

of Russia worldwide; state-owned Lada, which is

have tried rallying. But he admits it’s far more

involved in a huge number of diverse technological

dangerous, as his former team-mate Robert Kubica still nurses his arm from a life-threatening skirmish in

areas, including automotive and military; and Sibur,

February. “I've met him twice at his hospital and he's

the country’s largest petrochemical company. For

getting better and better. I hope to see him soon on

Russian enterprises looking to expand globally,

the grid.”

Vitaly has proved a most attractive personality with

But in Robert’s absence Vitaly, just a season into

whom to align and promote to a young, affluent and international audience.

his career, has stepped up and is ready to be team

leader. Russia is ready for lift-off once again. •





Matt Youson photographs LAT

W h o h as t h e m o st h e c ti c j o b in F 1 ? A s k ten pe o ple r unning a r o un d t h e ga r age an d y o u ’ ll get at least ten d iffe r ent answe r s , but spa r e a t h o ug h t f o r t h e pe o ple w h o a r e fi r st in , an d last o ut o f e v e r y g r an d p r i x : we r efe r t o t h e r igge r s .

‘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

Sunday 345,600

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


Monday 259,200

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.

Wednesday 86,400

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.

Thursday 0

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.

hours to go to go SECONDS




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’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.



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.

56 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E


57 • B2 B • T H E PRIDE ISS UE

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.

Thursday - Sunday 350 - 400 MEALS Breakfast + lunch + dinner + 50 GUESTS PEOPLE 60 - 80

per day

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,







lucky star


Adam Hay-Nicholls

As company cars go, the phenomenal Lotus Evora is hard to beat. Black to Business hands over the keys to its new owner, Mr Bruno Senna. Monaco – and ladies – watch out!


his is definitely a perk of the job,” smiles Bruno Senna. No kidding. As if having a 200mph office wasn’t cool enough on its own (I mean, there must be a catch, right?), the accoutrements prove that Senna’s talents – his speed, his technical feedback, his zeal with the sponsors and media – are gifts that keep on giving. We’re staring approvingly at the tail end of Bruno’s brand new company car, a Storm titanium Lotus Evora. Poised like an attack dog, it’s a low, wide, pointynosed weapon and its target is the mountain that rises behind Monaco, the lucky 27-year-old’s adopted home. The Principality being what it is, the first person I bump into before ringing Bruno's doorbell is Felipe Massa. He leaves his peach-coloured condo for his daily jog, and walks around the Lotus making approving noises before Bruno shows up. “Hey Felipe, check out my new toy,” waves Bruno, before complaining he’s going to need a second parking space. Till now, Bruno hasn’t had his own wheels in Monte Carlo. Instead he’s been borrowing a friend’s Porsche GT2, cruising along the corniche to Nice Airport on the occasions he doesn’t use the helicopter service, which is conveniently located in front of his apartment. Generous friend, this Porsche owner. “Yeah, very nice,” confirms Bruno, who covers the rent on the parking spot, “but the Evora is much better suited to Monaco. The GT2 is very aggressive. It doesn’t like the bumps and the roads here are very unforgiving. The Evora, on the other hand, is the perfect car for Monaco. It has the most impeccable chassis. I mean really, the ride is just sublime. Even Lotus, who everyone knows are the best in the world at this, have outdone themselves. The handling, the balance… I’ve driven plenty of these, the standard and the ‘S’. I’ve driven the Goodwood hill climb course, and I thrashed the Evora at the opening of the new Hethel Test Track last week. I’m really excited to have this one of my own.”


60 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E





James Moy

Company HQ: Hethel, Norfolk, UK Core activity: High performance sports cars Employees worldwide: 1,700 Active markets: 30

Lotus’ account manager at Enstone: James Gilbride,

When I picked the car up from the Hethel factory it had just 25km on the clock. Now it reads 3500, all completed in the past 96 hours. It’s nicely run in now, I reassure Bruno. “When do I have to take it for its first service?” he asks, disparagingly.


runo will soon have his hand in the development of Lotus’s future models. The designs for the new Esprit and Elite certainly look the business. Bruno’s job will be to apply the performance to match. “I’m really looking forward to getting busy with that,” he enthuses. It’s not the first time a member of Bruno’s family has been drafted in to fine-tune an iconic supercar. Uncle Ayrton had his fingerprints on the Honda NSX. “He had a couple of them. I remember sitting on Ayrton’s lap, driving around in one. He let me steer around the corners while he did the pedals and the gears. That was probably the coolest memory of my entire childhood. He was going pretty fast and I wasn’t really quite legal to drive!” We are due a visit to the jet wash. Bruno’s car may have been freshly delivered, but not on the back of a flat-bed truck. Instead the Brazilian had entrusted me to drive the Lotus all the way down from its Norfolk birthplace. It had taken a circuitous route, via Paris and the European Grand Prix in Valencia. It even gate-crashed a wedding in La Rochelle en route. Surely wedding crashing should be a staple of all good road trips. A sports car like the Evora is designed with singularity of purpose: to have fun. But its horizon-hunting performance and figure-hugging cabin makes the driver feel he’s on a mission at all times. In my view, driving five hours to help a bridesmaid make the church on time, and then scoff the canapés before pushing on for another five hours of continental cruising is up there with any mission 007 may have encountered on Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It’s a Lotus, you’re meant to feel like Bond. When I picked the car up from the Hethel factory it had just 25km on the clock. Now it reads 3500, all completed in the past 96 hours. It’s nicely run in now, I reassure Bruno. “When do I have to take it for its first service?” he asks, disparagingly. The front of the car is caked in dead flies. There are so many it makes the Evora look like it’s got a beard. So off we go to the car wash but, heavily populated Monaco being as it is, the queue of Ferraris and Rolls-Royces before us is an hour long. So we turn to DIY. Our photographer grabs a power hose while Bruno starts working on the windscreen with an oversized yard brush.

