Formula 1 is a global sport, and the teams and drivers need to move from one venue to the other very quickly. This may leave many fans to wonder how Formula 1 teams can get their cars, crew members, and all their equipment from one country to another within a week.
F1 moves around the world through a complex logistical system of planes, ships and trucks. There are tight deadlines and incredibly efficient crew members who pack everything up within hours of the race finishing. The equipment is then driven or flown to the next venue, ready to be unpacked again.
F1 teams and crew members have flawless logistics, and it seems impossible that they would be able to move an entire team to a different country in a matter of days to be race ready by the time Friday comes around. In the article below, we’ll discuss what goes on behind the scenes between races.
It’s not just the teams and drivers that need to move from place to place to make it to the venue in time. Formula 1 as an organization has a massive team of crew members that need to be able to pack up and move to another country within hours of the race finishing.
This is especially true when it comes to back-to-back races, where the team needs to be set up and ready a few days after the previous Grand Prix. With the race ending on Sunday afternoon, the team needs to be enroute to the next venue by Monday.
By Wednesday morning, they need to be completely set up and ready to get started on their preparation for the weekend. Teams and drivers would already be arriving, so Formula 1 needs to have their event fully ready by Wednesday morning in preparation for the weekend.
For the most part, the Formula 1 crew members such as the stewards, management, and hospitality crew make use of the facilities that are available at each track, so there isn’t a lot of equipment they need to haul around with them. This makes it much easier and quicker.
Fly away races require all the F1 crew members to fly to their next destination. These are races that are not on the European continent, which the team cannot travel to by car. Fly away races, such as those in Australia or the United States for example, require careful planning logistically, as all crew members need to be accounted for and they all need to arrive at their destination on time.
One delayed or canceled flight can mean the entire team is under more pressure as they need to ensure that everything is ready before the start of the weekend. It’s usually not as simple as just booking any flight to the next venue.
Formula 1 has specialized logistics coordinators who ensure that all the crew members and the equipment they need arrive at the venue on time. They need to ensure that all the crew’s visas, flights, and accommodation are booked and ready.
When it comes to the European leg of the season, the logistics become a little bit simpler. Since the Formula 1 headquarters is based in Europe, and so are most of the teams, it’s much easier for the crew and equipment to get from one venue to another.
Many of the back-to-back races are also close together, such as Spain and Monaco for example, and this means that all the crew members can easily get to the venue on time. In some cases, the crew will drive through to the next venue depending on the distance.
Some races, however, still require the crew members to be flown out to the venues, but the equipment can be transported with tracks on the road. Oftentimes, this is the easier and more affordable option for Formula 1.
Formula 1 media is by far the biggest logistical nightmare. The F1 broadcasting crew uses highly specialized and expensive equipment that needs to be taken from one venue to another, and it always needs to arrive on time. The F1 media equipment can fill up two cargo planes. If this equipment is delayed, there will be no world feed for the race weekend, which would be a disaster for F1.
The only race where this is an exception is the Monaco Grand Prix, which is filmed by Monaco’s local television broadcasters. In addition, Formula 1 often uses a mobile media center that needs to go to the circuits without a constructed media center, and this takes up additional space.
All the equipment that F1 teams use throughout the race weekend is packed up after the race on Sunday and is sent to the next venue. By Monday, the crates full of equipment will already be on their way to the next race if it’s a back-to-back race weekend.
There’s no doubt that Formula 1 teams use a lot of equipment throughout a Grand Prix race weekend. From tools to computers and even catering equipment, the teams need to ensure that their cargo arrives at the next destination in time.
However, not all equipment is necessary at the next venue, and some of the equipment gets sent back to the factory after a race weekend. Sometimes, teams need to bring new equipment to the next race in order to ensure the best performance and reliability in their car.
The tires that have been used during the race weekend will never be used again. Formula 1 teams get 13 sets of tires for each car for each race. As soon as the tires have been fitted to the rims, they are considered used. Even if the tires have not even completed a mile on track, they still cannot be used again.
This might seem wasteful, but there’s a very good reason as to why the teams do this. At the end of the day, it all comes down to safety concerns with the tires. When the tires are fitted to the rims, they need to be removed in order to transport them again. When they are removed, there is the risk of small cracks forming or the rubber being damaged.
