Formula 1 is definitely a team sport, with lots of people involved in various different roles. Of course, the driver is alone out on the track, but they have huge teams around them. But just how many people are in an F1 team?
F1 teams may have up to 1200 people in them. Besides the drivers, team principal, engineers, and mechanics, there are also the media team and trainers who bring the race team to 50+ people. Adding in the factory team who design and build the cars can bring the total to 1000+ for the top teams.
These hundreds of jobs are spread out across a wide variety of roles, but the numbers vary by team. Some teams will have far fewer than 1000 people, and as you might expect a lot of it comes down to budget. Below, I take a closer look at the makeup of an F1 team.
The People In An F1 Team
An F1 team can be made up of anywhere from a few hundred to over 1000 employees. The smaller teams will naturally have fewer employees, but teams like Mercedes and Red Bull might have more than 1000 employees each, including staff at the factory, the race team and mechanics, and the senior staff.
This is a massive number of people. Compared to other motorsports, F1 teams are huge employers. For example, the number of people in a NASCAR team is usually about 50-100, but smaller teams can have even fewer members of staff. Similar trends are seen in other motorsports too, from IndyCar to MotoGP.
Every member of an F1 team is important, but perhaps the two most important people are those that drive the car around the track. These are usually the most well-known members of the team, and they are also usually the ones that get paid the most.
They will be in contact with their race engineers throughout the race, getting instructions and advice, and general communication. The race engineer is usually someone that they have a strong bond with, as they are their link to the rest of the team and the data from the car during the race. The race engineer sits alongside other engineers, data analysts, strategy teams and the team principal.
These are the people that take all of the data from the car, among other data, and relay it back to the race engineer who can then pass it on to the driver. They monitor every aspect of the car, from tire temperatures and pressures to more serious damage as well. Then come the mechanics, and these are the people who get to work on the car when it pulls in for a pit stop.
Most pit stops involve a tire change, and it takes three mechanics per tire. There needs to be one person operating the wheel gun, and then one to take the old tire off and someone to put the new tire on. Alongside the 12 tire men, there will be someone to stop and release the car, and various others to help with any repairs or to make sure everything goes according to plan.
Fun Fact: F1 pit crews are typically made up of around 20 people
There will be a team of mechanics for each driver, and there will be extra people on hand in case the car needs a more serious repair, such as a change of front wing. Aside from the mechanics and engineers, there is of course the team principal. This is the person who is at the head of the team, and they guide their staff towards (hopefully) glory each season.
They are often the face of the team, alongside the drivers, and the person that may receive the most scrutiny from the media. They do a lot of press conferences, and usually must answer for the team when things go wrong and take some of the praise when things go well. They may also be the owners of the team, but often the teams are owned by other people.
Big investors may also be part of the face of the team, as is the case with Lawrence Stroll of Aston Martin. He is the owner of the team and is normally always at the races (although Mike Crack is the team principal). Investors want to see results, and they tend to play big roles within the team, along with other general members of management, of which there are many levels.
These roles all make up the bulk of what is known as the race team. These are the people that go to the race weekends and are working hands on all year round. But there are other members of the racing team that are often forgotten about as well.
Other Members Of The Race Team
The races attract a lot of media attention, and so the teams will also have media staff within them that work alongside the drivers and other staff when faced with questions in front of the cameras. There will also be members of security teams as well, as there is a lot of money at these events and teams need to be vigilant to make sure their staff and property is kept safe.
There will be various other mechanics and engineers at the race weekends as well, and these will be specialists that are brought in if the car is susceptible to a certain issue, or if the track requires specific expertise when it comes to the finer details of the race. There will also be various technicians there too, and so the race team is often large, usually around 50-75 people or more.
Trainers & Managers
Finally, there will also be various people that go along with the drivers. These include the likes of trainers, be it physical or mental, that may help the drivers prepare for the race. They may also have a manager or agent with them, who is usually there to help them with the media.
KEY POINTS• F1 teams may consist of 1000+ people
• The race team will typically be made up of about 50-75+ staff
• This includes roles from team principal and mechanics to media staff and personal trainers
F1 Factory Staff
Hundreds Of People
Aside from the race team, there are far more people working on the sidelines or in the background throughout the season and during the winter. The factories, where the cars are designed and manufactured, as well as the offices at which the teams are headquartered, may employ several hundred people, with some teams perhaps being closer to 1200 in total.
The factory workers that build the car are usually in the hundreds, as there are divisions of people for almost every part of the car. Then there are of course the people leading these divisions, such as aerodynamicists and general engineers. There will also be R&D scientists, heading the development of new frontiers for the team to embark on to get ahead of the competition.
Key Fact: These staff work all year round, as there is a constant development race during the season
There will be a technical director too, who is often part of the race team, and they will oversee all of the major design and construction of the car. The design team will be huge, as they are the ones responsible for coming up with next year’s car and bettering this year’s too. There will also be a squad of people that take care of the logistics.
Going deeper, the teams will also have security workers at the factory, alongside maintenance workers and cleaners. They may hire contractors, or they may employ them directly. This takes the total number of people well into the hundreds.
Other Roles In An F1 Team
Aside from the race team and those back at the factory, there are plenty of other roles to be filled within an F1 team. There are test drivers for example, of which teams usually have at least one. There will also be reserve drivers, who, along with the test drivers, are on hand to step in for the main drivers if they need to. This could be for a variety of reasons, usually illness.
Teams will also have commercial directors, who are in charge of dealing with sponsorships and partnerships with other brands. There will be various other media and promotional people, helping to grow and maintain the team’s brand. There will also be even more data analysts, usually working with those at the factory to assess past races and prepare for the next ones.
Events may be hosted by the teams throughout the year and during the offseason, and these will need a team of hospitality workers and events managers. There are also going to be receptionists and assistants too. Then there will be the drivers of the trucks that take the cars and equipment to each and every race, all year long.
There will be people that work and maintain the simulator, which teams use more and more now as testing on track becomes more restricted. All of these positions are easily forgotten about, but they are integral to the team’s success.
List Of Roles In An F1 Team
The roles in an F1 team include:
- Team principals
- Directors (various types)
- Team owners
- Department heads
- Data analysts
- Engineers (various types)
- PR staff
- HR staff
- Physical trainers
- Catering staff
- Media teams
- Managers (various types)
- Logistics staff
Overall, an F1 team may be made up of hundreds of people. The bigger teams, like Mercedes and Ferrari, will employ more people than the smaller teams. However, every team is made up of many different and important roles. These include the drivers and mechanics, along with the rest of the race team, to those back at the factory, and everyone in between.
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