Ahead is a 2CV, its engine sounding like a manic sewing machine as it struggles to scale the road. Bruno drops a gear and the scenery flies by like a time warp as we dispatch the little Citroen.


62 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E


63 • B2 B • T H E PRIDE ISS UE

“ There aren’t many of these here in Monaco, it’s a rare and also very attractive car,” notes the Brazilian. “Everyone is curious to know what it is and, of course, who’s driving it.”


ow the Lotus is as pristine as the gleaming gin palaces that bob in the harbour. We crawl around its edge along the grand prix course, but in the opposite direction; through the tunnel, tight around the hairpin, past the famous casino and up to the hills where Bruno trains on his bicycle. Ahead is a 2CV, its engine sounding like a manic sewing machine as it struggles to scale the road. Bruno drops a gear and the scenery flies by like a time warp as we dispatch the little Citroen. “You really want to play with it. You need to be careful not to get in trouble in this car,” says Bruno, ignoring his own caution as he presses a button marked ‘Sport’. The engine immediately perks up, the throttle becomes much more sensitive, and the car pulls forward like a savage dog on a leash. The driver steers purposefully into the corners, giggling to himself. Bruno’s first car was an Audi S3, but driving back home in Sao Paulo is something he’s never relished. His family’s cars are all armored to withstand the potential for crime there. “Armoring cars completely destroys their normal behaviour, so driving in Sao Paulo is definitely not what I like doing most.” Under the watchful eye of CCTV, Monaco is probably the safest place in the world to live. And the switchback roads reward this new Lotus owner. “The car is very stable into, during, and out of corners no


matter how tight they are. I love to drive on these twisty roads, they’re great fun. This is my cycling route. I often go bike riding here with Alex Wurz, but he’s a bit too quick for me. The old man’s got skills! Sometimes after climbing for an hour we bomb back down at 60mph just to dry up the sweat, you know? Ha ha!” We thread down into town and back to Bruno’s Fontvieille pad. We receive more than a few admiring glances along the way, which is some feat in a town with wall-to-wall supercars. “There aren’t many of these here in Monaco, it’s a rare and also very attractive car,” notes the Brazilian. “Everyone is curious to know what it is and, of course, who’s driving it.” Posing is one thing, but as for driving road cars – even a premium sports car like this - I wonder whether, to someone who drives F1 cars for a living, burbling along on the public lanes feels numb. “There are only a few road cars that give me thrills after learning what a race car can do, without having to break the law. Fortunately the Evora ticks all the right boxes and makes me excited to drive it.” And, to make sure it has sunk in, Bruno repeats himself: “I definitely need to behave or else I’ll get into trouble.” A sexy sports car and a fun loving racing driver – I reckon only good will come of it. “I’m fairly sure this car is very successful with the ladies,” he nods.

Lucky so-and-so.

64 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E

The listening Think Tank On July 1st 2010 a unique event took place in London’s prestigious BAFTA theatre; the first FOTA Fans Forum. It provides a unique interaction between competitors and consumers. Lotus Renault GP is centrally involved in this programme. words

James Allen




66 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E

The idea of the Fans Forum is to bring a panel of big names from among the F1 teams and to give F1 fans the chance to meet face to face with them, the people who compete at the sharp end of Formula 1. Fans are given a chance to ask questions and put forward their points of view on the burning topics. It provides a unique interaction between competitors and consumers. Lotus Renault GP is centrally involved in this programme; principal and FOTA vice chairman Eric Boullier is one of its strongest champions within FOTA and

appeared in person on a panel in Montreal recently “The fans are the future of this sport,” he says. “So it’s always great to interact with them. It’s really good to have this kind of opportunity, not in terms of just being in front of the fans but in terms of having dialogue with them. There was a lot of positive communication, which was really beneficial. They asked the questions and they also discussed their concerns about F1 – the current state of the sport and the future of it – so it was good to discuss issues with them and understand their thoughts better.”

Montreal featured some very special interactivity, for example American fans were given the chance to suggest ways in which the teams could market themselves in the USA ahead of the sport’s return there in 2012. One suggested taking an advert during the coverage of the Superbowl, another advocated a car swap along the lines of the one carried out between Lewis Hamilton and NASCAR’s Tony Stewart. Boullier listened with great interest and spoke about how the team has already set up a task force to look into this very subject, “We have just started looking at how we can improve this situation,” he said. “We’re looking at doing a showcar run somewhere and we need a location. It’s just one idea that’s being developed.”