If the tires are fitted back onto the rims again, there is an increased risk of tire failure, which is not acceptable with Formula 1 cars traveling at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour. Therefore, Pirelli (the F1 tire supplier) simply doesn’t take the risks.
Instead, the tires are removed from the rims and crushed to fit into containers. The tires are then sent to a cement factory where they are used as fuel. The process of burning the tires for fuel is less harmful to the environment than incinerating the tires. Pirelli may look for new ways to recycle F1 tires in the future, but this is the current process.
The cars, of course, need to be used again at the next race. Formula 1 cars are stripped down entirely after the race is finished. As soon as the scrutineering inspections have been completed and the FIA release the cars back to the teams, the crew members start getting to work.
The cars are taken apart entirely, from the wings to the engine to the internal components, and each part is carefully stored in containers. These containers are then sent to the airport (if the next race is a fly away venue) or they are transported to the next race using semi-trucks.
At the next venue, the car will be completely rebuilt from the ground up once the crew members arrive. By the time Thursday afternoon comes around, each car will be fully built and ready for scrutineering once again before the race weekend gets underway.
Formula 1 cars can be broken down into tiny pieces, with the chassis being the biggest part that remains intact. If possible, teams prefer to keep as many parts on the car as they can, as this reduces the workload when packing up and rebuilding the car at the next venue.
Formula 1 cars are extremely fragile, and they can easily take damage over the course of the weekend. Formula 1 teams need to ensure that they have enough spares ready in case the car is damaged throughout the weekend. It would be a real embarrassment if a team ran out of spare parts.
If the spares are used, the damaged parts are sent back to the factory where they are either scrapped or reused to make new parts. It’s rare for teams to reuse old parts due to the precise and delicate nature of the parts found on a Formula 1 car. Any imperfection can have a huge impact on the overall performance of the car.
New spares are often sent to the next venue straight from the factory if the parts have been damaged during the previous race weekend. This ensures that the team has enough spares available in case they are needed at the next race.
Formula 1 teams use other equipment at races as well. From laptops that carry important telemetry and data to catering equipment and mechanics’ overalls, teams need to ensure that all this equipment is safely transported to the next venue and ready for them when they arrive.
At the end of a Grand Prix, the team members will pack all their equipment into crates. These crates make it much easier to transport the equipment in semi-trucks and cargo planes. Not only does it allow the teams to carefully organize their equipment, but these crates also have wheels that make them easier to move around.
Crew members will begin to pack up their equipment as soon as the race is finished. They often need to get as much of their equipment, including the cars, packed up and ready to be moved by the end of Sunday, or Monday afternoon at the latest. The crates of equipment will arrive at the next venue either on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on the distance that needs to be covered to the next venue.
F1 teams get to races using their own logistics and travel coordinators. The logistics manager ensures that all cargo and equipment makes it to the next venue safely and on time. The travel coordinator, on the other hand, oversees the travel of the F1 team members.
Without Formula 1 teams in attendance, there won’t be a race. It’s crucial for all the crew members to get to the race venue on time because each one has an important role to play in the team’s race weekend and ensuring that it runs as smoothly as possible.
The travel coordinator will ensure that all crew members traveling to the venue have their visas approved and ready. They will also oversee booking the necessary flights and accommodation for the team members, as well as ensuring they have transportation when they arrive in the country where the next race is taking place.
The crew members on Formula 1 teams mostly stick together both in terms of travel and accommodation. This is because their travel has been arranged by the team, and they are traveling as part of their job, which also means the team pays for their flights and accommodation.
When it comes to heading to the next venue, team members will fly most of the time. Flying is the quickest way to get the entire team where they need to be. It’s crucial that the team members fly as early as possible during the week, as they need to get to the next venue by Wednesday at the latest in order to set up for the weekend ahead.
Team members will usually be on the same flight together. They have all been booked by the travel coordinator to ensure the entire team arrives at the same time at the next venue. This is especially important when it comes to fly away races on different continents.
As soon as the crew have packed up all their equipment at the track, they will most likely be on the next flight out, which is usually either on the Monday or the Tuesday. Flights are booked in advance, so it’s crucial the team works together to get all their equipment packed up in time for their flight.