67 • B2 B • T H E PRIDE ISS UE


The third event, held at McLaren’s headquarters in Woking, England, was again hosted by FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh and featured contributions from Lotus Renault GP’s technical director James Allison and from high profile drivers Lewis Hamilton and Kamui Kobayashi. There are some perennial questions of interest, such as

FOTA has organized a successful survey in the last two years, canvassing the views of 80,000 fans around the world. The Fans Forum takes things one stage further than other sports in terms of interactivity. Fans can quiz team principals and express their thoughts on rule changes and trends within the sport. The 90 minute event is recorded and afterwards the content is distributed to media, blogs and websites and to fans at large; there are videos on You Tube, audio on Sound Cloud and photos for download via photo sharing sites.

68 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E

ur programme with Red Bull Racing continues Renault’s tradition of F1 engine supply that dates back a quarter of a century. This year’s hot topics for fans have been the new engine regulations for 2013/14 based on small capacity turbocharged hybrids, penalties handed out by stewards to drivers trying overtakes and the possibility of F1 moving to a pay TV model in future. There have been an increasing number of questions about the way F1 can embrace more green technologies and as with the surveys, it has been interesting to see how important it is to fans that the sport is seen to be at the cutting edge of technology.


the balance between sport and entertainment and how F1 plans to keep itself as the pinnacle of motor sport at the same time as carrying out a strict cost cutting regime. Fans have voiced concern about the races moving away from the traditional heartlands and out to new venues where there isn’t always the effort to build a grassroots following for motor sport. A third 2011 event is planned in Milan ahead of the Italian Grand Prix. This event will be for the benefit of Italian fans and will take place in Italian. “It was really good,” said one fan after the UK event. “They were unbiased answers, totally straight up and that’s what we need.” Beyond the Fans Forum, FOTA has set up a Promotional Working Group in order to help race promoters in 2012. The teams will offer “packages” that race organizers can subscribe to in order to promote their event, to boost sales and raise awareness.

69 • B2 B • T H E PRIDE ISS UE

LRGP had been very active in this area, submitting a lot of the suggestions which have been approved. This is sure to be an exciting new development for next season, which will have greater connectivity with fans at its heart. For more information about the FOTA Fans Forum contact

This collective action is an extension of the increasing fan friendliness of the F1 teams individually; LRGP for example has more than 40,000 followers on Twitter and lots of interactivity via the team’s website around allowing fans to ask questions to key members of the team.

The format of the FOTA Fans Forum varies, but the general rule is that there is a section for team principals to discuss the big picture for the sport; the rules, the expansion of F1 and the teams’ goals. There is always a discussion with engineers and drivers, looking at specifics like overtaking, tyres and technical innovations and then there is always a discussion on the fans’ experience; the use of internet and social media as well as what it’s like being a fan at grands prix venues.

The FOTA Fans Forum has tackled topics ranging from future engine regulations to the use of social media in F1. There is always a strong emphasis on Fan Connectivity – looking at the fan experience, discussing the TV coverage, ticket prices at the grands prix and ways in which the fans can be brought closer to the sport.


Mr Motivator A

Think politician; motivator; organizer; councilor; engineer. Think of an insatiable hunger to be the best. Think all of those things and you begin to scratch the surface of what it takes to be a team principal in F1.

t 37, Eric Boullier is one of the youngest. And yet, in his role as team principal and managing director at Lotus Renault GP, the Frenchman carries a burden of responsibility as large and onerous as that sustained by the bosses at Ferrari and McLaren. Whatever the heritage and history of your racing organization, the name of the game is finishing first. It’s an extremely tough business. To survive, you need all of the attributes mentioned above. Plus, one more. You need passion. A passion for the sport; passion for the job; passion for beating everyone else. That passion cannot be learned; it cannot be bought. You either have it, or you don’t. Eric has it in plentiful supply. It could only be that way for someone who graduated from a space and aircraft engineering school but whose desire to learn was underscored by a deep love of motor racing. It was inevitable that Eric should then apply his enthusiasm and newly acquired knowledge to the sport. He began by becoming an engineer on a sports car entered for the Le Mans 24-Hour race; a valuable proving ground and a marathon that tests zeal as well

as accelerating the learning process. Sports cars were all very well but Boullier could see that single-seaters – of which Formula 1 cars are the absolute ultimate in terms of performance and technology – were the way forward for a young engineer thrusting to learn and succeed at the highest level. Eric moved on to Formula 3000, which later became GP2 Series, the junior formula that supports every grand prix in Europe. GP2 not only showcases the F1 drivers of tomorrow, it also provides grounding and excellent front-line experience for engineers and managers wishing to eventually make it to the top. “I started to run a team called DAMS,” recalls Eric. “We ran cars in many different categories, including A1GP. This was a championship for single-seater cars with each team representing a different country; we successfully ran the French and the Swiss teams. It was very good experience.” It also introduced Eric to a very different aspect of running a racing team. Engineering a car to a racewinning standard may be a challenge in itself but Eric always thought that the driver is not simply a human accessory who turns up at the last minute, slides into the driving seat and





goes about his business on the track. Apart from setting up the car technically to suit the driver, the engineer also has, in some respects, to help fine-tune the driver’s mind. It becomes a close relationship involving a deep understanding of how a driver thinks and how he prepares for a race. Being an engineer in motor racing is just as much about motivation and psychology as it is about suspension and engine power. Eric would later jump at an opportunity to allow him to explore this further. “After 10 years in this business, I had the opportunity to join Gravity Sport Management with Gerard Lopez and Eric Lux,” says Eric. “This involved working with drivers, which is something I really, really like; to be close to these guys. Having been a race engineer, I found you are closer to the driver than anyone else on the team. You are his mind, his eyes and you have his trust. I began to build a driver programme and that was going very well until…” And here, Boullier pauses. Eric knew as well as anyone that things move fast in motor sport. But few could have foreseen the next development for Gravity Sport Management.

Maurice Hamilton photographs LAT







From left to right: Eric arrives with business development director Federico Gastaldi at the track in Montreal. The team principal has quickly grown comfortable with global media attention. On the grid with chief engineer Alan Permane. Eric sits on the board of FOTA with McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh. A lighthearted moment with LRGP’s third driver, Bruno Senna, at the Canadian Grand Prix gala.



I wouldn’t be without… I carry an iPad, a Mac Book and a spare phone. Plus all the latest papers I need to have on track when I’m dealing with various meetings.


ravity is owned by Genii Capital. On 16 December 2009, it was announced that this company would purchase a majority stake in the Renault F1 Team, a team with fine credentials and a rich history, the most recent high points being winning the world championship with Fernando Alonso in 2005 and 2006. When Genii took over, Eric was asked to accept the role of team principal. It was a massive step by any standard. “At first, I couldn’t see how I would fit this new role,” says Eric. “But they convinced me. It was a very big challenge and it was also a rare opportunity to have come my way. I decided to go for it. But, to be honest, I was a bit shocked to have such a job, especially as my predecessor was very famous.” Flavio Briatore’s tenure as boss of the team had been characterized by the extrovert behavior of a marketing man who was happy to admit that he knew nothing, and cared even less, about how an F1 car worked. His statements to the media were frequent. The soft-spoken Boullier was as different to his predecessor as it was possible to be, both in terms of background and behavior. Briatore was a businessman who happened to find himself in F1; Eric was there by design. The only way forward for the new boss was to be himself and ignore the image of the designer label team principal whose job he had inherited. This is how Eric sums it up: “It was very clear in my head from the beginning. I’m not Flavio; I’m Eric Boullier and I will run the team the way I want to run it and the way I know.” That knowledge may have been substantial

and hard-earned, but nothing could prepare Boullier for the massive step-up in pace to be found in every single aspect of F1. “Everything is more intense,” he admits. “It’s not just the day-to-day running of a racing team; there’s the politics of F1 as well. You have to be very reactive and seize every opportunity that comes your way. Things happen much faster than anywhere else and, of course, there is a much greater media presence and the expectation that comes with that.”

Stepping up to the plate

In simple terms, F1 is a much grander and more sophisticated version of everything that Eric had done before. But, underneath the polish, the basics of running a racing team remain the same. “That’s true,” he says. “In the past, I had less people and less budget. But we were designing, manufacturing and building our car. It’s very similar to F1; the same technology. The racing is the same; drivers are complaining the same! Outside this, you have many more people to handle and manage. There are 500 employees at the factory, which makes it a huge company with many more responsibilities. You need to have a very good group of dedicated people around you that you can trust because, obviously, you can’t run the show on your own.” Eric was aware of his team’s DNA. Rather than use his new broom to sweep out the team’s heritage just for the sake of it, Eric was determined to capitalize on such a valuable asset. Experience – particularly winning experience – in such a specialized business cannot be bought. “When a team has been four times world champion, it must be composed with only good L O T US R ENAU LT GP •


people,” says Eric. “That’s why I didn’t jump in and fire half of the people and say ‘Okay, we change everything, repaint the walls and move everything around’. “I decided to do the opposite, which was to be very low profile, step into this company, meet everybody and try to understand the spirit and the history of the place. I wanted to respect the people and to try to understand why, from being former champions, they were only eighth in the championship in 2009. “We made very few changes. We changed the responsibilities of some people, and reorganized a few things. The most important thing was to rebuild the trust that people felt for their future and that of the team. They had lost that trust in a lot of things. They were feeling a little bit on their own. I wanted to bring back some hope, some future and to rebuild the great potential.” The future. Rightly or wrongly, that has become a point of discussion outside the team, prompted by Renault’s plan to begin disengaging as a team owner by selling to Genii Capital. Eric is keen to set the record straight. “For more than 10 years, as Benetton and then Renault, the team was challenging and winning. Now there has been a gradual change. “We have grown in strength and expanded the company. We have a clear plan for the next four years. We are to be considered as a top team, which obviously will make our future solid and we need to back that up by having podiums and scoring wins. “The timing is good because F1 is downsizing and getting into the Resource Restriction Agreement. This means we need to make sure people understand that they can do much better with less financial resources.