Accommodation might seem like a simple solution for F1 teams, but it can often become quite complex. Team members have very specific needs when it comes to the hotels or accommodation that they stay in over the course of a Grand Prix weekend.
The first factor to consider is that they can’t be too far away from the track. Crew members need to be at the track for the entire week, not just Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If they need to spend a lot of time traveling to the track, it becomes difficult for them to do their job properly. As such, the hotels that the crew stay in are often no more than a 10-minute drive from the circuit.
Formula 1 is a high-pressure environment, and the performance of each crew member is crucial. One loose bolt or misplaced part can unravel a car’s entire session, especially during qualifying or the race when the stakes are much higher. This means that crew members need to get adequate rest during the evenings.
Crew members need to stay in hotels that are quiet and away from the busy spectators and crowds that want to meet the drivers and teams. It’s important that the crew members get a good night’s sleep in their hotel, so most of the time they stay in luxury hotels that are relatively out of sight of the general public.
It’s all great getting the crew members to the country that the next race is in and having a good hotel for them to stay in, but they also need to get to the racetrack and back in order to do their job throughout the course of the weekend.
Since most of the crew members stay at the same hotel, it’s much easier to arrange transportation. Many teams will transport their crew members from the hotels to the track with minibuses. Some crew members use rental cars. This happens when the team hotel is far away, or if the crew members have a specific job that requires them to be at the track at different times to the rest of the crew.
F1 cars are transported between races using semi-trucks that take them to the airport, which is usually close to the circuit. From there, the cars are loaded into a cargo plane and sent to the next airport where they are once again packed into a semi-truck that drives them to the track.
Formula 1 cars are fragile, but they’re also relatively light and can be taken apart quickly. This helps the team a lot when it comes to transporting their cars. Being able to break the car down into smaller pieces makes it much easier for the teams to move them from race to race.
Once the Grand Prix is over, the cars go into scrutineering where the FIA will investigate each car carefully to ensure that it’s legal. Once they are done, the cars are released back to the teams. From there, the teams will begin to take their cars apart. From the wheels to the front wings, every little part comes off the chassis and is carefully stored away for transport in the semi-trucks.
However, during the European leg of the competition, teams often transport their own cars using semi-trucks to avoid the expenses involved in air freight. Teams will often drive their cars and equipment to the next venue with a dedicated semi-truck painted in the team’s livery and full-time semi-truck driver. At their destination, the cars will be reassembled and ready to race again.
One of the most important and unique aspects of Formula 1 is the development race. It’s important to the sport and it promotes competition across the grid. Teams are allowed to bring their own upgrades and new parts to races in order to improve their cars and get the better of their competition.
The new updated parts are built at the factory though, and most teams have their headquarters and factory in the UK. This makes it impossible for them to send their upgrades with the teams from one venue to another. It would also give them less time to develop and build the parts.
Instead, the upgrades are sent straight from the factory to the race they are planned to be introduced in. Many teams plan their updates ahead of time. For example, Monza is a race that is famous for low downforce updates. Since the teams know that this is the case, they will have their updates ready to be shipped to Italy in time for the race.
With the upgrades planned ahead of time, the team knows exactly how much time they have to develop their upgrades, build them, and ship them to the venue that they are scheduled to be used in. Teams also usually send upgrades to European races because it’s easier than sending them to a fly away race.
Unlike the rest of the Formula 1 cars, tires are not the responsibility of the teams. Pirelli is responsible for ensuring that the correct number of tires arrive at each race venue, which is a total of 1040 individual tires, or 260 sets.
The problem, though, is that the tires take up a huge amount of space, especially now that Formula 1 has switched from 13-inch tires to 18-inch tires. On top of that, Pirelli also supplies the tires for Formula 2 and Formula 3, which sometimes race at the same venue as support races to Formula 1.
With this huge number of tires that need to be ready for the teams at each Grand Prix, they need to be sent by sea. Cargo ships are sent out carrying containers full of Pirelli Formula 1 tires to each racetrack on the calendar.
However, sea freight is much slower than air and road, which means the tires need to be sent out between six and eight weeks in advance. Pirelli is often sending out tires for the first race of the season before the cars have officially been revealed to the public.
Each F1 driver has their own preference on how they like to travel from race to race. Many of the drivers travel together, some travel alone or with family, and others like to travel with their personal trainers. Some drivers prefer to fly while others like to drive to the next Grand Prix.