I’m not a geek – but nearly! I have a Blackberry which is automatically fully updated with my schedule – which can be very full – for a race weekend. My PA will put everything in that. We have a special link so that my schedule is not screwed up by anything else; it works perfectly, so my Blackberry will remind me where I have to go. And, of course, the Blackberry receives and constantly updates my emails and I can deal with them immediately if necessary. If I bring a book, it will be something light; a novel. The last one I read was in French, of course, and it was a police story. Nothing special. In fact, I can’t even remember the title! To be honest, I am more a fan of magazines to read on a flight rather than a book. Of course, I read the motor sport magazines but I also like political and general publications. I particularly enjoy Le Point, which is weekly and gives a good summary of news stories about what is going on around the world. I will also take the Financial Times to keep abreast of the markets. I do bring an iPod, but I only play what I would call modern music, just to allow me to relax; not exactly to forget everything on my mind, but just to cool down. My MacBook will carry electronic copies of tools of the trade such as the Formula 1 regulations and things like contracts and so on. It makes it so easy; I don’t know how people managed before this. I don’t carry special mementoes or charms or anything like that. But I must admit I have, in my briefcase, a Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable). It’s there in case I get bored. But the fact that I haven’t used it for at least six months says a lot. And, given the way this exciting and busy season is going, I probably won’t have touched it by the time we get to Brazil in November!

We are fortunate at Lotus Renault GP because our team is composed of very good people who knew F1 before the manufacturers arrived and the spending was high. They know how to spend money efficiently.”

Driving forces

The proof of a strategy for the future is actual investment in the team. Eric has approved plans for a new simulator as well as further improving the CFD capability and upgrading the wind tunnel from 50 to 60 per cent. No mean achievement. And none of it comes cheap. Investment outside the technical sphere includes the building of relationships with business partners, one very significant development being the link with Group Lotus. “Lotus is obviously a great partner to have because, first of all, the financial commitment is very good and their branding is world famous and very well done,” says Eric. “Their history is very good, as is their proactive involvement with the team. We have a lot of commitment from Lotus.” Perhaps the most important partnership is the one between a team principal and his drivers. Boullier will be the first to admit that the presence of Robert Kubica was a powerful motivating force for the entire team, so much so that the Polish driver’s elimination this year has had a devastating effect that goes beyond the severe injuries Kubica received in a rallying accident in January. Conversely, it could be argued that Robert’s absence has allowed Vitaly Petrov, very much in Robert’s shadow last year, to step up to the plate in 2011. Given Boullier’s interest in driver psychology, it’s a subject he understands well. “I am very proud of the job Vitaly has done LO T US RENAULT GP •



this year,” says Eric. “I had a lot of pressure last year and I consequently put a lot of pressure on him, but not in a bad way. I guess this is where my past experience with drivers was good. I put in place somebody who would care about him every day and help him understand how to handle the daily work of a professional racing driver. I changed some key people around him to improve the communication and the feeling that he was part of this team. At the same time, we could have a better understanding about what he needed from us. It’s worked because he’s very consistent now; he’s fast and he’s enjoying working with us as much as we enjoy working with him.” Vitaly’s improvement aside, the loss of Robert’s driving force has been a major setback to the team, but one which Eric has had to overcome. “I had to deal with facts,” says Eric. “Last year, we had some smiles in the team because they could see that we were back on the podium. We had a solid driver and a promising Russian. Robert’s accident affected team morale and motivation. My priority was to deal with that. “It was complicated to handle emotionally but my responsibility is actually to represent the interests of this family of people within LRGP. I had to find a Plan B that would be successful not only on track but also in the factory. “In F1, whatever you do, you are always questioned. In the end, it’s results on the track that answer all the questions – Nick Heidfeld’s podium in Malaysia was one of them. It’s always been that way in motor sport. Nothing has changed.” And neither has the need to think about that insatiable hunger to be the best. To think about that innate passion. •

Total Moon takes you to the

Get ready to be amazed. By visiting, you will be taken to a new experience created by Total – official Partner of Lotus Renault GP. Charlie Sweetheart is a 10-year-old boy who is a passionate Formula 1 fan, fascinated by the conquest of space. When his mother tells him to come down for dinner, he is lost in his dreams. Sitting in his single-seater ready to race in the first Moon Grand Prix, the pressure mounts. Charlie knows that the Total Moon Race is his shot at glory. The greatest drivers are there, on the grid, but Charlie, who has stepped into the racing boots of his heroes, is fully prepared. May the best man – or little man – win! Total Moon Race is a full 3D movie, which has been designed to highlight the critical role played by Total fuels and lubricants in improving engine performance to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Just before the action starts, a few introductory words set the tone: “Tomorrow’s fuels and lubricants will be the result of a judicious blend of innovation, enthusiasm, experience, and boldness. And because dreams have always inspired invention, who knows, maybe one day we’ll be testing our products on the Moon…”







The action in this breathtaking 3D animation has been configured to replicate the Moon’s low gravity, transporting viewers to a new dimension and launching them into the extreme conditions of an incredibly realistic Formula 1 race.

The 2011 campaign objective is also destined at consolidating Total’s image as a bold, innovative company, as reflected in its involvement in the Formula 1 World Championship, which showcases Total’s position as a partner you can rely on: “Total, partner of your challenges.” With 1.8 billion television viewers in 187 countries last year, F1 benefits from the third best audience ratings in sport, after the football world cup and the Olympics. F1 is a strong corporate image tool, particularly for Total. For the third consecutive year, partnering the Lotus Renault GP Team, Total continues to develop its image in France and worldwide. The full 90 second version of the Moon Race can be seen in 3D cinemas (UK, Canada, Belgium, UAE, China) and there is a 30 second version that is being shown on TV networks in Asia and Middle East •


76 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E

Company HQ: Paris, France Core activity: Oil and gas production Employees worldwide: 97,000 Active markets: 130

Total’s account manager at Enstone: Fleur Foster,

Olivier Gilbert co-managed the Total Moon Race project with Jonathan Lagache. He explains how this unusual film came into being. How did the project start? Back in January 2010, when we had our first meeting with Total and Turn-One, we talked about the possibility of using a 3D system to show a Formula 1 race in a realistic, innovative way. We were assigned a clear mission to improve on everything that had been done previously on the topic. It was a big challenge, but, on the other hand, we were given a clean slate, which was extremely motivating. Who is Charlie Sweetheart? A character that came to life during one of our initial brainstorms. All project participants gave their input and, after a 10-minute discussion, we all knew that this Charlie


character had to be created. He’s not actually visible in the film, but the film is his universe, his dream, so to speak. What was the biggest challenge you encountered while making the film? We were constantly working in a realm halfway between fiction and reality. On the one hand, our graphic designers were able to make up a totally original universe and design the most improbable, spectacular circuit ever. On the other, we had to respect certain realities. The Renault R30 had to look just like the original, and behave just like it on the racetrack. The interior of its engine also had to look exactly like the real V8 engine, not an 77


interpretation. Helping to render all of those details, Renault’s engineers at Enstone and ViryChatillon were with us every step of the way. The film wouldn’t have been the same without their support. Are you proud of Total Moon Race? Very much so. This film means something special to us at BUF because our counterparts at Total gave us free rein to unleash our creativity. When we presented them with our initial ideas, which to us already seemed a little daring for such a major organization, they constantly pushed us to go further. In today’s market, we consider ourselves lucky to have had almost unlimited freedom of expression.

In Good Nick

Nick Heidfeld was not only the most qualified driver to replace the injured Robert Kubica, he was his predecessor’s first choice. A veteran of 12 seasons of Formula 1, the German says he’s never known a friendlier or more open team, and it feels great to get back on the podium.

words \ Adam Hay-Nicholls photographs \ Anoush Abrar







Backstage at the Malaysian Grand Prix, a sweaty, champagne-soaked, gold-suited Nick Heidfeld holds aloft his third place trophy. His Lotus Renault team gather around him to inspect the silverware. It’s a surprisingly modest trophy, looking more like a school sports day prize. But, of course, it’s the championship points that the cup represents that has everyone – and no one more so than Nick – enjoying the party spirit. Job done.

This was, of course, a job that came up at the last minute. Lotus Renault GP – in fact, the whole of the paddock – was unprepared when superstar Robert Kubica was written out for the year due to his horrendous rally accident and, when the team urgently assessed its options, it was clear who was the most qualified man to replace their number one. Nick had rounded off last season at Sauber, having tested for Mercedes and Pirelli after his residency at BMW alongside the Pole. Kubica himself had a hand in the choice. “Obviously that was nice to hear,” smiles Nick softly. “He knows me quite well.” Nick’s rural Swiss home sits upon a subterranean garage that is accessed via fingerprint recognition. Inside, the vintage playthings are as well chosen as the art collection upstairs for, aside from his beautiful young family and his loyal dog Friedo, his great loves are the works of Montreal graffiti artist Zilon and big lumps of Detroit chrome. In addition to a couple of contrasting Italians – a red Ferrari 512TR and a Fiat 500 – and a convertible Beatle like his mother drove when he was young, Nick is the proud owner of a black Fastback ’65 Mustang and a truly stunning celadon green Corvette Stingray. Nick backs the ‘Vette out into the sunshine so we can begin our photoshoot. The empty parking space reveals another motor hidden in the corner of the dimly lit garage, shrouded by a dark blue car cover. The shape rather gives it away. Lifting one corner of the cover, one reveals the white paintwork of Nick shared this car with Robert, and the a BMW Sauber F1 car. Not many F1 drivers – even those of Nick’s considerable experience – two were very evenly matched. Though it are granted the honor of ‘taking their work home with them’, if you was Robert that was earmarked as the future will. It hints at the 34-year-old’s contribution to a past employer, world champion, having won his sole victory so and the level of respect those that are fortunate enough to have far in Canada in 2008 and subsequently finished worked with Nick have for him.

fourth in the championship, Nick’s results ultimately topped his team-mate. In the 58 races they drove together, Nick scored 150 points to Robert’s 137.

With Robert in hospital, the call came from Lotus Renault’s team principal Eric Boullier. “They made it very easy for me,” says Nick when he thinks back to how he hit the ground running. “It could have been very difficult, but actually in this instance it was not. I don’t think it was an easy situation having to make a plan after what happened to Robert, who is still very much a part of the team, but we had to deal with the circumstances as they happened”. The German has raced with the Polish flag on his helmet as a mark of affection and solidarity. “The team is a very open one and we all knew we had to deal with the situation and make the best we possibly could out of it. Obviously it was a very late call for me to come into the team; from the first day on I felt extremely welcome and I have really enjoyed working with the guys.” Having competed for Prost Grand Prix, Sauber (both in independent and BMW form), Jordan and Williams (where he earned a pole position), and tested for several other teams, Nick understands better than anyone the level of expectation, of corporate culture, and takeno-prisoners competition that is entrenched in the DNA of modern F1 throughout the paddock. In turn, the personable, transparent environment he has discovered at LRGP has been extremely welcome. Just as he does bouncing up and down on his garden trampoline with his three kids, Nick feels relaxed and at home with his Enstone crew. “We are able to have lots of dialogue and suggest things, and LRGP has been the most open out of all the teams I have driven for in my career – that is something I like a lot and it is the reason I feel so at home here. From the very beginning there has been a lot of trust in each other, so it fits very well for me.”