The drivers are the superstars of Formula 1 and the main attraction for most fans. They’re paid millions of dollars per year, and they drive the most incredible machines on the planet. Getting from one race to another is often the last thing on their mind.
For the most part however, it varies. Drivers can sometimes change between all the above, and most of the time it also depends on where the race is and what the situation is like in the world Championship standings.
For example, if the driver has a chance to win the championship at the final race of the season, then it’s more likely that they will be traveling with their families or their personal trainers in order to stay in a positive frame of mind ahead of the big race that could define their career.
Many F1 drivers will fly with standard airlines to the next race venue. Some drivers also fly with their crew members though, and in this case the team would book their flights with the rest of the crew. It’s rare for this to happen, but some drivers do enjoy the company of their crew and they use it as a form of team building in between races.
Some drivers, such as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, are known to have their own private jets they use to travel with instead of using airlines. Having private jets allows these drivers to go anywhere in the world at any time.
A group of drivers might also charter a private jet together to get to the next race venue. We have seen some occasions where a group of drivers will fly together on a private jet to a race or to Monaco, where many F1 drivers live.
Accommodation is another important factor for the drivers. Just like the crew members, the drivers also need to be close to the track and be guaranteed a good night’s rest. Sometimes, the drivers can be booked with the crew members at the same hotel.
Other times, drivers might be booked into a different hotel closer to the racetrack. In some cases, the drivers might be booked into the same hotel simply because it’s closer to the track than the hotel that the crew members are staying at.
During the European races, some drivers use motorhomes to travel between races, and some drivers even stay in their motorhomes during the weekend. These motorhomes can remain in the paddock at the track, so the drivers never have to leave the circuit throughout the course of the weekend.
F1 drivers, teams, race organizers, and support staff all travel on different days to the next venue. Depending on their role, some people will travel to the next venue directly after the previous race. Others can arrive by midweek to begin prepping for the upcoming Grand Prix.
Getting to the next race on time is the most important thing for Formula 1. Arriving too late can mean that the crew members, teams, or drivers are not prepared for the upcoming weekend. Even so, the race weekend starts much earlier than Friday for Formula 1 teams and drivers.
On Wednesday, the teams need to be preparing for the upcoming weekend and they need to test all their equipment to ensure that everything is ready. Formula 1 media will begin to prepare for their press conferences before the start of the Grand Prix weekend.
Formula 1 management needs to set up all their facilities, including the steward’s room and the broadcasting headquarters. If anything is delayed, it could put further pressure on the team to be ready before the weekend starts. The entire Formula 1 team works on tight deadlines.
Formula 1 teams often arrive either the Tuesday or the Wednesday before the race weekend, and in some cases even on Thursday. They begin by unpacking all the cargo that has arrived from the previous race venue. All the equipment, mechanics’ overalls, spares, and tools need to be placed in their rightful spots at the new venue.
On Wednesday or Thursday, the teams need to reassemble their cars and ensure that everything is running smoothly. The pit wall needs to be put up and all the motorhomes and hospitality areas need to be prepared for the drivers as well as any special guests that might be in attendance.
On Thursday, the teams will often fire up their cars for the first time before the race weekend to double check that everything is in working order before proceeding to scrutineering, where the cars will be checked to see if they are legal or not. The race weekend starts on Friday with the first practice session.
Formula 1 drivers will sometimes arrive at the same time as their teams on either Tuesday or Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest. If drivers do not travel with their crew members, they often arrive on Wednesday because they might spend a day at the team headquarters or in the simulator.
On Wednesday or Thursday, the drivers will do their team briefing and track walk. This allows them to become more familiar with the track conditions they might be expecting, and it gives them time to get prepared for the weekend ahead and discuss their strategies for the practice sessions.
Thursdays used to be reserved for media days, but now this happens on Friday mornings. This is when the drivers will attend press conferences and conduct interviews or participate in sponsor events. They often also meet fans during the pit lane walk and they spend time in driver briefings before the first practice session on Friday.
The logistics of F1 is complex, and it all runs on a fine deadline. Any delays in the logistics can put more stress on team members. Teams and drivers often leave right after the race to head straight to the next event after packing up and sending the equipment to the next venue.