Two races into the season, the trust was quickly rewarded – Nick found himself on the podium at Sepang. “Malaysia was very good,” confirms his race engineer, Simon Rennie, who previously worked with Fernando Alonso. “We didn’t make it easy for Nick: One lap in each of the qualifying sessions, so three in total, and he managed to qualify sixth.

He made a hell of a start and just drove his own race from there. He was very consistent and looked after his tyres, which are key traits of his. In Spain we couldn’t partake in qualifying because we’d had a fire in practice and the damage was extensive. Nick started at the back on prime tyres. To finish eighth was very, very impressive. He never followed another car for more than one lap. He was overtaking all the time. If he was within striking distance, he was straight past. He’s aggressive when he needs to be, but he’s still kind to the car and very clean with his manoeuvres.”

By being easy on the tyres, the team can be more flexible on strategy. Simon continues: “Compared to other cars and Vitaly we’re better on degradation and can squeeze an extra couple of laps out, which can be critical. If there’s a way to go which necessitates us going longer on the tyres, Nick tends to go that way because he feels he can do that.” “There’s always room for improvement and, as a driver, I’m never completely satisfied unless I achieve the absolute maximum – I am always striving for more,” says Nick, who has often had a car capable of podiums but very rarely the car that can make up the difference between first and second. “I think we did reach our best at the beginning of the season, when we got onto the podium two races running, but then on the other hand in a couple of races I have not started at particularly strong places on the grid. Some of the poorer grid positions have been down to bad luck but I don’t feel you can just call it bad luck and leave it there. You could say you make your own luck. There is always room to plan and prepare things differently to avoid getting into those unlucky situations. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my race performances this season and I think given the conditions and situations at various races we have put in our best efforts. “The challenges I’ve faced in F1 have all been very different. The unique thing about this year is that I was pretty sure I would not start the season as a racing driver, because I was expecting to start as a tester or reserve. Obviously the news came very late in the day, the year had already started and one test had already taken place, so then to get the opportunity to have a driver’s seat – and in a good team – was a very special situation.” • L O T US R ENAULT

• B2B • T HE PR I D E


83 • B2 B • T H E PRIDE ISS UE


Adam Hay-Nicholls



Thomas Butler





Sir Jackie has never let cameras into his home, but it’s here, behind a commanding desk, that he conducts his business affairs and orchestrates his network of influential clients and contacts. Photos of some of the most important people in his life, a ruler here, a notepad there, JYS shows us exactly what stands before him. 1. I won the 1968 German Grand Prix by four minutes in the wet! One of the things about dyslexia, once you bank information you never forget it. If you gave me a million pounds I couldn’t tell you the alphabet but I can describe to you every corner, every bump, every single gear change around the whole of the Nurburgring, 14.7 miles around. 2.This is a speech I recently prepared for a talk on dyslexia. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 42. I genuinely thought I was a bit thick, even though I was successful in business. Once I was diagnosed I felt I had been saved from drowning. It’s not a nice experience for young people. It moves from the classroom into the playground, and you’re abused horribly by your peers. A huge number of very impressive people have been dyslexic: Einstein, Da Vinci, Churchill, to name a few. My dyslexia has given me a drive and a hunger, and I still have that because I still feel inferior and compensate by over-delivering in other areas. I still can’t read a contract without help, but I have very good attention to detail. I always say, if I hadn’t been a

taught me if you fly with the crows you will be shot at, because crows are vermin, so you must soar with the eagles. If you hang out with quality people, be they mechanics, the Ken Tyrrells of this world, or in the business sector, you’ll secure your reputation in life.

4. I met Helen on a blind date in a café in 1958. We have an original 50s jukebox in our home loaded with records that were playing that night; Pat Boone singing Love Letters in the Sand, and Diana by Paul Anca. Next year we’ll have been married 50 years. 5. My address book is among the best champion driver I would have been the best window cleaner in the world.

3. Without Ken Tyrrell I wouldn’t be

here today. He employed the best mechanics and engineers. I’ve always said they were better at what they did than I ever was at what I did. To finish first first you must finish, and my car was very reliable. My father


85 • B2 B • T H E PRIDE ISS UE

in the world. As long as you service your relationships and give back as much as you receive, you build human relationships. In this business, you might meet the barons of power such as monarchs and heads of state. The King of Spain, for instance, is a keen shooter and a racing fan so we have become friends. From there, you meet other successful people with whom he is also friendly, so it’s a domino effect. I have friendships in every walk of life.

W from the desk of…

Sir Jackie Stewart 1.



1. This is the enamel logo we had on cessful as when they were independent in whole race. I didn’t even touch the cork, I the front of our Stewart Grand Prix cars. I believe we sold at the right time. F1 teams are like corner shops – you can’t run them like a multinational company. You can’t wait for permissions, you need to lead, you need to make quick decisions. When Ford became involved they introduced a board. The chairman of the board wouldn’t be a racing person at all. Ross Brawn took his team from the corporate environment at Honda, did his own thing with Nick Fry, and now they’re owned by Mercedes. It will be interesting to see if they’re as suc-


2009, and only time will tell. Timing is everything in life, as is attention to detail and motivating people. It’s not about money. Stewart GP had one of the smallest budgets of any of the teams, but we had a few podiums and won a grand prix in less than three years.

2. For 42 years, I’ve been with Moet & Chandon. I was the first person to spray champagne in Formula 1. The 1969 French Grand Prix was 28 degrees. The podium bubbly had been sat there in the sun for the

just undid the wire and Whoosh! I put my thumb over the bottle – a good Scotsman doesn’t want to spill a drop – but the more pressure I applied the further it went. It was all quite by accident but, when you think about it, the perfect way to celebrate. This silver bottle holder was given to me in recognition of my triple crown.

3. We have two sons, Paul and Mark, and nine grand children. This is Dylan, the eldest of the nine. He’s 16 now, and a good rower. His godfather is King Hussein of Jordan.


4. George Harrison was one of my best friends, and he taught my son Paul to play the guitar. He was mad about cars and racing, and he was a big influence on my life. The man had an amazing mind. All four of the boys came to the Monaco Grand Prix one year. For some reason, a lot of musicians like motor racing.


and Mediterranean championships, and I won the British GP twice. I never won the world championship. Shooting was my life between the ages of 14 and 23, and it was brilliant preparation for F1; the ability to keep a cool head and remove emotion are skills I learned with a gun in my hands. If you miss a clay target, you never get it back.

5. I won this trophy for winning the 6. This silver ruler was given to me 1960 British Grand Prix… for clay pigeon shooting. Before Formula 1, I had won the Scottish, English, Irish, Welsh, European

by Tony Blair. Should the government do more to support motor racing in Great Britain? We are the capital for motor


sport technology, and so far the government has not properly recognized this. The French government funded circuits all the way through France, and its national fuel company, Elf, developed French drivers. We had seven of them on the grid at one time. When Silverstone was really in need I couldn’t get anyone to help. Mr Blair, when he was prime minister, gave us £8 million to speed up the completion of the bypass, which was very helpful. But that’s been it. Motor sport employs 40,000 people in Britain. We’re bigger than aerospace. •

86 • B2B • T HE PR I D E I SSU E

W H AT I T F E E L S L I K E …

…to win the title with a black and gold car


Emerson Fittipaldi

have been fortunate to participate in a few celebrations lately that brought living memories of great emotions I had forty years ago. I had the pleasure of reuniting with my unforgettable Lotus 72, a very special race car in a lot of different ways. I drove it in Bahrain during an incredible event with almost all the living world champions for the 60th anniversary of Formula 1. I took my time to wait until most of the cars were back in the pits and gave it a good run at proper speed. It was a wonderful few minutes worth a lifetime of memories. Then we had the event celebrating the 40th anniversary of my first Formula 1 win at Watkins Glen in the 1970 US Grand Prix. That was the first ever F1 victory for a Brazilian driver, so in 2010 I got to drive the Type 72 not only on the streets of Sao Paulo, but also on the Interlagos circuit right before the start of the Brazilian Grand Prix. The crowd was standing and cheering, and I could not help but feel emotional with the rush of memories from four decades earlier, winning the first Brazilian GP with this same car at this very place.

While my first win in Watkins Glen gave my friend Jochen Rindt and Lotus a world championship, only two years later I was close to winning my own title. Before I completed my second full season in F1 we got to Monza in 1972 in a position to win the title with two more races left to the

end of the championship. The weekend started on emergency mode when my primary Lotus was badly damaged in an accident with the team’s transporter. My team-mate did not run, and I had to use an older spec chassis for the weekend. We had been very fast the

entire season, with three poles and four wins in the nine races to that point. It was a challenging weekend, but in the end we managed to pull another win, sealing the world titles for myself and my team. I was very young at the time, in fact so young that I remained the youngest champion for more than 30 years. I am proud of the quality of champions who succeeded me after so many years: Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel. I remember that day with great joy. Only a few years earlier I had left Brazil and my family to follow my dream of racing in F1, and now I was the world champion. My father was in Monza broadcasting the race live to Brazil, and so was my brother who took part in the race with a Brabham. It felt like all my efforts and also the trust that people like Colin Chapman had given me had been rewarded. A great feeling indeed. In Brazil I was received like a hero. I was the first Brazilian to win the F1 title, and at that time we had no idea that in the following 20 years Brazilian drivers would win eight championships. Brazilian fans love Formula 1 and I am happy to have been able to contribute to that. •

“ It felt that all my efforts and also the trust that people like Colin Chapman had given me had been rewarded." L O T US R ENAU LT GP •





The Pride Issue

The Pride Issue

Summer 2011

Black to Business

Black to Business Summer 2011 lrgp_b2b_issue01_cover.indd 1

08/07/2011 15:59

Business to Business - 2011  
Business to Business - 2011  

Business to Business - Lotus F1 Team